Aiki, internal strength, internal skills, internal power, whatever you want to call it, has been shown to be a decidedly specific training paradigm to instill solid martial skills in a person's body such that it begins to fulfill what the martial arts were there for in the first place. To. Be. Strong. And if you take that as a negative, you should research what that really means.
Well, I'd disagree that "Aiki", as it has been characterized on this forum is the same thing as "internal strength". I'd be willing to say that it can be *part* of internal strength, but I haven't seen anyone really encapsulate internal strength in a term like "Aiki", although I understand the implication. It's demonstrably not really accurate, though. Not that I'm concerned about it; I just wanted to note it for the record, as I've done a few times before.
Right now, I see Aiki building Golden Bridges.
Ueshiba would be proud.
Well, it's a positive expression. However, pretty much the same comment could have been found (more or less) a number of times in the past about just plain "Aikido". Building bridges. Discussions about the high-level of Aikido, and so forth. But then, think back to the explosions and personal rancor that burst out when this latest topic of ki/kokyu, etc., developed on the forum. I'd suggest that if Ikeda Sensei hadn't been involved with ki-development things, that the whole topic would have been quashed largely by Aikido "seniors" who at the time insisted there was nothing about Aikido that they didn't already know.
Fast forward to the reported scenario of people saying something to the effect of "I didn't know that I didn't know". One of the troubling parts to that particular scenario, in my personal opinion, is that I know from experience that it's very difficult for most people with habituated movement patterns in a martial-art to make the radical changeover to "move from the hara". What's pretty easy to do is to get a few here-and-there aspects of muscle-jin and sigh in self-satisfaction. Not that I knock it, if that's what people want to do, but I think that they should know what they don't know before they run into another "I didn't know that I didn't know situation" (and there is a big one looming).
So sure, just as some 'seniors' in Aikido knew all there was to know before some of the jin/kokyu stuff (and some guesses about other things) came along, it's easy for someone to set themselves up in exactly the same assumptive manner that there's really not much more to learn. But think again about the body mechanics and how doing something like Aikido (or judo or whatever) wrong for a number of years can actually make progress more difficult later on when someone finds out that they "didn't know that they didn't know". My point to David was that open discussions and epiphanies being thrashed out in public could probably save the same embarrassing situation of "I didn't know that I didn't know" from happening again. Although I would hope that the search is actually for knowledge and not just the "I'm an expert" stuff that caught a lot of experts this last time around.
So kudos to David. I'm going to be interested to watch how this develops in the Aikido community.