No, I agree that it has to be felt. I don't think you're going to get anywhere with this stuff by watching and mimicing what's being done and said in a video. You need someone who has a headstart on you to guide you through the rights wrongs.
Look, I was like just about everyone here when I started reading this stuff. I though "bs, this is just what i've already been doing". I also found it funny that there weren't any real videos out there. I mean if you can do it, then you can record it and we can see it right? I read every thread on Aikiweb and other sites from these guys (and others). I eventually noticed the pattern of high ranking martial arts people with decades of experience who, at one point, were exactly where I was, but eventually met with these guys and had a very clear change of attitude. They have no reason to prop up frauds and could have easily said "this is just more of the same", yet they didn't. NONE of them said that. Hell, instead, most of them wanted to start incorporating this into their own training. I'm a smart guy and I can follow the bouncing ball of logic and that ball was increasingly bouncing towards "you need to get off your ass and experience this".
So I started emailing around and asking questions and I eventually found a local group who had worked with several of those guys. It only took one visit for me to figure out that this was very different from what I had been doing. While there may be a lot of conceptual similarities, the actual application and practice is completely different. Depending on your style of aikido (or other martial art) it could be and entirely different universe to you. While none of the guys I met with had the ability of Mike, Dan or others, I didn't need to experience it on that level to feel the the power potential that it contained or see what it could do for my aikido, which is where my interests are.
It's pretty simple. If you're (you or anyone else reading) interested, start asking around and try to find some people near you who are working on this stuff. If you're semi-intelligent and have an open mind it won't be hard for you to see the value in what htey're showing you. I mean hell, if people with 30+ years in Aikido were able to empty their cups enough to see it, you can too. Then it's just a matter of putting in the work to get it for yourself. It's really that simple.
If you don't want to do that, no harm, no foul. Keep doing what you're doing. If what you're doing makes you happen, then it's the right thing for you.
Wow, Jason has been a member of Aikiweb since 2000 and he only has 140 posts! - To me, this is a man that gives a lot of consideration to his thoughts and just does not shoot from the hip with his opinions - I think we all should just pause and listen; kind of like those old commercials about that investment broker, etc.
There has been a lot of good questions and responses in the last few posts that I won't elaborate on - but I just like to make a few comments.
1. Mike makes an excellent point about the learning is not stagnate - get on the path and don't stop developing - I believe Sagawa mentioned that he continued to develop his aiki up to the day he died. And why not; keep your focus on how you can learn more. As someone mentioned elsewhere, there is always someone ahead of you and behind you on the path - the important thing here is to get on the path!
2. Jonathan brings up some very good points, and Hunter as well as a few others, have provided some good comments accordingly. The only thing I would like to add here is that there are two sides to the 'feeling' point - one side is that you have to feel IS being applied to you and the other is you have to feel what it is like to apply - two sides of the same coin, but two totally different experiences. As to the comment that you can learn this without guidance, well yes and no. Yes, you can stumble on an aspect of it, and I think most of those studying IS today has had some weird experience in this that they could not explain, but no, at best, this can only motivate you to find out more; it will not lead you to a comprehensive understanding - you just just need to get with those of a like mind and interest, with some more experience, to learn more.
3. The last comment I like to make is to apologize for any inappropriate comment or personal attack I may have made in this thread - as those that truly know me will tell you, that next to Phi, I am the next most silly (and warped) person on aikiweb. However, I am a Scorpio, and I can be your best friend or your worst enemy - your choice
Seriously, I just saw (IMO) some comments that appeared to be of a negative personal nature, and I responded accordingly - If I was wrong in my interpretation, than I am sorry - if not, then I will send a disruptive ki ball your way and you will have bad karma the rest of your life (short lived as it will be)
In summary, I think it is a testament to the intense interest of IS/IP that stimulates the motivation to express opinions in this thread - let's just try to keep the exchange informative, thought provoking, and considerate of opposing opions.