Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:18 pm

Greetings Yang Taijiquan friends,

It's been a while since I visited here. I was busy with a house I bought and transitioning out of the MMA scene. I circled back into Yang Taijiquan by training with coach Chris Pei at USWA (United States Wushu Academy) here in DC metro area. If you know him, he spent a lot of time with great teachers like Yang Zhen Jie, Yang Zhen Dou, Fu Zhong Wen, and Yang Jun. He helped with many Yang Taiji seminars back in the 1990's.

Anyhow, I got a lot of great details on the Long Form for the past 18 months, including push hands, applications, structural details with posture testing, and even something he said Yang Zhen jie taught called "striking hands" I do not know the chinese term, possibly Shou fa . Here is a demo video, apparently the Yangs' taught drills like this (co-operative and non-cooperative) in earlier generations and later changed it into Tui shou as it was softer and easier for the later generations. In the demo I show how striking hands can change to tui shou.


Please enjoy ( i will take this offline soon since it is sensitive information and I am playing around with it with friends and at a open sparring night at another school).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adpt3pgTE5w

Matt
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:51 pm

Greetings Matt,

The term for striking hands would be da shou 打手, which is in fact the older term for two-person drills. The term push hands, tui shou 推手, is relatively modern. The short taiji classic commonly known as the Song of Pushing Hands is in fact titled Da Shou Ge 打手歌, "The Song of Striking Hands." The word dǎ is actually a very multi-purpose verb, and can mean fighting, playing, doing, making a phone call, etc. Most of the older taiji texts refer to dǎshǒu 打手, or to dāshǒu 搭手, which means something like "joining hands."

The drills in your demo are interesting. They almost have a Wing Chun quality.

Take care,
Louis
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:06 pm

Thank you Louis for the translation.

Do you have the song of Strike hands translated. I'd be interested to read.

I found this online as "song of push hands"

Be conscientious in Peng, Lu, Chi, and An.

Upper and lower coordinate,
and the opponent finds it difficult to penetrate.

Let the opponent attack with great force;
use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.

Attract to emptiness and discharge;
Zhan, Lian, Nian, Sui,
no resisting no leting go.
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Hi Matt,

That's the text, yes. I've translated it also; it's in both of my books.

Take care,
Louis
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:48 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGZyiJartFk

Good drill, have done similar things with Si Kung Wu and his Academy Instructors.
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:42 pm

Bob, I did not really see the similarities in what Wu was showing in the video and what I demonstrated. Were the Wu folks doing it at co-operative flow two-person drills? It looked like application training. The drills I showed were more co-operative flow attack/counter attack drills.

As for translation stuff my friend Glen has this to say:

"In 打手 Dǎ​shou - meaning thug, the shou is a neutral tone. Where in this 打手 Dǎshǒu the tone is pronounced.

打拳 Dǎ​quán - is 'Practice Fighting' (shadowboxing) but in martial arts there are hand/ arm attacks, grappling, kicking, and weapons so in training you practice stuff against an imaginary opponent at full speed and power but then only practice certain things with a training partner. The only reasonable thing to practice safely with another person is the hand techniques because using hands plus leg attacks is too easy to damage and really hurt the opponent because it's hard to pull back or stop a kick to your partner's knee if he doesn't see it. Plus it's all about practicing to learn better ways of fighting which is for both people to learn and gain from, so 打手 Dǎshǒu is just using arm techniques and stepping.

If you know and have practiced alongside the other person/ training partner for some time and you both know your strengths and have good control of speed and power then it can be done as 散手 Sǎnshǒu (free hands) meaning anything goes instead of prearranged attacks or one person attacks, the other defends, which falls under another category called 'Contract Hands' where the rules of what techniques are agreed upon and accepted by both parties before starting.

'Tuishou' (fixed-step, moving-step, one arm, two arms) is a type of contract hands where the rule is only 'pushing' techniques will be used, and it became the standard form of 'Dashou' and the easiest way to go about testing skills but now it's been taken to a ridiculous extreme and the original intention of it has kind of been lost.

Doing 'Dashou' with a stranger can quickly turn into just a fight (打架 Dajia) when one person takes a cheap shot and the other retaliates.

'Pushing' is just one of many different attacking methods, so to really practice and become comfortable in the other striking methods there needs to be more variety of techniques. The most prevalent strike in Chinese martial arts is using the bones of forearms to attack and defend because they can cover such a large area from the below the wrist down to the tip of your elbow. But the ability to use them requires Standing (zhan zhuang) practice in order to condition them (just like how the fists first need conditioning that comes from holding a tight fist), and your training partners need to have done an equal amount of Standing Strengthening in so that you're both at roughly the same level and won't cringe with every arm on arm contact.

The saying 'The opponent attacks but I arrive first' means that the opponent launches an attack at your head but you can get your forearm up to strike his arm before it lands. With practice and trained power this can cause 打斷 Daduan (a break) or at least cause enough pain to disrupt his plan and you then have the initiative.

'Inside the school', with training partners that you know, you can do 打手 Dǎshǒu at a fast speed and only slightly pull the power on forearm contact and fully pull the strike when it's going to land on their head or other vital area. You don't want to cause an accidental 打斷 Daduan on your training partner but if you're both at a relatively equal level it's not really an issue. And even though it's an ideal occurrence in actual combat you would still be continuing to attack in order to get to the opponent's head or other 'finishing' technique. So the practice fighting (Dashou) is also looking to achieve these other goals to finish the fight because really 打斷 Daduan is not considered a 'finishing' move, even though technically it probably would be. So this method of practicing fighting makes for the closest approximation for fighting with the arms and working on stepping and mobility. Finding ways to safely train leg attacks is a whole other issue.

