IME, the methods for building internal strength and learning aiki are a package unto themselves. Individuals and different systems may have their own creative exercises and training to develop the skills, as well as outward (including martial) ways to express them, but there is only one human body, subject to the laws of nature, so at the root there really is only one "Method" for developing IS and aiki.
That said, the art and system of I Liq Chuan, a contemporary MA that comes from several old, traditional Chinese internal arts, is the most comprehensive of I've ever seen for inculcating internal skills. The current head of this family system, Sam F.S. Chin, has broken down the principles and concepts into a very comprehensive, step-by-step building process. Students who embark on its study start showing stages of internal-skill development in a short time, which is a hallmark of a comprehensive system. ILC is taught very openly and honestly; that is, there are no withheld "secrets." It is the real deal.
Check out the website:
Master Chin did a seminar in Brisbane last year, so I checked the I Liq Chuan website to see if there is any contact info there for a host. I found this:
Contact phone: (07) 3118 5182
Not sure if it will lead you to a school (it may be a martial arts events planner), but it may lead you to an I Liq Chuan study group.
Here is a link to other ILC contacts in Australia, who also might be able to help:
Anyway, that is one route you could try. IMO, it is one of very few uncluttered and straight paths toward genuine internal skill. You can apply this directly to your aikido, and to any martial application.
Good luck in your journey!
I practice Aikido and Kyusho and have recently been thinking about a deeper investigation of internal strength to take my arts further and to a higher level of accomplishment.
When I started looking for an avenue for studying and developing internal strength the whole issue became very confusing. So many different names, invariably Chinese. There even seems to be myriad different types of the more common ones such as Qigong and Tai Chi, aimed at different audiences and focused on developing different outcomes -- health, serenity, etc.
I'm certainly including ki development, but not only ki development as it relates to Aikido. I've done enough reading to carelessly throw around terms such as "silk reeling", dantian, "six harmonies", strengthening the fascia, and so on, but remain clueless as to where to make a start.
I've also read that there are many "experts" teaching internal strength development, who are in fact not actually doing so in the pure form. Reportedly their skills often involve a degree of muscle strength that shouldn't be there.
Q1: which of the many styles/artforms would be the best for a beginner looking for a path to develop internal strength for martial applications. I need really basic stuff, like terminology, realistically attainable goals, the path to those goals, and so on.
Q2. A bit of a stretch I know, but any recommendations for a teacher in the Brisbane, Australia area.
I'm inclined to avoid those organisations that have franchises run by people who get "regular instruction from head office". In other words, I'm looking for a teacher who is him/herself a genuine expert in some discipline of internal strength.
Any informed suggestions very welcome.