PDA

View Full Version : Push Test with Ueshiba


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


MM
08-21-2008, 12:32 PM
Only shows up to Aiki News Issue 66, but here are the parts where Ueshiba is tested by being pushed or pulled.


A Sumo wrestler named 'Tenryu' tried to push Ueshiba over while the latter was seated on a wooden plank floor. Realizing he was unable to move the Aikido Master, 'Tenryu' attempted to push with both hands and shoulders. Despite all his groaning and straining and the perspiration on his forehead, Ueshiba was still unmovable. At that point, Ushiba asked 'Tenryu', 'How are you doing? Is that as hard as you can push?... Then, I'll do this!' And O'Sensei, his power focused in the abdomen, sent the Sumo wrestler flying about three feet backward, the latter ending up on the ground supporting himself with his hands.


Thus, it is necessary for us to contribute to the development of the well-rounded person through the unification of the mind, and body in the "immovable stance", considered to be the most superior aspect of Aikido.
(NOTE: He goes on to relate to what he thinks is "immovable stance", but doesn't say what his father's view of it was.)


... I asked someone at my side who this person was. It was explained to me that he was the famous Tenryu who had withdrawn from the Sumo Wrestler's Association. I was then introduced to him. Finally, we ended up pitting our strength against each other. I sat down and said to Tenryu, "Please try to push me over. Push hard, there's no need to hold back." Since I knew the secret of Aikido, I could not be moved an inch.


Strength Contests? ... One Incident took place, I believe, before the episode with the military police. Several captains who were instructors at the Toyama School invited me to test my strength against theirs. They all prided themselves in their abilities saying things like: "I was able to lift such-and-such a weight," or "I broke a log so many inches in diameter." They gathered around me to test my power. I explained to them: "I don't have strength like yours but I can fell people like you with my little finger alone. I feel sorry for you if I throw you. So let's do this instead." I extended my right arm and rested the tip of my index finger on the end of a desk and invited them to lay across my arm on their stomachs. One, two, then three officers lay themselves over my arm and by that time everyone became wide-eyed. I continued until six men lay over my arm and then asked the officer standing near me for a glass of water. As I was drinking the water with my left hand everyone was quiet and exchanging glances.


... Then I let him push me while I was seated. This fellow capable of lifting huge weights huffed and puffed but he could not push me over. After that, I redirected his power away from me and he went flying by. As he fell I pinned him with my index finger and he remained totally immobilized. It was like an adult pinning a baby. Then I suggested that he try again and let him push against my forehead. However, he couldn't move me at all. Then I extended my legs forward and, balancing myself, I lifted my legs off the floor and had him push me. Still he could not move me.


I will give you my left wrist and you can do whatever you like with it using all your strength," Sensei said to me. I thought that the old man could not be very strong and no matter what happened I could defeat him. Above all, he was small. So I grabbed his hand. As I had been engaged in training I could feel something. The moment I grasped his hand I felt overwhelmed, I was amazed. It felt like I was holding an iron bar. But I thought it would be shameful for me to admit defeat then since I was the first to attack. Besides, everyone was watching. I felt vexed and didn't want to admit defeat in that situation. Sensei said, "You can do anything you want with my hand, twist, push, turn, anything. Go ahead." He did like this (gesturing) saying, "I'm relaxed." So then I lunged at him but my timing was completely thrown off. I was amazed, but since I had already felt something I immediately recognized what had happened.


Sensei, with that small physique ... I couldn't budge him no matter from what angle I would push or pull once he was seated.


One day, while my father and Mr. Shioda were traveling on a train, a man who was standing next to the Founder suddenly jerked up into a stiff, motionless posture. Mr. Shioda recalls the following: "O-Sensei smiled and chuckled. I thought it was surely just some old acquaintance. But when the train arrived at the next station and Sensei said, 'Okay, get off!' and the fellow flew off the train I asked who it was. I was surprised when O-Sensei said, 'It was a pickpocket." At any rate, when the pickpocket slipped his hand quietly into Sensei's inside pocket, in a wink, he twisted his wrist tightly and the fellow's whole body became numb and he stood up immobile.


... However, I have in my possession films of Ueshiba Sensei. He takes a jo about 3 and 1/2 feet long and holds it out to his side. People come and push on it and he can hold them here from the side; from a perpendicular angle! That's one thing. Another is this. he sits with his feet crossed underneath, hands relaxed, three men come close before him and try to push him over. They can't.


So it was decided that there would be a match between Tenryu of sumo and Aiki's Ueshiba. But when it came time to fight, the big Tenryu, push or pull as he might, could not move the little more than five foot Ueshiba.


