'Modern' aikido... Ueshiba's aikido... traditional/modern aikido...Post Modern Aikido?...
So many labels, rendered in hindsight, to which we might add Ki Aikido, Tomiki Aikido and undoubtedly a whole bunch more. Ueshiba instructed students to make Aikido their own, to not merely copy his forms since the external forms are but individual expressions of the Aikido inside us all.
Aiki is a union with Ki. It is manifest via the coordination of mind and body. The path one takes to get there is of little import; the rewired body unified with intent, spiritual awakening, brewing and pouring tea... it doesn't matter. The path, over time, reveals itself to the individual and it's up to each of us to decide whether to follow it or not.
Good to hear from you Mark. Perhaps one day in the future you'll be able to cross the pond once again and sample some of what east coast Aikido has to offer.