Matt Using an analogy I have held for a long time....Aikido is like a building with lots of floors with lots of rooms...taking the elevator that arises out of curiosity and a need to know, one can get off at any one of many floors.....though I think that some floors are not available without a working knowledge of the floor below them.
I think there is plenty to be learned on first few floors of the Aikido building, with some traces, some touches of Aiki part of the mix. To me real Aiki is in the floors above where access is limited by willingness of the individual to spent the time searching for the doors, willingness to spent a long time training, be willing to step back out of dead ends, figuring out who to trust, and some luck.
Having said all of this......do I know anything.....not likely, but I know it is out there while recognizing I may never get it.
I like that a lot! Thank you, Gary! ...I imagine, too, the higher floor buttons in that elevator wouldn't be so obvious to the eye.