Of course there are people who have some of the outer form, but not much of the inner workings (I'm not saying that this is or is not the case here). My general impression would be that Tohei (if we're using him as the example) never went as far down the path that the the people we're usually talking about have, and that his methodology is not nearly as detailed or rational as what they're doing.
Just my opinion...
"Of course there are people who have some of the outer form, but not much of the inner workings", that's a good point.
Thanks very much for sharing your honest opinion, I can tell that you are a person who likes to think and learn. I totally understand your impression and the reason behind it.
As far as I know, Tohei sensei's Ki training methodology was mainly from Yoga and Misogi, it's different from the traditional Chinese/Japanese internal martial arts Ki training. I had exposed to some of the Chinese internal trainings long before I heard the word "Aikido". When I started with Ki Society, I truely doubted how much Tohei sensei knows about Ki since the Ki Society's training "is not nearly as detailed or rational" as what I knew it should be. Well, after over ten years watching and studying in Ki Society, now I have to admit Tohei sensei knows, uses and teaches exactly the same Ki/Qi/Chi/Internal Energy as any other masters (I've known) do.
Tohei sensei's methodology is different from what I've seen, that opens a door for me to think about the nature of Yoga, Zen and other arts and religions. "All roads lead to Rome."
Though comparing to OSensei's methodology, Tohei sensei's Ki teaching is a lot more detailed, it's still true that his teaching is abstract and hard to follow.
In my humble opinion, the true knowledge of Ki is difficult to learn because it's invisible, untouchable and opposite to our common sense (if our sense can be called "common"). In order to help their students understand and learn about Ki, teachers throughout the martial arts history have been utilizing some tools such as Silk-Reeling which can help the students to enter the door of the internal world. Once the students enter, the tools are not necessary. But some teachers such as OSensei and Tohei sensei teach directly without using many popular tools or just using their own tools such as prayers, misogi, breathing or Kokyu-Ho, etc. It may be difficult and time-consuming for their students to learn it, but once they learn it, they are already on a high level. Do OSensei and Tohei know the Silking-Reeling? The question should be "Do they need it?"
I'm not defending or representing any one, it's just my own opinion at this moment, I'm still learning. I appreciate the opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts about Aikido with you on this forum.