A question of relevance

A question of relevance

Postby Bamenwubu » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:59 pm

I don't want to make any assumptions, so I'll ask the question rather than do so.
In the school of TCC in which I used to train there is a Three Stage theory of progression for Push Hands practice:
First stage: Push for about ten or fifteen minutes to get "warmed up". This is the physical stage. Then rest for a few minutes to let the muscles rest.

Second stage: The next stage is mechanical. This is where you concentrate on receiving pushes from your partner. This stage is the one that is like a massage around your spine, if you are receiving and moving correctly. If not, you have blockages along the meridians that are on either side of the spine. A high level person can tell when they push you that you have these blockages and can help you get rid of them. Mostly, from what I can gather, it has to do with being able to tell how stiff the person is and being able to get them to work through that by relaxing and moving along with the push. Then you rest again for a few minutes.

Third stage: This is the "mind" stage, where you finally get the full benefit of pushing hands. At this stage, you are building more chi.

You are supposed to concentrate most on receiving pushes from your partner. 90% of your focus should be on receiving and only 10% should be on delivering a push to your opponent.
The first stage should be done using basic push hands, but the rest can be accomplished using any form of pushing.

Would this be relevant to Yang family TCC push hands as well?
I've always rather liked this progression, but don't wish to associate it with Yang style PH if it's not appropriate.

Thanks for any insights.
Bob
Bamenwubu
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Postby CheeFattTaichi » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:35 am

Our training in push hands is less systematic than yours. We will do circuling for 1-2 minutes to quiet down the mind and warm-up, then we proceed straight into free push hands. However we must always keep in mind three things, first is listening to the opponent's force, second is to neutralize and stay song all the time and lastly, to ensure that every movements are in line with the proper body structure i.e. do not over extend, do not over collapse etc.

However, when we push our opponent, we also ensure the push is a full force push to ensure realism and mimic actual application during combat. When we perform rollback, we gather strength to counter attack (which means we sit and compress the rear leg to collect strength) instead of retreating the body. When we push, ouir intention must always be to really push if there is the slightest opportunity but if the opponent started to neutralize, our jin will be disolved internally immediately. This is what we want to focus to do but many times, concentration will stray and we end-up recollecting ourselves, nevertheless I find it very helpful.
CheeFattTaichi
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Malaysia

Postby Bamenwubu » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:35 pm

Chee,
Well, this isn't really a system I use anymore. It's from, as I said, the old school I used to attend.
I am getting back to push hands and was wondering if this system was relevant to the Yang family progression.
I did hear from my instructor about this, off the boards, and he basically said it has some merit, but is not totally what he's looking for.
So I'll plug away in Yang family fashion. I was just wondering what others thought of this one and hoping for some comment on it.
I'm working on "light and agile above, flexible in the middle and solid but not stiff below". Which is a great progression to think of at any time.


Bob
Bamenwubu
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Postby Audi » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:00 am

Hi Bob,

Personally, I have not heard of the progression you describe mentioned as a characteristic of Yang Style practice, but that certainly does not mean it does not exist. I am aware of a wide variety of exercises and ways of exploring push hands, but no particular progression of exercises that are meant to be systematic from session to session.

My practice is centered on various types of circling. I begin by focusing on mechanics and examining the external requirements I am aware of. First I “look” at myself, and then I "look" at how my partner completes what I am doing or trying to do. Is the circle big enough? Is it round? Is it in the right plane?

After mechanics, I try to focus on feel. Where I am I stuck? Where do I lose control? Then I try to focus on the same feelings in my partner. If my partner wants feedback from me, this is where I try to give it most. It is not always easy to perceive your own gaps, and it is not always easy to tell whether mechanical problems are caused by what you are doing or by what your partner is doing.

After focusing on feelings, I begin to focus on intent. Where is sticking? Where is adhering? Where must I connect? Where must I follow? Often there is more than one option, and I try to make a choice and put specific meaning into the various elements of the circling.

In working on applications of the Eight Energies, I try to put everything together, but find it very hard. Sometimes I work more on the issue of receiving, sometimes more on sticking, and sometimes more on delivering unified energy. For me the problem is in understanding how the energy flows and its empty and full. More often than not, I cannot even remember to look for this awareness and too readily rely on other skills to achieve my ends.

