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ronin_10562
07-08-2001, 02:44 PM
I couldn't pick either one. Add sinking and I'll choose it. As for pulling or pushing it depends on where and what technique you may be doing.

Walt

mornmd
07-08-2001, 03:21 PM
I dont'know why, but I don't like this question. Whenever I push or pull, usually I am not blending correctly, as my sensei has pointed out (muscling it, or compensating for poor timing). So in one way, I don't think there should be any pushing or pulling in an aiki art, other than what is given in the attack.

When I see aiki working at its best, there is no pushing or pulling - it almost looks effortless and efficient at the same time. That's why I think it is a lame question.

Matthew

REK
07-08-2001, 03:41 PM
Yeah, I agree, Matthew. I wonder what others think...?

Oh, and Walt, do you have many students from Sing-Sing? Officers, of course...

Rob

Anne
07-08-2001, 04:40 PM
I couldn't choose between pulling and pushing, too. In my opinion, both cases mean that someone forces an action upon a partner/opponent. This normaly means that there had been no connection or flow of energy. Forcing someone through a technique wouldn't add much harmony to the universe...

So, how about guiding and blending? These words feel more like some equal and respected partners doing something together, more like "aiki"...

yours,
Anne

Brian
07-08-2001, 05:04 PM
Not being a definitive source on what words truly mean, I decided to ask my good friend Webster. Below are the first definitions of both push and pull as they appear in the 1979 printing of Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (Unabridged Encyclopedic Edition).

Push, v.s. 1. to press against a thing so as to move it.

Pull, v.t.; pulled, pt., pp.; pulling, ppr. [ME pullen; AS. pullian.]
1. to exert force on in such a way as to cause to move toward or after the source of the force; to drag, tug, draw, attract, etc.

In my meager year or so of aikido experience, I have observed that the techniques, generally, consist of three steps.

1. Get off the line of attack.
2. Take uke's balance.
3. Throw uke.

I would agree that guiding and blending are used to take uke's balance, but when it comes to the point where the throw is executed, I must say that a push or pull is implemented (that is, according to the above definitions of the words push and pull). Looking at the above definitions, I would venture that it is safe to say that when one pushes (which involves pressing), the object the force is being applied to moves away from the source of the force, and when one pulls, the object moves towards the source of the force. I can not claim to have seen every kata, waza, or technique, being only a 4th kyu, but of those I have, I would say that the majority, when the throw must be made, involve a push rather than a pull, which is why I voted push.

Nacho
07-08-2001, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by mornmd
So in one way, I don't think there should be any pushing or pulling in an aiki art, other than what is given in the attack.

When I see aiki working at its best, there is no pushing or pulling - it almost looks effortless and efficient at the same time. That's why I think it is a lame question.

Matthew

Matthew why do you call the question as lame? I prefer to think that lame was your answer.. This weekend in a seminar Kanai Sensei was telling us that in Aikido we have to use all our muscles so that when we push we apply the maximus power to the throw.

Andre
07-08-2001, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by Brian

Push, v.s. 1. to press against a thing so as to move it.

Pull, v.t.; pulled, pt., pp.; pulling, ppr. [ME pullen; AS. pullian.]
1. to exert force on in such a way as to cause to move toward or after the source of the force; to drag, tug, draw, attract, etc.



I don't think either of these definitions really apply well to aikido. Both imply that the pusher/puller is the source of the force being applied. Usually it is uke who provides the force and nage just redirects it. And the direction is rarely "toward or after the source" but rather around nage... maybe tangental to the source?

I've best heard it described as "leading" rather than pushing or pulling

daedalus
07-08-2001, 09:47 PM
Q: Is aikido a "pushing" or "pulling" art?

A: IMHO, No.

;^)

Brian

TAC One
07-09-2001, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by ronin_10562
I couldn't pick either one. Add sinking and I'll choose it. As for pulling or pushing it depends on where and what technique you may be doing.
Walt

I agree. But I think that when nage pulls, his partner will pull too. When nage pushes his uke is likely to push too.

That's why I prefer seeing aikido as a pushing art. It is likely that will be more attention to Ma Ai and the practice will tend to be more dinamic.

I think that quite all techniques can be done in both ways (pushing or pulling): shihonage for instance. I strongly prefer the pushing one. It tends to be more about relationship (action reaction) that about strength vs strength.

That's only my opinion, though :)

Actually, the question is very interesting to me. :o

Tac

andrew
07-09-2001, 03:21 AM
I think it's an awfully good poll question, debate wise. Neither really feels correct to most people.
I voted for pushing, because I think it's closer. When you draw a bokken, mar sampla, you push it out rather than pull. And I certainly push a lot. (All about where you're pushing.)

andrew

wildaikido
07-09-2001, 03:53 AM
Taken from Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

"There is an old saying preserving a secret of jujutsu, 'Push when pulled, and pull when pushed.'"
"When the same concepts are explained by the principle of Aikido, it is, 'TURN when pushed, and ENTER when pulled.'"

