While I can see this in some techniques it doesn't sound right for all. How can a nikkyo not hurt? Sankyo? Hijishime?
Nikkyo - absolutely, no pain when performed properly as a connective technique that allows for Kuzushi - same with Sankyo, although admittedly it's slightly more complicated with Sankyo. But quite possible. What is called for is the skill of connecting through to Center without "disturbing anything else" so to speak.
I don't do or teach Hijishime, it's not part of my/our syllabus, nor is it in some other Aikido styles, as, if I understand the one you are referring to, it works against the joint.
This, to me, is the evolution of Aikido, although clearly O Sensei could do it when he wanted to, so in that sense it's both "progressive and regressive."