Although there are exercises that concentrate on various aspects of pushing hands, I am not sure I would routinely separate receiving a push from returning the energy to one’s partner. Most of what I have been taught requires an element of both. Most of my non-Taiji skills delight in these separate things, and I am very wary of doing anything that will strengthen these physical and mental reflexes futher.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Bamenwubu » Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:24 pm

Audi,
Which progession? The first one from the Wu school or the second one from Bill?
Bamenwubu
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Postby Audi » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:09 am

Hi Bob,

I was talking about the one from the Wu school.

As for this:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm working on "light and agile above, flexible in the middle and solid but not stiff below". Which is a great progression to think of at any time.</font>


I have not understood this as a "progression." What I had thought was that this is merely one of the basic requirements of all push hands within the Yangs' system: top light, bottom heavy, middle (i.e., "waist") flexible.

Whereas some practitioners seem to focus on maximizing a Yin feeling throughout, I think Yang Jun focuses on a different feeling and a different training approach that stresses other elements, even at the basic level. I think there is a also greater tolerance for personal preference as to feel, as long as these other principles are respected.
Audi
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Bamenwubu » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:50 pm

OK, just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.
Well, like I said, I thought I'd ask about the Wu school thinking and see what it kicked up.
I guess "progression" isn't a very good word for it, as you say. More of a way to be all the time.
"Light above, flexible in the middle and solid, but not stiff, below" is how Bill has had me work on everything, including but not limited to push hands, lately.
I like it.
It'll take me some getting used to, but when I can manage to pull it off, not often, I can clearly see the advantage.
Also Bill has me working on arm and palm placement during fixed push hands. At first I didn't see what he was going for, but then he graphically demonstrated for me.
I still am missing the proper placement, for some reason this is eluding me, but I am working on it and hopefully with practice I will hit the mark soon.
I think my difficulty may be that I'm trying to imitate what Bill is doing, but I'm not built the same way he is so I need to find the same principle of placement but do it for how I am built.
At least that's my theory. I my be wrong.
I'll keep plugging away at it.
It's always fun to find a new way of doing something, especially one that works better.

Bob

[This message has been edited by Bamenwubu (edited 04-06-2005).]
Bamenwubu
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Postby Bamenwubu » Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:00 pm

Audi,
I've had time to read your reply a little more closely now.
That's a very good description of how you train PH's.
Thanks.
Bill told me I should take the time to read your posting closely. I see he was right, as usual.
I especially like the last part, about not seperating receiving from pushing. It makes sense now that I've had time to work on the idea. Goes right back to Yin within Yang within Yin within Yang...
You can't seperate these things.

Bob
Bamenwubu
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Postby Geoff » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:30 am

I have always had a problem staying soft in pushing hands and not letting my partner enter. I practised once with someone who kept the arm in the full ward off posture and used the waist and the legs, but I found it uncomfortable to do.

I am at the stage of letting my partner enter as often as he wants and hoping I will eventually learn how to move my body out of the way. This means I don't have any more tension in my arms than what is needed to keep them up. It also means I get pushed most of the time.

Am I on the right track trying to move my body out of the way, or should I be putting a little more strength into my arms?

Geoff
Geoff
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:01 am

Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:03 am

(Am I on the right track trying to move my body out of the way, or should I be putting a little more strength into my arms?)

never use force or strength, if you want to move your body out of the way think of moving your kua (hips) first all else follows. The important point is that you only move as much as they move to little or to much is not good.
Once the kua moves first, the rest will follow leading the other into emptiness. If as you suggested you use more peng or force you will never be able to lead them to emptiness because you are still not empty.

there is inner and out change, what i described is part of the outer change

david


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 04-29-2005).]
bamboo leaf
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:01 am

Postby CheeFattTaichi » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:10 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bamboo leaf:
<B>(Am I on the right track trying to move my body out of the way, or should I be putting a little more strength into my arms?)

never use force or strength, if you want to move your body out of the way think of moving your kua (hips) first all else follows. The important point is that you only move as much as they move to little or to much is not good.
Once the kua moves first, the rest will follow leading the other into emptiness. If as you suggested you use more peng or force you will never be able to lead them to emptiness because you are still not empty.