This about says it all I think.

Anne
07-09-2001, 06:59 AM
How about this:

:ai: :ki:
harmony, guiding, blending, leading,etc

:do:
from a more technical point of view, when you have to finish a technique by pinning or throwing you have to use pushes and pulls to some extent (in my experience best throws are when you can keep on leading uke and "let them fall by themselves". But this requires a committed attack which is a problem for many people - not only for beginners.

So, Aikido on the mat can involve pushes/pulls to finish a guiding/leading motion.

Just an idea.

yours,
Anne

ian
07-11-2001, 05:18 AM
I'd be in a bit of disagreement with previous posts, abd with the vote - I would absolutely say that it is more of a pushing than a pulling art. Why else did Ueshiba spend half of his life trying to push a tree? (rather than pulling it).

I have noticed that with many ju-jitsu people they pull a lot more, trying to get close and pull people in for a more 'wrestling' style approach. Aikido is all about extension and that involves pushing.

Fair point that you shouldn't be forcing uke, but it is all about 'over-extending' and very few people do that naturally so there must be some pressure from Nage, but it is in the same direction as uke. i.e. for me it isn't 'if they push you pull, if they pull you push' it is:

'if they pull you push, if they push, you do a tenkan and push with them.'

One big disadvantage of pulling is that you can easily pull people into your centre. To me you must never let anyone get within the sphere just in front of your centre. If this occurs you need to bend your arms to manipulate people (losing extension), and if they are stronger the can just over-power you and prevent you mvoing out of the way.

Ian

mornmd
07-11-2001, 09:43 AM
Nacho,

Far be it for me to disagree with a sensei, but the idea that I should use all my muscles in my techniques (pushing and pulling) is not very aiki.

I train in a variant of aikijutsu (variant of daito ryu in which O-Sensei's aikido is based), and an interesting anecdote comes to mind about using your muscles. As part of the testing for shodan, there is a self defense line at our dojo where the student being tested must defend against over 100 attacks, some with weapons. Recently I watched two people being tested. One was a young very healthy guy who was an excellent practitioner of our art, but a bit nervous and tense. He used atemi frequently, and appeared to use many of his muscles. His defenses were successful, but he quickly became winded, which surprised me because of his excellent health/conditioning.

Another student took his time, blended, redirected energy more and was not as fatigued. My point is that with a relaxed but alert approach, it went more smoothly. Both students gave competent defenses, but when attacked I belive that using too many muscles can work against you. If you need visual proof of this, look at the photographs of O-Sensei in action. He looks serene, certainly not fatigued, and the throws almost effortless.

All of this has had an important impact on me, as my old natural reactions were to tense up when acting as nage. I aspire to be more relaxed.

Matthew

Richard Harnack
07-11-2001, 09:57 AM
Looks like you are taking it on this one.

I have to agree with all of the above. Perhaps a different question. If you really want to drive everyone totally nuts ask,
Is your favorite word used to describe Aikido:
Entering
Blending?
:)

akiy
07-11-2001, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
Looks like you are taking it on this one.

I have to agree with all of the above. Perhaps a different question.
Nah -- I think it's a good question in and of itself. It's certainly brought up some healthy discussions. I know that some very experienced people have spent some time thinking about this issue and it's been on my mind for a while. Might as well bring it up and see what others think, huh?

I personally disagree with the notion that aikido is neither "pushing" nor "pulling". If it were neither, then nage might as well "not be there," in my thought. If that were true, uke may attack but he or she wouldn't be affected at all...
If you really want to drive everyone totally nuts ask,
Is your favorite word used to describe Aikido:
Entering
Blending?
:)
Well, I did bring up the subject of the difference between irimi and tenkan (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=938) (outside of the movements themselves), but it seemed to be a short-lived discussion...

-- Jun

Nacho
07-11-2001, 11:20 AM
Matthew,

I read something like that, that in the Yagyu (someone correct me I'm not sure if it was spelledlike that) The students had to test under 1000 attacks.. but that was to try to do just technique and no free efforts.. but IN technique you have to use your muscles too.
And you say about O Sensei, his students always say that in his early days his technique was stronger.. and later more refined.. Many Senseis say that first you have to struggle so that then you know what works and what doesn't. And, as I was telling you.. this weekend Kanai Sensei was here..imagine that he must have been struggling many years, and he still says that he uses all of his muscles, because the movements in aikido are not mystical, but a very logical coordination of mind, muscles and joints.

bones
07-11-2001, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by akiy

I personally disagree with the notion that aikido is neither "pushing" nor "pulling". If it were neither, then nage might as well "not be there," in my thought.


