Robert M Watson Jr
Certainly one of the areas of confusion as for application in aikido is the ability to absorb/dissipate/redirect solid blows to the body since we generally just move in such a way as to preclude the requirement to do so. I heartily concede that it would be a nice skill to have in cases one is unable to move in a 'traditional' way.
Well, what you described as avoiding a hit (moving to the side, etc.) is part of "techniques and strategies", not the I.S. skills. I differentiate between the two. So does Tohei. So do many other arts. As far as I know, the i.s. skills seem to be in just about every imaginable Asian martial-art, BTW. Just as they're part of Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, traditional dances, and so on.
At the same time, many other arts also espouse and practice "moving aside" for exactly the same reasons that Aikido does; it's part of a very ancient concept of no-resistance. I think a lot of westerners have some vague karate-inspired idea that if someone punches you do a wiper-block, etc., but that's actually a caricature. Most arts are more sophisticated than that.