This goes straight back to the subject of the thread. People have a hard time (I did) wrapping their heads around a concept that they haven't experienced.
Modern Aikido defines awase in a way that means tori/nage/whatever is doing something, usually physical, to create a connection with uke. The train example was very good. And then people in Modern Aikido equate this principle of awase with aiki. They see them as synonymous, but, they aren't.
There was a reason Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba said aiki was a body changing method. Not technique. Not something they did to an uke. It was something they became. When a student asked Ueshiba what was aiki, Ueshiba yelled, I am aiki. He meant it. When Pranin mentioned to Mrs. Horikawa, the secret is something you see and steal, she replied, no, it was something in the body (paraphrasing greatly here). Sagawa stated aiki was body changing.
There is no "practice" of aiki manifested in viewing the video. Ueshiba, literally, is aiki in each second of that video. Aiki is not awase as defined by most Modern Aikido people. Which is where people have a hard time coming to terms with the concept of Ueshiba's aiki. At least on the Internet. In person, there's no debate that the two (aiki and awase) are completely different.
Are you sure
those people said those things, and that you really understand what they said?
Why do you believe there is any way for you to know what Takeda, Ueshiba, etc were training in private, not teaching to most students, or hiding in plain sight?