Other officers came saying they would like to see his strength since they heard that he was very strong. At that time we had already finished training and Ueshiba Sensei and I had finished dressing and were about to go home. Sensei stood at the very edge of the tatami of the dojo and told us to push against him using our whole bodies. First, one, then two and then three of us pushed against him but he didn't move at all. Then, the officers said they wanted to try pushing him. Even though they were students they were about 30 years old. About ten of them pushed against us from behind with all their might but Ueshiba Sensei didn't move at all. The tatami on which we were standing on started to slip backwards, but the tatami on which Ueshiba Sensei was standing didn't move.


Sensei, who was sitting on a Japanese cushion, didn't slide forward at all no matter how much we pushed him. When we pushed our legs slipped backwards. He told us to push and we pushed and he said: "Your ki will come out."


NOTE: Just relates Tenryu meeting as shown in a previous AN edition.


The Founder once took Tenryu to the famous Kurama Mountain in Kyoto. Tenryu related in his memoirs how the Founder helped him realize a "secret teaching" of Aiki:
(NOTE: Part of the training involved pushing the Founder up steps and breathing correctly.)

DH
08-21-2008, 01:21 PM
Im curious why that is in this forum. It seemed to be cornerstone of his personal training, and was displayed in various forms in vidoe by choice, and also seems to have been the standard by which he and his art was judged for years.
So we are to discuss
The founder of Aikido's methods
Him doing it
How he may have done it
Why he may have done it
As non-aikido events?
Can you explain under what terms it has nothing to with aikido?

MM
08-21-2008, 01:34 PM
Im curious why that is in this forum. It seemed to be cornerstone of his personal training, and was displayed in various forms in vidoe by choice, and also seems to have been the standard by which he and his art was judged for years.
So we are to discuss
The founder of Aikido's methods
Him doing it
How he may have done it
Why he may have done it
As non-aikido events?
Can you explain under what terms it has nothing to with aikido?

Well, when we started talking about "aiki" and how you used push tests as a demonstration, everything just sort of got thrown into this forum. I haven't seen anything to show that its been changed. So, when I talk about "aiki" that isn't the traditional blending and harmonizing, I put it here, even though it directly relates to Ueshiba.

I've always thought that this "aiki" was the core of aikido but I guess not everyone did. Rather than make Jun mad for adding more of these kinds of "aiki" threads in the regular forums, I just put it here. If Jun thinks it should be in another forum, he usually moves it. :)

Allen Beebe
08-21-2008, 02:01 PM
Mark,

So you've chosen to "blend and harmonize" with Jun by posting about immovability here while Jun remains "immovable" about posting about immovability in the "blending and harmonizing" Aikido section?

Who's professing and/or practicing what?

:D

Just trying to be humorous rather than just funny looking. BTW, I had a minor breakthrough last night after my student quoted back to me stuff that I shared recently that my sempai wrote down for me not to forget 20+ years ago . . . sh**! :disgust: (The same sempai that taught me shiko and told me to do it everyday "to get strong" 20+ years ago and I thought squats or leg extensions would be just as good . . . :rolleyes: ) Now I'm older and wiser, and older . . . mostly older . . . and fatter . . . oh forget it!

Allen

MM
08-21-2008, 02:14 PM
Mark,

So you've chosen to "blend and harmonize" with Jun by posting about immovability here while Jun remains "immovable" about posting about immovability in the "blending and harmonizing" Aikido section?

Who's professing and/or practicing what?

:D


LOL. Funny. Wait til I get out there. We'll work on immovable. :)

Seriously, Jun's great. I'd rather err on the side of caution and have him move the thread.


Just trying to be humorous rather than just funny looking. BTW, I had a minor breakthrough last night after my student quoted back to me stuff that I shared recently that my sempai wrote down for me not to forget 20+ years ago . . . sh**! :disgust: (The same sempai that taught me shiko and told me to do it everyday "to get strong" 20+ years ago and I thought squats or leg extensions would be just as good . . . :rolleyes: ) Now I'm older and wiser, and older . . . mostly older . . . and fatter . . . oh forget it!

Allen

Don't you just hate, but love that? ;) Glad to hear that you had a breakthrough. I'm told I had one, but I blinked and missed it. :D

Allen Beebe
08-21-2008, 02:21 PM
I blinked and missed it. :D

Mark,

If I weren't so familiar with THAT I'd think you were joking. LOL . . . sigh! :sorry:

Allen
(BTW, I'm looking forward to the get together whenever that happens.)

