Hi Jon. Interesting reading your reply and thus I understand where you're coming from.
When you mention about what hasn't been shown or is missing and so how 'everyone' so to speak is looking for this missing ingredient then who am I to argue if that is the concensous of opinion.
However, up to now I havn't seen or heard this complaint from advanced students of Ki Aikido, indeed quite the opposite. I may be wrong as there may be many but not in my experience.
Having said that I did visit a Ki Aikido dojo a couple of years ago and was quite surprised by some of what was going on there but put it down to a one off.
Myself? No problem, nothing missing, plenty to learn.
Sorting out any confusion as to the purpose of Aikido is absolutely no problem to me or to any student who comes. They are shown principles of center, kokyu, center line, circle, koshi on day one where they have to feel it and do it. They are given the choice of self improvement with self defence as a consequence of, or if they want self defence as the priority then I send them elsewhere. No problem, the usual response is either a bright this is what I want or else it's wow, I'm not ready for this yet, that takes real discipline.
It's all good. When people are ready they will see what was right in front of them.
Until then it will seem unreal to them but so be it as it's all part of the process of learning.
I think this is kinda my point. For example, this thread began with a post from you implying, yet not confirming, a video clip was internal strength training. Yet in this thread you claim there is nothing missing from your training. If internal strength training is part of your training, and you know the exercises for IP/IS training, then I think you are sending a mixed message. If you don't know what is IP/IS training and you are proposing an exercise about which you are soliciting advice that is a different matter. In that case, you are correlating the video exercise with what you believe to be internal strength training. Why not just ask an IS/IP guy if you are unsure? While I wouldn't hang em upside down and whack 'em with a stick, they all seem professional and amiable to answer a post now and then.
Where was IP/IS in the principles you share with your students? In your post you cited several principles but did not include internal strength. So again, is IP/IS part of your training, or is it not; is it a smaller part of a larger component, or a larger component unmentioned? We are so unspecific in our curriculum and "principles" we can't even keep them straight.
I am trying to limit my comments to the discussion of IP/IS in aikido, with some overlapping observations I have about aikido at large. Internal strength training is a good topic right now because we are breaking through some of the prejudices facing it. But if we cannot even be honest with ourselves, we have no chance of having the necessary conversations to figure out what we are doing. If I were tutoring a student in math, would I be able to use the response, "it's all good. you'll see the answer when you're ready."? Of course not. No, at some point in time we have an obligation to our students to teach them something concrete. Again, understanding that for a period of time, "I don't know" is acceptable as an answer. What happens when "I don't know" becomes "I don't care" and you never find the answer to why "center" principle works...
Right now, I believe Ikeda Sensei is the most humble man on the mat. You look at a guy doing shihan aikido and he breaks himself down and starts working to improve his aikido (and how to disseminate it), in front of everyone. I see people rethinking their aikido and I am impressed, not only by what they are doing physically...they can explain the stuff better, too. I am following the aikido that can be explained to me because I want to learn it. Nothing mystical, nothing magical. Creepy, yes.