I've read (or, read into it) that a lot of the IMA folks are essentially saying aiki is counter-intuitive and that because of this one has to learn it from someone who knows in order to actually learn it. My feeling is that with intensity of purpose one should be able to simply look inward to discover "it." I'm not saying teachers aren't a necessity. In fact they're crucial to time management, but I get the sense that these skills are being presented as if they're not innate to us and that seems silly to me.
I'd appreciate any thoughts folks might have which might clarify this issue for me.
I could probably have developed all the skills I have now on my own, or with a partner. But it would have taken me a lifetime probably.
For me the most important thing my instructor has is the experience of Aiki. He knows what it feels like and he knows how he got where he is.
So he can make me do the same things he did until I feel something, get on the end of my technique and then he can say "Right, that's what you're looking for" or more often "No, try it again." If you like he just guides my intuition.