Serious Push-Hands Question

Serious Push-Hands Question

Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:50 am

So I've tried push-hands several times now, and I find nobody who can do it like in the stories (make you unable to push, or push you a long distance, or tie you up, or any of that).

Basically, the entire thing seems fake and made up.

And at this point it just seems a waste of time searching.

BUT, the problem is that how do I find somebody to train with because of course no top-level master will just let me walk in off the street and do push-hands with them. It seems like a waste of time to attend more classes just to find out that the master can't do anything.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:46 am

Pushing hands is training, not fighting. You are quite right that a qualified teacher probably won't push hands with you right off the bat. At my place, you'd have to learn our form first (6-8 months) before you would be shown the most basic pushing hands drills. Basic pushing is very deliberately choreographed to get you through a specific range of motion repeatedly over an extended period of time. Eventually, over the course of many years (5-10), we show more and more complicated routines of set pattern and freestyle pushing hands until the student is ready for sparring. At that point they should be able to tie people up and throw them long distances. It isn't something that is done overnight.

A traditional school isn't a dog and pony show. YOU have to spend some time checking out a school, look for little clues that the instructor has the stuff you want. Most T'ai Chi teachers in the West are hacks, but a real one will let you know where you stand. If you show the right face, the instructor will demonstrate a thing or two here and there to let you know you are on the right track.

P.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:29 pm

Polaris has given you the reality of the situation. Her advice is genuine and you would do well to listen to it as she is pushing gold into your pockets with it.
I wish to address your comment about searching for an instructor being a waste of time.
I will do so by asking you a question:
What is a bigger waste of time, spending a couple of years searching for a geunine instructor who knows and is willing to teach you the real deal, or spending a couple of years training under a hack who only knows a couple of parlour tricks that he showed you to impress you and get you to part with your money?
It's up to you.

As for ideas:
Is there a certified Yang Cheng Fu coach in your area? A Wu's Tai Chi Chuan Academy? A Chen family school?
These are all genuine schools who will have instructors certified by their Master to teach you the real thing. This is not a guaruntee you're going to learn it because you have to apply yourself diligently, but at least if you can find a certified instructor with his masters permisson to teach, you have a much better chance.

Good luck.
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:43 pm

Well, that's the problem.

How do you tell an instructor isn't a hack, since most instructors will make you spend many months to years before showing you anything?

Anybody know which instructors aren't hacks?

There's the Yang family grandson in Redmond, but nobody I've talked to says he does anything beyond basic push-hands.

And nobody seems to have seen him do anything really well, like the stories of the older guys.

Is he the real deal?

[This message has been edited by wushunut (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:44 pm

Yang Jun would probably push hands with you right off the bat. Check his seminar schedule to find when he will be away from the Redmond school. Xie Bincan, a student of Fu Zhongwen and Ma Yueliang, also teaches in the Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue area and is highly adept at push hands. There are actually quite a few teachers at this level in the U.S.

A word of warning: if you go full bore trying to hit these guys they may be unable to avoid breaking some of your bones. If you really want to learn something that is not the way to go about it.
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:53 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>A word of warning: if you go full bore trying to hit these guys they may be unable to avoid breaking some of your bones. If you really want to learn something that is not the way to go about it.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, yeah, that obviously wouldn't be a good idea assuming they have some skill.

Basically, I'm not that interested in trading punches with them, just haven't met anybody who can do the things that they talk about Yang Lu Chan and Yang Cheng Fu supposedly did. Like rooting so 12 people can't push them, pushing people 30 feet, etc.
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:09 pm

Wushunut, do you have any martial arts experience?
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:34 pm

Not as much as a lot of people. I've taken some animal style kung fu (3 years) and some karate (3 years).

The more that I research taiji it seems that there are a lot of myths about it.

For example, they say it comes from Zhang San Feng, but he was around about 800-1000 years ago. There's some research that shows the Chen forms that Yang came from actually are Shaolin forms and don't come from Zhang San Feng's Wudang forms at all.

