“Aiki can be broadly and inadequately defined as unifying one’s energy or intent with that of one’s partner within the framework of prescribed forms…”
When I went to Japan in 2007, I learned that one must find one’s own way in Aikido, regardless of style, affiliation, or teacher. Two teachers confirmed this, one ancient (85), and one relatively modern (53), each separately affirming what the other said without any collusion and without ever having met. I did not ask them a direct question, but they seemed to know what I was looking for.
Now it makes much more sense than it did at the time – I seem to learn the important things by a sort of slow release process, in contrast with my cultural disposition and desire for everything right now. My own few students are always (the few that I have) asking questions about things that they will not be able to understand for a while, but this seems too patronising to say to them, so I try my best to answer their questions in the full knowledge that it won’t help them. When they do understand, they will not even remember what I said.