Push Hands

Tui Shou, Sensing Hands, Pushing Hands, Sticking Hands, Rooted, Stationary
Moving Push Hands, Two Person Playing/Training: Da Lu, San Shou, Ka Shou, Da Shou
Two Person Martial Arts Applications and Drills of Yang Style Taijiquan

Mostly Non-Competitive Interacting Somaesthetics as Sportspersons, Gamers, Players, or Fans
Some Hard Touching Competition Stuff Included Herein

Rooting, Vertical Powers, Central Equilibrium, Zhong Ding, Gravity Powers, Sinking

Relaxed, Calm, Still, Loose, Aware, Sung

Breathing, Pranayama, Qigong

Intention, Mental, Will, Idea

Spiraling, Twisting, Rotating, Turning

Touching, Feeling, Grabing, Hands, Fingers

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

Links     Bibliography     Quotations     Rules

Taijiquan     Cloud Hands Blog








Links and Bibliography
Tui Shou, Sensing Hands, Pushing Hands, Sticking Hands, San Shou, Da Lu, Ka Shou, Da Shou


I am looking forward to meeting and practicing "Pushing Hands" with a person in Red Bluff, California.  Let's meet!


AAU Chinese Martial Arts, Rules for Push Hands  

The Art of Pushing Hands
.   By Paul Zabwodski. 

Bagua Dragon Push Hands.  By Chun Man Sit.  Tai Chi, Volume 26, No. 1, February, 2002, pp. 44-46.

Canadian Taijiquan Federation, Push Hand Free Play Zone, Safety Check List. 

Chen Style Taijiquan, Master Chen You Ze Workshop Reviews   

Chen Xin's 36 Push Hands Sicknesses.  By Zhang Yun.  Tai Chi, Volume 24, No. 5, October, 2000, pp. 38-41.

Cloud Hands Blog

Combative Elements of Yang Taijiquan.   By Peter Lim Tian Tek. 

"A Commentary on Push Hands Strategies."   By Michael Gillman.  T'ai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  Vol. 18, No. 5, October, 1994, pp. 34-35.  

The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Practice.  By Wong Kiew Kit.  Shaftesbury, Dorset, Element, 1996.  Index, bibliography, 316 pages.  Push Hands, Chaper 8, pp. 100 -115.  

Concepts for Taiji Partner Training - Dalu: The Four-Corner Push-Hands Training Method.  By Stephen J. Goodson and Billy Fox.  Create Space Independent Publishing, 2015.  68 pages.  ISBN: 978-1508941224. 





Concepts for Taiji Partner Training - Dalu: The Four-Corner Push-Hands Training Method.  By Stephen J. Goodson and Billy Fox.  Create Space Independent Publishing, 2015.  68 pages.  ISBN: 978-1508941224. 

Dalu.  Brief instructions, foot movement charts, and some nice line drawings.  Yang Style Taijiquan Push Hands.   Chapter Three, pp. 163-177, found in Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan.  By Fu Zhongwen.  Dalu on pp. 170-177. 



Defining Push Hands.   By Mike Sigman.  13Kb.  

Discourse on Taiji Pushing Hands.  Narrated by Yang Cheng Fu.  Recorded by Chen Wei Ming.  Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek.  2Kb.

The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation.   By Tsung Hwa Jou.  Charles E. Tuttle, 1998.  3rd Edition.  233 pages.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An outstanding textbook on Tai Chi Chuan.  All styles are introduced and explained.  A very informative introduction to the philosophy and practices of Tai Chi Chuan. 

Empuje de Manos - Tui Shou   

Form and Push Hands Training.   By Xue Nai-Yin.  Tai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Volume 23, No. 3, June, 
1999, pp. 42-43.

Four Important Skills for Push Hands and Fighting.  By Zhang Yun.  Tai Chi, Vol. 25, No. 2, April, 2001, pp. 35-39.  Discussion of Zhan and Nian (adhere/stick/paste), Lian and Sui (following, linking, mind).  

Hitting Hands Essential Sayings by Li I-yu.  Translated by Peter Lim.

How to Use Small and Medium Circles in Push Hands.   By Andy Wong.  Tai Chi, Volume 24, No. 6, December, 2000, p. 48-50.  

Horse Stance Push Hands.  By Chun Man Sit.  Tai Chi, Vol 23, No. 1, February, 1999, pp.38-41.

The Intrinsic Energies of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  Compiled and translated by Stuart Alve Olson.  Chen Kung Series, Volume Two.   Saint Paul, Minnesota, Dragon Door Publications, 1994.  Index, 194 pages.  ISBN: 093804513X.   VSCL.    

The Joy of Being Pushed Around.   By Ralph Johnson.  Tai Chi, Volume 25, No. 6, December, 2001, pp.30-32.  




