Push hands is one of the essential concepts of Tai chi. It is hugely vital for the development of health and internal skills such as martial application. Push hands help you in understanding the body mechanics of martial art.
Push hands in Tai Chi teach you four main energies which are: listening, understanding, neutralizing and issuing. In making contact, Tai chi push hands teach you for main skills namely: connecting, following, sticking and adhering. As if that is not enough, it also teaches you four primary movement principles, namely: ward off, rollback press forward and press downward. Push hands also teach you how to move in various directions.
What Push Hands Look Like
Tai chi push hands are an activity that engages two people and is made up of set patterns. Typically, its two people facing each other, connecting at the forearm and moving circular patterns. A good example is the famous Jet li movie called Twin Warriors. The movie brings out the picture clearly because the two twins were connected at the forearm and moving in a circular manner as they threw weight back and forth.
Tai Chi Push Hands Principles
These principles will not only help you be perfect in tai chi push hands but also will you integrate your outer and inner self through patience practice and perseverance. It is crucial to learn about the principles before getting to learn about basic push hands movements.
- Mind and body integration.
It is crucial to integrate your body and mind as this will help you to gain control over them and achieve the desired goals.
- Control of body movements
Once you get to align your mind and body together, body movements will start to follow automatically.
- Breathing calmly
Breathing plays a vital role in helping you to get peace of mind which is a necessity in tai chi push hands.
- Developing energy internally
The primary goal of tai chi is to develop internal energy and strength which you can exercise later in the real world. You will understand the power of energy if you are familiar with Yin Yang.
- Attain serenity
After getting to align all the mentioned principles together, you get to achieve a sense of calmness and peace of mind. If you watch the Tai Chi movies, you will get to see how the tai chi master has peace of mind, and they have no worries.
Tai chi push hands start simple and keep growing more complex. This is the same procedure that you assume for whether your intention in Martial, health or both. Martially minded persons will be required to pursue fighting and sparring routines. ‘’Fist movement is the basis of tai chi and hand push is the touchstone of fist movement.’’ These are the words of the father of tai chi, Mr. Chen Zhaokui.
- Stay Relaxed and Train Using Jin
This is the first step, and you ought to be relaxed and train with a partner using the four directions of power called Jin. Do not use your local strength or muscle. Maintain Jin at all times, and whenever your partner touches you; be ready to manifest the power.
- Start With Single-hand push hands
This is an excellent way to start practising push hands. In a single hand push, you use one hand to push just as the title goes. There are three methods of exercising that.
i. One move in a horizontal circle
One move in a horizontal circle is practised when your partner makes a closed step or an anticlockwise step. A closed step is defined when the partner moves his/her right foot and you too. An anticlockwise step is when he/she moves his/her right foot, and you move the opposite.
To practice push hands using this method, follow these steps:
- Overlap hands and ensure both wrists cross. The other hand should not move
- Using the overlapping hand, the opponent pushes your chest
- According to tai chi laws, sink your waist and draw in your chest as he/she pushes your chest
- Lead and convert the coming force to nothing by grasping the hand and leading it to nothing
- If he attacks again to convert the power by pushing the hand back to him in a horizontal circular manner.
- Your speed depends on the opponent’s speed
ii. One move in stereo circle
One move in stereo circle assumes the same technique as that of horizontal. Just turn upward and downwards. To practice follow these steps:
- The opponent attacks your head with his hand
- Slightly turn your chest right and evade
- Strike his hand to the lower right
- Since he will now be attacking at nothing attack his crotch
- The partner then sinks his/her waist and moves chest inwards
- Move his hand upward and downward in a circular manner
iii. One move in a free circle
In this move, there is no fixed moving direction, thus the name free circle. Assume the following steps:
- Make the wrists and the upper limbs agile. Ensure the lower body is steady.
- Grasps hands and start pushing each other casually
- Do not lose your hand as you push
- Go low and make moves while you are low. Ensure your lower body is steady.
- While training for this type of push hands techniques, it is crucial to make the upper body agile while the lower boy should be stable. This will train you on how to be stable and make the pushes without falling down.
- Also while training ensures that you maintain eye contact with your opponent. This will help you know what the next move that he/she wants to make is, and you will get to prepare adequately on how to defend yourself.
After doing these three types of single-hands push regularly, you will have gained energy and stamina to advance to the other types of push hands techniques. The different types of push hands techniques are: stationary two-handed push hands and moving push hands patterned.