Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.
From some things I've been reading of late, and something that Dan's comments were just flavored with is, I believe yet another definition of "Aiki". I think it goes a little something like this:
D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.
This definition D is something that I feel is newly arising, and maybe I'm wrong but I also believe Amdur Sensei is kind of talking about (However I am still waiting my copy of HIPS, which should be here Monday).
Dave, Michael Varin and I train together on a regular basis, he teaches the Saturday class here at Aikido of Fresno. I don't know what "camp" Michael is in, I have a good guess, but I'd let him speak to it. I am in camp "A" and camp "B". I do believe Ueshiba was describing mostly camp "B", but due to some recent reading, it's hard to say exactly what he was talking about. I'm starting to become a fan of the idea that Ueshiba called anything he "Liked", "Aiki" and anything he didn't like not "Aiki".
I am interested in camp "C" because I teach Aikido (the way of "Aiki") it's important to understand the way of the thing you teach. I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.