Push Hand Strategy

Push Hand Strategy

Postby CheeFattTaichi » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:54 pm

Last week friends and me organized a taiji push hands get together and we have a wonderful time exchanging skills. Amongst those who joined us are Wu, Yang, Chen, Cheng and yiquan stylists. Many are taiji instructors, however they are also novices to push hands with the backgrounds of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Doo, Shaolin and Aikido.

Most exciting is yiquan players. I pushed with a guy who have learned Yang and Wu style taiji but later concentrates on yiquan. He has very strong pengjin and waste no time to circle hands. His two arms always extended `unbendably' strong in front guarding and neutralizing any attacks that come close to his body. His PH style is 70% yiquan and 30% taiji according to him. He neutralizes using small circles usually by turning wrist and forearm and immediatelly counter by attacking the centerline with very strong pengjin. Many taiji players were caught and pushed away. During my PH with him, I stick steadfast to taiji techniques hoping to see if taiji is good against yiquan. I use only softness to counter his strong pengjin and patient to wear him down. Many yiquan players believe their superiority over taiji, hence I want to see if this is true. At the end, he is unable to take advantage of his strong pengjin on me because I do not let him any stiff surface to land that strength nor I use my pengjin to challenge his. However, because of his always presence pengjin, he is unable to fajin as fast and as often as me. Though we didn't conclude winner or loser but from this encounter I am convinced taiji methods are in no way inferior to yiquan. But I do agree that yiquan training method is clearer and faster. Comparing taiji and yiquan, I would say strictly from my own experience that taiji works more on `roujin' (yin) where yiquan more on `kangjin' (yang).

I would like to encourage a topic where all you kind people outv there could share your PH experiences with other than Yang style so that all of us can learn from each other.
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Postby shugdenla » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:20 pm

CheeFatt,

I find the reality of yiquan to be excellent when compared to push hands since alot of tai chi people do not do push hands, and if they do, they believe in soft overcoming hard (literally as opposed to metaphor or allegory).

It is good to push with everyone to feel the quality and variability. For me redirection is difficult as I would rather neutralize than hit. Perhaps trapping is a better word for how I usully respond as opposed to hitting (fajing concept).
I have also encountered some Okinawan practitioners who use a push hands as part of their training. This group is "new" (not really but overlooked as part of a regimen) in that most empty hands dictated only striking!
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Postby bamboo leaf » Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:08 am

(I find the reality of yiquan to be excellent when compared to push hands since alot of tai chi people do not do push hands, and if they do, they believe in soft overcoming hard (literally as opposed to metaphor or allegory).

It is literally at lest in my own experience. Its just that many really are not sung as they believe themselves to be that is they are not empty.

Being empty there is really nothing to push against, not being empty no matter how soft or yielding one is, one has really not changed the other just follows and one is pushed out.


(He has very strong pengjin and waste no time to circle hands. His two arms always extended `unbendably' strong in front guarding and neutralizing any attacks that come close to his body)

pengjing needs something to react with, if you can feel his pengjin it means that you your self are not changing and can not feel the directionality of his peng. Once you can feel this you can follow him. For him it will feel like he is pushing nothing.

Taiji talks of standing alike a balanced scale, think of it, a scale moves at the slightest touch, yet does not reveal its own center. A scale also can weigh things yet can not be used to weigh its self. All this has to do with the understanding of empty and full.

Peng jin like all other jins are mainfastation of change open, close, empty and full.

Some Yiqaun people that I have run into have very strong yi which if you not familiar with can tend to be overwhelming, again the key is to sung and more sung


david

[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 07-13-2005).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:19 am

(I would say strictly from my own experience that taiji works more on `roujin' (yin) where yiquan more on `kangjin' (yang).)

I would say this is kind of a mistake or maybe misunderstanding.
Taiji is neither yin nor yang it is both one never leaves the other. Things that are in perfect balance have aspects of both. Its not static.

The common analogy a balloon or inflated ball, at some point if the ball is on the ground its center will be found if pressed on and its not allowed to move. Taiji is like this too only the ball is floating in space never reveling its center until needed.




[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 07-13-2005).]
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Postby CheeFattTaichi » Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:53 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Taiji is neither yin nor yang it is both one never leaves the other. Things that are in perfect balance have aspects of both. Its not static.
</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with your above statement. When I said taiji is more roujin, I meant taichi players cultivate softness to arrive at hardness. Even at hardness, it is a flexible kind of hardness, there is still softness within the hardness. Most of the time jin is concealed and the player looks docile, calm and relaxed. Therefore, we use the term roujin. Kangjin in contrary is very visible and exposed. The player looks strong and hard. Both yiquan & taichi use yin & yang concept. But thats a concept in term of 'feel', taichi is obviously much softer than yiquan.

