Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido
Your point is well taken. I return to the issue of EGOS. There are a lot of instructors who view seeking knowledge from a variety of sources as some sort of insult and/or disloyalty. Some of those teachers can teach "internal" aspects and others cannot. Regardless of that ability to teach that essential element, the benefits of seeking knowledge from a variety of sources FAR out-weigh the costs (purely my opinion). I have found it remarkably helpful to see the "internal" aspects that I am learning from my teacher presented in another manner and another art. It is easy to become inured by the same training regime. Seeing the "idea" from another perspective can help to better understand and emulate that aspect. If the teacher is unable to convey certain important aspects, then (in my opinion) it is our obligation to ourselves and the art to find that component and incorporate it into our training and application of the art.
Dr. Seisert raised another critical component. An art studied in the vacuum created within itself stands the risk of becoming overly stylized and unrealistic. We should have an obligation within our art to see how it "fits" in the larger world. It comes as a surprise to many that what does work, typically does not resemble the waza, which is essence is kata practice, that happens with set attacks and responses.