Actually, I've found that people who haven't burned in the wrong habits over the years with repetitive kata practice actually tend to do somewhat better picking this stuff up.
"Waza leads to aiki", in theory, in practice I think it's very difficult for most people to extract the principles from the morass.
Well, you may be right, but then again you may be wrong.. I have a hard time figuring out how to apply constants and fit generalisations to aikido practitioneers.. But from a personal perspective I speak like I do because my first teacher taught me there was no technique and only aiki for 4 years. Then i decided to move dojo and learning technique all the irrational stuff slowly gathered itself to give meaning- but only through UNLEARNING bad posture and bad movement- that took about 3 years.
Thats why for me there is no such thing as no waza.
And still I believe aiki is equally important- when youre ready for it !
But I also feel that if you only learn aiki and poor posture and bad movement from the beginning your aikido will surely suck.
Please bear in mind this is my PERSONAL opinion and not ANYBODY elses !