I dunno Edwin
I'll write back in a few years after I've met more Aikido teachers. I haven't felt much so far. Sure seems a lot of their students aren't even headed in the right direction. Maybe they just haven't been listening to their teachers.
Here's an Aiki masters take on Waza as as a means to get you there.
"Training must be done EVERYDAY for the rest of your life. That is the meaning of "Shugyo." No matter how much muscle you think you aren't using (you're only misleading yourself.) The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). It is not easy to attain.
You won't be able to manifest Aiki unless you continue tanren of the body everyday for decades. You must train the body, ponder and have the techniques "seep out" from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while changing yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time.
Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won't be able to do "Aiki."
Training hard everyday in a subject many people are even sceptical exists or sceptical that it applies in Aikido, *an art they're already 'teaching'* is only going to happen with a few, Dan. I think the few that have the drive and interest have, for the most part, already stepped up. I.e., I think the law of diminishing returns is already in effect; my interest in bandying and negotiating with the masses is fading out.
Good posts, though. That's the kind of information about Japanese perspectives on these skills I was looking for.