Martial Arts

Two Person Martial Arts Applications and Drills in Yang Style Taijiquan


Tai Chi Chuan Martial Power: Advanced Yang Style.  By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Foreword by Tung-Tsai Liang.  Boston, MA, YMAA Publications, Third Edition, September, 2016.  Index, glossary, 352 pages, ISBN: 978-1594392993. 

    Second Edition, Foreword by Jou, Tsung-Hwa.  Boston, MA, YMAA Publications, 2015.  New user friendly design.  Index, glossary, 320 pages.  ISBN: 978-1594392948. 

    First Edition, T'ai Chi Ch'uan Martial Applications Advanced Yang Style.  By Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming.  Edited by Alan Doughall.  Jamaica Plain, MA,
    YMAA Publications, 1996.  363 pages.  ISBN: 1886969442.  VSCL. 

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: 24 And 48 Postures With Martial Applications   By Master Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching; and, edited by Denise Brieter.  Boston, MA, YMAA Publications.   2nd Edition, 1993, 1996.   ISBN:  1886969337.  Index, bibliography, glossary, 153 pages.  VSCL. 

Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and Its Applications.   By Yang, Jwing-Ming.  VHS videotape.  Boston, YMAA Publications, 1995.  ASIN: 0940871181.   Applications for postures in the 24, 48 and 108 forms.  

Yang Tai Chi 24 Form Self Defense  By Sifu Ken Gullette.  Internal Fighting Arts, 2013.  199 pages.  E-book Kindle Format.  "This book contains 259 photos and 108 self-defense techniques for the most popular Tai Chi form in the world.

Standard 24 Form in Yang Style of Taijiquan









Movements of Magic: The Spirit of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  By Bob Klein.  North Hollywood, CA, Newcastel Publishing Co., 1984.  158 pages.  ISBN: 0878770720.  Chapter 3, pp. 25-51, is about pushing hands.  

The Nature of Push Hands Competition in America.  By Sifu Michael Pekor. 

Northwest Tai Chi Push Hands Championships.  Port Townsend, Washington.  Memorial Day Weekend.  Organized by Michael Gilman.   

On Peng Jing - Internal Power Energy.  By H. Won Gim. 

On Push Hands by Chris Luth    




Push Hands.  The Patience Tai Chi Chuan Association.

Push Hands
   Chu Tai Chi, New York.  

Push Hands and Dalu Sections, pp. 103-112, found in: The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan (Taijiquan Tiyong Quanshu).  By Yang, Cheng-Fu (1883-1936).  Translated by Louis Swaim.  The original publication date in Chinese was in 1934.  The original Chinese book was edited by Professor Cheng Man-Chi'ng.  It follows closely the 1931 publication title "Taijiquan Shiyongfa" (Application Methods of Taijiquan).  Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books, 2005.  Introduction, appendices, bibliography, 124 pages.  ISBN: 1556435452.    

Push Hands Competitions - Why Bother?  Kung Fu magazine, August 2001. 

"Push Hands for Tournaments and Combat."  By Al-Waalee Muhammad.  Tai Chi, Volume 28, No. 6, December, 2004, p. 34-37.  

Push Hands Intensive Workshop with Alex Dong   September, Santa Barbara, California.  

Push Hands: Kung Fu's Greatest Training Secret.  Instructional videotape by Bob Klein.  VHS.  1989.  ASIN: 6302932831.

A Push Hands Major Error.   By Mike Sigman.   

Push Hands in Taijiquan.   Links, bibliography, notes, quotes.    

"Push Hands is a Game of Strategy and Skills."   By Marvin Smalheiser.  Based on an interview with Abraham Liu.  Reprint of 1990 article.  T'ai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Vol. 29, No. 1, February 2005, pp. 48-51.  

Push-Hands Online.  Chinesische Kampfkunst, Selbstverteidigung.  German website.

Push Hands Principles   By Sifu Toni DeMoulin.  

Push Hands: The Art of Knowing Your Opponent

Push Hands: The Handbook for Noncompetitive Tai Chi Practice with a Partner.  By Herman Kauz.  Woodstock, New York, Overlook Press, 2001.  128 pages, photographs.  ISBN: 0879517549.  Master Kauz's main considerations in Push-Hands are: Avoid moving your feet.  Study and use offensive and defensive tactics.  Maintain flexibility in your body position.  Avoid using strength.  Remain relaxed.  Use correct timing.  Learn to sense the location of the body's center.  Avoid straightening you elbows.  Attack correctly and effectively.  Remain rooted.  Maintain the flow of the action. Avoid double-weighting.  Breathe correctly. Refine your movements.  Keep your movements circular.  Use your eyes correctly.  

Push Hands - The Tai Chi Site.  