[Quote] pengjing needs something to react with, if you can feel his pengjin it means that you your self are not changing and can not feel the directionality of his peng. Once you can feel this you can follow him. For him it will feel like he is pushing nothing. [Quote]

Agreed, precisely what one should do...emptying out, but that doesn't means one don't feel opponent's pengjin. One must always be able to feel if the opponent jin is strong or weak. What we mustn't do is to let opponent applies too much jin onto us. We must be able to control the amount of jin we allow him to land. Its again Yin Yang concept and experience, sometime you empty out so that he drops into emptiness, other time you may want to absorb some and capitalized on the energy bouncing back, while other time you redirect so its not a fix thing and it shouldn't be....like you said `change'. Tung Huling once told my sifu that one way to deal with opponent with very strong jin is to resist his jin so that he will apply more and then you suddenly become empty. Making him push empty air in just one of the strategy.
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Postby Thong » Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:47 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by CheeFattTaichi:
CF
Since you're from the Tung TC lineage - can you share or tell us your experience on Tung's Fast Form !
Cheers
T
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Postby goto » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:03 pm

I also use softness to neutralize the stronger force.However,there is a special situation.If the man with stonger force did not want to attack me ,only use his hardness to neutralize me with patience, how to attack him ?Therefore,when a stronger man attack me in pushing hands,i did not worry about it.But when he is also waiting me to attack , how to deal with it?
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Postby bamboo leaf » Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:07 pm

(use his hardness to neutralize me with patience, how to attack him ?)

if he was able to use his hardness it means that you also are really hard or full once you can really empty then you can move in with out him being able to feel this


there is a point where the mind intent is even more important then actual movement, you then follow the reaction of his movement to the intent of your own.
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Postby goto » Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:19 am

Thank your for your suggestions
For example, i met a stronger man with stronger force.When i pushed hand with him,i could follow his movements.But i knew i counter him with softness, and he also realized it.So he did not attack,waiting me to attack.As i knew, it is very practical to use softness in neutralizing the attacking force by opponent.However,if he would not attack, i was unable to let him lost his gravity of cernter,and if he did not lose his gravity,i could not fajing and push him away.If i attack him initiatively, my softness and hardness could not threaten him.Sometimes, i could fajing on his body,because he always keep his gravity and he only move a little.At the end of the match, he told me if he did not lose his gravity,nobody can throw him away because his heavy body and stronger force. He recalled some unforgotten lessons that when he lost his gravity by attacking,the opponent caught him and tackle him to ground easily.So each time if he did not land any stiff surface on the opponent,in order to avoid losing his gravity,he stopped attacking and waited to be attacked.If people attack him,he did not fear that because he was stable and stronger.

So i met a problem, if people attack, i am not worry about it. However ,if people did not attack, do as i want to do, how to deal with?Especially for the stronger peron like weight lifter,alought i follow the reaction of his movement,and i was empty,if he did not attack me initially,i was unable to find method to move him.If both of us are waiting to be attacked,hand-pushing will be very ridiculous
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:23 am

Hello All,

Perhaps such a push hands match would look a little funny at that Image

But I'm loving this discussion...it makes me smile...if there is no attack, then there is no need for TaiChi.

To me this is ideal...No fight...It is one reason I appreciate TaiChi ~the non aggressive attitude which seems inherent to its essence.

As a martial art, TaiChi is for use against attacks is it not?...It is not designed to go out and terrorize someone who will NOT fight with you... Image

Peace All~

Psalchemist
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Postby bamboo leaf » Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:05 am

(o i met a problem, if people attack, i am not worry about it. However ,if people did not attack, do as i want to do, how to deal with?Especially for the stronger peron like weight lifter,alought i follow the reaction of his movement,and i was empty,if he did not attack me initially,i was unable to find method to move him.

If both of us are waiting to be attacked,hand-pushing will be very ridiculous)

stop thinking of just your body, its his mind that you need to push. The method is to find his mind and follow it. This can be done without any movement on the outside (inner skill) there is no waiting to be attacked its just not done with the body as you suggest.

At first touch you should know your skill level relative to the other, and later even before touch but that’s a little much to talk of right now.

Lifters an other strong people are often the easiest ones to work with as they are what I call very body centric and really have no idea of yi or mind.

The real question is how to practice this, start by not moving and finding the others center with your mind after you can do this, follow the movements of the center with you mind the rest you should be able to understand with out anyone telling you.
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Postby goto » Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:57 am

But I'm loving this discussion...it makes me smile...if there is no attack, then there is no need for TaiChi.

(To me this is ideal...No fight...It is one reason I appreciate TaiChi ~the non aggressive attitude which seems inherent to its essence.

