Addendum to Internal versus External
I noticed the previous blog got mentioned in an ongoing discussion on AikiWeb and I'd like to point out that the essays on this blog are pretty much in the "basic knowledge" arena. I.e., there are aspects of the internal-versus-external discussion that are not contained in these essays and they add content that would seriously affect the discussions on the forum (or other forums)... if anyone was aware of those factors.
The problems I see with a lot of the discussions on various forums like AikiWeb, Rum Soaked Fist, and others, is that too often the commenters unknowingly betray the fact that there are components of the discussion that they're simply unaware of or they wouldn't have made some telling statement in the first place.
I might take a thread sometime and highlight some posts by would-be "experts" and then explain some of the areas they just revealed that they don't know. Not to humiliate anyone particularly, but to show that too many of the 'experts', many of whom are also 'teachers' aren't really beyond the amateurish stage.
One of the big problems I've had over the years is that I consider myself to be an amateur who has spent a number of years trying to find all the details of "internal strength", but I listen to a lot of self-styled western "experts" chatter away, not knowing that they've just told me they know far less than I do.
If I'm an amateur, how are these people "experts"? They're experts "with years of experience" to other neophytes, but they'd never be experts in the eyes of real experts. I know enough about what I know to understand where I'd rank in the eyes of a real expert... I know enough to know that I'd be pretentious to claim the mantle of 'expert'. Anyone can impress neophytes; few people can impress real experts. Think about that when you're reading a lot of the popular web-forums and understand that there's a lot of depth and sophistication that is not brought into the conversations because few people have that information.