Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?
I don't agree that cross-training per se compliments aikido. I've done some karate, tang-soo-do and judo and I believe none of them helped to improve blending or my aikido (except for being able to see what other people may do). I think this is for the same reason Ueshiba forbade competition - many martial arts encourage a struggle, and the use of force over skill development. Indeed, if the connection is not seen, you are effectively just training in seperate martial arts. For example, I don't think I'd ever be able to get to the skill level where I was using my centre for sewing in such a way that it improved my sensetivity in aikido. However, I'd agree, that we have to 'look out the box'.
Thanks for all the replies - I shall carry on training and reflecting! (and practising my chi-gung!)