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Old 06-28-2002, 10:29 AM   #1
Doshu
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Chinese Martial Arts and Aikido

If anyone has ever read the great book by Sensei Steves the "Invincible Warrior". They would relise that Daito Ryu was not the only martial art that effected the refined art of Aikido we know and love. After reading texts on Hsing-i, Pa Gua and even Kung Fu (the Northern styles) you can see that there internal abilitys have greatly effected Aikido. Along with the very circular motions of Aikido.

O'Sensei went to China on 2 major occations once as a solider and also as a body guard. During this time he pitted himself against many chinese martial artists. There are no records of these duals. However, Morihei never lost a fight. In my humbul opinion, he would told his students if he had lost. So lets run on the assumption that he won these fights. Not that it really matters weither he did or not.

I would like to know anyones thoughts on the effects of his trips to China and the great Chinese Martial arts on Aikido.

Master the Divine
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Old 06-28-2002, 11:25 AM   #2
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While I've not read the entire book, I've read the sections in question.

The information isn't substantiated at all. In all the records I've read, written by his students and son, Ueshiba never gave any mention of study in Chinese martial arts. This leads me to believe that he did not study Chinese martial arts. In most other regards, Ueshiba seemed happy to give credit to his teachers where credit was due.

There are similarities between Chinese martial arts and Aikido. This isn't any more signficant than the similarities between Graeco-Roman wrestling and Judo.

Eric Kroier
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:11 PM   #3
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Tetsutaka Sugawara has a series of books on this very topic. "Aikido and Chinese Martial Arts". I believe two volumes have been released and three are planned (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

To the best of my knowledge, Sugawara Sensei travels once a year to the United States to teach. If you are interested, I can see when and where he will be in the US. (Any Katori Shinto Ryu folks lurking with better information?)

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:16 PM   #4
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I can only hazzard a guess, but IMHO, O'Sensei was proably influenced by everything he saw. Most great martial artist are.

What is interesting to me is that on some level, even without knowing it, most martial arts have a base of agreement. There are probably only so many ways to hit only so many targets and only so many ways to unbalance a person. There are bound to be a great number of similiarities/agreements.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:30 PM   #5
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I can only agree with what you say. I think that he was influenced with everything he saw. In my opinion, the Chinese internal arts had a impact on Aikido. But it cant be said that anything else other than Daito Ryu had the bestest effect.

Cheers

Chris

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Old 06-28-2002, 05:24 PM   #6
PhiGammaDawg
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Cool



Ueshiba Sensei was indeed influenced by Chinese martial arts...arts like T'ai Chi which incorporates soft circular motions are somewhat analogous to Aiki...-ju-jitsu or -DO

"Saki yakitachi o nukeba, masu masu masurao no kokoro wo togu bekari keri."
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Old 06-28-2002, 06:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg


Ueshiba Sensei was indeed influenced by Chinese martial arts...arts like T'ai Chi which incorporates soft circular motions are somewhat analogous to Aiki...-ju-jitsu or -DO
According to who? These rumors float up every once and a while, but I've never seen a basis in fact. According to K. Ueshiba (who ought to know) his father had no interest at all in Chinese martial arts. He did spend some time in occupied Manchuria, but he did so at an exclusively Japanese institution. Further, if you're familiar with that time period in Japan you know that Chinese arts were virtually unknown here.

People's bodies all mover in the same ways. I'm not surprised to see similar approaches in different (and unrelated) arts, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's a connection.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2002, 08:54 PM   #8
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Hi Paul;

I've read the books and I found the historical sections very interesting. I must say he took very few facts and ran with them. He could be right, the idea that Japan is a mix of two migrating groups really caught my imagination. That said I would be very careful to quote his supposition as fact.

Quote:
Originally posted by paw
Tetsutaka Sugawara has a series of books on this very topic. "Aikido and Chinese Martial Arts". I believe two volumes have been released and three are planned (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

To the best of my knowledge, Sugawara Sensei travels once a year to the United States to teach. If you are interested, I can see when and where he will be in the US. (Any Katori Shinto Ryu folks lurking with better information?)

