Re: I have a good question for all your aikidoists
Well it can be said that there is a huge range in the quality and ability of teachers in Aikido. And this is probably an important point...most are teachers that have been lucky enough to not to have to put into practice what they have learnt over the years.
Arguably I think that between 3rd and 5th dan the gradings become a little "blurred"..I have witnessed 5th dans who, though skilful are prehaps surpassed in style and technique by lower dans...but that is my view and others may think differently. From my own somewhat limited experience here in Japan it seems when we`re talking 6th dan+ thats when the practioner is clearly in a different league..in all areas..teaching and certainly from a martial execution point of view. Politics may be an issue in the gradings that people hold but they certainly dont detract from the sheer skill and ability some of these people possess.
I also think here in Japan there are a number of "known" teachers...but there are also a number of superb technicians who are not widely known (if at all) in the West...but in their own small areas (often rural)..they are held in as great a regard as i`m sure O-Sensei was/is. Their level of skill is way ahead of what I have witnessed in the UK etc...