I just had a thought on this subject. One thing I think I've noticed is that Aikido as a trend has gotten older. It seems that as sensei get older they tend to move away from the martial component of the art more into the softer realm. This has happened to me twice now and in my 30's I still value the physical component. What I'm thinking is that as sensei get older they tend to see things a bit differently than when they were in their 30's and 40's. Maybe they look back and think, "gee, 35 years and I haven't been in one fight. Who cares about the MA side of things, particularly, since at 60 years+ I won't be getting into a fight anytime soon." Or they realize that they've kicked the crap out of their bodies and don't want to put others through the same thing. I dunno, but perspectives change and consequently standards and focuses have probably changed along with it. I'd imagine that O'Sensei certainly thought differently about things in his 80's than in his 50's. I wonder if we aren't seeing much the same thing?
Does this make any sense, at least as to a possible reason that standards may have changed, if they have changed?