Re: Unifying the theories
If the assumption is that, in general, learning externally driven kata is mandatory for properly preparing a student to be able to undertake internal training, then that's not true. Exhibit 1: there are several proven IT methodologies / martial arts that expressly eschew use of forms and start off with solo training and static paired testing of internal skills.
If you're specifically asking whether external first, internal later is the best way to go for aikido, then I don't know if there's a universal right answer. A handful of aikido dojo have largely or completely switched to an IP-centric training model within the past few years or months, and so time will tell how the students introduced to and coming up in aikido via such models turn out (maybe some others will chime in on that). Something as foundational to aikido as Shomen-uchi Ikkyo/Ikkajo is relatively complex for a beginner from a conventional or IT perspective.
Also, don't Ki Aikido folks start internal training from the get-go?
Last edited by Mert Gambito : 10-26-2013 at 12:10 PM.