2) What role, if any, does auxillary western-based strength training play in the development of the "actualized IP practitioner"?
Surely, if one person that trained only IP (through MMA based Aunkai or Dan Harden's methods) crossed hands with someone that trained IP AND strength trained, would not the second individual come out on top, assuming the same level of skill development? I ask this because I have heard the Ark is well...ripped and I have heard that Dan Harden is a physical beast (I mean this in a good way, no disrespect). It is my understanding that these exercises do not train the superficial muscles as much as the tissues beneath (tendons, fascia, etc.). I personally train in Crossfit-type and High Internsity Training (HIT) workouts.
Great question. I actually asked the same one myself last August after my first experience with Dan Harden. Here's the thread:
Solo Aiki Conditioning and Other Exercise
There are excellent replies from Mark Murray, Rob Liberti, and Dan Harden. Check it out!
Hope this helps,