Now see, I can follow the line of thinking that produces "shuchu ryoku," Shioda Kancho was definitely all about that. I can feel "shuchu ryoku" when I do a technique correctly. My timing is perfect, I have off balanced the uke, my body is in correct alignment, I apply the technique correctly, my movements have been precise and efficent, zanshin,etc. Not that it really happens that often...
(gotta watch that back heel!)
That's a concept that I can feel, understand, and practice. This other stuff, I don't know...alot of it seems to be wrapped up in Shinto mysticism that really has nothing to do with training for me.
Sure, O Sensei was into it but big deal. Ghandi was Hindu, does that mean I have to become Hindu to learn from him or follow his example? Or do exactly
everything he did? I don't think so.
I can practice hard/train hard in Aikido, develop excellent technique, and integrate the philosophical concepts of Aikido into my life quite easily without it (ki training/misogi/etc). Some (read, me) would argue that people can actually benefit from not
doing it and instead spend that extra free time on actually training.
You don't learn to ride a bike from thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it, or doing supplemental exercises to increase your bike ridiing skills. You learn to ride a bike by doing it.
Seems to me Aikido is the same way. Just a hell of alot harder.