As soon as any person club falls down the ki path they have generally lost the plot completely. Ki means energy, literally it is the steam rising from cooked rice, and sure we all have energy, but chasing it is like chasing the steam. I have been training over 30 years and have been to a lot of places and that is my simple observation. Ignore it if you will. We should call what they seek aiki and realise that it is a practical learnable method, not some magical pie-in-the-sky unreachable aim. It is Aiki-do = The Way of Aiki.
Energy is different than power. Energy can just drift off, unused, ineffective. Power is quite different. It's applied energy focused to meet a specific aim. If it meets its aim, it's effective. And it doesn't matter whether someone uses the world ki or not to get there.
I hardly ever use the word "ki." I'm an engineer. The ki energy, which you say is the steam rising from cooked rice, but it goes quite a bit farther than that. And we sort of have to take the components and see how they're all working. The steam comes quite a bit farther down the line. There's also the heat source - too much, it burns; not enough, it doesn't cook. There's the pot, the lid, the type of rice, the type of water, season, humidity... - all of which creates "pressure." That pressure - if properly applied - is the power that achieves its aim.
Cooking rice is an excellent example of the proper use of the five elements https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xing
Fire, metal/air, earth, water, wood. And it takes every single one of those elements to create not only the initial rice grain, but also the cooked rice.
One can either cook rice well, or they can't. How either of them chooses to talk about it is largely irrelevant.
Even within that range there are constantly-changing variables from day to day, hour to hour. One of Japan's top sushi chefs, Sukiyabashi Jiro, has days and times, I'm sure, where he, at least to himself, knows the rice didn't turn out as well as he'd hoped. Ueshiba even talked about "losing his center," he just said that he was aware of it and could get it back quicker than others would notice.
Don't throw the rice out with the finger bowl. Modalities and language are symbolic. "The map is not the territory." - Korzybski