In the larger context I was arguing that since aikido has morphed in so many directions then what is important as core concepts/ principles/ methods/ whatever vary tremendously. Hence arguing about this stuff at that level is kinda silly.
Their understanding of how they were able to do these things wasn't well formed due to a lack of a conceptual framework which makes it a difficult proposition at best to teach. I think many of those who are very, very good in fact don't really understand how they got there. But they did. And they tell you to relax, to not muscle, to just move their center like they do. What they don't see is that they spent years developing that ability through some mix of methods and now that they can do it they can't explain how they do it. They just relax. But if we "just relax" it doesn't really help. Why? If we adopt a point of view that some degree of physical development is necessary to do these things then you have a person trying to explain a feeling to someone lacking the physicality to feel it themselves. Honestly I think some who have some degree of these skills do feel (what they take to be) the "ki flowing", do feel that connection, they just don't have a mechanism by which to explain it that goes beyond semi-mystical concepts. Hence the conundrum we find ourselves in.
Great points. I think it is Michael Polanyi who has this whole theory that we understand stuff with a sort of unspoken reference to other things we also know, but are unaware of. (We then call the process intuition, talent or the like, and I am certainly not doing justice to his theory here...). I seem to observe this in all my teachers and myself when I teach, it seems impossible to make the whole frame of reference transparent.
For myself, for example, at some point something "clicked" regarding letting forces through my body into the ground. I don't know how I got there (to make matters more complicated, I think I may actually have "stolen" it from my teacher through feeling him.) From that point onwards, not only could I do a lot more in that area (though I still suck), I could also tell beginners which part of their body to adjust just by feeling into them through a contact point, or looking at them - I could tell them stuff I had not learned consciously myself. All that is not a big deal, but my point is that to this day I dont quite know how I do it and why I can do it, while the beginners think I have some sort of higher mystical power. (A delusion that passes, fortunately).
Interestingly enough, IS training now helps me to understand what I am doing (And realise how little I know).
One of my teachers uses spiritual and emotional "language" to get to very similar physical effects that others get to using a sort of more anatomically grounded IS explanatory framework. And then everybody tends to say that their frame of understanding is the way to explain what is happening, while I would be arrogant enough to argue that we are all only partially aware of what is really going on.
Not sure I am making my point clear, Saturday morning ramblings.
As for my frame of reference, I find it difficult to say anything but "my life".