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:15 AM   #9
daedalus
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In the book "The Internal Power of Martial Arts" by B. K. Frantzis, the author had trained in both Aikido and Chinese martial arts, and theorized that Ba Gua (Pa Kua) and Aikido are so much alike that O Sensei must have been influenced by if not trained in bagua. I, having not trained in Ba Gua, will humbley admit that I have no idea, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

As far as O Sensei only having Japanese teachers, I find it hard to believe that a man as intelligent and hungry for knowledge in a different country with different martial arts wouldn't see whats out there. I wouldn't find it hard to believe that he wouldn't admit to taking instruction from a non-Japanese. Remember, O Sensei was talented, but a god he was not. In his privately circulated text "Budo" (published in 1938), he wrote "This manual is not to be shown to non-Japanese." Now, if you combine his xenophobia with a thirst for martial knowledge, the possibility of him getting instruction and just not mentioning it becomes a viable possibility. Unfortunately, I doubt any of us will know for sure.

Brian
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:27 AM   #10
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by daedalus
I wouldn't find it hard to believe that he wouldn't admit to taking instruction from a non-Japanese.
Possibly, although I think his son would have known about it if it had happened. More importantly, there is very little of a technical nature in Aikido that does not also exist in Daito-ryu, and I'm pretty sure that S. Takeda didn't make too many trips to China.

There's another discussion of this topic somewhere on the Aikido Journal site - basically, it seemed to conclude that there's no real hard evidence for a Chinese connection, and a lot against it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-29-2002, 02:17 AM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by paw
Tetsutaka Sugawara has a series of books on this very topic. "Aikido and Chinese Martial Arts". I believe two volumes have been released and three are planned (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

To the best of my knowledge, Sugawara Sensei travels once a year to the United States to teach. If you are interested, I can see when and where he will be in the US. (Any Katori Shinto Ryu folks lurking with better information?)

Regards,

Paul
Paul,

I have the two volumes you mention (the third has not been published yet). My own reaction is pretty much the same as P Rehse's. Very little factual evidence; much comparison and much speculation.

In some sense the problem is similar to that of comparing Shinto and Taoism. It is pretty clear that much of Japanese civilisation came from China, directly or by way of Korea. So if one were able to trace Japanese martial arts to their very beginning (with adequate archeological evidence etc), it is probable that China would figure pretty prominently.

Sugawara discusses Japanese culture and its interplay with China's and then discusses aikido and some Chinese arts. But we do not have any discussion of, say, the possible Chinese antecedents of, e.g., the training technique called 1-kajo / 1-kyou, for example, which is a fundamental waza in aikido and which came from Daito-ryu. It is possible that there are such antecedents, but this is a separate question from the question whether Ueshiba saw or practised Chinese martial arts on his trips to Mongolia / Manchuria. Aikido and Chinese Ba Gua might be similar, but it requires extra evidence to show that this is not a coincidence.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-29-2002 at 02:22 AM.

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Old 06-29-2002, 12:10 PM   #12
Bruce Baker
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Purity verses taking what works

I don't doubt that O'Sensei had a very Japanese view of how things should be and how martial arts should work.

As far a learning things on his journey, he is very specific about being a disguises traveler who tried not to draw attention to himself, which would leave no time for training in martial arts.

The fact that he learned many things from other teachers is well documented, and adapting them in the forum of Japanese arts appear to be his only concern when face with other fighting arts that could possibly overcome his fighting skills.

It is a great probability that his urging his students train, study, and practice diligently were his words of warning about the tricks or deceptions they might face with other fighting arts.

No ... I don't believe he consciously or physically trained with any masters of martial arts while traveling, even if he did observe other styles. It would have been a footnote to close any gaps in his own techniques and skills, that is the extent of conclusions I must draw from all the different materials I have read on O'Sensei's trips abroad.

