In short, for body skills on this order -- if you accept that efficient swimming and aiki are of the same order of developable body skill -- (apart from natural prodigies) there is no short circuit in the development of such skills apart from recapitulating the essential rudiments from which they are derived, and then following from those steadily along a slightly different but organically related evolution.
Yes, but you and I both, at some point, had to be taught
the essential rudiments of swimming since, as you pointed out, they are initially counter intuitive.
Some one on the internet can tell you they can swim, explain the fundamental movements, the fluid mechanics, buoyancy, etc., but until you actually see them swim, you really won't know if or how well they can.
Just some food for thought.