I have gone through exactly the same thought process as you. For me, now, Aikido is The Way of Aiki. It is about developing aiki, not just learning a bunch of semi-useless kata style waza. The waza will not work if you put them to the test (beyond Aikido, like, try katate-dori Ikkyo on a Judoka trying to throw you and see how far you get). And yes, you could put aiki into anything, Jujutsu, Judo, whatever. But for me, the aim of Aikido is to develop this aiki whereas Judo has turned into a system of scoring points.
Now you may think your Aikido has improved due to your other training but I would say it can only improve if you aim at developing aiki. So if it really has gotten better, maybe your other training has given you a few aiki insights you are as yet unaware of. Or perhaps you have just found a better way of wrenching Ikkyo on someone ...
I say, keep your Aikido pure and use what is there to develop you aiki, then take that aiki and try to apply it in your Jujutsu. Don't make the mistake of bringing your Jujutsu into Aikido to try to improve your Aikido. You will just end up where you started - running around in circles to nowhere.
Just my 2c.
Yeah, that's about what I'd pay for that too. So what is "aiki" exactly and how do you know if you, or anyone else is doing "it" correctly? Does your magic aiki meter go "ding" when you're in "the zone", or does a little indicator light appear? Do you have some sort of ESP which allows you to detect this invisible, non-corporeal force in others as well? Give me a break!!!
OP is absolutely correct. Aikido is either a MARTIAL art, or it is not. If it is, then it should behave as such. MARTIAL literally means "of the military" which means life and death, nothing more and nothing less and certainly not "spiritual practice". LOL!!!!! That means real training, real intent, real speed and real power.
Lest we forget that Osensei himself was a deeply militant man who knowingly and willingly trained and associated with known war criminals of a caliber that would make Goebbels blush. Oh yeah, the ol' Japanese military made the Nazis look like the Peace Corp. (Pearl Harbor anyone?) and Osensei was best friends with ALL the brass and proud of it too. How's that for "spiritual" awareness and enlightenment?
Training without true life or death/martial intent is nothing more than a waste of time, money and effort for all parties involved. To do otherwise is cruel farce which will leave a hapless aikidoka in for a rude awakening should they ever need to use their "spiritual" skills to protect themselves or a loved one. If there are people practicing Aikido simply as a "spiritual practice" (whatever that is), then those people should stop. Instead, they and their communities would all be better served by them volunteering at a soup kitchen, or homeless shelter in order to better fulfill their "spiritual" needs rather than rolling around on a mat in a manskirt using archaic Japanese terminology to describe said movements.
The saddest irony of all is that Aikido didn't become as popular and well respected in such a relatively short amount of time because its techniques and practitioners weren't martially effective. On the contrary, Osensei himself was an iconoclast who did away with many of the old conventions to bring forth a new approach to the MARTIAL arts and soundly handled challengers. His students also spread the word when they willingly took on any and all comers and won, thus allowing the art to speak for itself. Sadly, this aspect has been greatly diminished in favor of the "Lets all be morbidly obese senseis who can't even touch our toes (you know who you are) and/or hold hands and talk about our "spiritual feelings" and/or you can't handle a BJJ guy, so don't even bother " crowd. What a shame. Just goes to show you how precious the essence an art really is and how quickly it can disappear without proper nurturing. If Aikido is going to endure as a true and well-respected MARTIAL art it desperately needs to get off its "spiritual" high horse and get back to goodness with some HONEST demonstrations of talent and ability. Who knows, we might just like what we find.