there is inner and out change, what i described is part of the outer change

david


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 04-29-2005).]</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Precisely, agility at kua is most important. secondly is your weight transfering or sometime refers to as double weight. In taiji classic it was advised if after many trainings you are still unable to neutralize successfully, look at waist (kua) and feet (weight distribution and agility). The secret is not so much of whether you have to put more strength on your arm to stop his coming or simply let him in. The secret....."pay very very close attention because this is true secret".....DO NOT LET ANY PART OF YOUR BODY TO RECEIVE MORE THAN 4 OUNCES OF PUSH (figuratively speaking). whetehr you are putting-up your hand or letting him in to your body it doesn't matter. Most important is, whatever point you allow your opponent to contact, never, never, never let him to put more than 4 ounces of strength onto it. This way, you will be very soft and your ting jin will improve very fast. Here you are! the ultimate secret! worth less than a penny isn't it? but if you keep steadfast to this, it will be invalueable in the future. Good luck.
CheeFattTaichi
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Malaysia

Postby Kalamondin » Sun May 01, 2005 5:11 am

Hi Geoff,

Bamboo Leaf and Chee Fatt TC have given you some excellent advice! Too much energy in the arm without turning force aside is resisting. Too little in the arm collapses it into your chest and if you don't turn you are still resisting even though the arms have barely anything in them because the body has not moved. They say that tai chi is an art where the hands don't move. This means they don't move independent of the body.

The waist is the central pivot that controls the arms and hands and body--and the kua opening and closing controls the movement of the waist. Learn to link your arms to your waist (think zombie--that'll get you started, but of course this is too stiff).

It's possible to have very hard arms, filled with pung energy (like a tire is hard, filled with air) but still be flexible if the waist can turn like the spokes of a wheel around an axis (the spine). But the arms can't be filled with stiff strength--if your arms hurt or get tired, there's still stiffness.

I think relaxing and moving the body is the right track for you. Adding strength back to the arms can come later. You've chosen the more difficult path of giving up the security of pushing someone away with arm strength. It will be frustrating for a while though, because you'll probably continue to get pushed out--but it's worth the effort. If the whole body is mobilized, you can stop worrying about the arms. "Invest in loss."

Best,
Kal
Kalamondin
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:01 am

Postby Polaris » Sun May 01, 2005 6:56 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bamenwubu:
<B>I don't want to make any assumptions, so I'll ask the question rather than do so.
In the school of TCC in which I used to train there is a Three Stage theory of progression for Push Hands practice:
First stage: Push for about ten or fifteen minutes to get "warmed up". This is the physical stage. Then rest for a few minutes to let the muscles rest.

Second stage: The next stage is mechanical. This is where you concentrate on receiving pushes from your partner. This stage is the one that is like a massage around your spine, if you are receiving and moving correctly. If not, you have blockages along the meridians that are on either side of the spine. A high level person can tell when they push you that you have these blockages and can help you get rid of them. Mostly, from what I can gather, it has to do with being able to tell how stiff the person is and being able to get them to work through that by relaxing and moving along with the push. Then you rest again for a few minutes.

Third stage: This is the "mind" stage, where you finally get the full benefit of pushing hands. At this stage, you are building more chi.

You are supposed to concentrate most on receiving pushes from your partner. 90% of your focus should be on receiving and only 10% should be on delivering a push to your opponent.
The first stage should be done using basic push hands, but the rest can be accomplished using any form of pushing.

Would this be relevant to Yang family TCC push hands as well?
I've always rather liked this progression, but don't wish to associate it with Yang style PH if it's not appropriate.

Thanks for any insights.
Bob</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That actually isn't an accurate description of the approach to a pushing hands workout in the Wu's T'ai Chi Academies. Sifu Stephen Britt informs me that he has recently begun posting on this message board. Sifu Britt is the number 1 student of Sifu Eddie Wu Kwong-yu (I am a lowly number 25) and has noticed several people here talking about him. Normally such wouldn't elicit much notice, but since this is the Yang family's official site (and we have respect for the Yang family) he therefore suggests that if anyone has any questions about how the Wu style trains that they should email him directly at sifubritt@comcast.net or for more general questions visit his website at www.wustyledetroit.com

Instead of relying on information (however well intentioned) from people who say they are former students, I'd recommend accurate information from current teachers.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 05-01-2005).]
Polaris
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:01 am

Postby JerryKarin » Sun May 01, 2005 7:08 pm

Er, ahem, uh Bob? It sounds like your old school does not want you to make representations of what they do. Perhaps it would be best to avoid references to your Wu style training here.
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Geoff » Sun May 01, 2005 9:51 pm

Thanks for the replies above. I haven't had time to digest them fully, but will do so, and then probably ask more questions.

Geoff
Geoff
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:01 am


Return to Push Hands

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest