Does anyone utilize tui shou/rolling hands aka push hands?

Does anyone utilize tui shou/rolling hands aka push hands?

Postby dorshugla » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:13 pm

I statrted with rolling hands about 25 years ago while stationed in the Far East (Philippines, S. Korea, Taiwan) but the type of trianing was different as I returned to USA. It was called "rolling hands" then and it was better at trapping, parrying, etc and /or movinng away and moving the hands of the other. I have yet to find this level of training available today. Yes I am old but still...

Rolling hands is a "sensitivity training" method to assist in the detection of 100lbs with only 4ozs-the goal. It was never a substitute for the actions of peng lu ji an kao shuai etc but they were complementary.

I realize that they are many versions of rolling hands, at least the moving rolling hands.

My main point is thta the form itself is insifficient in developing this skill. On emust touch hands to develop it. Even the skill of shuaijiao with taijiquan form can tremendously upgrwrade skill in the absence of rolling hands training.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:26 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by "utilize".
I practice Push hands about every other week with a group of local TCC practitioners I have gotten together for that purpose.
We do not practice "free style", if that's what you mean by "utilize", as I am the only one in the group who has trained to that level of skill. I only get to practice free style when I visit with friends from my former school, Wu's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy, where we also practiced a much more "martial" form of push hands than the one I practice with my YCF style group. Though I believe that to be more reflective of the skill level of my partners than anything to do with YCF style push hands in general. I feel confident that once we get a group up to the skill level required we will be quite "martial" about our practice.
As YZD says, "One brush stroke at a time."
I guess I'm not clear on what you mean when you ask, "Do you "utilize" Tui shou?".
Have I ever used those skills in actual combat? Yes.
Do I use those skills gained from push hands practice when I practice TCC in general? Yes.

If this is not what you are asking, please elaborate.
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Postby dorshugla » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:40 pm


Your meaning was what I was referring to.

Use in real life confrontations (using the skill of avoidance instead of physical corrective methods) along with its literal practice meanings.
Example; you ar ehaving a verbal match and the others keeps insisting and you both keep going back and forth-this is my practical use of "rolling hands/push hands)

Do you?
a push back
b. get abusive
c. shout onscenities
d. listen and let him lead himself into nothingness with his 'skill', and perhaps excuse yourself and smile.

Do you practice both stationary and moving push hands? I use its principles/concepts with shuaijiaj and qinna. Let the other push, do not resist and whne the angle/body positioning is "right", then I apply the most appropriate method forth emoment.

What is the method of training you use? I looked at some of your posts but I rarely see an execution phase of technique mentioned meaning without kao, peng lu ji an shuai etc push hands is "useless". What I mean is that when you are pressed and you sidestep (as in moving hands) what do you apply?
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:56 pm

My answer to your first question is D.
My answer to your second question is a bit longer...
I apply whatever I need to during any situation.
It is difficult for me, in the extreme, to try and say "In this situation I apply peng. In this situation I apply an. In this situation ...".
The reason for this is that I never know what "energy" I'm going to apply against an opponent until he gives it to me.
The way I trained TCC is to be re-active to any given situation and to stay flexible at all times. I was taught to keep my mind free of such thoughts as "if he does X I will do Y". Once you have these thoughts in your head your are pretty much bound to follow them.
Even while doing push hands, moving, fixed, however, I do my utmost best NOT to think in terms of "if X happens I must do Y".
I hope you can understand why that is?
That is why I do not get into such discussions. Once I begin to lock action/reaction in my mindset I will then be committed to that course of action, closing the avenue to whatever other possibility may present itself.
That is also why I do not like to label postures or forms with such things as; this is a "closed" posture, this is an "open" posture. Such things limit the usage of that posture, even if just in your mind, to that single usage of such a move.
Why would you do this? Why would anyone close their mind to all the posibilities in each form?
When I used to ask, early in my training, if the form I was training was an open or a closed posture, I always received the same answer; "Yes". I did not understand for a long time.
There is, obviously, opening and closing in TCC. What I don't like to do is label any one move as such. In each move there is opening and closing, yin and yang, inherint to and inside of each other. What I like to try to do is find the opening and closing inside each posture, or form, whatever word you would like to use.
That way when I need to open or close, I have not limited my mind to HOW I can do that. I try to find the open in the close and the close in the open so I can do either at will or at need.
Usually at need. I have found that "need" must, while "will" is fickle.
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Postby gene » Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:38 pm

