I don't know...I did Judo for a long time before Aikido. I think there is something to be said for actually learning how to do the technique properly before you do randori. You can have all the IS in the world but if you don't do the technique right you're just one step up from the person that is using conventional strength. And before we get to the 'there is no technique' argument....that only seems to happen after the person has spent the last 20 years practicing techniques.
As far as fighting goes...If the method of transmission of kata wasn't effective at a time when you died if you sucked it would have, well...died out. If it's not working today then people are probably not practicing the kata properly. Giving the fact that 'aiki' is lost/hard to find/hidden in plain sight, it would be not be surprising if the proper execution of kata and the proper uke/tori relationship is lost for most.
If you want to switch the discussion to normal fighting- then I agree with every thing you wrote. But I am not talking about that aspect of training at all.
That was not my point.
There are deeper levels of using IP/aiki that are never going to be attained without crossing hands with those with IP /aiki who are resisting you with IP/aiki. It can be mild; such as in push hands, or more severe as in grappling. But the critical factor is not in using it all the time with the straights, but rather with those who train IP/Aiki. The reason is that it forces you to have to deal with trained power and skill coming in and going out; with someone who will absorb your force and redirect it and use it back at you. This has not one thing to so with typical dojo work in aikido that I have ever felt or seen. To begin with you do it with someone who has skills of an unusual, or exceptional nature and go up from there with someone who knows what they're doing.
Doing aiki on an uke will never get you there.
Using IP aiki in MMA is much better.
IP to IP is better still.
I have never seen, read about or heard of; Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, or Hisa doing that.
Which is why their arts look like they do and why their students are limited in their understanding in that way. Both arts had their own perogatives and motives in what they were trying to accomplish. Most of it was based on a traditional approach. There are other ways to train.
There things that are not being said here that some people need to start to take notice to and read between the lines. The reason I keep advocating that aikido teachers start considering what I am saying is that ya'll aren't doing too well when you are finally facing real aiki are you?
Aikido aiki is just not working out to well. There is a deeper level of Japanese aiki that is quite simply handing the senior guys in aikido their collective butts, over and over. If you think its going to get any better with certain Japanese teachers you are in for big surprise The reason is you are never going to learn it the way your teachers told you to practice it. Let's face it -it hasn't worked- and its not going to work. There are better, smarter ways to train "IT" that do work every time and will indeed produce IP/ aiki that functions on a world class level. Plain and simple. I don't blame the teachers. It's not their fault. They're Japanese. Several of the more prominant Japanese teachers have openly admitted to their senior guys that they don't even understand how to teach it any other way. No foul there.
Bear in mind that as we speak there are many aikido teachers who already get it and have seriously altered their training. As most state, they will NEVER go back to training aikido the way they did under their Japanese teachers. This is simply a smarter way to train then the Japanese have discovered or used.