So you've got people who know, people who don't know, and you've got people that don't but claim to. There's also, as I pointed out in another thread, people who have rudimentary bits and pieces and therefore claim to know the subject. That last group can actually be the most misleading in my opinion... passing a few rudiments off as "all there is to it" is basically someone with incomplete knowledge representing themselves as having the expertise to teach.
Not putting you in this category by any means! I guess this is my whole concern. Not sure why I feel the need to be a "consumer advocate", other than I wasted a number of years of my life mis-guided and ill focused on the wrong things.
I suppose most of it would be semantics, so I will leave it alone. Mike you've certainly done a good job explaining yourself.
Reading through your post, this thought comes to mind. Keep in mind it is not a fully formed opinion or argument, but what popped into my head while reading.... When I was in Beijing this fall I went to the See the Beijing Acrobatic show. It was amazing watching a guy hop up and down stairs on one hand while balancing another guy on his feet. Certainly a feat of the type you are saying. Many, many years of training, breathing, alignment, strength.
Not sure how well he would do in MA. My guess is that given a year of instruction, he would probably fair better than most of us!
I think I have a better understanding of what these "things" will do for you. I am not so sure I would label them under the mysterious heading of "internal" as it has empty meaning.
It is apparent that MA is multifaceted, and each person values different things in their training. I suppose we would have to discuss those values and figure out how ours align and before we could discuss the realitive worth or value of various pieces of it.
Look at caporiea, A wonderful and beautiful art, with a unique set of skills. I cannot do it for a number of reasons, age, agility, strength, conditioning, ability...they can show strength in many different poses and "awkward" positions. I am sure many of these guys could fight well depending on the criteria and circumstance. However, because I do not value the same things in MA, does not mean that Aikido, BJJ, or other such things are any less relevant a have less value.
Probably a good time to say this: I am not inferring that Mike is arguing or presenting that Aikido is lacking or has any value. We are simply having a good discussion!
Along these lines: Aikido seems to have an issue and difference with BJJ and MMA. I am not sure why some aikidoka and MMA guys feel that UFC, MMA, or any other type of NHB fighting is the sole criteria to judge an arts value.
Again I think we first have to decide why we are studying MA, then pick those things that best help us get there. I don't see myself rolling like I do today in 20 years, or doing aikido the way I do it now. I'd like to think that by then, I can move on to "other things" within the arts.
Or maybe it is just an excuse that the old chinese and japanese guys used to keep themselves relevant! I think not, but ya know, some day it may just be time to hang up your sword. Reading Janet Rosen's column this month certainly makes you think hard about these things and what we tend to take for granted!
Again, appreciate the patience and time you have spent here Mike. It is very helpful.