As a martial art, TaiChi is for use against attacks is it not?...It is not designed to go out and terrorize someone who will NOT fight with you)
Yes, i agree with you opinion that tai ji is a theory for non-aggressive force

As a martial art, the purpose of taichi quan is devised for fighting with enemy in the battlefield.However, it contains a lot taoist's theory for non-aggressive.When i pushed hang with someone,the only thing in my mind is to defense and attack with opponent without considering the taois's peaceful theory.I think it is the humanity and natual reflection of common people.When i practice taiji, my teacher advice me:At practicing,though no man is be with you, you should exercise taiji as if someone attacked you:When fighting, though someone is with you, you should fight with him as like no one attack you.

I think in daily life if no one attack us, most of us will not do at first for it is illegal and also break the principle of taiji.

However, if there is a match between two people,both of them remember this principle and do not want to attack first,how to avoid this situation?

At hand-pushing who attack first will have some disvantages,because one must use his own force, and easily be trapped.The defender will take advantage of his own softness and emptness to neutralized the force by the opponent, and easily break the opponet's balance. Therefore, what can i do in this situation,that a stronger or not stronger man is unwilling to attack, only hopes that i attack first and then count me with softness and then break me balance and then throw me away or tackle me,which i want to repond the same to him.Does this strategy mean hand-pushing is a martial art which is only waiting to be attacked beacuse who attack fisrt, who failed.


(stop thinking of just your body, its his mind that you need to push. The method is to find his mind and follow it. This can be done without any movement on the outside (inner skill) there is no waiting to be attacked its just not done with the body as you suggest)
(The real question is how to practice this, start by not moving and finding the others center with your mind after you can do this, follow the movements of the center with you mind the rest you should be able to understand with out anyone telling you)

Sorry, i cann't understand what you meant clearly and also did not know how to apply to opponent.
It sound mysterious. could you describle it with example?

And i have a question,even if i find his body center,Unfortunately,the center was stable. Worse than all,if i want to break his center,i must attack or say that should first use force without utilizing the opponent's force ,while he was willing to defend, what can i do?
Thanks
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Postby CheeFattTaichi » Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:10 am

Hi Goto,

A strong body builder is easily uprooted and push away eventhough if he refuses to attack because of stiffness and stagnancy in his body. Therefore, I assume you are refering to someone with very strong Zhuangjin (posture strength) and he refuses to `come out' so to speak. He is often an experienced opponent who always guard his center and balance. This type of opponent is a little more difficult to handle than those who will attack but it is not impossible to handle.

PH is about tingjin (hearing & understanding) and the reason taiji want us to move continuously is so that there is no stagnant point or pause. When we pause there will always be a stagnant point and this point directly effect our balance. PH tingjin is to know and explore the center, the point, the stiffness..there are all the same. The more you push, the more your experience and the more skillful you get, you will be able to notice this stiffness in opponnet and hide your own.

It is not about if he attack or don't attack, PH and taiji skill is about being able to know this stiffness, and weakness. You need to experience it yourself, get a friend to not attack and do exactly as the person you mentioned. Your intent is not to attack or defend but to feel the stiffness in his posture. Touch your hand like push hand and move very very very slowly and feel for yourself. There 's always a point of stiffness in anybody, great masters hid it better than others. Train very slowly, attentively and patiently, listen, listen and listen...gradually your tingjin will improve and you will know what I am talking about. Once you can hear this stiffness, the next skill to develop is the speed of your fajin which depends very much on your ability to become song. In movement, this stiffness shifts from one place to another, it may appear in one second and dissappear in another so you must be able to fajin very fast to capitalize on it. Great taiji masters have this skill over others.

Thats why Yang Lu Chan quoted only 3 kinds of people he cannot defeat; a dead man (because a dead man is 100% stiff), a wooden man (exactly like dead man)and a baby. Take your time and concentrate on listening and you will get it.
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Postby CheeFattTaichi » Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:24 am

Allow me to add more....taiji PH is not to win or loss. It is to develop tingjin, to know your opponent. Tingjin will allow you to use taiji fighting strategy more effectively therefore, in traing PH you must be very clear of the objective, it is an exploring exercise more than competition. Use PH to know your opponent, know his strengths and weaknesses. When you set your objective rght, your PH will definitely improve. Winning over your opponent in PH is a side skills which will come naturally.

When I PH with yiquan players as I mentioned above, my intention is to know him and not compete with him. When touched immediately I knew he has very strong pengjin and zhuangjin but there is a mild stiffness in his movement which I can make use-off. But often in PH with outsiders, especially someone who is an instructor we usually practice courtesy. It should be a mutual exploring exercise and not contest.
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Postby goto » Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:49 am

Thank you for your explainations, which help me a lot.You have written too much, so it will take me much time to absort them.

(Thats why Yang Lu Chan quoted only 3 kinds of people he cannot defeat; a dead man (because a dead man is 100% stiff), a wooden man (exactly like dead man)and a baby. Take your time and concentrate on listening and you will get it)
It is a very interesting thing that i have never heard of.Could you tell me more about it?
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