Re: why focus on internal power
Your position and choice of words is starting to head down a path of fundamentalist thinking, IMO.
I would agree that Ueshiba was able to effectively demonstrate the viability of aikido because of choice.
I think it becomes fundamentalist when you unequivocially state HOW he was able to demonstrate that.
I am not saying that he did not demonstrate or use internal skills to do this.
First, how would you know what he used, or what he felt like? Did you study with him?
Second, At what level of development or experience are you speaking from that allows you to pass judgement on what he is doing?
What I mean by that is this. Is it theory or assumption that you base your conclusions on? Or have you formed a hypothesis, and have developed a set of parameters and conditions upon which you can demonstrate or replicate what you think O'Sensei did?
If not, then you are basing your conclusion about what is going on by transpostion. That is, through the experiences or conclusions of others. That is, you are operating from a position based on faith that this is indeed what is going on, and then saying "I Know".
To me, this is fundamentalist thinking at it's best, and it can be dangerous to the yourself, society, and the art.
It represents, IMO, the kind of example that Mike Sigman was talking about when he was concerned about handing this out to "the wrong people".
That is, taking a little knowledge, and extrapolating it into something else before you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do so.
This can happen intentionally or unintentionally.
Anyway, not trying to slam you in anyway, just think you should look carefully at the logic you are submitting in many cases to support your arguments.
I think George Ledyard and William Hazen bring up some good points worth looking at deeply.
I'd also offer this to your last post.
I can demonstrate or replicate the same endstate that Ueshiba had, based on your premise/definition with a handgun. I can have great power and CHOOSE to not use it and deal from a position of compassion.
I think the endstate of understanding that Choice or making compassionate choices is really the goal of aikido. I don't think Ueshiba, assuming that he had truely internalized his message, cared how we reached that point of enlightment, as long as we did.
He simply used aikido as a methodology or an allegory to do so.
Did he use internal skills? I am sure he did! He certainly reached out to a bunch of people and continues to do so today!
I'd also offer this as a lesson I am learning more and more importantly everyday.
He intended, I believe, that we would "Make Aikido our own". That is, that is becomes a personal journey and we should study it hard, and interpret it for ourselves. That is, to obtain the experiences through our studies and figure out how they open the doors to new information, knowledge, and wisdom. bettter yet, Open our Hearts.
To say things like "I know this is the right way". "I know this is how he did it", "You don't know" "He did not use this or that" is dissappointing and discouraging to me.
It means the same thing as "There is only one way!"
It is counter to "Open your heart", "Make Aikido your own", "Aikido can encompass all....".
The endstate of the art to me is much more important than the path.
Just somethings to think about!