Tim. Very interesting point. Some people believe that you shouldn't go through the stages that Ueshiba went through, and that we should miss out his errors and try to emulate what he did at the peak of his career. However I would diagree with that and say that what we don't see when Ueshiba at his peak is the 'potential' within his technique (i.e. if things change with the uke, or if he needed to be, he could have been far more lethal). Replicating a technique is not the same as understanding it.
P.S. sorry to diverge!