Gerry Magee wrote:
In all these situations we try to avoid Aiki, we must seek to break the attackers rhythm at all times. This is done by moving quicker than him and having a stronger spirit.
I am sorry but this comment doesn't show a good understanding of what "aiki" means. This is written as if "aiki" simply means some sort of matching of movement.
I would point out that "avoiding aiki" is avoiding Aikido. It's just plain not Aikido if there is no aiki. I suspect I know what you are trying to say but this is an incorrect way of expressing it. If you are doing Aikido, you never try to avoid "aiki".
The whole point of "aiki" is to operate on another level than trying to be quiker than your opponent. If what you have stated is correct, an older practitioner would never be able to defeat a younger, stronger attacker because the younger attacker will always be quicker in an absolute sense. This what O-sensei meant when he stated that it wasn't about timing.
It also isn't about having a "stronger spirit". That is essentially a competitive, oppostitional concept. It is also not "aiki". Aikido is about having a non-reactive, calm spirit that is imperturbable, no matter how strong the opponent's spirit is.
The principles you have described are basically from a kendo outlook. This is the level on which a good solid practitioner operates until he starts to get to the higher level principles which go beyond these. There's nothing essentially incorrect about these principles as outlined but they are not what O-Sensei described when he talked about Aikido, in fact he was at pains to make sure that people understood that these were NOT what he was talking about or teaching.