David Alexander wrote:
The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.
As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong.
1. His primary and main influence was Sokaku Takeda and Daito ryu.
2. Footage of Ueshiba into his old age shows stock Daito ryu techniques, with atemi.
3. Driscoll has a corollary here on aikiweb showing a high percentage equivalence with Daito ryu.
4. After viewing other arts, Ueshiba would state, we'd do it this way with aiki.
5. Mochizuki lamented, not the fact that Ueshiba did other arts, but rather that he pared down the Daito ryu techniques.
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.
7. A set curriculum of techniques did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.
Everything Ueshiba did after meeting Takeda, was done with aiki. Aiki being the body changing method as taught to him by Sokaku Takeda.
When Ueshiba could not be pushed over by Tenryu, it wasn't because Ueshiba knew the secret of awase. (A: I know the secret of aiki)
When asked why no one could do what he could, Ueshiba didn't answer that it was because they misunderstood awase. (A: You do not understand in yo ho)
When students listened to him, they didn't complain that they had a hard time understanding awase. (A: Floating Bridge of Heaven, heaven/earth/man, Izanagi/Izanami, inyo, fire/water, etc See Chris Li's great translations for information)
Now, if we want to talk Modern Aikido and awase, that's a whole different story. But, tossing Morihei Ueshiba into the mix with awase as "an understanding of the aspect of AIKIDO that makes it unique among martial arts" ... well, I would say that aiki is the unique aspect.