Erick Mead wrote:
One of the things in the discussion of these internal arts that puts me off (and has no basis in objectivity at all) is the sense of solipsism that I perceive in it. Being so internally oriented -- unaffected and unmoved -- in a sense that seems to bleed beyond the physical movement and into the spiritual movement.
That probably is an utterly and horribly wrong indictment of internal arts, from an objective standpoint, but one of the reasons I began the practice of aikido in the first place is to take me out of myself, and find humane connection even when in opposition to toher people.
It is a quality I have found that aikido, as it has been spread about the world so far, promotes remarkably well. The discussion on the application of the internal arts, with its internal orientation and movement, to aikido seems remarkably contrary to that spirit, at least to me. Aiki has been for me about expanding the sense and the meaning of the center of movement, physically, as well as spiritually, not turning it in further in upon itself. I would find deeply concerning anything that seemed to make a material change in that spirit.
Erick, you simply have some mixed up idea of what an "internal martial art" is ... you don't appear to understand. Let's say, for the sake of discussion that Aikido falls into being an "internal martial art" or an "external martial art"... take your pick. Let's say you decide that Aikido is an "external martial art". That puts it in the same category with Judo, Karate, Choy li fut, Pi Gua, etc., etc. None of those arts agrees totally in philosophy with Aikido. Some of the "internal martial arts" are actually very close in philosophy with Aikido, but they don't use quite the same body skills that Aikido does. So Aikido is not an "internal martial art", but that is solely because of the difference in body mechanics, not because of the difference in philosophy.
So what you're trying to say about Aikido and "internal martial arts" simply doesn't compute. You don't understand the topic.