Re: Poll: Which would you rather have in an aikido beginners teacher?
Yep - I have seen some excellent aikidoka who cannot communicate what they are doing to their students. Don't judge an instructor by the quality of his aikido, but by the quality of his students!
I think most of us have the objective of being good at aikido. Thus they need some technical understanding (even if they don't have technical ability) but more importantly they need to be able to get YOU to do it well.
I would go as far as to say that Ueshiba was a good martial artist but a poor teacher. Even his uchideschi disagreed with the form which aikido should take. He also spoke in esoteric terms. Luckily though, there is video footage and some manuals which were written (or at least improved on) by him.
I do know an instructor who (I believe !) could easily be overcome in a real confrontation, however I know from experience that what he is teaching is important for my progression in practical aikido. I think we have to be like thieves, and steal all the good bits from a range of instructors. Our obligation should be to develop good aikido, not to revere those with high status (whether they are technically good or not). Obviously though, beginners need to learn the basics first!