Does this mean the one of the most basic of Aikido basics, tenkan, is not Aiki?
Basically, yes, if it's done only copying the rote form.
Tenkan done "inside" the body would be a different thing.
There are many reasons for people's misdirection in Aikido. Some of the reasons are, I think, is because of their attempt to find the "secrets" by inventing new concepts, applying similar, but different concepts instead of the one that should be used, or by applying valid (or perhaps invalid), but again different concepts from outside arts to Aikido, which I think is done with the subject of Internal Arts.
This is why I consider most of the discussion of internal power to be outside of the realm of Aikido.
Then why would Ikeda Sensei invite a karate-ka like Ushiro to give a seminar on Ki and Kokyu power, with Ushiro going so far to say "No Kokyu, No Aikido"
Point in fact,
Most of my background originally was in Chinese arts before I joined the Aunkai, where skills aren't really described in terms of "Ki"/"Qi" etc. But when I visited Abe Sensei's dojo in Kyoto, his description of how to send power, the lines connecting the body etc, were all things I immediately recognized and could do to a certain extent
John, it's just obvious you haven't felt anyone with these physical skills. If you've felt them before you'd know immediately what was being discussed.
Qi-qong = Ki-kou
Dantien = Tanden
Flow of Qi = Flow of Ki
Nothing differs really from a theoretical sense. You'd have to be able to perform the physical skills first before you understand why they say "be one with the universe" and all sorts of other ganja smoking hippy smack
I'm going to steal a quote from Kevin Leavitt since it illustrates this very point that's been covered over and over again
The only thing I can tell you is that you will go round and round with Mike, Dan, and Rob until you get with them and train.
I have my own definitions, facts, and assumptions...but I think I have a little better understanding of Mike and Rob's position and definition of the collective term "internal" from their perspective now that I have trained with them a little. (I haven't gotten with Dan, but assume he is in the same camp).
What I thought was "internal" that is the whole blending, getting off the line, harmony, being at one with your opponent with "no mind" definition of internal was changed and how they view "internal" is not that at all.
It is a very definitive and measurable feel.
If you're in Tokyo I suggest you drop by and get a feel of Akuzawa Minoru. He doesn't explain anything in terms of Aiki, but I'm sure it would give you an idea of what everyone has been talking about in the various threads.