We, as modern students, do pursue simularities of other asian arts to the genesis of this art we call Aikido, which is like tracing the history of warfare over the last three thousand years in a forum of transistion because of needs.

Our present study, may indeed, cause new additions to our Aikido, but as far as O'Sensei, I believe he stayed strickly in the Japanese section of martial arts.
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Old 06-29-2002, 04:12 PM   #13
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Re: Chinese Martial Arts and Aikido

Aikido is very Taoist-oriented, especially when it comes to the principle of non-resistance.

blessings,

~ Mona
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Old 06-29-2002, 10:07 PM   #14
Abasan
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Maybe taoist orientated but I don't think its taoist derived. Similarly, it might be reasonable to say that Japanese martial arts derived its ancestry from Chinese martial arts, in particular through the same route as had the Chinese martial arts derived its ancestry from India; the shaolin monks.

Kung Fu as you know it, was taught to the chinese monks by an indian monk so as to facilitate their rigorous training and meditation.

As it is speculated that Japan was made up of the chinese imigrants and okinawan indegineous people, it maybe safe to presume that some culture, religion and of course knowledge like martial arts would transfer over.

Karate originated from ToDe (china hand). In Karate are many locks and throws similar to aikido's lock and throws. For a more complete comparison, try looking for shorinju Kempo. This is basically a japanese version of kung fu and is only practiced by buddhist monks in Japan. (well, not only monks... but its supposed to be that way). I guess, the moves have always been there. Aikido may have incorporated those similar looking moves, but I would guess the principle of applying it was unique to OSensei's understanding of it. Therefore although Karate, Kung Fu and Aikido may share kotegaishe, ikkyo and so on, the way its applied are entirely unique to its art. As I said earlier, orientated (or influenced) but not derived.

Anyway... I hope I don't offend anyone with this opinion of mine, if there's any mistake let me know.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-30-2002, 12:15 AM   #15
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Fact, or Friction?

I will have to double check, but in my conversations with Seiseki Abe Shihan, I recall him mentioning this subject to me. I cannot say for sure if he said that O-Sensei himself had trained while in China. However, he did, and I mean definitely said that O-Sensei told Abe Sensei to go to China and study certain martial art related things there. Abe Sensei did in fact do this, and there are some remarkable stories he then related about his experiences there. I won't repeat them here, but I will commit to asking Abe Sensei about any specific details of O-Sensei's experiences that O-Sensei may have shared with him, when I next have the chance. I will report anything I may discover.

The only thing I would like to add is that I am sure that there are many things that O-Sensei may have shared with people that he did not share with his son. My father doesn't share plenty of things with me. I relate plenty of things about specific aikido students of mine to my friends that I never share with anyone in the dojo. I think it behooves us to remember that the master-student relationship that was in effect between O-Sensei and 99.9% of those around him inherently dictated what could and could not be shared.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-30-2002, 01:01 AM   #16
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan
Maybe taoist orientated but I don't think its taoist derived. Similarly, it might be reasonable to say that Japanese martial arts derived its ancestry from Chinese martial arts, in particular through the same route as had the Chinese martial arts derived its ancestry from India; the shaolin monks.
A general influence? Maybe. A specific transmission (which is what is usually alleged with M. Ueshiba)? IMO, probably not. You have to remember that most Japanese empty hand arts are believed to have begun as offshoots off sumo, which has a very long history, and is believed to have been more or less native to Japan.

Quote:
As it is speculated that Japan was made up of the chinese imigrants and okinawan indegineous people, it maybe safe to presume that some culture, religion and of course knowledge like martial arts would transfer over.
Of course, there is always cutural transfer. OTOH, you don't hear too many people trying to argue that the English long sword is a derivation of Roman military technique - even thought you'd have a much stronger argument there. Why the obsession with derivation for Asian martial arts?

