[The idea that] if there were better teaching it wouldn't help much and the results would more or less be the same.
Good points. Based on what I've been told in my schooling, all other things being equal
, there is no substitute for good teaching. Emulation is a much quicker road than innovation. Like you say, time will tell. "Greatness" seems like it might require something different, but whatever the case, it seems clear the explicit teaching of these practices gets the foot in the door quicker.
A quick question regarding ukemi:
Does being moved around by people exhibiting aiki have a similar effect as the spiraling of the solo exercises? If we can develop the body by moving in certain ways, can we be developed by others moving our body in those same ways?