Basics, basics, basics
We must constantly train in the basics. I believe that the foundation of Aikido is in the basics. If your foundation is not strong, anything built upon that will subsequently be weak. I believe that the basic body movement (Tai no sabaki), hand movement, foot movement, centre line focus and alignment of feet, hips, body and arms, proper breathing, building up and the use of Ki, extension, posture, awareness, focus are all important and necessary to becoming a proficient Aikidoka.
If you rush past these things to reach the more flashy spectacular techniques, or the more spiritual enlightened part of Aikido, it will all be founded on sand and will crumble at the first hurdle.
I have met many high ranked Aikidoka around the world who, after having their wrist held tight, cannot easily perform Aikido. People of rank, who should know better, turning their backs on an attacker to get into the right position to perform the technique that they have chosen. People of rank having extreme difficulty moving an attacker when performing a technique. People of rank using brute force and dangerous methods on their chosen uke (victim) to show that they are good at Aikido. Thuggery basically, and not what I perceive Aikido to be.
Sad to see, but you can all observe this many times at many Seminars around the world, if you already haven't.
We all pass on what we learn to be true, taught to us by our guides and mentors, and if it is not so your students will follow down that same path without question.
We must therefore question our own Aikido ability and evolution whilst constantly seek to refine and better our techniques and understanding. Do not blindly follow.
Basics, basics, basics.
Enjoy the journey.