Definitely the engineering way to go is it, i believe. Not so far as the Erick goes; cause that's just blind jibberjabber tomfoolery.
If it is as difficult to grasp as you admit in other terms -- what possible reason could you have to believe that is simplistic in mechanical terms...?
If you believe that -- put a hole in it. Whether I am right or wrong -- you might learn something by trying -- and who knows, you might even put a hole in it, for which I would actually thank you... that's how things progress.
Mike's point about vectors (though perhaps useful by analogy) I have disagreed with because it is quite demonstrably wrong. The key thing about aiki mechanics is that they are NOT reversible by merely opposing when applied. If it were merely vectors, as Mike's training image suggests, they would be reversible
-- because vectors commute
( i.e. -- it does not matter in which order they are applied -- the end result does not change) A larger vector can always counter or reverse another vector. Aiki cannot be countered that way, hence, aiki does not involve vectors.
I understand why he uses them, and analogy is useful, as long as it remains analogy. Having said all of that, the concept of jin path tracks very closely to the idea of a funicular load curve.
Real world loads and movements are more subtle, and in critical ways do not commute -- they are not linearly reversible. Though video game designers have only recently had the processing power to rediscover the importance of this point for discrete movement and the limits of linear vector matrices -- this problem has been known since 1843, when Hamilton carved the formula into a stone bridge in Dublin.
One does not have to calculate maths on the mat to understand the consequence of this fact practically and conceptually -- when a bridge column buckles it is not reversible -- and when the applied dynamic is cyclic (a bouncing truck over the bridge, for example) its angle of departure from the centerline is not trivially predictable (i.e. -- Mike's use of pure statics has a similarly limited utility -- not useless -- but limited.). Mike studied engineering -- I was an naval aviator with a physics background. The thing is -- things really are different in a dynamic frame of reference. Hamilton's point confirms something about practical uses of relative motion in the real world -- because even "static" frames of reference are affected by related dynamic problems at critical junctures. And martial art is nothing if not interested in critical junctures.
The difference is YOU can
actually check up on the concepts that I use, from independent sources that are in general agreement as to what they mean. I can't hide behind jargon -- because it is not MY jargon -- it is straightforward mechanical vocabulary -- if you trouble to understand it -- or not, as you prefer -- it is perfectly accessible.