Could it be that after all these years aiki is actually, finally being mentioned in an "IP/IT/IS" thread?! By an "IP/IT/IS" proponent no less!
This is admittedly off topic, but I have never liked the use of terms such as "our internal" as used above. What is it that is being used? It requires further explanation and/or specification, and frankly, it's lazy.
Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.
First, "our internal" was not the complete phrasing; it was a typo. I'd think it would occur to everyone that "we can use our internal manipulate" is a weird configuration, as probably none of us have ever heard the word "manipulate" used as a noun.
I was typing rapidly, but my keyboard glitched and the keys didn't connect as I typed "manipulation of structure." By the time I noticed it, the editing time had expired and I figured I'd post something later. Thanks so much for supposing that I'm lazy. I prefer to think that I'm just preoccupied with other things right now.
Second, the "manifestation" is in the heightening of your sensitivity to "listen" with your body to what your opponent or partner is doing with his body. There is no tension in whatever you are using to make a contact point with your opponent. If your muscles are relaxed but not limp while you are maintaining your internal structure, then you will be able to feel even the slightest change or shift in your opponent and you'll be able to tell which way he is going to move. Even if he thinks he isn't shifting weight, changing angles or winding up, if he doesn't have a connected body he will have to shift something in order to move. A "connected" person can feel it. When you thus feel where the gap or weakness is in the opponent's structure, you apply aiki and whatever martial waza is appropriate to the moment.
When we discussed intent, and I mentioned that before intent is desire -- a wordless sense that triggers intent -- often another person can detect this desire-to-intent in another individual, even before the individual himself realizes it. There is a firing chain of "events," and you can feel the cues. Very experienced practitioners can even see those slightest-of-shifts in a person who desires, but whose cognitive mind has not yet realized.
What use is it? It's useful for tactical and strategic martial applications for whatever martial art you practice.
I can physically do this with someone who does not train IP/aiki, and I can "read" what he is going to do when there is at least one point of physical contact. This is not because I'm anything special, but because that's just one of the strengths of IP and aiki compared to the conventional way of moving the body (which represents the bulk of the martial arts training in the world).
Peers with whom I have equal skills, if they have greater body mass than I they will prevail over me IP-wise, but I may be able to read them if I "get there first" with my awareness.
As for those IP/aiki practitioners who are my senior in skill, I would not even pretend to believe that I could trump their skills unless they are distracted or having a bad day. I'll just have to keep on training.