I simply consider myself a beginner just trying to learn better. I do not profess the absolute knowledge as to THE means and methods to achieve the internal skills that few people have, can display and are out there teaching us.
One of those people whom I study with and mentioned in this thread is Ushiro Sensei. He STRONGLY believes that the path to true and deep understanding of martial arts is through PROPER transmission in and training in kata. Myself and two other gentleman are finishing a translation of his second book into English, which powerfully addresses this belief. This book should be available in the US by the end of this year.
Dan, Rob and others strongly believe that this type of training is not a good path to pursue. I simply ask that all of us keep an open mind towards understanding how we might "advance" in our pursuit of the "internal," particularly since no one out there has proclaimed themselves to be prophets of the "true way."
To those who still have an open mind and would like to experience personally the value of proper transmission in and training in kata, Ushiro Sensei will be in New York in October of this year. Space is still available for this seminar. If you are interested, visit my website at www.aasbk.com
and go to the events section.
Personally, I do personal training, Aikido training directly with Imaizumi Sensei, teach Aikido, train under Howard Popkin Sensei and train under Ushiro Sensei. I cannot say with any degree of authority or certainty as to what is causing what to get better. I retain an open mind to experience what people have to offer. Maybe we should simply leave it as to what we do and refrain from assuming what other people can or cannot do, offer or cannot offer, teach or cannot teach. It is easy to pass judgment from the back rows or our self-proclaimed perches. The value of certain people's opinions has added a lot to my thinking and how I train (Dan and Mike are two such people). The presumptuous opinions without direct knowledge of others simply turns what could be valuable threads into "dead-enders."