careful, you're getting dangerous off topic here!
Actually, no. Do we know or understand what Ueshiba was doing when he did funakogi undo and furitama?
We already know, 100% for sure, that just mimicking outward forms of techniques will not get you to the level of Ueshiba Morihei. Otherwise, after, what, 40 years of training beyond Ueshiba's death we have no one in the aikido world that's even close to him. And *everyone* in the aikido world has mimicked his techniques over and over and over and over again.
So, back to Funakogi and such. Some threads I found in a quick search for some history and such:
I would say it's fairly obvious that Ueshiba was doing something different
than just going through the outward physical movements. And since we have quite a lot of people out there who have explained how and what to do with these exercises (including some involved with misogi-no-gyo), *and*
we still don't have anyone close to Ueshiba's abilities, I would say that maybe people should dig deeper into what Ueshiba was actually doing internally (which includes the spiritual realm).
But, hey, if you want to spend 40 + years mimicking the outward movements, if you want to spend 40 + years moving energy around or timing your breath or deep breathing or such, well, you are part of a very large group of people worldwide. While you're there, how about getting hands on with some of those people who have been doing this for 30-40 + years and asking them how much closer it's gotten them to Ueshiba's abilities.
To be like Ueshiba, you can't have just one. It was martial and spiritual for him. But, remember, who out there in the spiritual-only realm (to include those who practice misogi-no-gyo, meditation, Oomoto kyo, etc) has the abilities of Ueshiba?
Perhaps if we were discussing jujutsu or some physical martial program like Olympic Judo or BJJ, it would be a very easy thing to separate the martial from the spiritual. However, aiki (and I mean Daito ryu aiki) is something apart from pure physical and martial endeavors.
I'm starting to think that aiki, in and of itself, is a spiritual pursuit as much as it is a physical one. And that is why Ueshiba easily adapted various other spiritual pursuits with his martial aiki. It wasn't about being martially solid and having good sportsman-like conduct. Aiki changes the body and the mind while altering a person's spirit. I've heard at least one person, while training aiki, say something along the lines of I'm living freer in the world.
Didn't Ueshiba state that no one had to follow his footsteps? Why are you doing funakogi undo? Furitama? Misogi?
In the end, your training is your own.