Quote:
Karate originated from ToDe (china hand). In Karate are many locks and throws similar to aikido's lock and throws. For a more complete comparison, try looking for shorinju Kempo. This is basically a japanese version of kung fu and is only practiced by buddhist monks in Japan. (well, not only monks... but its supposed to be that way).
Shorinji Kempo is a modern martial art - newer than Aikido, even (around 1947). It includes locks and throws similar to Aikido because those techniques go back to the same roots as Aikido - Daito-ryu. The founder of Shorinji Kempo trained in Hakko-ryu, which is an offshoot of Daito-ryu - no need for obscure Chinese influences there .

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-30-2002, 05:27 AM   #17
Tim Griffiths
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li

Shorinji Kempo is a modern martial art - newer than Aikido, even (around 1947). It includes locks and throws similar to Aikido because those techniques go back to the same roots as Aikido - Daito-ryu. The founder of Shorinji Kempo trained in Hakko-ryu, which is an offshoot of Daito-ryu - no need for obscure Chinese influences there .

Best,

Chris
Do you have a reference for that, Chris? A troll though the main
Shorinji sites out there doesn't bring up any mention of Hakko- or Daito-ryu. i.e. http://village.infoweb.ne.jp/~fwip4150/Kempo/

General comment:

The thing I use to do to my younger brother (sorry Nick) I would now call shihonage. Does this mean I'm remembering Daito-ryu or aikido from a past life? Or that basically there are only so many ways to twist an arm?

Train well,

Tim

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Old 06-30-2002, 06:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths


Do you have a reference for that, Chris? A troll though the main
Shorinji sites out there doesn't bring up any mention of Hakko- or Daito-ryu. i.e. http://village.infoweb.ne.jp/~fwip4150/Kempo/
Try the interview with Hakko-ryu soke Ryuho Okuyama at:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...?ArticleID=532

Quote:
General comment:

The thing I use to do to my younger brother (sorry Nick) I would now call shihonage. Does this mean I'm remembering Daito-ryu or aikido from a past life? Or that basically there are only so many ways to twist an arm?
Past life, definitely .

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-30-2002, 07:12 AM   #19
Tim Griffiths
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


Try the interview with Hakko-ryu soke Ryuho Okuyama at:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...?ArticleID=532

Best,

Chris
Thanks - interesting reading. Looks like you're right - no big mystery.

From that article:

My father taught him only the first or second technique. He complained of a lot of pain and so he learned the rest of the techniques by correspondence. Then he later combined our techniques with Nihon Kenpo and created Shorinji Kenpo.

Err...what? This seems to suggest that the founder of Shorinji kempo couldn't take a nikkyo...

*mumble* *mutter* always thought *mumble* karate styles *mutter* *mutter* effette dilletants *mumble* *mumble*

Train well,

Tim

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Old 07-01-2002, 09:50 AM   #20
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Chris,

I suppose Doshin Nakano as mentioned in that article you've hyperlinked is the same as Doshin So who claims to be the true successor of Shorinji Kempo...

Anyway, he does not give mention at all to Hakko-Ryu in his book, but then I'm no academician. My knowledge lies primarily on secondary and tertiary research. Still an excerpt from his book goes like this -

"The shaolin-ssu (shorinji in japanese) temple, located in Honan Prefecture in China, was the site where Bodhidharma, a sixth-century Buddhist patriach, introduced Shorinji Kempo to a group of buddhist priests who for many ages practiced it in conjunction with Zen meditation as a spiritual discipline and a way to defend themselves and encourage the development of benevolence. It was never taught to any except those who were definitely going to enter priesthood, and as a result, Shorinji kempo embodies much of the characteristic oriental idea of calm and harmony. blah blah blah..."

I did ask my sensei about it once, and he told me that its basically shaolin kung fu, pronounced shorinji in the japanese fashion. From what I've seen, its probably a watered down version of shaolin kung fu. (It doesn't look like jujitsu to me, at least not the way they practice here in Malaysia).

