I agree with all of this. My issue was with the assertion that originally started this exchange, that is, that you're no doing "real" aikido unless you're attached to a particular instructor like a young apprentice to an old master in a kung fu movie.
weren't those uchideshi of Ueshiba sort of apprenticeship? since he passed away, there haven't been that many good ones shown up. there's something to say about apprenticeship.