Mark - As for what Sato said:, just for the record:
. . . Tanomo was such a high ranking councillor of the Aizu clan, I have doubts whether such a busy man could have inherited such a complex system of jujutsu . . . .I believe that Sokaku's father, Sokichi, thought it would be easier to teach the art to his eccentric son if such an important clan figure like Chief Councilor Tanomo Saigo was nominally in charge of the instruction of Daito-ryu
I do not believe that Sato had a hidden meaning - But, I think your theory is as plausible as any other. Truly. For all we know, Tanomo taught Takeda how to walk in court settings, how to act formally, and elements of body skills were taught in such settings. And this turned on a light in that genius and he extrapolated it into his extant martial skills. All speculation - but that's as good a theory as any that I have.
I don't have anything more to contribute on this thread that I haven't said here or elsewhere, so I'm away.