I've heard people talk of 6 directions as 8 directions and vice versa, so it isn't unheard of. There were a number of posts a few years back where people said something like 6/8 directions.
6= X Y Z axis, I believe the other 2 are 45 degree angles though I do not know if there is consistent references as to which axis or multiple axes on which these 45 degree angles are. Granted if you have an XYZ axis as a reference you can have unlimited angles, but 6/8 are essentially the same thing.
I'm not 100% sure if I understand what Graham means by spirals. It would be inaccurate for me to say that I can utilize a spiral and for a long time I thought it simply meant twisting the limbs as a result of locally engaging the muscles of the arms and legs to twist the limbs.
I was actually taught much about the spiral and teach it to this day. All part of applying the principles of Aikido correctly. From the spiral of sankyo to the spiral of tai sabake, to the use to using it as centripetal force to the use of using it with centrifugal force and the ability to change it at will.
There are different terms for essentially the same concepts from the ICMA, CMA, JMA and FMA
Six directions or eight (to include the saggital plane) can include all angles to fill the Aiki ball or taiji sphere. Some guys are trying to convince people there was a common vocabulary for the same things around the world. Pretty presumptuous I'd say. Was there commonality in principle? Yes. Terminology? Not always.
We could say that twisting the limbs in a coordinated way with breath training might be useful, but that isn't spiraling. And Sankyo as spiraling? turning around an axis in centripetal force or centrifugal force? Nope.
Graham posted vids and asked for comments. I'd say it's pretty obvious that Graham is not using spiral energy. The entire description of happo undo and what it meant and his own detailed explanation of cutting and turning pretty much nails what quite a few of you already know-that he has zero understanding of what Ueshiba means by maintaining six directions. As a concept his understanding is matched with the body movement he displays; a typical modern/external art person; shifting weight side to side, one side weighted (dead give away) using the hips and shoulders in-line for power and not dantian, and rocking on his feet from load etc. Were you to examine certain older arts (particularly with heavy weapons), you would see straightforward training that helped eliminate much of that yet you will only see sparse references to terminology.
All of this points to common attributes that demonstrate a connected body and they were trained as such. While some shared common references and teachings, others, had the teaching but not the terminology.