As for me, I am not trying to gain control over my circumstances with these things, as important as they are. Why? Because there will always be someone who is more powerful, or has better Aiki. So, what else is there that would preclude any opportunity to be outdone by another? Well, if one asks themselves this question and meditates on the answer long enough you come to know that it is the direct opposite of power release and aiki-age. With such a thought and a sincere desire to discover what that is and just how to do that, I would imagine that one would need to find a teacher to guide them.
I've never quite understood the argument that the pursuit of power is in some sense fruitless because there will always be someone more powerful than you. If you are training for the "direct opposite of power release and aiki-age", isn't it also the case that there will always be someone who is better at *that* than you are?
It seems to me that regardless of whether you are learning to use either power or a skill that "precludes any opportunity to be outdone by another", the same rules apply. I'm assuming that Abe sensei is better at that skill than you are; therefore, there is as much a skill gradient there as there would be with gaining power. The question goes from "how powerful can you become" to "how well can you learn to use the opposite of power", yes? If you are better at using your skill than I am at using internal power, you win. If I am better at using internal power than you are at using your skill, I win. The skills may be opposites, but the process is the same - you keep practicing to get better at something, which minimizes the chances that you are going to come across someone who is better at what they do than you are at what you do.