There is an article on Jarek's China From The Inside about it.

Then there is push-hands, and Peng Ji Lu An, etc. Well, basically, most people do only forward-backward push-hands, not push-hands for each of the Peng Ji Lu An although this does exist.

So basically, the problem with Erle Montaigue is that he believes that taiji is only about something he calls fajing and dim-mak or dian xue. But he mostly leaves out the part about Peng Ji Lu An, etc.

So is there a teacher that does the push-hands for Peng Ji Lu An, etc., and has applications such as Chin Na, Dian Xue, etc., teaches classical weapons, etc., without requiring like 20 years of study so that by the time you're done you're an old man?

Doesn't seem like it, but if there is one somewhere, please let me know.

Then there are all these stories about Yang Lu Chan, Yang Cheng Fu, etc., and their great martial skill.

But there don't seem to be people around like that anymore.

[This message has been edited by wushunut (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:11 pm

"So is there a teacher that does the push-hands for Peng Ji Lu An, etc., and has applications such as Chin Na, Dian Xue, etc., teaches classical weapons, etc., without requiring like 20 years of study so that by the time you're done you're an old man?"

No. T'ai Chi takes that long to learn, no ifs, ands or buts. Sun Lu-t'ang became high level in T'ai Chi Ch'uan after about 5 years, but he had spent the previous 20 learning Hsing-i Ch'uan and Pa Kua Chang. It takes that long to recondition the body to be able to do p'eng, lu, chi, etc. correctly every time. If Erle Montague wants to leave that out, as you say, that is his prerogative (many others do, too) but he is not teaching the traditional art of T'ai Chi if that is the case. I'm not familiar with his programme, so I can't make a definitive statement about him, I'm just going by what you are saying here. I have been told by high level teachers that Dim Mak is not a part of T'ai Chi. We learn to defend against it, and we learn how to use points for offense, defence and healing ourselves and others, but I am told it is considered barbaric to just study how to kill with them as the name Dim Mak implies, apparently.


There are the Yang family and the Wu family who still teach the traditional way. I assume (or hope!) the Ch'en family does, but I cannot say for sure.

Yang Jun, like my Sifu, Eddie Wu Kwong-yu, is a lineage holder, a direct representative of his family's art, so it makes sense that he would be more likely to demonstrate some martial. Sifu Eddie traditionally has had to show students and challengers a thing or two at the right time. Once, he had about 10 of us push on him, hard, from all different directions and seemingly all he did was breathe out and he sent us all flying. I've seen him several times break furniture to demonstrate to people who claimed T'ai Chi had no "power," I've seen him put a spear through a cinder block wall inches from a sarcastic student's head (a student who should've known better), I've seen him lock challengers up until they submit, once to the point of he had to break the leg of a macho Judo guy who came in swaggering about how T'ai Chi was for "old people," and tried to throw him by surprise. The guy ended up becoming a student. I have heard stories from my seniors of how he and his relatives have defended themselves with results very much like the old stories. Apparently the Mong Kok (Kowloon) Police were so impressed with Sifu's late father Wu Ta-kuei (when they were investigating a bar fight in which he subdued 20 armed attackers) that they subsequently hired him to teach restraining moves to their officers, which he did for 15 years. I don't know if you've ever had any dealings with the Hong Kong Police, but they are pretty tough guys already!

As Jerry K. says, high level guys can break bones without too much effort, and depending on what comes in at them sometimes they can't avoid it, as in "instant karma." When you are in the presence of such a teacher (and you have the native talent yourself to learn from them) you will know. The point is, you have to go out and find your teacher, the onus is on you. If it is your fate, you will find a good one. If not, do the best you can anyway and maybe in your next life you will earn one. I'm not being sarcastic, that is the exact language some traditional teachers use.

