I was a bit surprised to see the comment, 'the saying of Saito sensei that "Don't worry much about the philosophy. Train daily with bokken and morotetori kokyo-nage and you will understand the secrets Aikido."' being read IMHO as, Don't pay any attention to the philosophy.
To my mind the philosophy of Aikido is central to my practice of Aikido. I think that people are all to quick to forget that O'Sensei was also a famous philosopher, and that at the core of Aikido is a very profound philosophy. You can practice Aikido without the philosophy and still benefit, and if the philosophy bothers you don't stress it (which is my reading of the above quote), but I don't think that O'Sensei ever meant Aikido to be just another form of combat.
As for Ki Balls,I was making those before I ever started Aikido. If the word Ki gives you issues, simply call it a more western, rationalist term, Energy. Any biochemist will tell you that we generate large amounts of biochemical energy, and that many of the basic Ki techniques are just training yourself to discern this more clearly (much like training someone as a wine taster).
Changing the term and adding a rationalist explanation doesn't change the facts though, and does make you appear a little shallow. Its like claiming that America didn't really exist until Europeans 'discovered' it