Re: What paths lead to internal power??
Well and this discussion has taken an interesting turn and I think is speaking more towards training for "power" and the ways people can take their power (both "perceived" and "achieved") and use it to lord over others . . whereas the format Dan mentions I think goes a long way to cutting through that BS (and was exactly my experience when I got to play in his barn for an afternoon a few years back).
In my experience, Mike's workshops engender that feeling, too, being somewhat formatted for people interested in a tradecraft approaching comparative methodologies towards desired results rather than martial arts gurudom. I haven't gotten to go to one of Ark's, yet, so can't speak towards it but the descriptions are encouraging.
And yet, I also agree, we need to somewhat move past those three guys in terms of discussion and onto who's "getting it"? Because the rub can be just as much in transmission as in material - what are the guys doing post work-shop and how are you vetting if you are actually getting anywhere versus the "superpowers in your head" syndrome?
Those working on "this stuff" within a martial art - do you find that the "budo" conventions work towards favorably encouraging the development and personal ownership of this kind of training? Are you having to keep it as it's own thing or does it integrate right back into what you're doing?
I think those conversations are as valid towards the "path to internal power" as "where to go to get it" . . for myself, the next couple years are going to be pretty critical in terms of how my progress plays in the less-structured spaces (MMA) as well as how things feel when getting hands on some of the bigger dogs in workshops (most likely opportunities for hands-on time with more "name" Chinese teachers, hopefully).
When I do speak to it, I'm going to try to keep the discussion going according to where my failings might be as well as my successes. Partially because I don't have a dog in trying to be a "tough guy" (validated that as much as I cared to in my 20s), but I am really interested in figuring out for myself how much of this is something I have to burn into myself and pressure test - versus how much can I work out a repeatable methodology that others (part of this theoretical study group I keep threatening to start) may benefit from.
So, Dan (naming you since we've been going back and forth, here) and others - that's where it's coming from when I seem to challenge certain opinions and assumptions - definitely not from a place of perceived authority - but another guy working it out and when in a better position to offer something of value - hopefully give back so some others have an alternative approach to their own training as well.
Though if there are thread drift and digressions of silliness to be had, I will likely partake . . I like me some silly.