There's a really great explanation for why it isn't black and white.
1. If you haven't ever gotten hands on with someone who has aiki to a decent level and can use it proficiently, then there will always be debates online and offline about what aiki is or isn't.
2. If you actually have gotten hands on with someone who has aiki to a decent level and can use it proficiently, then all debate is over. Period.
Which means, bluntly, that if you're still debating what aiki is or isn't, then you're in category 1. And if you have an open mind, you can track down the people in category 2 and ask them about their experiences because so far it's pretty much 100% consensus on what aiki is.
I consider myself in category 2. I just don't think it is as difficult to find as some people are making it out to be. I also reject the "100% consensus" claim.
There are lots of really great senseis and they all have this skill. I just don't believe that training with Akuzawa Minoru or one of the other members of the alleged modern "aiki pantheon" would be that different.
My point is that I think some people are drawing the line WAY too finely. It's the same old "my dad is tougher than your dad" debate, which tends to blind us to the joy of diversity and the unique perspective of people from different walks or traditions.
Having said that, everyone has the right to call BS on something if they want to. (I suppose that's what I just did).
Are there any other moderates on this forum?