Hi Wushuer:

Neat post. I was listening to a motivational speaker once (Zig Ziglar) and he made the point that the word "react" has a negative connotation, while the word "respond" has a positive one. That is to say, if you're sick and go to the doctor, and she gives you some medication, and then you go back and she says - "uh oh, your body is REACTING to the drugs" - it's not a good thing. If she says "your body is RESPONDING to the drugs" - it's good news! I've often thought the same is true of good push hands. Once you consciously form an intention about a countermovement (REACT) you have transmitted information to your opponent. If you follow the energy and simply RESPOND, on the other hand, more often than not you have transmitted no information about your intention and the opponent finds himself uprooted. Am I reaching?

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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 13, 2003 3:25 pm

No, not reaching. I would say that's more along the lines of "picking nits".
However, when nits need to be picked, you start picking.
I would say that is an excellent way to look at things.
Respond vs. React.
Never really considered that before. I don't know that it will change how I do what I do, but it will certainly change how I look at it.
Thanks for a good insight into the psychology behind TCC.
My Sifu always told me to "react" in an appropriate manner, however "respond" does have a better psychological iteration.
It gives me something to think about.
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Oct 13, 2003 3:42 pm

Greetings Gene and Wushuer,

May I 'reach' a little as well, 'pick a nit' ? Image

I have been listening to the respond vs. react discussion, and for some reason, I am lead to the conclusion that one FIRST reacts and THEN responds

Maybe that is only one level of 'being', though.

Something we grow into as human beings in our development as well as in ones' Taijiquan training.

If training towards elimination of the natural 'reaction' is what you mean, Gene, then I agree fully with your thoughts of simply 'respond'.

Just 'respond' has to be striven for, perhaps.

Just my perception on the concept.

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-13-2003).]
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Postby andres » Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:56 pm

Hello, everyone. First of all, let me congratulate you all for the degree of respect when addressing each other. It is so refreshing. Second, my share on pushing hands. I agree with the twist on feeling or sensing hands. My body will push if "it decides" to do so. Fixed and moving sensing hands, my intention is on attaching and "observing" with my eyes and arms at the same time. My partner and I engage in repetitive movements so anything else that any of us will do (punch, step, kick, etc)breaks the cycle and the other notices it. I like to call it "exploring possibilities". I observe -not lead- my body "responding". For me the real task is not interfering with this bodily exploration of possibilities. When I stay out of the process (Not trying to do a purposely matched block, grab, throw, etc) the body itself "studies" how far it can twist, roll back, stay vertical, breathe, open or close, fold, push, grab, etc. For this bodily "responding", silking the coccoon is a must. Doing so the body "tunes" in a better organized way. Space and proximity, sight, and touch are repatterned differently. Somebody asked Bruce Lee once about responding to a mugger by killing him, what he would answer to police charging him with aggravated assault. He replied: "It did it". Please excuse my lack of fluidity with written English.

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Postby psalchemist » Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:30 am

Greetings all,

First of all, I see absolutely no need to apologize for your english writing skills. Your expression is fluid and fluent. Thanks for your posting.

You made some interesting points I thought I'd ramble on about,

You wrote:
<I observe -not lead- my body "responding". For me the real task is in not interfering with this bodily exploration of possibilities. When I stay out of this process, the body itself "studies" how far it can twist, rollback, stay vertical, breathe, open or close, fold, push, grab etc. >Andres

First interesting point...I absolutely agree that in some cases, of simply responding without apparent, conscious thought or intent. Not interfering to allow the body to simply respond as it should, naturally.

I am sure everyone has experienced an instance when their instinctual/bodily response has saved their lives.
Most especially, though, it seems, in times of crisis or necessity...

Needs must, Will is fickle-Wushuer).
Like being tossed into a lake to learn how to swim instantly-Audi)
Like taking a single step backward before that big truck, which you had not noticed, roars past your nose, etc.

I saw in the movies once, I forget which one now...A master was teaching his disciple a lesson by grasping a penny in his hand and telling the student that his duty was to catch the penny in his own hand below, when released.
The student tried repeatedly, but to no avail.
The moral explained was that if you took the time to think before responding then you would not succeed at the task.

Why? Technically because 1)your eyes have to first register the hand movement releasing the penny then 2)send a signal to your brain then 3) the brain has to process said stimulus then 4)the brain sends the signal to hand...if no other mental conflict becomes involved(doubt,fear,confusion etc) causing further hesitation then 5)finally moving hand towards act of grasping penny, to open and close hand at the exact second.

