Re: Cliff's arguments against Chris, I hope the argument doesn't get pushed further than intended. I gather Chris' point is that the strategy and methodology of changing the body and mind are shared with Chinese martial lineages, and derive from common ancestry over the timescale of centuries. (Nothing controversial there.) The example of Confucianism is a good one-- I don't think it is hard to swallow that the body/mind-changing training permeates the Asian martial arts the way Confucianism permeates Asian governmental and sociological structures. (all by "influence" of culture, rather than via teacher-to-student lineages)
The fact that Japanese culture was originally seeded by and proceeded to be heavily and thoroughly influenced by Chinese culture is a vacuous argument in favor of the idea that Ueshiba's martial arts were influenced by Chinese martial arts. You may as well say that Aikido is exactly the same thing as Tai chi because most people have two arms and two legs.
It had to be felt, right? So who did Ueshiba feel it from? That's where this story has to start.