Mark Freeman wrote:
Whoever is doing the pushing has a mind, their mind preceeds their body, when they start to push it is at the minds bidding, it is this that is redirected as Mike describes, through the path to ground, once the mind is 'earthed' for want of a better term the physical body is held until the mind is changed.
Just to be clear, Mark, I don't quibble with any visualization you want to use (Ueshiba's visualization had to do with kami, so whatever floats your boat), but I don't need to pretend anything about uke's mind. I just re-direct forces using out-of-the-ordinary-but-not-magical body/mind skills. Each to his own.
Incidentally, the jo-trick can be done or approximated by someone who knows how to re-direct forces using a stiff/strong arm/shoulder. But that highlights an important point. Part of the skills of ki involve learning how to manipulate forces with the mind, but an equally important part is establishing and training a connection out to the extremities. How you 'bring ki out to the hands' is as important a point as being able to use the hara and force/kokyu/whatever directions. The interesting thing that catches my attention about Ueshiba doing the jo-trick is not that he does the jo-trick... how to do the trick is something I already understand... but the fact that you can see how relaxed he is while the forces come out to his hand. I.e., his is not "muscular ki" but is the real soft variety and it's trained very powerfully to be able to show, even momentarily, this kind of forces at such an extension. I.e., it is worth a "wow" because of that, not because of the principle behind the trick.