Good Luck!
P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:21 pm

Wushunut,
Do you have ANY idea how many of us wish we were as close to Redmond, WA as you are, so we could train directly with Yang Jun, or even just at his school, full time?
If Yang Jun isn't a good enough name for you to train TCC with...
There isn't a name on the planet that you could come up with that would.
Seriously, there is no way you could come up with a better name or a more direct lineage to the "real deal" of TCC.
If you are looking for another name or style because Yang style TCC does not suit you for whatever reason, there was a disciple of my Sifu (Wu Kwong "Eddie" Yu) teaching somewhere near Redmond at a Wu's TCC Academy and I believe he still is.
If the Wu family name is more palatable to you as a TCC lineage , I do have his e-mail address lying around somewhere from back when someone else in Redmond decided they wanted to learn something other than Yang style, and I will gladly look it up for you.
The Wu style is, on the surface, much more martial LOOKING than Master Yang's style, and every disciple of Eddie's that I've ever met could show you enough TCC feats of wonderment to have you salivating for their training.
Let me know.
I can only say that while what you would learn there would be more martial looking, as I said, that would only be on the surface. The forms are small framed, so have a more martial appearance to the untutored eye.
That said, you're still not going to get instruction in anything "advanced" any time soon there.
However, if you're seriously interested, I will drag out my old contact list and find him and see if he's still operating around there for you.




[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby WU » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:27 pm

Hi Wushunut!

This is a common problem in Taiji circles! Lots of talks in theory but no real skills in self defence!

If a Taiji instructor cannot show you the real Taiji stuff at the first time, he or she won't be able to teach you at all. The old saying is "The hairless man won't be able to show you his real color of hair!"

If stopping in Alberta, Canada or passing by, please come to visit us and we will show you what the real Taiji applications are.

Good luck to you in searching for the truth of Taiji!

WU
(403)606-2700
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:41 pm

Wushunut,
I was mistaken, that disciple of Eddie's does not have an Academy, he was teaching there but not at an Academy, yet.
I have sent him an e-mail and am waiting to see if he is still in that area.
If you're interested, let me know and if he's still there, and responds, I will get contact info for you.
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Postby DavidJ » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:21 am

Hi Wushunut,

Here are a few references for you:

Master Tung Kai Ying
5820 W Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 379-5396

Master George Xu
4309 Lincoln Way,
San Francisco, CA 94122.
Tel./Fax: (415) 664-4578.

Sam Masich will hold his 14th annual Vancouver push hands camps July 16-19 and July 23-26.
Contact: (800) 668-1126 or (604) 682-1263 or littleproductions@canada.com

The 28th Kootenay Lake Tai Chi Retreat will be held Aug. 22-28. Instructors include Hajime Naka, Eric Eastman, Sana Shanti, Osman Phillips and Arnold Porter. Curricula will include T?ai Chi forms, sword, healing, massage, push hands and self-defense. Contact: Kootenay TaiChi Centre, Box 566, Nelson, BC, Canada V1L 5R3. Tel. 250 352-3714. Fax 250 352-2468. E-mail: chiflow@uniserve.com

Good luck in your search.

David J
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Postby Andreas Graf » Sun Jul 18, 2004 10:57 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wushunut:
<B>

Basically, I'm not that interested in trading punches with them, just haven't met anybody who can do the things that they talk about </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

An idea might be to go see Wang Haijun, Zhu Tiancai etc. Chen Xiaowang might be an idea too, but his workshops are often more "formal".

Regards,

Andreas
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Postby Andreas Graf » Sun Jul 18, 2004 10:58 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wushunut:
<B>
For example, they say it comes from Zhang San Feng, but he was around about 800-1000 years ago. There's some research that shows the Chen forms that Yang came from actually are Shaolin forms and don't come from Zhang San Feng's Wudang forms at all.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, but the Zhang Sanfeng <-> Taiji Quan theory is fairy tales anyway.
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