In the training I've done with Ikeda Shihan, he's always been able to convey that feeling you're talking about without falling back on so vague a word as ki, and his English isn't nearly as good as ours. If he doesn't need ki to explain himself, then I don't see how any of us do.
what he shown and discussed are the how-to do things in his system. his system has a name, but you won't get him to say it.
here is a question or two..or maybe even two and a half and could even be three. if i remembered correctly (losing grey matter by the pound), Takeda called his system aikijujutsu. He used the word "ki" in it. then Ueshiba the senior, called it aiki budo. damn, there's that "ki" word again! then modern day, it called aikido. crap! that's word ki again. i suggested somewhere on aikiweb that we should just called it aido, the art of love, with the karma sutra as the core student manual. of course folks would say that we are deviants. so i think we should just call it "do". that's way we can just do do.