Drew Scott wrote:
I wish we could see the event in this picture from various angles.
Try this video clip: http://www.neijia.com/jotrick2.avi
Bear in mind that Ueshiba is old and the uke is over-acting. However, at a couple of moments you can see that Ueshiba is indeed setting up a resistance despite the amount of moment-arm working against him. And he is relaxed while doing it. I suspect he was better at it when he was younger and stronger.... but it's still an overdone example, IMO, of the power you can develop with certain training methods.
This reminds me of something one of my sensei's showed me once. We were doing work on maintaining a strong center in seiza, and I was sitting on the floor with a partner pushing on my shoulders from the front. Although I could maintain my posture, it was a definite effort. Sensei came over and said "align your forearms under his and lift gently as you do this" and as I found the alignment he was talking about, suddenly the pressure redistributed and the whole exercise became easier. When my turn came to provide the pressure to my partner, sensei showed him the same thing and I was amazed at how well it distributed the force I was trying to apply. It wasn't mystical "Ki" stuff, it was utilizing leverage and body mechanics, though from the outside, it might well have looked like some kind of mystical power, as the change in position was fairly subtle. Looking at this image, I have to wonder if there is something similar going on. O'Sensei's lifetime of martial study had to have given him an immense understanding of the forces the human body can exert and the limitations of our physical structure.
Good point. In some ways, kokyu tricks do indeed involve shifting force directions and responsibilities, but not quite in the way you're talking about. But you should indeed always be sceptical and analytical. Here's a discussion of such tricks that is worth reading: