Yes. Different paradigm.
I do not return power out with power back to the zero point. In every sense of meaning you just allowed power a channel back to your center. This works great with the make connect, center to center, make a four legged animal, extend ki crowd. Now its a matter of time and skill before they meet someone good enough to follow that line into their center and they are toast....I say it over and over; so...you think making a connection to someones center is a good idea right?
Okay. In theory then...go back in time and "make connect" to Morihei Ueshiba's center...
Hows that working out for ya?
In seminars I tell people..."Okay..come "connect" to my center."
It never works out well for them either.....
Now, martial art boxes are cool, people love them because they are predictable and you know what you get when you open them. But boxes and defined movements lend themselves to all manner of reverse engineering "crutches" based on presumption and pretext. People in fact do not all move the same, and have widely varied reactions to forces- trained fighters/grapplers having the best. They function outside of prescribed movement and reactive force. The inherent limitations of structure of making a kata look like a kata, handicaps people (even world famous teachers) into thinking certain principles apply and are high level. They don't realize they are themselves "caught" in a false feedback loop. Were some of these famous internal teachers to go put their center in touch with people who actually developed their center under severe stresses at extreme speed, they would be in for one...big...hell of a surprise.
Beep...Please leave a message. My center is not available or interested in connecting to yours.
You can utilize ki in such a way that "no-force"
becomes a permanent state, and power coming back to one point
along the same path is not part of it. By managing forces in a more complete fashion (one blogger called it an overly complicated system-meaning it is simply over his head), things like the unbendable arm become something completely different and is no longer a trick. In fact done correctly it can instantly rise above being yet another...stupid jin trickô...in that it can express some fairly sophisticated IP and aiki all in one in a continuous state of being. A living state of "no-force."
This is what most people actually desire to achieve in their Aikido, they just don't know how to do it.
Dan, you've developed the ability to write more and more cogently over the many years you've been plugging away on these forums, and I think this is one of the clearest posts yet in terms of "compare and contrast." Really well expressed.
Writing as someone who has been delighted to meet and train with you, but has not pursued further training for reasons entirely within me/who I am and not in any way a reflection of you or who you are or what you do, my two cents is:
I think some folks are happy and will be happy to stay within a lower level of structure/power, because polishing the aikido they are already working on meets their own personal training needs or goals.
Those folks should have no need to argue per se since what you are doing and writing about is not a threat to their daily training and enjoyment.