In terms of techniques, it's now going to be possible to tell who simply "does good external technique" (no matter how 'subtle' those external techniques are) and who can do good technique while also using Ki skills.
This was the tough one for me this weekend. Trying to distingush between external technique and internal. The exercises and uke's "pressure" pretty much eliminated the ability to use external technique, to do things such as shift weight offline, irimi, establish fulcrums, pivot points etc. Once you remove these things from the equation you are left with using grounding, aiki, ki, chi or what not. Guys like me, as you felt, become befuddled when attempting to access the ground and result to what we know by using shoulder/arm strength, or torsion or leaning at the trunk to generate power. It is hard, because big guys like myself can be successful in this way, but as you demonstrated, it doesn't really generate much power in the same way.
So, the challenge is distingushing between the two types of power/advantage strategies. You can be successful with both strategies for sure, and for guys like me, it can definitely be a challenge to distingush the difference in yourself.