Michael Takatsuno’s Biography


After spending my younger years as a tennis player(playing competitively as a 10 year old), I trained in martial arts earning black belts in two different styles.  As a result of years of hard, physical training, my back gave out, leading me to years of searching for a cure.  

I created PUSH TherapySM out of a need to fix my own chronic back pain.  I had spent my early years as an athlete, playing competitive tennis and training in martial arts until I was 28 years old. After 20 years of pushing my body to it’s limits, it finally gave out.  I thought I was invincible, until I realized I wasn’t.

After 4 years of chronic back pain and countless visits to doctors, therapists and anyone else that I hoped would help me, I was still in constant pain.  A friend of mine introduced me to an old school  Bodyworker and early disciple of Ida Rolf, the founder of “Rolfing”, named William “Dub” Leigh.  After several treatments, I no longer had daily pain, but it would return if I exercised or pushed myself in any way.  

I was fascinated that Dub’s treatments could fix my back after so many others had failed.  I decided to learn his work and become one of his students.  After training under Dub, I discovered I had a knack for healing others.  The treatments I learned under Dub were helpful in getting clients out of pain, but were not effective in keeping the symptoms from returning.  

At one of my training sessions with Dub, an assistant mentioned that I had one of the tightest bodies he had ever seen. After spending most of my life working out and creating hard, tight muscles my whole body had developed a chronic state of tension.  The only method to fight this constant tension was to practice daily stretching and get regular treatments.  Neither of which resulted in long-term change or addressed the source of my problem.

This assistant mentioned to me that I needed to practice Tai Chi to learn to loosen my muscles and joints.  His teacher was in Wisconsin and his teachers teacher was in San Francisco, where I lived.  After many more months of frustration over not finding a long-term solution to my pain and tension issues, I looked up this Taichi teacher in San Francisco.

Benjamin “Pang-jeng Lo” was not exactly easy to find, but once I attended his class, I knew this was no ordinary way to train the body.  After spending years training in tennis and martial arts, I soon discovered this form of Tai Chi, the Yang Style Short Form, was the most physically challenging training I had ever encountered.

Ben’s form of training pushed me to collapse every single class.  Through Ben’s teaching and constant training, I learned to strengthen key core muscles, while simultaneously developing suppleness and mobility in the rest of my muscles and my joints.  The more I trained, the better I felt.  I didn’t feel stiff and tight all the time and my muscles and joints became more supple.  I literally felt like I was 18 years old again.

After many years of practicing Yang Style Tai Chi, I started teaching classes hoping my clients would learn to build strength and suppleness in their bodies.  I found after several years that most people do not have the time nor the interest to practice a discipline that requires years to learn.

After many years of practicing and teaching Tai Chi, I decided to take the training principles that I learned from Ben and apply them to unique exercises that would retrain specific areas of the body.  This was the origin of Tension Release TrainingSM and PUSH Strength TrainingSM.  My vision is that people learn to be mobile and pain-free throughout their lifetime and not let injury or age be a deterent to living a full and active life. 

Michael Takatsuno