Having experienced, although not mastered, other forms of martial arts, I have different feelings for mindsets of each type of training I have experienced.
Karate became the video game of creating injury and pain with strikes, punches, and violent manipulations that saught injury to neutralize opponents.
Many techniques in jujitsu were simular to Aikido, but when the chips were down, throwing your opponent like a sack of potatoes, much like judo, and striking soft points of the body loosened opponents.
Aikido practice, encompassed a different feel, a different mindset, a different rythym.
Many of Aikido's techniques involve catching the flying leaves, blending with energy of a grappler or football lineman so you can either redirect it or get around it. There is a point of physical fitness that allows you to be somewhat quick and mobile, but the strength is not held withinin the body, but directed outward in the mindset sending it across the room.
The techniques remind me of throwing a baseball. Sometimes you catch and throw, sometimes you redirect the energy, sometimes you are in the outfield trying to reach home plate with an impossible throw. In each case, you recieve a force, allow it to lose velocity, or use the moving velocity to rebound into a throw.
In terms of physical encounter, much of Aikido's techniques are learning to be hit by the wave, or ride the wave. You avoid the hard physical contact by learning to "get the hell out of the way." A softer physical contact that is no less overpowering that the stiffer physical contact of other types of martial arts.
I used to call the grappling art, the art of the snake. The striking arts, the art of being hit by a two by four. The throwing arts of either judo or jujitsu, the art of throwing a sack of potatoes, or wresting with a tree log.
The art of riding the wave.
That would also include learning how to make the wave, as well as ride it.
If you have ever wiped out and ridden a wave in the ocean, or been thrown into a river to fight the current and rough water, then the concept of riding the wave does have some meaning. If not ... you will when your ukemi gets good enough to feel where the energy is going instead of trying to anticipate movements.