Peter A Goldsbury
On the other hand, there are no grounds for believing that 六方 means anything related to internal training.
It may not. But, not being any sort of Japanese language expert, I went off to my trusty google to read about roppo in kabuki and got this: "Its [roppo's] literal meaning is 'six directions' and the term may have been derived from the purification ceremony of low ranking priests where they referred to heaven, earth, east, west, north and south", which seems to wrap the whole discussion up into one tight little ball.
So maybe I'm just be free-associating, but the internal training we're doing right now uses "6 directions" to talk about a specific way of balancing ki; and my sensei has been using this language when teaching sword work; and I'm finding that using the "6 directions" concept combined with practical teaching of sword are changing my hanmi in interesting and powerful ways.
To find that O-Sensei may have been teaching basic hanmi this way from the beginning is... interesting.