Re: Sword work, internal skill, & "Aiki"
I like the feeling I get when thinking about Allen's discription of "flowing/blending"... it is similar to the picture I have of what I want to do and am doing with one addition... receiving (ukemi) incoming force by flowing/blending is great if you add the very small ripple of change in the direction of the force vector so that you end the movement on balance and the original "force giver" (attacker) feels the need and decides in their brainstem that they need an extra adjustment to get their structure unlocked and back in line and balance so that they can put out more force in my direction (kuzushi). If the connection of this flowing/blending and kuzushi has happened properly then the tsukuri part of kuzushi (jibun o tsukuri and aite o tsukuri) is really the result of the blending/flowing and joining. This must result in gaining the sente. Kake or the decisive point of the waza continues to influence/force the necessary recovery of the attacker even after the technique appears finished through zanshin. If sente isn't gained then the "flowing/blending is just dancing.
I think it is the full picture of what Tomiki Sensei called "Appropriate Fitting" or aiki.
This flowing/blending/fitting is at the heart of all high level bujutsu/budo and weapons arts of all kinds. It's there in the best boxers, I think even some tennis players show it, etc.
Sorry for the rambling... it just came out that way and it makes sense to me as one way to articulate what I feel, of course it will change...