I find it strange how Ueshiba sometimes denied his considerable conventional strength.
I think he loved tricking and surprising people.
I think this led to much confusion about his physical abilities.
Just my opinions.
I think Mark's spot on. He was talking about two different things. Just that no one knew enough to ask the difference.
Stan asked Sagawa what Takeda was like. What his muscles were like? Why........................? It's how he related to "strength" at the time. Takeda was known all over Japan for being a freakin monster of power. Sagawa's reply? That Takeda's arms were thin and very soft. But his forearms were huge.
So his power, the basis for it-was never discussed.
Think of Sagawa being interviewed by us-today. What sort of questions do you think we would be asking.
People ask questions based on their knowledge base. It's why you'd get a different interview with Oppenheimer-dependant on you had sending a shoe salesman or a physicist for interview.
It all depends on who's asking the questions, who's forthcoming or just smiling at you.
I think Ueshiba answered quite appropriately. What was his meaning when he said "Come try to throw this little old man." Or Takeda when he stormed the stage at the budokan and trashed a bunch of judoka uninvited, insulting them all the way and calling himself- "a little old man."
Strength and power are not necessarily the same thing.
One thing worth noting about Ushiba's strength.
He was with Deguchi in Ayabe, but it was only after Takeda's lengthy stay that Deguchi noted Takeda's "aiki" and was so impressed with Takeda that he suggested Takeda change the name of the art of aiki jujutsu.
What did he *see*, that he didn't *see*-before in Ueshiba in all that time?
Oddly it was only after this long visist and daily training with Takeda for over 6 months that Ueshiba received persmission to teach. What sort of training was Takeda focusing on during that time?