I once attended a meeting of high ranking black belts during a winter camp. These meetings were meant for us to get together with Sensei in an intimate atmosphere and exchange thoughts and ideas. Mostly though Sensei talked and we listened. When Sensei finished, he would go around the room and have each of us speak. Sometimes he would choose the topic, sometimes he would just ask us how things were going. I remember a story told by one of the attendees. It went something like this (paraphrased):
"I recently had a shodan from another school attend one of my classes. I named a technique and had him try to throw one of my fifth kyu students. I told my student to resist. This shodan student from another school couldn't throw my student. I then had them change roles. My fifth kyu student had no trouble throwing him. I then told my class that this high ranking students Aikido would never work...."
Everyone at the meeting, with one or two exceptions, seemed to derive great pleasure from this story. Sensei said nothing and the meeting continued. I remember wondering if the shodan student ever returned to this persons dojo. I vowed that I would never humiliate a student that way. I have had many students visit my dojo over the years and always treated them with respect and courtesy.
I have come to realize that Aikido is different for everyone. It is an art that comes from within. I tell my students that my job as their teacher is to help them give birth to their Aikido; for it's there inside them just waiting to come out.