think we're all the same...most of us in the Martial Arts world i.e., "we love to keep learning".
I agree. I hope we can all continue to learn and hopefully learn from each other and urge each other onward on our respective paths. Thanks for your further details.
If you have any references on your patterns, mabe videos or articles i'd love to check them out. Much appreciated.
I can't find much on the web that really shows our style of push hands, but here is one video
. Notice that at this point
, our horizontal circle is quite large and we use the back of the wrist and palm as the main contact points.
As to why I use the backfist side of my arm and NOT the palm side...PENG. The forearm bones consist of the Radius and Ulna, when you use the back side like I did...you also twist the bones and peng provides energy from the Longer reach of your arm. So peng is not just from the Bow (roundness) of your arm and hollow (sink) of your chest, but also it exists in the spiral of your bones. Circles within circles.
I think I follow this logic. It sounds similar to what Chen stylists tend to do, and also what Yang Stylists do who incorporate silk reeling into their training. I think our idea of Peng is simpler, more like air pressure giving shape to a balloon or water floating a boat. We tend to talk about circles in a different context. Different strokes for different folks.
I'd like to explain why I do it that way: In our school there are 3 main ways to split the elbow; up, down & horizontally.
Also it is critical before I go further to say that splitting the elbow works best when you attack the triceps tendon point above the actual elbow.
I hadn't considered that you might want to change the technique according to the direction. Also, my training has not really focused on specific scenarios or the effect on the opponent, and so your detail about what point you attack is interesting.
I am puzzled by why you raise the question of twisting, however. It looks as if you are not twisting, like the left arm in this image
; whereas, when the palm is down, it does twist, as in the right arm of the skeleton in the same image
If you use your palm side, you also are doing what I said about twisting true, BUT you are not using the knife of the arm. The problem with this is that you present your muscle / meaty side of your under forearm on the joint. It is too soft for real fighting purposes. The ulna bone is like the knife or axe in splitting the elbow joint and is much more painful and effective.
I can definitely see the logic in this and have had Yang Style teachers outside the Associate talk like that. One, who was Chinese, advocated replacing all fist punches with knuckle punches from a hand shape like this image
. His explanation was that it hurt the opponent more than a regular punch.
My teachers in the Association have generally stressed presenting soft surfaces to the opponent. My understanding of this is that we want to create hardness from the softness, rather than create hardness directly. I once asked this question specifically with respect to our Ward Off right and whether we should contact the opponent with the bony ridge of the forearm. I was told that we should prefer the soft inside of the forearm.
One characteristic of our form that does seem to accommodate a harder approach is that we differentiate the hand shape of the striking An palm in postures like Brush Knee and Single Whip from the hand shape of the pushing An palm in the Push of Grasp Sparrow's Tail and Apparent Closure. The striking palm is angled slightly to present more of the outside part of the palm or palm heel to the target. Then again, I would happily do an inverted palm strike in almost the same position I would do an inverted push. I am pretty sure I do not have a complete picture of the theory, and these are just different data points for anyone to consider.
I can't find an exact example of the "horizontal" split technique I was talking about, but this Chen style video
is a fair approximation. Notice also at time index 1:00, the teacher seems to stress contact with the forearm rather than the palm. That is how we normally do the Roll Back during the double arm vertical circle. I also like the fact that the teacher sometimes uses a fist, which corresponds to my understanding that such techniques will actually vary in execution as you move from scripted practice to something more spontaneous and move more according to how you feel the energy, rather than according to how you recall some idealized version of the technique.