So, back to your question about "soft" practices building the awareness of internal connection, which can then be further strengthened through conditioning that includes "hard" practices. I think that awareness of the internal path and internal connection can also be found in the contrast between working in an area with tension and then working in the area with significantly less tension. For example, in working on finding and maintaining the "juji" or cross in the upper body that Akuzawa teaches about (I use the Aunkai term juji, but I think of it as cross), when I relax somewhat after holding a position with significant tension, the remembered sensation of that cross remains, and I can "find" it again with much less tension. In that context, I've found alternating relatively "hard" with relatively "soft" degrees of tension to be useful in establishing awareness and the ability to return to a structure or connection.
Thanks for the response. In your above example, I could do a similar exercise (as far as remembered sensations) by isometrically pushing the backs of my wrists into a door jam for a good minute, walk away from the door and suddenly, without any effort, allow my hands/arms to rise up to my shoulders. Not an internal training method (I'm pretty sure), and more than likely not the intent of the use of "tension" with the Aunkai training. However, could it be that some of what your describing could be attributed to that phenomenon? Not saying thats a bad thing, and it may be a great training device. I just haven't pursued that direction, so bare with me as...I'm in the dark.
Now that I think of it, this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit". For example, in my crude door-jam example, my arms rose from a sort of flexed memory, as opposed to any form of support pushing up from the ground (so I guess my example is definitely
not an internal method
). Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly
(I think this is the most I've ever posted in one day. Excuse me while I take a nap.)