Wow, months of discussion and trying to understand and NOW several of you guys admit that it is possible that top notch BJJ guys may have "components" of internal skill!
I have been arguing this point all along! jeesh!
It would make sense that they would figure out how to be effective and efficient in this way.
could it be that these guys like Rickson have found a balance between what works?
Could it be that guys like Mike and Rob etc...have basically isolated and refined methodologies for teaching these things, yet maybe most of them cannot bridge the gap to demonstrating incorporating these skills in a much more alive environment?
Not trying to insult you guys at all...contrary...
To me it would be like a PhD that specializes in a particular focus, yet has not figured out how to implement it into a sustainable, money making practice in the real world yet.
We need both for sure in order to grow as a martial society.
I wouldn't get too excited, I don't know that saying "internal components" is really meaningful. The definition of internal is very difficult. For example, I downloaded an ancient clip of Rickson giving a seminar, and he was explaining the importance of being relaxed by having someone stand in base and pushing on him, showing that he was harder to move and topple if he relaxed instead of fighting it. In other words he was showing basic rooting. This is something you can figure out on your own if you have as much practice as he does, or it could have been passed along from Helio as a fundamental, but either way you could say that's a "component", but I don't think it means anything. In his case relaxation is emphasized so as not to rely on strength, which is a fundamental philosophy of BJJ. It's also a practical training matter that relying on strength hinders learning technique, and it's a difficult matter for big guys to overcome. As Rorion used to say, being strong and not relying on your strength is like having a million dollars in the bank and not writing any checks.
But again, I personally think "internal components" is totally meaningless because you don't have internal movement until you extend certain concepts deliberately to their furthest logical conclusion, and most people are completely unaware of just how far these concepts can be taken. The movement of someone like a Chen Xiao Wang is completely unnatural and nothing anyone would ever get without years of dedicated practice at not doing anything that feels "natural".
As to your "alive environment" comment, I've seen that addressed here repeatedly. Static demonstrations are to easily show what is going on, nothing else. If it were just used on you in an "alive" way, you'd have no clue what happened. Of course the point is alive usage, it's about things that should be part of a great many martial arts. Being able to drive all motion this way takes a lot of dedicated practice exactly because it's totally unnatural, and it's easy to revert to "natural" movement under pressure. That's why people who know about this stuff can instantly spot that someone is talking about something else when they start saying it's natural, athletes naturally have it, it comes along with a lot of regular practice, etc. No way. It is much harder to learn than anything "natural", and it's compounded by the fact that the people who really know how to do it don't really teach it, they keep a pretty tight lid on it. One of the big benefits of being shown any of this directly is that you can then gain a lot more from the masters because you can understand more of what they're doing vs what they're saying, if they say anything at all. I saw a seminar report from someone regarding a master who would be known to Aikiweb members whose name I will not mention, someone who has a level of this skill. Said attendee trained with this master for a week long seminar, and while the master demonstrated all manner of things, he never once explained how to do anything. So people just made copies of what he did, empty of any real substance. This person, however, had visited Mike, and so knew what to look for, and was able to take away a lot of information that passed by everyone else. This is the sort of path you have to take to sneak in the door, and without some level of this being openly shown it's a 1000 times harder and practically impossible. Trust me, even being shown anything statically is gold, and any expectation that you can easily use this stuff in an "alive" environment without relearning what you do "naturally" is a non-starter. If you're looking for something that can be learned in a week, take up knitting or something.