Peter Seth wrote:
Though this is perceived as a 'chinese' form it is in my research along with other chinese arts, one of the main influences on O'sensei's development of Aikido. He spent a lot of time in China and was heavily influenced by their MArts culture - the subtle understanding of energy, flow and direction - becoming one with the rythm af the universe etc. I have recently had the priviledge of having instruction from Master Ma Boa Gua a Chen style Kung Fu master who has been visiting my area of NEast England (he has also taken part in two charity Martial Arts events for Cancer Research Uk which I organised). He initially made comment about my Aikido being 'Too Big' and went on to show me his form of very compact and extremely effective techniques. Nearly everything he did was 'Aiki' and a more compact version of standard Aikido techniques. (You can see where lots of aikido techniques come from)!
I'm not convinced (yet) that the Chinese arts were a "main influence" on O Sensei's Aikido, nor where lots of Aikido techniques come from.
I think I need further documented proof that this was the case before I start believing that. That's not to say that I can't see similarities in body movements, I did myself study Tai Chi for a couple of years with a Chinese teacher, he taught me Wu, Yang and Chen styles, and practical applications. I think that the similarities come more from the fact that the body can only move in so many ways. I haven't found anything that conclusively links the Chinese Arts to O Sensei, only supposition and theorizing.
This has been discussed quite a bit before, both here and at Aikido Journal. Take a look here for starters