Really though all these ways of training and practicing are kind of just 'playing at fighting' because in a real fight anything could happen but even though it's a type of playing around (玩 Wán), in actual fighting you are 玩儿命 Wánr​mìng (playing with your life). So every practice/ exercise / training should be taken and done very seriously."
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:38 pm

more from Glenn:

搭手 Dāshǒu (I think was translated as Bridging Hands) is the older term for practice/ training to fight and kind of falling under that and including it is: 揉手 Róushǒu (Rubbing Hands); 打手 Dǎ​shǒu (Hitting/ Striking Hands); 盤手 Pánshǒu (Coiling Hands); 磨手 Moshǒu (Grinding Hands); and 揭手 Jiēshǒu (Lifting(?) Hands). In the mid-late 1800s they needed to find something that was in-between all the different methods so Tuishou (Pushing Hands) became the standard amongst different styles to compare skills without getting into a brawl yet still be something that's equally developed amongst the different styles.

There's a lot of Bridging training skills in older martial arts but it'd be hard to compare to what was incorporated into Xingyi and Bagua because the names may be the same but not necessarily the practice. 打手 Dǎ​shǒu is just a catch-all term for practicing striking in the different styles and they're kind of style specific and dependent upon having actual development before they're started. 磨手 Moshǒu (Grinding Hands) I'm fairly certain is more Baguazhang's thing and the exercises are brutally difficult because they require a genuine whole-body strength and you also need to work with someone who's at or near your same level of development.
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:49 pm

搭手 Dāshǒu goes back to the 1200s but the other terms are hard to date. There is mention that Roushou is originally a 'Feeding Crane Boxing practice' which was popular in Beijing; Panshou is a xingyi practice because it develops drilling, twisting, wringing etc. ; Moshou is a Bagua practice because it develops tui, tou, dai, ling, ban, kou, pi, and Jin. And Tuishou develops zhan, nian, lian, and sui, which is in all 3 styles so that's why it was chosen as the standard. Da(the Ji (skill) of Ji (Hitting))shou is just striking and Sanshou is more free fighting so neither of those would have been a good choice for a standard and safe way to test the skills between different schools. Dong Haichuan, Yang Luchan, Guo Yunshen all came up with this during meetings in Beijing.

from our Baguazhang: Moshou is actually 'Grinding the strength out' and it is a very quick way to judge skills because the lesser skilled person wouldn't be able to move the better guys arm at all and would likely hurt himself in the process. It's a lesser known partner drill/exercise because it takes two friends who are equal to drill it and develop together. If done as an exercise with 2 people who have vastly different skills the better guy would have to let the other person move his arm and then not try too hard when the movement switches and the other guy is trying to prevent him from moving his arm. So it doesn't really benefit either person.

there's also that article from a year or so ago where a Chen Taiji guy writes about need to do more Dashou (striking hands) because they've become too focused and Na Fa (Grasping methods) and the Tuishou isn't developing combat abilities the way it should be. It's also a long article and not really evidence that it existed in Chen village before the 1900s as it's written with the flavor of 'We need to catch up Chen Style with what the rest of the world is doing!'
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:57 pm

Matt,
Si Kung Wu is showing the application here not the training technique.
I do not know of an online video showing the training, only this one where the application is shown.
I, of course, first learned the training method, which was somewhat similar to the video you had posted, then the application at the Wu Academy, so when I saw what you had posted I thought it might be interesting to show what comes next.

Bob
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby ruben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:22 pm

Hi Matt!
I couldn´t see the video, Youtube said to me that it´s a private one.
Can you share it again?
Thank you,

Rubén
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:38 pm

Hello, video is private now. I had it public for a few days, but out of respect for Coach it is only available by request. if you have a youtube or Google+ account, you can login and reach me there on my youtube and I can add you to viewer list.
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby ruben » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:10 pm

Ok, Matt.
I´ll try to meet you there.
Thank you,

Rubén
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby Audi » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:57 pm

Hi Matt,

Very nice post with some interesting information about various types of partner practice.

My experience with these things is limited, but I want to present a slightly different nuance.

For me, Tai Chi is quite like other Chinese martial arts in having the same or similar strikes, kicks, punches, take downs, and locks. It is unlike them, however, in its training, core strategy, and preferred techniques.

I have been taught that Push Hands is different from sparring, but gradually turns into it as you allow greater freedom of separation, movement, and technique. What we learn in Push Hands is not just sensitivity or even a set of techniques, but the nature of energy (Jin) in as many variations of possible.

Within the simplest of the two-hand circles lie important lessons about dealing with strikes. Within the simple applications of the Eight Gates lie very nasty variations. The difference between what is nasty and what is not is not so much in whether it is a strike, push, pull, kick, take down, or joint lock, but rather in how the energy is applied. I think this snippet shows, for instance, a few variations of what the transition (a Ward Off Left) into our Ward Off Right could lead to besides Ward Off Right.

As you learn more about energy, the greater the range you have in how you apply techniques and in how you can defend against them. The core principles, however, are the same in all. Even though the core principles are the same, you cannot say that you have a full understanding of energy if all you learn to do is "push" or "pull."

I would also say that pushing cooperatively, pushing semi-cooperatively, pushing freely to test skills, and pushing for competition are all also different. If you have experience only in one area, it does not necessarily completely transfer into others.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby petr » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:16 am

Dear Matt,
could you please add me to the viewers list for the strike hands video on youtube. I triead to contact you on the discussion on your youtube channel but no reply yet.
Thank you very much,
Petr
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Re: Yang Taiji strike hands, strike before you push

Postby mls_72 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:42 pm

i will make it public for a few days. i did not see your email message.
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