I personally disagree with anyone personally disagreeing that aikido is neither a "pushing" nor "pulling" art. Why does it have to be either? Is leading someone in a circle pushing or pulling? If i push someone's arm to the mat, does it pull them down?

This fits into my definition of a philosophical discussion: trying to change the subject to be whatever makes your argument right.

Aikido is life.
Beer is life.
Aikido is beer.
Is beer a pushing or pulling beverage?

-e. preston

mornmd
07-11-2001, 02:10 PM
Nacho,

I think you and I can agree to disagree. In my opinion, the highest form of the art, is a coordinated movement that in reality uses very little force. I believe this is true for my art (nihon goshin aikido) as well as other aiki arts. Sure, force is used with atemis and other movements. But when a blend is good, there nage should not have to "use all his muscles." If you disagree with this, I respect your opinion. But even in this stage of my training, I have seen witnessed this "higher form" of aiki several times. It is what I hope to achieve through repetetive training (so called instinctive or muscle memory), relaxation and practice.

Matthew

deepsoup
07-11-2001, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by bones
Is beer a pushing or pulling beverage?

-e. preston

Well there shouldn't be any controversy there. Real beer is a pulling beverage of course, do bars not have handpumps in Colorado? :)

Sean
x

PS:
Back on-topic, a few people have explained why they went for 'pushing' rather than 'pulling'. (I went for 'pushing too; if I had to choose, I'd say aikido is a pushing art, and judo is a 'pulling' art.)

But I see in the poll, actually more people voted 'pulling', but no-one has said why, anyone care to comment?

Jim23
07-11-2001, 06:45 PM
I think people are splitting hairs here - hear?

Aikido is 100% pushling.

Now we all agree.

Jim23

Richard Harnack
07-11-2001, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by akiy

Nah -- I think it's a good question in and of itself. It's certainly brought up some healthy discussions. I know that some very experienced people have spent some time thinking about this issue and it's been on my mind for a while. Might as well bring it up and see what others think, huh?

I personally disagree with the notion that aikido is neither "pushing" nor "pulling". If it were neither, then nage might as well "not be there," in my thought. If that were true, uke may attack but he or she wouldn't be affected at all...
-- Jun

Well, Jun, if you are going to be that way about it, then I will have to answer the poll "Yes". :)

akiy
07-11-2001, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
Well, Jun, if you are going to be that way about it, then I will have to answer the poll "Yes". :)
Heh -- smart aleck! (Should I have explicitly used xor instead?)

-- Jun

Andre
07-12-2001, 07:44 AM
Does a wheel push or pull when it is turning? I think like aikido, it could be argued both ways...

Richard Harnack
07-12-2001, 08:27 AM
Jun, et. al.-
In blending or entering, the Aikidoka must respond to the attack given. Hence my "Yes".

My primary objection to the "push" - "pull" dialectic is that both are active verbs. In other words, Aikido is a pure defensive art, thus pushing-pulling relate more directly to Judo or Jujitsu.

I do use "pushing" exercises and "pulling" exercises to help train and fine tune responsiveness. The ultimate idea is for the Aikidoka to be able to "read" the energy and intention behind Uke's attack in order to respond appropriately.

I do not share the view that Aikido is a special case of jujitsu as some would have it.

TAC One
07-12-2001, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by akiy

Nah -- I think it's a good question in and of itself. It's certainly brought up some healthy discussions. I know that some very experienced people have spent some time thinking about this issue and it's been on my mind for a while. Might as well bring it up and see what others think, huh?
-- Jun

So, what's your current opinion?

Tac

akiy
07-12-2001, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by TAC One
So, what's your current opinion?
Me? As of tonight, I'd put aikido into the "pushing" category. My overly simplified view (since I really can't think too complexifiedly) is that pulling offers people a chance for disconnection and an opening.

And on to some random thoughts on the subject here.

The old judo saying goes, "When pulled, push; when pushed, pull." I believe it was judo's own Mifune sensei who changed the last "pull" to "turn"...

And pushing doesn't necessarily have to happen in a straight line, of course.

Katatedori tenkan (aka tai no henko), for me, is a push -- even (especially?) while turning. The turning part of iriminage ura is, for me, also a push.

And, lastly, I think it may be possible to "push" someone from behind, even if you're in front of them.

How's that for my current opinion?

-- Jun

Fausto
07-13-2001, 11:05 AM
From what i understand when you go irimi you kind of push uke and when you go tenkan you kind of pull uke.

Irimi: You push yourself into uke's sphere.
Tenkan: You pull uke into your sphere.

