So have you seen anything recently in your training aiki outside of aikido™ -where these skills could in fact make aikido™ more martially sound and viable in a more pressing environment? Have you seen at least a "potential" for aiki power that could deliver as promised?
This is one of those rare cases where I would have preferred to talk (write) less and just let my body do the talking. (I've been dealing with sick wife and being 100% child playmate lately so I'll have to write!)
The person who can out-structure the other person has a clear advantage. Most of the aikido things we learn is basically to that end. The aiki training is incredible for that. Defending takedowns with aiki structure is highly advantageous. There are other aspects I find incredible that I'll only call "soft power" that blows through most people's structure.
Extending that to using the aiki type striking makes one devastating. I saw Tom Holtz (sp?) a person with 1 year of training hitting a heavy bag a LOT harder than I could (and I have a few more years in martial arts - and multiple martial arts - than he does!). I'll get there.
Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous. If I'm truly going to deal with multiple SKILLED attackers, I'd like to waste a lot less energy in movement.
I still believe in finesse with power. Not sure how, but my belief is that in general I should eventually be skilled enough to not only have a successful throwdown with some bullshido folks - but SO SKILLED that I can actually make my form look like aikido basic waza just to frustrate them and blow their minds.