Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?
Not sure what you are really saying, but I don't really think a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.
Yes..in the sense of what they are at face value yes.
However, There are what I would consider effective punches (good), and ones that are not so effective (bad or not so good).
In my old TKD days I learned to punch quickly and off center a little. Why? Because my TKD was sport oriented and concerned with speed and placement, and guarding against a quick "tap"counter. So, I did not really learn to punch correctly.
Then I learned a little better in Karate, but we still punched some what at the outside (external).
Then I learned how to connect my Karate Punches together with the ability to influence center through aikido.
Then I took some Muay Thai...and I learned how to put it all together, moving my body in correct alignment, relaxation, and movement to punch into someone and through them...influencing their core and balance.
Same with kicks.
I don't go so far as to say that there is a definite distinction between internal and external...but there are punches kicks that are different, designed to affect different things...some people can use these skills more effectively than others based on their knowledge and skills to influence the center and mass of the other person, more honestly.