If I may, while all that is true, you still only outlined learning some basic connections through push testing....er...okay.
Solo training is key...absolutely essential,, paired testing as well. However, legendary, IP/aiki is never, was never, a completed skill learned by remaining in these sorts of environments. It's kind of like being retarded in it's true definition of being developmentally challenged, people who remain there will never fully develop, and can and will be outmatched by those who've taken it literally, to the next level.
Contrary, to some of the myth making seen here, there are more and more stories coming back with real experts in the ICMA who have had trouble in dealing with western wrestlers and MMA'ers at seminars. Now imagine the same westerners with IP/aiki and with those same years of experience in fighting skill.
More and more are thinking this way. I think it's a good thing.
As I said though, for those really searching for total development, there are those who attempt to cheapen those efforts. Something any serious martial artists should look out for..
I'm in agreement here. You need to go out and play with people who have no expereience with these skills. Not to make yourself feel awesome (its easy to get a big head), but to make sure that you can really make them work and not delude yourself.
to me there isn't much point of learning a skill that only works under certain conditions with certain people. If that was the case, I would be better off taking card tricks as a hobby.