Alex Lawrence wrote:
It's not like Ueshiba formulated Aikido because he studied hard and then started thinking outside of the box, he was never inside the box in the first place,
I would completely disagree with this. O-sensei spent plenty of time "inside the box". It's just that the vast majority of information we have about him comes from the last half of his life. In the very early 1930's when he was still teaching Daito Ryu, he had already trained longer than the vast majority of the folks reading this forum.
He started training when he was young. he had a VERY solid base as a foundation for his later development of Aikido. There isn't anyone in Aikido who is any good who has just gone off in his own direction before he had understood the essentials. The "box" exists for a reason. The box represents the inherited collective knowledge passed down by those who have gone before. Before you leave the box, you need to understand what is in the box. The idea that O-sensei did not go through this process is incorrect and represents a misleading model for those coming along behind.