Robert - Just for the record, since you are responding to something written to me. I don't know what you train, but as far as I'm concerned, what Mike has shown me is absolutely congruent with the two Japanese arts I train. AND - Araki-ryu and Toda-ha Buko-ryu use remarkably different drivers of movement (THBR is rotation around an axle from crown to perinium, whereas Araki-ryu is like a bowling ball carrying the limbs and upper body in its wake. One would never mistake one art for the other). I'm not defending Mike - just reacting to any blanket statement about "Japanese budo."
What I'm focusing on is the fact that, as I put it elsewhere, there's ice cream and there's salted caramel and there's passion fruit/guava. Interestingly, what Akuzawa Minoru showed me is less congruent with those same two arts.
Ellis, it's quite possible that what Robert practices is a purely external martial-art and they may actively practice muscular contractions in an X-shape or whatever across the body. I don't have a problem with that possibility. If, on the other hand, they are using "ki", "hara", etc., terminology (I'm just making an example) and mixing it with this cross-body, then they probably represent some old practice that deteriorated from classical movement. Just assume that for a second..... in the made-up example/thought-problem where the skills have devolved over time, the definition is more "deterioration" rather than "Japanese". Unless of course all Japanese arts do the same thing. BTW, folks, this is a terms discussion, not a "my style is better" discussion.