I think your questioning is a very important stage in your aikido. I have felt this previously myself. The difficulty is, to get good at aikido the techniques have to become a part of you, like tying your shoe laces. Then you can focus on the basics.
In my experience when people start aikido they always ask, where does this hand go?, where do I step i.e. the movement of arms and legs. When people have done it for a while they stop looking at the actual technique and instead look at people's centers, there extension and direction i.e. the 'fundamentals'.
Aikido often starts off teaching grabs. This enables you to at least escape from an attack and run away (at this stage literally 'self-defence' and not attack). It is also easier to find the connection with your uke, 'cos you can already feel them.
However this has to develop to receiving and blending with strikes and kicks. This requires much better body co-ordination, mai-ai (distancing) and timing. I like to teach moving off centre line when strikes come in quite a lot because it is so important (even if you can't then do a technique it puts you in a better position for striking, and has stopped you getting hit; especially important if they attack you with a weapon).