a) Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous.
b) 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.
a. goes along way in making b happen. In order to do a., very well, allot of other skills come to the fore. It is actually my hope that men stay in aikido and manage to do b. And I'll be right behind you applauding, when you pull it off. If you keep training-you will.
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training aiki...do helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?