The more people keep assigning aiki as blending,,,the less likely they will ever be able to do so in pressured environments. And this recent teaching of making a four legged animal by.."making connection" is the wrong direction as well. As a method, it is more likely you will be reversed and controlled yourself, and you will not be the one to arrive first. Hence, for understanding what aiki is and how to train it, that mindset is full speed...............in the wrong direction.
Bobbing and weaving and evading and entering are great. They just have nothing to do with aiki. It's fighting principles. Some are better than others.
Your comment on the "four legged animal" caught my eye on a couple levels. 1) Your statement that it's a recent teaching - recent as in you've only just heard of it or recent in that it's a new way to describe some things? 2) Your analysis of it as a method - could you be more specific what you mean by method, as in a fighting method? A method to drill a specific skill? Something else? 3) Were you referring to the four legged animal mindset as being full speed in the wrong direction or the more general "sports approach" that this thread is mostly about?
Apologies to the OP if this seems thread drift, but I wanted to clarify what Dan meant as he's brought up words similar to these before and particularly here while I don't think it's related at all to the original thread, I am curious as to the rationale in the commentary. I actually think the "making a connection" notion is quite related to IS, aiki and sports performance, depending on how you implement it.