Re: Practical internal training ?
Erick - Stating that the essence is in the omote is a reflection of a "commonplace." The gokui are in the first technique. In one sense, this is true in both koryu that I'm licensed - the first cut in each (which, btw, use radically different body mechanics) contains the whole. But without understanding of breathing in coordination with movement, and specific kiai (which includes manipulation of "internal pressure," it's a waste of time. I am quite willing to agree that ikkyo - open/close/dropping power/rise-fall is the essence of aikido. That still begs the question as to what he was doing that his son (whose ukemi I took on regular occasion) and the other top shihan at Honbu (whose ukemi I also took) did not manifest. (as to the old man "manifesting" it, I have to rely on other's accounts and films - I'm not quite that old).