Re: 6 Directions
I don't have a problem with doing repetitive drills, or "my aiki brain doesn't do sequence." (I quite agree with that actually.) I would add "my aiki body doesn't execute smartly planned fine motor skills." Humans can do such behaviors so that we can build cool tools, and communicate with language, not so that we can do budo.
The coffee-cup demo exists just to show you what "intent" means. Then, 6-direction training exists just to get you to use intent in a meaningful way (strengthening the body as you go)-- it's a way which doesn't depend on plans or waza.
There's no sequencing or pre-planned actions in "appropriate fitting." So intent is indeed useful for sequence-free martial behavior.