Whatever the case may be, I didn't intend for my post to elaborate much on Shorinji. I just used it as an example of a martial art that derived its ancestry from China.

And as someone has clearly mentioned earlier, there's only so many ways to throw/hit/kick/lock someone. Just like music has only so many notes... its the way its arranged, the tempo and the accompaniment that makes it into a particular kind of music.

I think my post was just to give an opinion that I disagree with aikido being taoist derived. Mayhaps influenced but not derived.

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Old 07-01-2002, 03:36 PM   #21
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan
Chris,

I suppose Doshin Nakano as mentioned in that article you've hyperlinked is the same as Doshin So who claims to be the true successor of Shorinji Kempo...
Yes.

Quote:
I did ask my sensei about it once, and he told me that its basically shaolin kung fu, pronounced shorinji in the japanese fashion. From what I've seen, its probably a watered down version of shaolin kung fu. (It doesn't look like jujitsu to me, at least not the way they practice here in Malaysia).
He claimed to have based it upon arts studied during his travels in China. Some people disagree - Don Draeger, for example, gives a pretty good argument why he thought that the techniques were mainly derived from Japanese (Okinawan) Karate. "Shorinji" is the Japanese reading of the characters for "shaolin".

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 05:03 PM   #22
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Tongue

Hi all,

I don't know what the big discussion is about. Everyone knows O-sensei went up to Wudang mountain and learned all the secret techniques of chuan fa.

It's just that he never taught the cool flying tricks to any of his uchideshi.



Just thought I'd liven things up a bit

P.S.-Confucius say-Watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and then posting on Aikiweb is not a very wise move.


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Old 07-04-2002, 04:34 PM   #23
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I think it is pretty settled that it is not now or will ever be settled that O'Sensai took anything away from China. Why would the Chinese even teach anything to him when the kept everything very secret among themselfs.
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Old 07-13-2002, 12:09 PM   #24
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Ba Gua (Pa Kua), Oshikiuchi, Aiki-in-yo-ho???

Hi all,

Check out
http://www.energyarts.com/lores/libr...s/ueshiba.html

Then check out

http://www.shenwu.com/bg4tchnq.htm Koshi nage or sukui nage????

Then there is Donn Dreager's book on Budo and Bujutsu (Vol.2 I think) that speaks about Oshikiuchi, the forerunner of Daito Ryu Aikjujutsu and it's philosophy of Aiki in-yo ho (Harmony of energy based on yin/yang) which came directly from Chinese Taoism.

All together, these things make the argument interesting for a Chinese link to O-Sensei and his aikido.

Hmmmmmmmmm

L.C.

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Old 07-13-2002, 04:04 PM   #25
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Re: Ba Gua (Pa Kua), Oshikiuchi, Aiki-in-yo-ho???

Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
Nice argument, but I don't buy it. There is very little of a technical nature in Aikido that isn't also present in Daito-ryu, including all the things that he mentioned. I'm still fairly sure that Sokaku Takeda didn't spend much time in China.

Quote:
Then check out

http://www.shenwu.com/bg4tchnq.htm Koshi nage or sukui nage????
Koshi nage is even more common in Judo - did Jigoro Kano spend time in China studying Ba Gua too?

Quote:
Then there is Donn Dreager's book on Budo and Bujutsu (Vol.2 I think) that speaks about Oshikiuchi, the forerunner of Daito Ryu Aikjujutsu and it's philosophy of Aiki in-yo ho (Harmony of energy based on yin/yang) which came directly from Chinese Taoism.
There's really no agreement on what Oshikiuchi actually was, and there seems to be some strength to the argument that it was a system of formal etiquette. In any case "in-yo" is a common concept in Japan. Yes, it has its roots in China, as do Kanji and many other things Japanese. That doesn't mean that M. Ueshiba studied Ba Gua.

Best,

Chris

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Something I wrote for a few friends of mine (long) drDalek General 1 11-18-2002 08:44 AM


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