Unifying the theories
I have occasionally advocated the "Bagger Vance" (derived from the Bhagavad Gita) form of development, and noted how Yoshinkan Aikido follows it's path. As I'm being exposed to other points of view, I'm now considering that it makes room for both opinions to be right.
Briefly, for the un-indoctrinated, it's given within a golf simile where players struggling with moving forward are encouraged to break it into stages and not try to skip straight to mastery. In the first, they practice the strokes. The physical part. Then they study the rules of the game and how they affect play. The intellectual aspect. In the third, they study the wisdom- the philosophical how and why. In the 4th stage, you surrender to the love and transcend the game.
In Yoshinkan Aikido, we spend virtually the entire kyu rank development on the physical techniques and drill the kihon until we only function one way- the "correct" way. This would be akin to the driving, putting, chipping, in golf. Then, we get into the application, how those movements fit into jiyu waza, henka waza, etc. as we are interacting with uke at a higher level.
Then, probably somewhere around Ni or San Dan it seems to start looking more like the IP/IT training as you get into the wisdom stage. By the time you become a Shihan, it's pretty easy to see how you become more like O Sensei. Love is easier to find when you know you can hand out death and destruction. Someone was saying one can only truly be a pascifist when they have the ability to destroy their opponent, but can choose not to. O Sensei? Also like when Musashi Miyamoto started using a bokken instead of a katana.
So maybe there's room for Aiki magic later on. The troubling assertion I'm going to make, is that you can't get to step two without really mastering step one. But it wouldn't be a very good thread without something to disagree with. So don't disappoint me...