Arrivederci :cool:

AikidoSteve
07-14-2001, 04:01 AM
I did not answer the questionif aikido is push or pull, because I try not to think in terns of push or pull. Push and pull are good general terms for the lay person, and when trying to explain certain beginning concepts. But on a higher level, it seems to me that it's not so much a "push" as it is an "extension" from your center, using your ki. Further, I don't think one pulls. If so where does one pull, to their center, and then what? If it's not to ones center then it must be in another direction. So, therefore pulling is also "extending ki" or from another viewpoint it could be "catching" the energy and extending it in another direction. When one is "caught" it almost feels like a pull for a moment, but I would argue it's still an extension.

Yours in Aikihood

davoravo
07-19-2001, 01:27 AM
Do the people who like pulling fall into the "collapsing" as opposed to extending group?
I personally find pulling movements (toward my centre) do not work well although there are some movements that feel like pulling but are connected to or away from my centre so I am going to define those as pushing just to be cantankerous (eg movement from a Ura grip attack where one hand "pulls" but I always try not to be yanking toward my centre).

I push in irimi and in tenkan I push in a circle around my centre or blend and turn and let uke keep pushing.

George S. Ledyard
07-25-2001, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by ronin_10562
I couldn't pick either one. Add sinking and I'll choose it. As for pulling or pushing it depends on where and what technique you may be doing.

Walt

I would say that there is no pushing or pulling in Aikido. Everything that I formerly thought involved pulling turned out to involve changes in the level and angle of ones extension and had no contraction at all (hence was not pulling).

When we are operating in three dimensions spacially, each dimension is controlled by a specific part or parts of the body.

Movement in the vertical plane is controlled by the legs by bending the knees and by the arms by changing the angle of extension (up, outwards, or down).

Movement in the horizontal plane is controlled by the hips and relative movement of the feet.

The biggest mistake that people make in their technique is to try to use the wrong parts of the body to produce movement in the wrong plane. Pushing and pulling are essentially movements in the horizontal plane therefore they don't work. You might point out that it is possible to push down to throw. I would counter that in order for you to truely "push" downwards you need to tilt your body forward. This breaks your aligment and presents serious openings for kaeshiwaza as well as moving your face forwad into range for the partner to strike.

Yamaguchi Sensei said that technique should involve no more effort than simply resting the weight of your arms on your partner. Notice, nothing here about "pushing" or "pulling". So the arms are all about extension.

What appears to be pulling is actually a change in the angle of extension. If you grab my arm when it is extended and then i change the angle of extension downwards between my feet, you will be drawn forward. It may feel like a pull but it is not. You can verify this by trying to pull the partner. If he is grounded pulling simply doesn't work.

Another way to draw the partner forwrd is to rotate the hips. With constant extension of the arms, hip rotation creates a yin energy into which the partner is drawn.

The principle to remember is that of a sphere rotating. At any instant in time, half of that sphere is yin and half is yang. Technique is created by placing that partner on the proper part of the rotation at the proper time. This concept is part of what is meant by kokyu or kokyu power.

All Aikido technique can be looked at in this manner. If you work at making the right parts of your body only work the correct dimensions your technque can begin to be very relaxed yet still be powerful.

mj
07-25-2001, 03:22 PM
Thanks :)
That's getting printed!

Chuck Clark
07-25-2001, 07:38 PM
Hi George,

Good stuff. I have always thought that "extension" and "pushing" are the same thing. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, I suspect.

I do think that there is absolutely no pulling.

Regards,

George S. Ledyard
07-25-2001, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by Chuck Clark
Hi George,

Good stuff. I have always thought that "extension" and "pushing" are the same thing. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, I suspect.

I do think that there is absolutely no pulling.

Regards,

It is a slight distinction. Originally I became fairly sure that there was no pulling in Aikido. But then it occurred to me that I should look at its opposite which is pushing.
At a certain point I began to believe that there is a difference between "extension" and "pushing".

For me extension is always an inherently balanced energy. There may be expansive energy but the expansion is always in balance with its opposite (centrifigal and centripedal) making the state nuetral at any point in time. Pushing on the other hand is outward extension that is not in balance with its opposite.

As a practical example I would say that if my partner were to stand in from of me and "extend" into me and I were to jump away they wouldn't fall forward but if they "pushed" and I jumped away suddenly they would fall forward.

Anyway, the concept has been useful for me. It's the kind of thing I feel rather than something that is visibly obvious.

Chuck Clark
07-26-2001, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard

As a practical example I would say that if my partner were to stand in from of me and "extend" into me and I were to jump away they wouldn't fall forward but if they "pushed" and I jumped away suddenly they would fall forward.

George,

I agree with the example, however, I call that having good, centered posture. However we visualize and articulate what's happening, I suspect we're doing pretty much the same thing.

I do think it's important to have whatever explanation we use be very close to what's happening. There are way too many people who do one thing and then describe it using what I call the "Wiley Coyote School of Physics." It causes lots of misunderstanding.

Regards,