View Full Version : Ba Gua: the Aikido connection

01-25-2001, 08:32 PM
Though I don't study Ba Gua, it has always interested me and I read about it quite often
(It is certainly on my list of arts to train).
I also have read several books on the life of Moreihi Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.
One of the major events of his life was an excursion into the interior of China and Mongolia.
He was the body guard for his religious leader and the party had spent quite some time there.
Strangely, Ueshiba, a martial arts fanatic, never made a mention of China's rich martial tradition. The book's reason for this was that since Ueshiba was one of the greatest martial artist alive, he must of thought TCM not worth exploring.
Several years later he created Aikido.
Looking at the two systems(Aikido and Ba Gua), it would seem that O'Sensie had more then one class with a Daoist Monk or two.
Any Ba Gua guys there have any insight?

01-25-2001, 11:23 PM
I have done a little aikido and ba gua. Although there might be some similarities in some of the techniques/applications, I doubt that there is a direct connection between them. Although I have heard roumors linking the two styles, here are my reasons for not buying it, FWIW.
1. No Aikidoists have ever mentioned this link in any public context. None of the Ueshiba family have ever made any reference to any Chinese art that i know of. And they ought to know, more than anyone else.
2. The Mongolia incident you refer to was much too short a time to study any martial art. Later Ueshiba was a high ranking Japanese military officer stationed in northern China for a number of years during the war, and he might have studied then. But it seems unlikely that any high level Chinese martial artists would willingly teach their art to an evemy officer.
3. None of ba gua's forms, exercises or energy concepts are found in Aikido. Even if Ueshiba saw it and was inspired, it is impossible to say that it was a significant contribution to Aikido. He could just as easily have been inspired by Praying Mantis boxing, or shuai jiao.
4. Aikido is 99% jujitsu. That is where people should look for the basis of Aikido, not the Chinese martial arts.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on this topic?

01-25-2001, 11:43 PM
In BK Frantzis' book the Power of the Internal Martial Arts he postulates that Ueshiba studied Bagua when he was in China then went back and created Aikido. This is supposed to be the reason that no Aikido practitioners ever approached Ueshiba's level of miraculous skill.

01-26-2001, 12:58 AM
The fact that he never mentioned any of the Chinese Martial Arts that he had to have seen is one of the reasons I feel the way that I do.
Certainly, he would come away with something of merit. Aikido's footwork and entries are unlike anything jujitsu (or Shaui-chiao for that matter)has to offer.
Just an observation.

01-26-2001, 01:32 AM
I don't study aikido but I have seen it and sparred against so here's my observation in the form of a question. if Moreihi Ueshiba had incorporated any bagua into his art, then why are there no kicks, punches, elbow strikes etc. in aikido? Also, Valraven, can you eloborate on what is unique in aikido's foot work and entries since this is something that very much interests me about bagua?

01-26-2001, 08:11 AM
I don't know anything about ba gua, but I've seen advanced aikido techniques that are identical to tai chi applications and mantis applications. There are two possible explanations.
1. He took it from CMA
2. There are only so many ways to bend a joint and when you do it with maximum efficency so that a little guy can lock a big guy, you use circles, making it so higher level techniques look the same.

Whether it came from ba gua, or tai chi, or praying mantis or shuai chiao doesn't really matter. Does it work? The JMA make major technological leaps every time they go to China. So what? It's smarter to copy that to spend 200 years trying to figure it out on your own. I'm not saying JMA are bad, I'm just saying that it makes sense to take higher technology. China knows that. The US spent all this money on military spending to make us a super dominating power and china worked some domestics, yawned and stole what we had been working on. Oh well, now they have it. What difference does it make now if they stole it or made it up...they have it. This is why there is all the secrecy in CMA, once it's out there and common knowlege, ass kicking gets trickier.

If your not bleeding, your not having enough fun.

01-27-2001, 02:27 AM
I think if O'Sensei had studied Ba Gua he would have mentioned it. Also who's to say he even saw any Ba Gua while in China. You may want to trace any connection back through Daitoryu. I studied Hakkoryu and it has many of the same attributes that Aikido has.

Any way who says nobody does Aikido as well as Moreihi Ueshiba?

01-27-2001, 04:42 AM
I agree with what everybody has said above - except BK Frantzis, of course.

01-27-2001, 11:01 PM
A possible reason that Ueshiba did not mention PaKua is that the politcal eviornamet in Japan
was verry nationalistic and they would have not accepted a foriegn MA Bk Frantz sugest the same thing.


01-27-2001, 11:20 PM
My feeling is that Ueshiba never mentioned bagua because he never trained it.

If he DID train it, then how come aikido guys don't do the single/double palm changes and have no solo sets?