I am a 6th kyu who has been training for about a year-and-a-half.
First of all, my understanding of aikido is that most of its great masters (including O Sensei and his teacher himself) learned technique first, then once they grasped the basics of the art, set about learning softness and ki. Trying to teach this stuff to a sixth kyu seems backwards to me, like trying to teach Einsteinian physics to someone who hasn't learned Newton yet.
Just to add to what Dan, Phi, and a couple others mentioned...
IMO, connection IS Aikido and at 6 kyu, that is exactly where the basics need to start. Techniques are nothing without the connection to center. If more traditional Aikido dojo's took this approach, I think there would be less Shihan going outside to people like Dan to get that real connection to center