Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Proof of Chinese influence on aikido

There's this conspiracy theory promoted by nutjobs like Dojo Rat and some of his ilk, that Morihei Ueshiba must have been influenced in his creation of aikido by the internal Chinese martial arts - particularly by Baguazhang.  There are similarities between these arts, but nobody has been able to put forth any definitive proof that Ueshiba visited Master-X in year-y and studied these particular parts of art-Z that eventually became this thing in aikido...
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Then I remembered this little nugget and it hit me, this is suggestive of a Chinese connection.  Is it proof positive?  Certainly not, but it is at least suggestive...
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Canadian Aikido master, Henry Kono, states in this lecture, that he asked Ueshiba directly, "Why can't we do the things that you do?" and Ueshiba replied, "Because you do not understand Yin and Yang."
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I watched that lecture a long time ago, but it just hit me today, those are Chinese words for a Taoist concept.  The Japanese terms for the same concept would be In and Yo.  So...
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If Kono was quoting OSensei directly and not just spontaneously translating for his audience, then Japanese Ueshiba was using Chinese terms for a concept that he claimed was the secret underpining of aikido.
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Interesting.  Maybe Dojo Rat is not as much of a nutjob as you might first suspect ;-)  Nah  I'm sure you're right...

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