For me the point has long been that while I may not like, agree with or maybe understand everything being taught, I listen, learn, and practice it as sincerely as possible. You don't have to believe something to listen. You don't have to agree with how something should be done to practice. And I have found that while there are many things that years later I still don't agree with, there were many more that I was in danger of tossing out that I find now I understand on a different level.
Or as one of my instructors told me a long time ago, if you aren't already completely trained how do you know what's important? If you already know what's important and what's not, why even bother?
Guess I'm going to respectfully disagree with you here, Keith. And probably make quite a few people upset in the process. Not really my intention as I'm conveying personal experiences ...
Any incarnation of funakogi undo that I've ever seen, done, or been taught has not even been remotely close to teaching aiki principles. I could have practiced sincerely for 80 years and it wouldn't have mattered. It wouldn't have given me aiki. I would not have gotten any closer to the skill level of Tomiki, Shioda, etc, let alone Ueshiba.
Taking that a step further, every single incarnation of modern aikido techniques is the same. None of them would have given me aiki or gotten me to the level of skill of previously mentioned teachers. After 20, 30, 40 years, I probably would have gotten some very high level jujutsu skills -- which are nothing to sneeze at, btw. Some very good stuff there. Unfortunately, those skills crumble against aiki.
I think it's all been huge rationalizations perpetuated throughout the aikido world. 20 year techniques, warmup exercises, focus on techniques, you'll understand after years of training, etc, etc, etc. And 40 years after Ueshiba's death, we're still rationalizing why we aren't even getting as good as the pre-war students.
When do we stop rationalizing and come to terms with the fact that aiki was withheld?