Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)
In my experience, the time it takes to "get it" -- Ki in this case - (which is rare to begin with, generally speaking) depends on how sensitive a person is to the feeling and awareness of what they are trying to learn, and how much their personality etc. will allow them to trust it.
This implies that they have a teacher who is actually showing them what it is they should be feeling and doing in the first place, how to access it within themselves, and how it is applied to any situation, whatever the variables may be, which is a big part of "getting it" in the first place (meaning that if one understands it, inherent in the core of understanding is how it is applied anywhere.)
That being said, it certainly takes time no matter what, because the elements unfold as one goes - as one opens, experiences, integrates, and is lead to the next, deeper, level....