This all requires time, too much time to act/react /respond efficiently/productively/successfully to be capable of passing the test.

So rather than use the eyes as the initial starting point, one must eliminate 'thought interference' and simply allow the body to move on it's own.

I think this falls under the category of 'responding to your opponents action before your opponent actually moves' through feeling(Taijiquan sensitivity skills).

The body certainly does seem to react very efficiently without the interference of conscious intent or thought,

Especially well when there is no interference of thought and especially well when functionning under necessity(the self-defense mechanism).

I had an experience once, which made me question this type of bodily response in great detail many years ago.

I was quite young, in a very big rush,and faced with about 200( I am not exaggerating) stairs to tackle(due to a disfunctional series of escalators-3 to be exact)
So, resigned, I began to proceed at a moderate speed down the steep marble stairs to the subway below, holding moderately to the railing.
However, becoming impatient at my slow rate of descent,and becoming discouraged at seeing another 170 to go, I quickened my pace.
Arriving at the halfway mark, it had now become a challenge to see how fast I could run down the stairs.
That was when, racing, full force down the final hundred stairs.(forget the railing)
My foot hit the edge of the stair, rather than the flat surface...
Striking the stair at such an angle propulsed me upward and outward, away from the flight of stairs completely, sailing, airborne, arms outstretched before me, diving fashion, with about fifty stairs below me.

That was the last conscious image I could recall before final impact.

Now this is the part concerned with 'body response without interference' I wanted to demonstrate...

At that moment my eyes and thoughts "blocked-out"-not blanked out-they were replaced.
I was unable to see even with my eyes open, instead, my "life had begun to flash before my eyes"(ever heard of that expression? well it really does happen)like a slideshow, in disjointed, random 'shots' and clips of memories from my past.

The brain, rather than actually shutting down(which would not have been helpful) simply replaced my thoughts and mental reactions, 'distracting' the mind so it could not interfere unduly in the physical functionning of the body at that important moment.

Also, being in a state of 'distraction' allowed me to remain thoroughly relaxed as well.

I am certain that if I had consciously thought about what was happening or even just saw what was happening I would have panicked, tensed and thoroughly interfered in the perfect recovery capabilities that the body inherently posesses, and would not be present today to speak of it.

However, the human body is a marvellous creation, capable of incredible instinctual response.

So finally, my body had somehow turned itself of it's own volition(subconsciously?) from a direct forward dive to a sideways horizontal, landing, onto the last step at the bottom.

I don't know how, "It did it"

When I regained the courage to open my eyes ( I wasn't too sure I had actually survived at that point),I was lying completely parallel to the stairs.
Tucked very gently and precisely into the nook of the stair, completely unharmed.
I had hit no angles at all, yet I had landed with my whole body simultaneously in full impact, shoulder, hip, side of body.
I just stood up and walked away completely unharmed, to the surprise of the witnesses, who were all quite pale...

I did NOT do a spectacular gymnastic feat...If I actually tried to repeat that type of stunt consciously, I would break my neck (at least), no doubt there!

But without mental interference and with the 'need' for self defense the body can react to almost any challenge without effort or stress in miraculous ways.

Best regards,

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-26-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 27, 2003 8:32 pm

Reminds me of my stair experience. I think I've recounted that on the board here somewhere before, but briefly...
It was freezing rain in Detroit. I didn't know that. Solid ice on everything, wet, slick, deadly. Again, I had no idea.
I went to step out my door onto my front steps and like the idiot I can sometimes be I was talking to my wife over my shoulder rather than watching where I was going.
One second I'm saying "Bye, honey" the next I'm falling.
As you say, had I been looking, had I tensed up, I would likely be dead.
As it was, my body took over, as soon as my feet went out from under me I started laughing (as trained by my Sifu, to release air from my lungs and stay relaxed physically, it's now a conditioned response for me to laugh when I feel my center being cut) and I slid down the long flight of ice covered, concrete steps, laughing my head off all the way down and landing in a giggling, completely unharmed, pile at the bottom.
My wife says to this day that her heart stopped and she was sure I was going to be dead. Our stairs had ten concrete steps going rather steeply straight down to a concrete landing. Most people would have been severly injured or dead after that.
But because I didn't tense up, because I let myself just go with it, I had an enjoyable slide down to the bottom.
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:33 pm


You were mentioning health benefits and how self defense is a good one...

