Charles Hill wrote:
Abe Sensei said in an interview that M.U. did learn chinese arts when he was there. I considered the whole idea a lot of poo until I read that. I believe that it is at Matsuoka Sensei's web site
Abe Sensei says many things that which unfortunately few people choose to listen. Much like O-Sensei, in that regard, I guess. In the case to which you are referring, he made the following comments to Stanley Pranin, of Aikido Journal. Interestingly enough, this was only released in the Japanese version of Aiki-News, so wasn't readily available to the masses until the (unfortunately rather unpolished) translation appeared on Matsuoka Sensei's Aikido Doshinokai Dojo website.
Abe Seiseki Sensei, 10th dan wrote:
Abe: When Mr. Deguchi went to Mongolia (year of 1924), he took close aides along with him. He asked O-Sensei to go with him. It looked as if he was taken as a guard. But, in fact, O-Sensei just wanted to study about continental martial arts furthermore after he went through all martial art schools in Japan.
He went there as a warrior. He wanted to study continental martial art, what is now called Tai Chi, from Mongolia and after that, he tried to enhance Aikido more.
--- Do you mean that the trip to Mongolia gave great influence to O-Sensei?
Abe: Yes, it was for martial arts. I think he had foresight. O-Sensei thoroughly studied Tai Chi. There were many Tai Chi schools, and he had chances to see something great in Mongolia.
I followed same path (Laughter). The era was different, though. I have visited Beijing two times. The first time was for studying about Calligraphy. I mainly organized the second trip. Although I wanted to know about martial arts and Tai Chi, everyone else went there for Calligraphy.
When I went there, I said, "I do Calligraphy besides Aikido." and demonstrated Aikido. One of the audiences said to me, "I have studied Tai Chi from my father since I was 2 or 3 years old. As I was very touched your technique, I would like you to see my Tai Chi, please." And he showed it to me. It was completely different from Tai Chi people do at the streets. This was a special technique. It is as same as special technique of Aikido.
I visited with Abe Sensei shortly after this and an earlier article were published. We had previously discussed the ramifications of this and other strongly held misconceptions that continue to be fed to the aikido public by individuals who not only claim some level of "authority" on the subject, but whose same misunderstandings, inaccuracies, opinions or, um lies many unfortunate people take as sermons by disciples elucidating a learned version of the New O-Sensei Gospel, abridged version…
. As always, he merely laughed, and made a joke about how back in the day most didn't make the effort to understand what O-Sensei had spent a lifetime pursuing, so it is not surprising to him that people today didn't understand when he himself, repeated it. "No one wanted to listen to the old man babble!" Rather, "Everyone wanted to do Kao-Tsuki Suwari Iriminage ura waza, instead. No matter how much things seem to change they really often stay the same.
Abe Sensei noted that O-Sensei laid out a very clear path through the end of the 60's and he and several other somewhat reclusive individuals have been doing the same thing ever since. He commented specifically about the path that has been artificially narrowed, so much so that in most cases, it precludes much of the core of what O-Sensei demonstrated Aikido to be, and leaves so much of something, well… else. He went on to say quite a bit on quite a few things. Oh, if the flies on the wall had written it all down. How much revenue might no longer finds its way into certain well oiled, machine-like coffers? Empires crumble, peddles head backwards… If you want all the gory details, you'll just have to buy the book! Someday, but not today.