Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki
I'd agree with you, JW, on it being the latter. Aiki is no more unique to aikido/DR, than arms or legs are unique to them. Aiki can be seen in cultures all over the world. Solo and pairs training can be seen through dances. Look anywhere: American Indian, Maori, Huna, Kali, Dervishes, even American Hip-Hop. Cultures throughout time and all over the world have displayed this type of training in their arts.
Interestingly enough, the "culture" that's probably lost most of its body/mind arts tradition would be none other than the good ol' modern Western culture of the "white man."