"So my question: Is your Sensei teaching you Aikido or is he/she teaching you how to learn Aikido, and which do you think is more valuable? Can you even have one with out the other?"
I am of the opinion that it is very easy to "teach" aikido and not the learning of it. That's the 'monkey see-monkey do' principle. Those who studied under O'Sensei, I believe, not only got the training in how, but many were of sufficient intellect that they were able to make it their own and picked up different ways of passing it on.
Pity I missed that conversation, Robert, because I tend to side with Mary Kaye on this one.
I think we're getting all three: how to do, how to learn, and how to teach. One thing I appreciate from Sensei is that he treats everyone as equals on the mat, despite rank... and simply adjusts his speed, timing, power to the uke before him. He could easily toss any one of us around like he does Lan, but he knows where we are and what we can do.
Being that no two people are the same, especially in our class where we have just about every variety of size and shape of person (me being the 'good looking' person) we're lucky to train to adjust on the fly and still work on the basic principles nessecary to each and every technique.
By the way, we're not just a lot of "kiss-a**es" in Midland. If anything, we're Aikido-nerds. 90% of us are reading books, studing videos, dvd's, hit the forums... read, read, read. Some more than others, but our study of aikido doesn't stop when we step off the mat. I feel very lucky to study in such a group.