It does seem a little quibbling: Are you now saying awase (musubi) is something that happens as a result of Aiki, even though earlier in this thread you considered the idea that awase could actually be Aiki, as a question?
I've never said anything different. What I'm saying is that awase is not really an ingredient of the cake, it's an effect - like getting fat from eating the cake.
You might see the two always occurring together, but the cause and effect are really seperate - and trying to mix one into the other doesn't really work all that well.
Saito Sensei passed away a decade ago in 2002 so this isn't quite the current IP/Aiki situation I meant. In any case, I think you were lucky, even if you couldn't interact much with Saito Shihan. I missed out on that myself.
Did you get to meet or train with any of the other old sempai?
Well, I saw Saito before he was ill - but by the time I had really started looking more into this stuff he was already in a wheelchair.