In HIPS, I referred to the waza as the bottle and the IT as the brandy - without a bottle, where is the liquid? On the floor.
IT alone does not do it (note an earlier, I think on this thread, mention of I-ch'uan). The various containers you choose are a matter of taste, personal prediliction, etc. The problem that CAN come up with an art like aikido or DR is that one can be led to spend so long on the container (which embodies the culture, the techniques and the worldview, which can be, in it's own right, of supreme value), that one is never taught or lacks an interest in the brandy/IT. There is absolutely NOTHING that forbids a teacher from introducing IT training from the first day. Still - MANY will not do it. I'd like to again mention a recent account from a prominent koryu headmaster - who has IT - and explains how necessary it is - and teaches it clearly - yet most of his students don't practice the internal training exercises.
Anyway, IT + aikido could be done right away - not as a bonbon (called a gokui) given years and years later.
Sorry for the length, but I think your questions deserve to be treated with real respect.
I am hopeful for the future that we can all integrate better aiki skills into our training. It does however seem a rare talent (knowing IT and teaching IT.) It is my sincere wish that those that know IT, share IT. Seriously, color me interested. Now, to find a teacher.