Great to see that the concept we were speaking of in another thread evolving and being applied to an even deeper level in this one. It took a while to read the whole thread, but all good and poignantt stuff so far. Keep those thoughts coming, you are helping me clarify and refine my own approach to this sort of training.
So, although the drill calls for technique, I'd say that (if it's actually the exercise I gather it is), if you're failing to even carry out the initial stage of a technique, then you're short on kata.
The above makes sense in some cases, but mostly the stuff that happens at the initial stage of a technique or even before the technique is not developed very much by kata (forms) training. Also, many drills actually do not call for technique, but an openness to one's own weaknesses in mind/body movement and a desire to address them through an exercise that is specifically designed to challenge and develop certain things in the mind/body relationship.
The reason that kata training does not develop these things so much is because certain elements such as ma ai, metsuke, mushin, sensitivity and ability to respond to subtle changes in motion/intent/power of an attack are either already present (i.e. pre-set) or non-existent (not addressed) in the practice of set forms where the role and movements of Uke and Nage are already determined. In this sort of practice, one's aim is to emulate these roles (i.e. reproduce the form) to the best of one's ability, not focus so much on the peripheral elements that make the form applicable to the situation (i.e. finding the best response to Uke's movements and "attack").
As such it is highly unlikely that further practice of kata addresses this problem, one needs to isolate what is lacking in one's response before
the technique or kata has even started (what I call the "setup" phase). In Shodokan and Judo I think, this is referred to as tsukuri practice and is not technique-specific, but designed on training instinctive responses that allow one to adapt instantly to sudden and constant change, and as such is not a part of kata training per se but more toward the creation of basic structures that one can develop in randori or free play.
Kata practice is great and important, but it is not a cure all that sufficiently addressess the "peripheral" or non-waza aspects that are necessary for quality spontaneous Aikido practice imho.
Just my thoughts.