Although one talks a lot about projecting ki in (Tohei oriented) aikido, I've come to see ki more like a substitution/synonym for an interface of vitality between mind and body, whereas intent now is the thing to be projected. For the time being, as is.
i think the ki projection was meant as an aid to get folks to relax and use different set of muscles, instead of normal group of muscles contraction to do the same activity.
for me, i would rather not projecting anything, unless i was drinking heavily or having a stomach flu. i would prefer to sneak up on unsuspecting folks and say "ahoy matey! i am the dread pirate Roberts!"
for us asian, we think of ki/chi/qi is a mindless energy and intent forms/shapes the channel(s) for such energy flow. which gives raise to jin - intent directed force/energy. darn chinese that spent millenniums to come up with a term for everything! i am pretty sure they outsourced it to the Mayans.