I thought you might find these interesting in regards to a Chinese Martial artists experience in learning Daito ryu's internal aspects.
i think a lot of it is to do with subtle and rapid manipulation of a persons natural reflexes. (ie their "intent"....i guess i'll write here what i've been thinking about so i can use the word "intent"...: i'm starting to develop an idea of intent as being something which is happening outside of our conscious control most of the time, for example: when eating and trying to observe, i discover that i am chewing but not deciding when to chew, i reach for another bite without thinking about it, my hands and body shift around all over the place, and very interestingly my eyes move by themselves and also in response to sounds/shapes/movements, before i have time to notice. so now i think this is "yi", and although "yi" can be focused and trained, still a lot of it - most of it - will inevitably be going on constantly responding to the infinite and ever-changing external and internal environment.
Again I bring this here only to -once again- add support for a position of commonalities between the internal skills in all Asian arts.
Dan, this is why I posted the thing on Feldenkrais on the Training forum. Noticing our own functions on the levels described above is exactly how Feldenkrais works. First, noticing things on that level, then learning how we semi-consciously interfere with those processes; then learning how we can best help them by letting them function as they are intended to function; then applying that improved functioning to intentional efforts.
This is the approach Feldenkrais took to doing and teaching judo back in the 1930s. And he also got many of his ideas for his method from learning judo from Kano and direct students that Kano sent from Japan to teach him. Those included Kawaishi and others.
If you haven't read the interview with Feldenkrais yet, I urge you to go through that and comment on what he was doing.
I believe that even in what you are doing, the Feldenkrais method can give you tools to become even more subtle and effective.
Best to you.