When I began my training I thought these exercises were to be used for warming up and pretty much missed the point. I'd go through the motions always looking to get to technique which I thought of as the real stuff. Looking back I laugh, realizing now that the very purpose of the exercises was the mind/body coordination that I was defeating in my zeal to get to technique practice. When that all changed I began to get "heavy"...
I had to smile when I read this, as I felt exactly the same. As warm up exercises, they are quite frankly pretty rubbish aren't they? But they all, if taught and practiced properly, there to help the student move towards the mind/body co-ordination that is required to practice aikido.
My own teacher goes as far to say that 'aikido is a series of dynamic ki development exercises'. I think I am at a point where I can see the truth in this. These Tohei created/inspired exercises are definitely a force for positive learning in aikido. I can't imagine having reached the understanding I have without them (an impossible hypothisis to verify).
Thanks for posting, I recognise just about all of them.