Well, I now belong to a push hands group. Yay! We meet once a week.
We had our first practice the other night and I learned quite a bit. I'll ramble a bit and try to get across some of the things I may have learned from the experience.
I'm starting to learn the real feeling of "movement from the waist" in a way that you cannot feel in form practice alone. I will play with that muchly in future. I think that my YCF form is starting to get better now because I am beginning to understand how to turn from the waist like that.
This waist turn is in the Wu forms, it was just never emphasized in my training. Unfortunately for me, I trained at WTCCA's when their "Hide secrets from the Guilo" policy was in effect. I learned it, so they didn't necessarily hide it, they just never really explained it's significance openly. C'est la vie, I'm learning it now.
This waist turning is very effective. On it's own, keeping my hips stabilized forward and using only my waist to turn, I can effectively push hands. I'm VERY stiff in this part of my waist, due to non-use over the years, but now that I'm opening it up I should improve. At home with my son we practiced using both turning from the hip AND turning from the waist together.
We can't figure out why everyone doesn't do this. This is the most effective combination of turns I have ever seen or felt. If you turn your waist first and THEN continue with a hip turn you can offset your opponent so that every single last erg of energy he tosses at you goes by like you're not even there. Turn it around and start your push from the hip until you reach your limit that way THEN continue the energy by continuing with your waist turn and it feels like I could push over a mountain without even trying.
I'm afraid, actually afraid not just kind of leery, to try that on another person. I will play with it for quite some time before I do.
Using less than total seperation between the legs really does help with the roll back portion of pushing hands. I've noted this before, but I was using only hip turns at that point. Now I have begun to integrate the waist turns as well, I see this more clearly. However I find that pushing is easier, for me, if I push to a 100/0 seperation.
I lift the toe on my front foot when I push hands. I have always done so in both styles of TCC I trained in previously. I noticed my instructor does not though he said that's perfectly acceptable. I tried it without lifting the toe and noticed some very strange energy in my body. Don't know if this is good or bad yet, for me, I'm going to have to play with it.
Any ideas here? I'm at a loss.
I didn't feel "better" or "worse" from it, just different. It threw me off, since I've never pushed that way before, but it wasn't like I had more or less rooting or was unstable in any way because of it. Nor did it give me any apparent advantage either way.
The one thing it did was limit my ability to turn as far with my hip. Since I was only using my waist to push that night, it didn't really matter, but when I started putting the two turning methods together I noticed it right away. Lifting the toe on the forward foot when you are sitting back does allow you to open your hip to a much greater degree.
Well, that's enough to start with for now. I'll try to think of more things as time goes by and let you all know.