Because Mike has been involved in Chinese arts for a long time, I can appreciate that his terminology is going to be Chinese-based. But when his educated eye sees what Ueshiba is doing to his ukes, and how his body is positioned, as well as the kinesthetic responses of the ukes, I'd give him credit for being able to discern something familiar -- even if he has only the Chinese lexicon with which to describe it.
As far as I can see, that's very much an Aikido topic, though, understandably, a very uncomfortable one for some. I do believe that this Training forum is an appropriate "final home" for the thread, though!
So one of the main goals of my original post was to outline how one might choose to define internal/external and then look at aikido's training methodology to determine if it actually is. I argue that any martial artist can be judged by both his internal skills and external movements, but that's not what I'm talking about when I refer to internal arts, as that talks about the training paradigm and progression of skill development. Based upon that, and while aikido is probably the worse for it, I do not think that it exists today as an internal art.
Here's some questions:
If this stuff was always part of OSensei's Aikido, where is the terminology? Why aren't we using the Aikido terms for these concepts if they're really a part of Aikido, and let's make the distinction here between OSensei (and his skills) and Aikido, the art that he sort of laid out. Why are we still using the term "fa jing" instead of the aikido/Japanese equivalent?
Where are the exercises to develop these skills? Certainly there are examples out there (shin kokyu, kokyu dosa/aiki age, Shirata's solo exercises...) but why then if these are SO intrinsic to aikido are these the absolutely least uniform aspect of aikido? If these were the foundation of OSensei's aikido, shouldn't these be the kihon rather than ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo? Before everyone brings up the Ki Society, let's all agree that KNK was Tohei's vision for aikido. I believe that if Tohei was actually following OSensei's footsteps that closely, we would see more similarity between KNK and Iwama aikido, and we don't. Dan insists that these skills were/are part of Daito Ryu, but we're still waiting for solid examples of these other than solo exercises that certain senior DR practitioners did as personal training. This could certainly be due to an uneasiness with discussing aspects of an art that he feels he does not have authority to discuss in public. I have a number of similar topics/specifics that I don't feel I have the ownership over enough to discuss publicly. The difference, I suppose, is that I don't really mention them AT ALL.
Please, please, please don't use this thread as another opportunity to validate that you have something to offer the aikido community at large, I don't think many people actually hold that view anymore, and if you're trying to convince me, you're wasting your time, I haven't trained regularly at an aikido dojo in over three years, so my opinion doesn't matter one way or another.