The funny thing is, you can improve at MMA by non-struggle, non-resistance, non-competition, etc... The fighting part, well, MMA is fighting, I'll give you that - but even then, it takes on a waaay different meaning when you do it with IP and aiki. None of these are in any way contrary to MMA, not do they really require the learning of waza to apply into MMA. It seems like, from my experience, the more I dump the waza, the bathwater if you will, the easier it is for me to find the baby, aiki, and teach it how to fight MMA-style. To abuse the metaphor further, the bathwater is so murky and thick, I don't think anyone could find the baby in it if they tried short of that - I know I could not.
So, yep, if you expect to just do MMA like you always did with aiki, it's not going to happen. No argument there. There's a long slow learning process that will change you, and your fighting from the very core of your being to the outside of your body where people can and will feel it. So long as you're willing to accept that, aiki really is plug-and-play with MMA.
What are you referring to when you say waza?
Technique, like ikkyo nikkyo sankyo etc?
It seems to me like you are talking about extracting a single facet of aiki, packing it into waza, and then dumping the riai, or purpose of the art. I mean its a budo, you can't just rip the heart of it out and go use it for self-aggrandizement. What the heck is that about?
I am serious about all of these issues having been solved by the 1980s. You IP guys need to rewatch "Star Wars" and the original "Karate Kid."