MM
08-28-2008, 11:02 AM
In Aiki News 76, Tenryu gives his account when he met Ueshiba.

But, that issue also has Ueshiba talking about what happened.


Ueshiba: Tenryu was laughing then. He was over six feet tall and weighed something over 240 pounds. I was such a small man it was impossible to have a sumo match with him. In any event, I told him to have a try. I grabbed his hand lightly. then I told him to push me back hard. Although he was pushing me with all his might I said to him, "You don't have much power, do you?". Then I moved slightly and he fell. I was sitting the whole time.

MM
08-28-2008, 11:07 AM
Sort of along the same lines ...


Our way of training was, for example, to hold Ueshiba Sensei's hands or shoulders or seize him from behind and he would free himself from our grip. He would merely say to us, "Master it and forget it".

BK Barker
09-01-2008, 05:11 PM
I'm told I had one, but I blinked and missed it. :D

I thought that was the normal way we was suppose to do it Mark.... Oh wait we was told not to let you corrupt us... Darn.... I gotta remember that more often!!! LOL...

Tiltright...

MM
09-02-2008, 07:36 AM
I thought that was the normal way we was suppose to do it Mark.... Oh wait we was told not to let you corrupt us... Darn.... I gotta remember that more often!!! LOL...

Tiltright...

Ha, funny. :)

I'll see how bad I can corrupt the next time I see you. evileyes

MM
09-02-2008, 07:41 AM
Ah, from the front page of Aikido Journal, comes this article. Seems Ueshiba kept having people push and pull him into his older years.


That was only shortly after I had begun practicing aikido so I didn't really understand the high level of what O-Sensei was demonstrating. I remember that he told his students to push and pull him, but try as they might he remained unmoved, impervious to their efforts.

So, why is it, that something as fundamental as this ... something Ueshiba did most of his martial career (after training with Takeda, it seems) ... that this hasn't spread throughout the aikido world?

RonRagusa
09-02-2008, 08:51 AM
Ah, from the front page of Aikido Journal, comes this article. Seems Ueshiba kept having people push and pull him into his older years.

So, why is it, that something as fundamental as this ... something Ueshiba did most of his martial career (after training with Takeda, it seems) ... that this hasn't spread throughout the aikido world?

Hi Mark -

I can't speak to why Ki testing and development exercises aren't practiced more widely throughout the Aikido world; perhaps Peter will touch on the subject in his series of columns. The practice, however, hasn't disappeared entirely from Aikido. Ki development independent of waza continues to be an essential part of our schools' cirriculum as well as Ki Society and, last I was aware of, Kokikai dojos. I suspect there are other organizations and independents that carry on the tradition as well

Best,

Ron

Beard of Chuck Norris
09-02-2008, 09:13 AM
Ah, from the front page of Aikido Journal, comes this article. Seems Ueshiba kept having people push and pull him into his older years.

So, why is it, that something as fundamental as this ... something Ueshiba did most of his martial career (after training with Takeda, it seems) ... that this hasn't spread throughout the aikido world?

can't speak for anyone else but our organisation does this.

I imagine most styles coming from Tohei's side of things would practice this, along with the other forms of testing; some of which mentioned in his books.

This example above sounds like a test called "standing naturally".

:)

MM
09-02-2008, 02:06 PM
From an interview that included Nishimura Sensei

It is necessary to relax your shoulders. You should not rely on power from the beginning. This is what I heard from Mr. Saburo Wakuta, Tenryu. He said that when Ueshiba Sensei was sitting on the mat, smiling, and he tried to push against his back, it was he who slid backwards.

MM
09-09-2008, 08:11 AM
From Aiki News Issue 099


I remember that he told his students to push and pull him, but try as they might he remained unmoved, impervious to their efforts.

MM
09-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Aikido Journal Issue 106

From an interview with Seishiro Endo


I remember one time when O-Sensei was standing there explaining something and he told me to try pushing his knees from the side. I was amazed at how soft they were. But they were soft in such a way that they seemed to defy pushing altogether, like if I tried to push further I would fall into some sort of void.

MM
09-10-2008, 01:20 PM
From Aikido Journal Issue 109

In an interview with Tohei


His posture was as solid as a rock and you couldn't budge him no matter how you pushed or pulled; yet he would toss me effortlessly without ever letting me feel that he was using any strength at all.


and


Sensei was as solid as a rock but also very relaxed, and that combination made him extremely strong. He had mastered relaxation by completely integrating it into his body.

MM
09-11-2008, 12:20 PM
From Aikido Journal Issue 116

An interview with Masando Sasaki


Sometimes O-Sensei used to hold out a jo and have two or three people push against it. I once had the chance to be one of those pushing, and it was really very strange the way all of our pushing effort seemed to just evaporate away.

