I am more concerned about where aikido is going. Am I overly fearful (or even pessimistic) that aikido is becoming "diluted?" Moreover, is it even a bad thing that this dilution is occurring?
You've come to the top of a mountain only to see in the distance there are more mountains to climb. Aikido IS becoming diluted without a doubt. It is a style where creativity is encouraged. Even the direct students of O'Sensei have there own styles. Why? O'Sensei showed one technique too fast then moved onto the next. The Students were left to fill in the holes; to come up with there own interpretation. In other words, to steal his technique. I believe only those who spent most of there lives with him got the best translation.
But we don't have that luxury.
However, we do have mountains of information we can dig through. We have books, videos, eye witness accounts, and (drum roll) teachers of aikido. You'll find that it will be entirely up to you how Aikido should be interpreted. Even if you go to Japan in search of undilluted technique you will find frustration, doubt, lies. Some teachers will have one answer, others will have another. The Friendship demonstrations showed this better then anything. Every high ranking demostrator either said they do technique this way or others would say this is correct technique, not that. What I saw was they were all doing it correctly. Only there egos were incorrect.
I have been doing Aikido for over seven years, young in an art that demands much more time to master. But I too have seen the dillution of technique. More correctly, I can feel the dillution of technique. Wherever I could, I have looked at other arts for answers and to fill in the holes of MY aikido. I've looked at Kendo and that has improved my reaction time. I am studying Iaido which helps with posture and pose. I have looked at striking arts to see the underlying mechanics of atemi and evasion. I have trained in judo and jujitsu and discovered the power of patiencence and relaxation (imagine that. Dosen't Aikido training do that? Sure, if you're not frustrated).
And I have trained in some tai chi and hurt my knee. Which lead me to Aikido (sorry, but that really did happen... that and "Above the Law").
So now, I am training the most in Aikido. I don't adhere to any one dogma of what aikido is supposed to be because what one person does, another may do better. I have been training with the same sensei for 4 years now and adhere to most of his techniques. But what I don't like, I do differently. This may hurt in a dan test later but so what. I'll have peace of mind.
Happy Training (You are too SERIOUS!)