Well another one would be better co-ordination and clumsy people like me, who walk into walls, tumble down stairs and inevitably fall when kicking in a room full of people, can avoid impending injury or worse...the embarrassement of it all.

Glad to see you can laugh through these things, you must have an extra-ordinary sense of humor!

I think the last time I arose from a fall you could actually see my fangs growing through the snarling and spitting!

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:14 pm

Folks do find it strange that in deadly serioius incidents such as falls and accidentaly knocking into each other I start to laugh.
I do find humor in that kind of thing, don't get me wrong, but the laughter is a conditioned response with me now. I'm kind of like the Pavlovs dog of TCC, in that my Sifu's trained us to laugh when we feel our center is cut or we have lost our balance due to our own lack of attention.
Whatever the reason, it works. We've covered the phenomenon before on other threads, but for those who haven't seen it:
When you are laughing, it's very difficult to be tensed up. Laughter is a release of tension, not a way of storing it up, so it works beautifully to keep you "song" when in crises.
Also, it removes the air from your lungs, which if filled with air can explode on impact if that impact is solid enough. You try to laugh and still keep a full volume of air in your lungs. Go ahead, try it, I can wait...
See what I mean? You can't do it.
Laughter has at least four very valuable points to it in the pactice of TCC.
One: The above mentioned relaxative qualities.
Two: The above mentioned release of air from your lungs to minimize injury on impact.
Three: You keep your sense of humor in the most serious situations.
Four: People wonder why you can laugh when in a crises situation.
This is VERY disconcerting to an opponent. If you're laughing when things seem the worst for your situation, your opponent gets a bit freaked out because to them it appears as if you're having the time of your life.
This last point actually won me a fight once, against a group of guys who were very beligerent. One of them, obvioulsy, believed himself to be a "kung fu master" or something as he was posturing and intimidating the masses by doing what appeared to be hard style kicks near their heads or punches towards their bodies.
This was at a concert and it appeared to me they were a bit "altered" at the time.
Most people were running, but I had to pee really bad and was in line to do so. My apparent indifference to their stupidity apparently made me a good target, because as soon as the idiot with the moves got near me he singled me out and began to harrass me.
I never said a word, just kept looking at him, which seemed to make him even angrier.
He got a good grip on me before I realised we were even going to actually fight and he threw me, hard, towards the floor. I automatically laughed to release the tension and the air and when I hit the ground I rolled as I'd been trained to do by the WTCCA and came right back up onto my feet, still laughing because believe it or not I was amused by his clumsy attempt to harm me.
I guess I should mention, for those that don't know, that it's really a very bad idea to grapple with or to throw a trained Wu style practitioner. A really, really, really bad idea. It's the kind of thing we train for, all day long.
I kept in touch with this guy's wrist all the way down and used the circle of my shoulder roll to twist his wrist in nearly a complete circle as I came back up, which bent him over at the waist nearly in half to keep his wrist from snapping, then I applied a modified Wu style Repulse Monkey as I got back on my feet, still laughing my head off, which dropped him to the ground.
I let him go, since we'd just traded throws and mine was clearly the superior throw as he ended up on the ground with me over him. I didn't feel it would be best to continue since there were still a whole bunch of this guys friends standing just a few feet away and I was alone.
However, I guess my laughing like a banshee through the ordeal to this point convinced this group of malcontents that I was just a bit messed up in the head and they decided to take their provocation elsewhere.
So while I'm sure the fact that I'd just completely recovered from being surprise attacked, then turned it around and dropped my opponent like a stone in one easy flip had a lot to do with their decision, the comments they made as they left made it clear to me that it was my laughter during the whole thing that really won the day.
I guess most people are a bit put off by a guy who's laughing when being attacked.
Go figure.
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Postby powermind » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:20 pm

I have nothing to add that is off value at this point, but just wanted to introduce myself and express much appreciated discussion that you hold in this Topic. I am a Martial Artist, who has recently been studying Yang form of Tai Chi and am very excited about my learning.

I hold a Second Degree Black Belt in another 'Hard' art and was always interested in learning the Martial Application of the softer/internal arts. So, this discussion is just what the doctor ordered :O)

Thank you all and I look forward to reading more on this board and perhaps contributing something in the future. For now I just say hi and as a fly on the wall enjoy the amount of information that you all have provided here.

My best,
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