Sex … Push hands is the most fun you can have without laughing. (original quote by Woody Allen)
Push Hands workshops are available for anyone, and especially all martial artists, from MMA to Akido. The body mechanics from T’ai Chi Ch’uan are a helpful base, but push hands can be taught to people of all ages and physical conditions. Of course, T’ai Chi practitioners are usually the people who want to gain a deep understanding of push hands, but push hands is a beneficial practice for anyone desiring a meditative method of energy exchange and communication with others.
Push hands workshops are progressive. The sequence below makes spontaneous push hands easier to grasp — structured drills that help attain the goal of spontaneous style.
- One Handed Pushing
- Two Handed Pushing
- Shaolu (peng, lu, ji, an)
- Dalu (tsai, lieh, chou, kao)
- T’ai Chi Broadsword, 2 person
- The 88 Move Combat Form
- T’ai Chi Spear, 2 person
- Spontaneous Style, or “Natural Boxing”
The final learning of Spontaneous Style is something students actually practice from the beginning, but are just not very good at. Often they cannot sustain the relaxed focus, almost like someone who can’t stand to be tickled and must stop. By this I mean that beginners become so incredulous when they are pushing hands and it works — when they deflect incoming force without using any strength and find an opening to uproot their push-mate — that they sometimes stop the play in disbelief. The energy comes through you and not from you, but from a “higher power” — the power of the earth and the cosmos, of gravity and polar magnetism. Unique to T’ai Chi, it makes all the hours, years and decades of training worth every minute.