A Glimpse Into Internal Power Training – The Push Test

The push test is a very practical way of testing the quality of one’s solo training for internal power.  As explained in Weakest Direction Theory is BS, the body, when properly trained, acts as an omni-directional structure.  This allows the practitioner of internal power to neutralize any incoming force by diffusing it throughout the structure rather than having to surrender to it or resist against it.  Either you can do it or you can’t.  There’s no way to fake it.

Ueshiba Demonstrating a Push Test in Hawaii

Ueshiba Demonstrating a Push Test in Hawaii

The push test is a test of the quality of relaxation and symmetry practiced in solo standing practice. Initially it’s a static test for neutral balance; no force expression.  It’s a small portion of the final goal of internal power training, which is to be able to move freely in a dynamic symmetrical balance while expressing force in three dimensions.

The process is simple.  The person being tested maintains a relaxed body, fueled by intent, open in 6 directions (up/down, left/right, front/back).  The pusher applies force in multiple directions from multiple angles to make sure the pushee is able to express neutral balance in all directions.  The pushes start soft then gradually build in strength depending upon the ability of the person being pushed.  As they say in the kata descriptions within the Bujinkan densho, There is a Kuden.

The following 2 videos are compilations of various push tests from the past couple training sessions demonstrated by my training partner, Jaime Morrell and myself.  These are meant to give you a glimpse into one aspect of how we train.  They are certainly not the entirety of the practice, but a foundational part of it.  If there is interest, we intend to create more videos expanding and explaining how we train and why we do what we do.

 

I would encourage you to share your own training drills and practices with us in the comments section below.

 

Jon

Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach -Level 2, an ACE and FMS certified Personal Trainer, and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budo Taijutsu warrior arts of the Bujinkan for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidoshi. He is the founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, as well as numerous other online training programs.

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About The Author

Jon

Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach -Level 2, an ACE and FMS certified Personal Trainer, and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budo Taijutsu warrior arts of the Bujinkan for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidoshi. He is the founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, as well as numerous other online training programs.

7 Comments

  • adam

    November 4, 2014

    Please explain

  • Jon

    November 4, 2014

    Hi Adam,

    Which part? 🙂

    Jon

  • ady

    November 8, 2014

    hi jon,

    interesting exercise.

    The person being tested maintains a relaxed body, fueled by intent, open in 6 directions (up/down, left/right, front/back).

    would you explain the phrase “fueled by intent” with an example? thanx

    with regards
    ady

  • Adam

    November 9, 2014

    Hi Jon

    Please give me your email address so we can discuss further.
    Can you explain 6 directions intention please?

    Thanks
    Adam

  • Jon

    November 9, 2014

    Adam,

    Contact me at Jon@warriorfitness.org

    Jon

  • Jarell

    November 20, 2014

    Jon, how do you further develop such omni-directional structure and internal power? Because I’m certain that not all martial arts account for this training. Is the push test a method of training itself, or is it only used as a measure of your development in the training?

  • Jon

    November 20, 2014

    Hey Jarell,

    The push test is both a method of training, and a test of whether your solo training is working. When being pushed, the person must (counter-intuitively for us lifters) relax under load. The goal is to allow the connective tissue to absorb and transfer the load rather than the muscles.

    Jon

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