3 Benefits of Push Hands

Two people stand holding each other’s arms. Both of them try to push the other one off balance and finally, you see one of them step back. The hand holds might vary, but in general, this is the basic format of push hands games.

You might have played these games in your Tai Chi studio or you might have even seen them played competitively. Although push hands drills look comparatively simple, there’s a lot more to them than you might imagine at first glance.

At Clear’s Tai Chi, we don’t focus on the competitive aspect of push hands where people try to shove each other. There’s a lot more going on than that.

Internal push hands drills build energetic ability and teach skills that are necessary for using Tai Chi as a martial art.

1) Build better structure.

If you play Clear’s internal push hands and your body structure is incorrect, this will be immediately apparent because your opponent will easily push you. In fact, an opponent with well-developed sensitivity may not even need to actually push you in order to be able to tell that you are off.

Of course you will have lost the match, but you will then be able to correct your structure and improve your Tai Chi. In the same way, push hands will teach you to root deeply and with the feedback of an opponent, you will be able to tell how well you are doing.

2) Develop Deeper Relaxation

Clear’s internal push hands also develops relaxation. If you play, you will quickly learn that tension in your body gives your opponent a handle to grab on to. It makes it easy for you to get pushed. And so, with practice, you relax. In fact, what you are learning is the principle of Sung, or relaxation while maintaining structure.

3) Greater Sensitivity

Though push hands really improves your structure and your rooting, these can be practiced without other people around. However push hands also helps you to improve your sensitivity. This is some that can’t be done without someone else present.

When you first begin to play push hands, you will begin to sense the lines of force in your opponents. Next you will begin to feel their alignment. This is where you can learn to tell where your opponents have something wrong with their body structure. As your skill develops, you will be able to pinpoint their mistakes and move them.

And much more…

Eventually you will learn to do even more with push hands drills. You will not only sense the lines of force that an opponent is using but you will also learn to sense their intentions. You will learn to sense where their mind is going and be able to neutralize their movements before they even make them.

Try it for yourself

Check out our free guide: How to build Internal Power and learn the basics of Clear’s Internal Push Hands. Then grab a training partner and try it out for yourself.

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