Since the bag of hammers is my little ditty. I choose Mert's Definition!!
How can you contend and manage forces coming in from outside when you can't even manage and balance forces within.
Sensei what is Aiki?
Drawing circle on paper with brush.
"Opposing powers" (in you)
Through change ten thousand endings
but only through one theory
the union of opposites
"Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me."
How can anyone even begin to believe they can manage forces when their own body is fighting itself?
Everyone I meet is in various stages of disconnection inside, causing them any number of issues that leaves their centers revealed and easily manipulated.
Now we have yet another series of teachers out their teaching them that it is GOOD idea to connect that mess of a center...to someone else's center...and call THAT internal power.
Good grief!! You're screwed before you even start.
All of this gets some traction because it is easier and the visual tools work at a certain point in martial art cooperative kata thingies. Meet someone who is even moderately connected..and you...are screwed. It's just another step....in the wrong direction. Sadly, people keep falling into traps that lead away from the one true essential: create a center, build dantian, then create a hidden dantian that makes change internally that makes change throughout all of the bodies tissues and thereafter the body's surfaces, that offer unending aiki opportunities at any contact point. It's the only away to achieve true "no force" that can be offered at any contact point just by you moving.
When I move my body, techniques are created.
When one thing moves, everything moves.
What do you think of current budo practices?
Full speed...in the wrong direction!
Why all of the frustration and animosity? Who likes to find out that they spent decades doing something they fell in love with, and all the while:
There is a model, that is superior in every way
That will forever defeat what you have been doing
That is thousand of years old
That your own art was founded on it and your founder quoted it
YOU don't know it and never even heard of it before.
I think we need to be kinder to each other and more understanding that as more and more people find out, and one by one they keep switching over almost at a 100% rate, that we just be nice and offer a hand. As Marc Abrams said. I am one of the few who actually ran into this stuff, tried and quit because ...I....couldn't make it work. That makes me a Saul of Tarsus. I was one of those ranting against it!! TIll I got it forced on me through failure against it. Now here I am!!
So, I get it. I know what it felt like to have it rammed down my throat as well. Luckily, I eventually listened and ran into the finest work budo has to offer.