I was going to post these links earlier, but got busy and didn't have time to do it until now. To address the current topic though, I don't see aiki as about "capturing the mind' particularly, except, as Cady suggested as a consequence.
O-Sensei said "In this thing called Aiki, first describe (draw) a circle. Drawing a circle is, in other words, opposing powers. Without touching with even one finger your opponent will be sent flying." (Quoted by Chris Li in his blog
In my understanding, this circle of opposing powers is exactly opening in 6 directions, which is silk reeling. So, according to the founder, this skill is at the core of aikido. And it's the basis for creating in/yo, dual opposing spirals, putting Iganami in the left hand and Inazami in the right, and standing on the floating bridge of Heaven, all of which he also said were the basis for Aikido, but go read Chris' blog to find out how.
Trouble is all this stuff gets hidden in Aikido waza. So to respond to somebody's (Ron's?) question from earlier, here are some examples of IP/aiki showing up in demos when the demonstrator got tired of showing waza and decided to show the real stuff.
These are just examples picked out by me, choosing moments when there was little going on to distract from the aiki elements. Others might argue with me about what I'm seeing here--because internals are in fact internal, it's hard to be sure what you're seeing.
O-Sensei showing whole-body connection and elbow power at 2:51
O-Sensei doing the jo trick without a jo at 3:22
. This whole series shows whole-body and cross-body connection various ways.
Resisting a head push
, showing that whole-body connection includes everything at 7:41.
Here at 8:44 O-is Sensei dropping someone with just a push to the chest
. Then he sits on his head. I don't think that part is demonstrating aiki.
Here's some of the Asahi News demo, where he's bouncing the guy off with no technique
at all (5 sec in)
To show it's not just O-Sensei, here's Kanshu Sunatomari. I don't know anything about him, but I like what he's doing at 3:07
And here's my own teacher, Bill Gleason
And just because it's cute, O-Sensei getting thrown by an 8-year-old boy