That's before you ever get into the topic of Internal Strength . . the two schools of thought that I primarily see are . .
1) This is adhering to how "this stuff" is commonly understood across a spectrum of martial arts with the roots and source being found most "purely" in the sophisticated neijia forms practiced in China
I think that contrary to all the talk, there is no one, NO ONE who knows how "these things are commonly understood across the spectrum of Martial arts."
There may be amateurs who will more or less "tell you" they get it all, across the spectrum of martial arts, because they have some power and understanding, but none of them have ever presented a convincing argument to me that they know the full spectrum of martial understanding. I know some real experts who would run from being associated with that claim.
What we know, is that there are ways that IP/ aiki is trained, what it feels like and is used. Critical to that is that IP/aiki can be used quite differently by different people. IP/aiki is discernable as weird and different; some guys are more ghosty than others, others are more focused on power and cast aways, others more evading, while others are more controling and invading/while evading, etc. What is not so popular is that once known, we can see or feel and test some rather accomplished men who are obviously only using only part, or feel or see others using some good stuff-if only partially well trained, and still others who are far more developed.
2) This is how "this stuff" makes you more combatively effective through how I was taught and the innovations I made and transferred/trained into these outlets (DR, aikido, MMA, weapons, etc.)
There are certain things you are going to look for in IP/aiki that have to be there, but the ways to train it or develop it are not all the same. Of course there are different methods and different accents in movement and use in different arts the key though is that a lot of it is based on some common and necessary elements, but some isn't. Mores the point, they have different accents in critical movement and use. What has not been discussed is how where and why various internal aspects drive, and join with certain external movements or "rules" that prevent a host of structural flaws, and/ or build some rather profound physical changes that are excellent for fighting with weapons or without.
In other words "connecting the body" -while potent- is not a panacea for all the movement issues that ail the typical MA person.
It's why I continually state this stuff is not "all the same."
FWIW, I don't think 1 and 2 need to be mutually exclusive, however I don't think you can use 1 to justify 2 nor vice versa . . they are different things.
On what basis would you say #1 and #2 are
And where and how do you see them as the same?
The clinical discussion
I don't think there really ever was any. I think many of the "so called" clinical discussions have been "around" the topic with very little actual information. Some information has been borrowed from some "surprising" sources and later used for some "surprising" people's training. Okay, fine. What is NOT okay is when the source was later denied, misquoted and mischaracterized and then that information suddenly became what certain people knew and were doing all along. Oh well, just Budo…..right?
I haven't met the guy here (or in person) worth calling an expert in all the martial arts yet. He may know his shtick right well, but there are some seriously good alternates and spins on things out there. I keep hoping that as more and more senior Budo teachers and men who can really fight get involved with IP/aiki, there might be a better level of honesty, integrity and character involved in these discussions.
Almost forgot the topic.
IMO, control begins with controlling yourself, it is really the only way to control others, and you will never do it as well as someone who has an understanding of IP/aiki. The more that "energy use" is balanced within us, the less likely we are to get "caught." I have found that for many in the aiki arts-including most of the teachers I have met- they are clearly still in need of working on that.
As you have noted, Budd, this training sure can be good, clean fun if you have the right attitude. I like Meik Skoss's admonition, "Where all just bums on the budo bus," hopefully sharing experiences and insights. I look at all of this more like a collaborative and grand experiment and exchange.
Good luck in your training.