Rennis Buchner
09-11-2008, 08:40 PM
Can't be bothered to type it all out, but p.158 of "Aikido Masters: Prewar Students Of Morihei Ueshiba" has Rinjiro Shirata talking about another instance of a mess of people pushing Ueshiba and going nowhere but backwards.

DH
09-11-2008, 09:28 PM
And once again you are discussing the very heart of the type of training that later creates aiki.

It is the heart of everything Ueshiba did-and demonstrable of what he tried to convey-all being discussed as a NON-AIKIDO martial tradition by aikido teachers and students.

It is facinating to watch.

DH
09-11-2008, 09:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0&feature=related

Now you simply need to do some more spine work and sinking, then do it from seiza.

Then we'd have you...a newbie at this...replicating a famous Ueshiba technique.
The beginning of O'Murray

MM
09-12-2008, 06:34 AM
Can't be bothered to type it all out, but p.158 of "Aikido Masters: Prewar Students Of Morihei Ueshiba" has Rinjiro Shirata talking about another instance of a mess of people pushing Ueshiba and going nowhere but backwards.

Hello Rennis,
Probably from Aiki News 63. I have it quoted in post #1. I don't have my Aikido Masters book in front of me so I can't check to make sure.

Thanks,
Mark

MM
09-12-2008, 06:41 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0&feature=related

Now you simply need to do some more spine work and sinking, then do it from seiza.

Then we'd have you...a newbie at this...replicating a famous Ueshiba technique.
The beginning of O'Murray

Yep. That vid was done before our visit up there. :) I had multiple failures that were addressed. Still working them out, but getting better. The goal is by 3 years. I'm a year and a half away.

As for the rest ... LOL. I'd have to change over to being Irish and the Scots blood in me would revolt.

MM
09-13-2008, 12:52 PM
This isn't Ueshiba, but it does reference push tests.

From Westbrook and Ratti's Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere

This is just a small excerpt. There is a page or so going over push tests.


He will push and you will neutralize his power as if you were a rock against which his power was being discharged. In advanced stages of the art, you should be able to rechannel the force he is trying to use against you, and even be able to push back several men as they strain against you to no avail.

MM
09-24-2008, 10:59 AM
Kazuaki Tanahashi talks about trying to push Ueshiba. He mentions Saito trying to push Ueshiba over, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpWY58LWaRE

Demetrio Cereijo
09-24-2008, 01:31 PM
Gaku Homma Kancho about the subject:

Speaking from experience, I can relate my feelings about being an uchideshi and uke to the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Perhaps only those students who actually practiced with the Founder will truly understand my feelings. As full-time students of the Founder, our respect for him was of course paramount. Especially towards the end of his life, if the Founder asked his students to “push against him as hard as they could”, there was not one student among us who could do that. It was not that we were not able to physically push him, it was that we couldn’t.
http://www.nippon-kan.org/abroad/scotland/sensei_ki_scotland.html

MM
09-24-2008, 01:57 PM
Wow, cool, Demetrio. Thanks!

Demetrio Cereijo
09-25-2008, 12:19 AM
I suppose you've read the complete article, isn't it.

DH
09-25-2008, 12:55 AM
I suppose you've read the complete article, isn't it.
http://www.nippon-kan.org/abroad/sco..._scotland.html


Here is a quote from the article.

Deceptive teaching methods are not the responsibility of students. All students begin their practice as innocent beginners; especially younger students just beginning their own life journey. Instructors who prey on young minds with promises of magic “Ki” powers exploit this innocence. Instructors who use this method seem to be experts in their field, seem to have discovered the “essence” of Aikido through years of research and study. As I mentioned previously, “Ki” is only a part of the word Aikido, and cannot be extracted individually. Only by practicing Aikido techniques as a whole do aspects of “Ki” become absorbed into our mind and body consciousness, not the other way around.

Look at the highlighted bold items.I read this and find it to be the source of so much that is wrong. While decrying deceptive practices by "teaching experts"-it states a fallicy that KI cannot be extracted and practiced individually "outside of Aikido."
Someone go tell the Chinese. Or even other Japanese Schools that outdo Aikido with aiki.
It's not a bad article and he is of course speaking out of what he knows, but again, imagine being the guy telling him "Yes you CAN teach it in a condensed fashion outside of kata?" Imagine opening up *that can of worms.*
More anger, more denial, more debate...till he feels it and goes..."Oh!" I didn't know, that I didn't know you could do that.