The allusion you are making here:
that anyone off the street can do.
Is saying that what I would call Aiki, is something trite, and unworthy of study.
Everyday I see most people (myself included) over react to situations that they see as challenging. When something "bad" is going to happen to us, most forget about the now, forget about the situation that is happening and fret about how bad it's going to be, or how little they prepared. Most of us forget about the relationship we have with our situation, and fall victim to the situation. Some of us fall victim by falling apart, some of us fall victim by lashing out inappropriately at the situation, but often we fall victim.
When was the last time you acted inappropriately towards someone you cared about, because you were not clear headed in a tense situation; yelling at your wife or kids? What I'm speaking about here is only Kokyu and Musubi, not even a full Aiki interaction (as I describe it). Yet, if you could simply do this small part of Aiki, your life, far beyond the ability to physically defend yourself, would be greatly improved.
You like to talk about how Aiki as I have described it, is simply external. Far from it friend, Aiki starts with your core being, in your spirit. Without internal ability you could never have what I call Aiki. Aiki has four steps, Kokyu, Musubi, Awase, Zanshin. You like to focus only on the physical Awase, and speak of how children, grannies and anyone off the street can do that. In a very basic sense you are right, all of those people can "move". It's moving appropriately that is difficult. It's moving in an Aiki way that is difficult. Aiki is not just physical, Aiki can be used in everything we do, conversation, work place interactions, music, art, life!
For me, Ueshiba brought a way for human kind to interact on deeper level. Not simply a means of being more powerful. While working Aiki in a martial format has great benefits, Aiki as a whole goes far beyond any physical feat. I learn and perfect my Aiki in the Dojo, doing hard physical activity, but I practice Aiki out in the world, with everyone I meet, every life I touch.
I do not think of what I call Aiki as trite.