Hello Mr. Nelson,
Just to give an opposing viewpoint (I personally have nothing for or against the man).
We are talking about someone whose personal life is quite bizarre (the news reports of it anyway) and someone who has either spread misinformation about himself or allowed it to go unchallenged. As far as his aikido, I think the tapes I have seen of him in an earlier time were excellent...and he also seems to have many excellent ex-students, so he did at one time perform and teach what would seem to be excellent aikido.
But in terms of what I would look for in an instructor, I'd be more interested in what a smaller person could teach me about handling larger people than what a big man could teach me about handling mostly smaller people. If that makes any sense. I guess an overall sense of balance (in his personal life and in the discussions about him) would be the perspective that I would look for.
Ron (hey, none of us is perfect) Tisdale