October 29, 2016

Martial Arts

Tui Shou Push Hands

This is Tai Chi awareness energy training, developing sensitivity to changing levels of intensity and angles of attack. The student learns the art of sticking connecting to their partner whilst negating, deflecting and opening their partner’s line of attack. This section is trained slowly to ensure that the body alignment and rooting is understood. Sensitivity can only come about by the softening of the arms, hands – the idea being to loosen all tension so that the opponent can be read through feel rather than by sight, this feel is called Ting Jing
This is the basic push hands method used to develop the primary hands – that part of the arm employed from the below the elbow to the fingers.

Primary and Corner Hands

In this section the student learns the corner hands; this is the idea of guarding against the elbow and the use of the elbow in naturalization techniques through defence and attack. When the lower arms are engaged with the attacker the corner hands are then used. The student learns the art of using the elbows almost like a second set of hands, hence the name corner hands. The skills employed in this section are supported by the skills in the first section, developing more complex manoeuvres to override the opponent’s attack. Again, the training is slow to build on good responses with the correct body skills. The students learn to react by what feels right rather than by freezing in the moment of change. It’s this freezing of the mind and body which the student must overcome if the push hands skills are to be achieved. The corner set also employs other areas of the body such as hip and shoulder which will be taught in class.

Next the idea of structure testing is introduced, this being the the art of rooting whilst using the skills learnt in section one and two. The use of sensitivity is of no use if when touched you are pushed back, or you lose your balance, or worst of all fall. The idea of soft is not a weak posture but a strong one, where the attacker is lead into a false impression as to what is really happening. In order to make yourself soft you first have to make yourself strong this is Tai Chi paradox training methods. Through the structure test method the student not only begins to understand the concept of rooting, he or she is now introduced to channelling. Channelling is where the student attains the concept of letting the force of the attacker pass through them, simultaneously grounding and projecting another force back towards the attacker. Tai Chi’s methods of partnered work differ considerably from other Marital Arts – this has to be felt rather than seen. This section builds power into the student whilst developing Peng Jing energy – the art of expanding into the attacker to uproot them and take control of their centre. Grounding, softening, absorbing and projecting skills are developed in this section.