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Push or extend, resist or absorb. Which is better? What works for me? I push uke and he pushes back, I extend thru uke and he falls. I resist uke and he exerts more force, I absorb his force, redirect it and he falls.
Many years ago one of my buddies, a wrestler of high repute on our high school team decided it would be cool to attack me from behind and bring me to the ground. There was no intent to harm on his part, just the normal horsing around engaged in by sixteen year olds in those days. Outweighed by an easy thirty pounds I had no chance of powering my way out of the situation so I just accepted his force, bent from the waist, let him pass over my back and led him to the pavement. I supported his head as he landed, no harm done. Onlookers suitably impressed, I tried to look nonplussed as though what I had just done was the most natural thing in the world. Truth be told, I was just as surprised as my friend laying there on the ground. The whole thing happened without any thought on my part. This incident came to mind not long ago when I felt myself being challenged by one of my students during practice. I look upon those tests as a chance to relax more and exercise my ability to absorb the force being applied, or extend thru it.
Push or extend, resist or absorb. It's always a choice. Training is a way to strip away my ego and make my choices based on the needs of the moment.