I've been reading the discussions about internal arts with some interest. I think a number of senior people at my dojo are working on them, doing tai chi, taiji, hanging out with Ikeda sensei, studying other things. But only some of the stuff is filtering down to us peons. So I had some more very simple questions.
How would someone go about spotting someone with good internal skills? I know a few people that can make me bounce off of them, I push and just bounce. To me it sounds like the same thing described in the internal arts discussions. If that's the case I don't have to go outside my own dojo. What would be the minimum practical tests needed to evaluate a teacher for internal skills?
What's the real point of the internal stuff? Why is the internal stuff so important to Aikido training? How would it contrast with kinetic invisibility? People I respect seem to be able to both. But some get by quite well without any obvious internal arts skills. Not that I'm any kind of a judge. Just my impressions. Erick Mead's posts about Aikido and rotational dynamics for instance make a lot more sense to me than some of the claims about the the internal work. The assertion that the internal skills are essential to Aikido , should be basic and all reputable aikido teachers should know and teach them may or may not be true, but I haven't read a good case for it.
Assuming someone wanted to experience and get training in the internal work that Mike, Dan, Rob talk about are there enough willing teachers scattered about? Or does it take years in Japan, a couple of years in China and a large amount of rolfing
, assuming you could find one of the few people that can really do this stuff? What kinds of qualifications should someone look for? Fads and frauds run together far too commonly unfortunately.