Re: ueshiba and chinese martial arts
I'm not all too knowledgeable about the history surrounding this debate, but I do have a somewhat funny aside that is related:
During my last trip to China for gongfu training, my teacher asked me to demonstrate some aikido techniques. After doing a few I could muster up under pressure, he gave a reply that I had heard before in China: "Ah yes! That is Baquazhang! Nice job Jesse!" Similarly, everyday when practicing basic techniques, my coaches would crack jokes about my "baquazhang." Of course, they stopped cracking jokes after I had snapped one of them down with ushiro-ate (and a lot of luck) during free wrestling. So, instead of telling people in China that I practice heqidao (aikido in Chinese), which usually instigates some discussion on Sino-Japanese relations, I have given up and will from now on just tell them that I practice baquazhang. Meh.