Yes something happened. I would call that something aiki. Realizing that there is a connection is the first part (kokyu, then musubi) the next part was the awase, and after the blend he demonstrated zanshin. The whole interaction was Aiki, he used his understanding or the attackers intention (via their connectio) to make Aiki (energy fitting together).
Since the internal strength and aiki you keep describing can be found on a high school wrestling mat or in a TKD school at the mall...what does that say about internal strength and aiki and the generations of people who were so awed by it they made it legendary?
Were they so stunningly incompetent that a high school wrestler's skills would dazzle them?
I'd only state and agree with Greg, and Chris that what you are describing as Internal strength and aiki is typical wrestling strategy (here-done well). If this were all that the mythic Internal Strength and "aiki" was...no one would have crossed the street to learn something they could have picked up in any hundred other arts.
I've seen similar things like this in the Chinese arts with westerners now "re-defining" what internal power is in order to reduce it
.....to something they can then say they know and can do.
I find all of it rather odd since the people doing this can't do anything unusual and feel like any other average Joe in the martial art world.
At the end of the day it is rather telling.
1. The people who have taken over-all the arts- are nothing compared to the greats.
2. Yet they stand there (feeling like any average Joe) telling the world they understand what the greats were doing.
3. If someone understands these deep principles-shouldn't they feel different then your average wrestler? Shouldn't they ...at the very least....feel unusual?
4. If they don't-what does that say?
Fighting skill versus understanding of deeper aspects
Today we have the same issues as ages past. If you can fight well...for many observers ..that is it. THAT is the vetting process. I disagree. I think being able to fight well is that and that only. It doesn't mean anyone from Joe Frazier to Royce Gracie understood what aiki is. We can go from gang bangers to bikers to wrestlers to Spec Op professionals; none of their abilities has any bearing on their understanding higher level skills in the martial arts.
Internal strength and aiki are a stand alone skill set that happens to work very....very well in fighting. But IS and fighting are different skill sets. and IS alone is obvious and can be felt on the spot.
As one very powerful Master class teacher of IS (who taught in Japan as well) once said.
What is all this talk about aiki?
Where is Yin
Where is Yang
Where then is Ai...ki?
You cannot pretend Dantian
You will be found out.
FWIW, he...felt...very unusual and his body proved what his mouth was talking about. That should be a challenge and a standard for us all.