Re: Chinese Martial Arts and Aikido
These similar threads keep poppoing up and I think I wrote something likeswise before, but here goes.
In 1990 I met Mr. So in Tokyo - he taught Taichi, Ba-gwa, and Hsing-I. It was at the time I was leaving so I could not really join. I trained only once and went back to watch several more times. What he did had me mesmerised. Hsing-I was pure irimi, Ba-gwa was pure tenkan, and when he put it together with a man in front of him it was instant Jujutsu. His strikes, trips, reaps, and throws were superb but not choreographed at all, totally spontaneous. He arrived at the destination of 'Jujutsu' without its form. He practised 'movement' in separate blocks and his 'essence of change' allowed him to piece the bits together to make superb technique in the moment. What I saw has changed the way I do things ever since, though I know I could never reach what that man had. Now, I break everything down and practise the parts - reverse engineering if you like, and I find it works very well for me.
As for it influencing Aikido, I doubt it. The similarity is remarkable, perhaps, but Ueshiba went to China after extensive training. He might have picked up a few things but it would not have altered what he did too much. If it had, others would have noticed and it would be documented in some way. His way of doing things is totally Japanese, in my opinion.