Quite a little hornets nest has been stirred up here.
For what it is worth, my Sensei's views
(I share them , fancy that
) is that ki is a good term for good body mechanics, mental intention, and focus.
I care little for the religion - based aspects of Aikido, but love the discipline of its form and find a lot of value in the traditions....kind of a mixed signals thing, eh?
The ideal of, at least, ATTEMPTING to "de-escalate" violence, is at least a step in the right direction for anyone, regardless of martial art discipline that is followed.
For what it is worth, I have no
problem with hitting people, but am better able to NOT hit them from this training.
Self control is everything.
I guess it is only mystical in the sense that it came from another culture. More of an "exotic" thing