There are many many different types of Push Hands. There are also many different reasons for practicing push hands. Depending on your studies, goals and desires as well as the attributes you wish to develop you may desire one type of Push hands over another. Clear’s Tai Chi curriculum includes a number of different types of Push Hands.
The push hands that we specialize in and practice the most is designed to rapidly build high level internal ability and skill. This version of Push Hands was originally taught to me in China by Ma Yeuh Liang the famous Wu Tai Chi Master who was one of China’s 100 Living National Treasure’s. Master Ma called this type of Push Hands NO STYLE.
No Style Push Hands is a very close contact version whereby the 2 participants each stand in a very high and relaxed horse stance type position facing each other about a foot apart (between 8 – 14 inches normally and definitely less than 2 feet) and put their hands on the other person’s body with the hands being placed anywhere below the neck (not on the neck) and above the waistline including on the waist but above the hips. Beginner’s should place their hands into the easiest position to really easily shove their partner if this is desired. Under the armpits or on the waist or one hand below an armpit and one on the waist are good starting positions.
The way to play this push hands is that both people drop their weight (root) as deep into the ground as they can and use their contact with their hands to find the other person’s root as best as they can. When you find the other person’s root then simply easily and slowly push the bottom of the root and see if you can get the person to move without any extra physical effort on your part. Your partner is doing the same to you. Both of you are dropping and hiding your root as best as you can while trying to feel inside and find your partner. Moving them without any more than ounces of physical effort is the evidence as to how successful or not your efforts are.
When you play this push hands with a more experienced player you tend to feel helpless. Once you have develop this push hands and play with someone near to your own level it feels like an internal chess match.
Push Hands Sensitivity – This post is highly recommended for anyone interested in higher level push hands.