Push Hands: The Tao of Tai-Chi Fighting.  By Al-Waalee Muhammad.  

Push Hands Tournaments of Shaolin Chin Mantis and Tai Chi Youth.  

Push Hands (Tui Shou) in Tai Chi Chuan.   Links, Bibliography, Videos, Quotes, Notes.  31Kb.  

The Push Hands Video Manual, Volume I.   By Sam Masich.  Instructional videotape.

Push Hands Videotapes from Wayfarer Publications Catalog    

The Push Hands Workbook: T'ai Chi Partner Movements (Tui Shou) for Sport and Personal Development.  By Nando Raynolds.  Create Space independent Publishing Platform, 2006.  168 pages.  ISBN: 978-1440428579.  Nando Raynolds has practiced Yang style T'ai Chi since 1978 and taught since 1988.  He is a licensed psychotherapist and provides professional counseling, supervision and life coaching.  He and has studied bodywork, yoga and the martial arts. His professional practice is in Ashland, Oregon.  He has taught Cheng Man-ch'ing 37 Taijiquan at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.  He holds his 3rd dan in Daimon Ryu Kenpo Karate. He wrote the instructional section for "The Everything Book of T'ai Chi and Qigong" and is a frequent contributor of articles to the Tai Chi Magazine.  "This workbook is a step-by-step guide to push hands (t'ui shou). These T'ai Chi Chuan two person exercises are the foundation of the self-defense skills of the art.  Written for the beginner through advanced practitioner and teachers, this book presents fun exercises and games that train sensitivity and responsiveness.  Specific component skills of push hands (eg. sticking, listening, neutralizing, pushing, rooting etc) are systematically developed through sequential drills presented in the workbook.  Important topics that are often poorly addressed in the English literature are explained in clear language and paired with activities."  VSCL. 

Push Hands Workshop with Elaine Waters    Summertime, Trinidad, California.  

Push Hands with a Great Tai Chi Master: Grandmaster Fu Sheng Yuan.  Article from the Tai Chi Academy.  22Kb.   

Pushing Hands   37Kb.    

Putting the Magic into Push Hands.   By Jay Van Schelt.  8Kb.



Rules for Pushing Hands

Rules - Push Hands
.   AAU Chinese Martial Arts, Rules for Push Hands  15Kb.  

Rules - Push Hands   Chicago Push Hands Rules

Rules - Push Hands
   China Hand Kung Fu Academy, Brick, NJ.  9Kb.  

Rules - Push Hands   Non-competitive, Canadian Taijiquan Federation

Rules - Push Hands   Tai Chi Competition

Rules - Push Hands.   Tournament Rules and Procedures for Taijiquan Events.  First implemented in tournaments of the Carolinas Association of Chinese Martial Arts and the July 2002 International Championships of the United States Chinese Kuoshu Federation.  11 pages.  Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School Judging Tools.

Rules - Push Hands   Zhong Ding Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Association Grand Championships   

Rules - Push Hands Competition Rules.  Videotape by Rob and Eric Volke.  "Push Hands - Comptetion Rules and Referee Signals."  Push Hands Wettkampfregein.  In Dutch.  

Rules - Push Hands - Tournament Rules    Northwest Tai Chi Push Hands Championships.  Port  Townsend, Washington.  Organized by Michael Gilman.   24Kb.  





San Shou Definition   

Search Center: Articles and Books

Silk Reeling (Chan Ssu Jin): Links, bibliography, quotes, notes.  

Single Push Hands Notes  By Arthur Orawski. 

Slow Discourse on Push Hands.   By Zhang Yi Jun.  Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek. 

Standard 24 Form in Yang Style of Taijiquan

A Study of Taiji Push-Hands.   By Xiang Kairen. 

A Study of Taijiquan Push-Hands.  By Hsiang K'ai-Jan, Part 1.  Translated by Kenneth Cohen.  Internal Arts, Vol. 5, No. 1, January, 1990, pp 45 - 46.

A Study of T'ai Chi Push-Hands.  By Xiang Kai Zhang.  Wuwei Foundation  




The Tai Chi Book: Beginning and Enjoying a Lifetime of PracticeBy Robert Chuckrow, Ph.D..  Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, YMAA Publication Center, c 1998.   209 pages.  ISBN: 1886969647.  Chapter 11, pp. 150-176, is an excellent presentation about Push Hands concepts, principles, techniques, and attitude.  

T’ai Chi Ch’uan For Health and Self-Defense.  Philosophy and Practice.  By Master T. T. Liang.  Edited and with a foreword by Paul B. Gallagher.  Revised, expanded edition, 1977. New York, Vintage Books, 1974, 1977.  133 pages.  ISBN: 0394724615.  Pushing Hands, pp. 77-102.  

Tai Chi Chuan Martial Applications Advanced Yang Style.  By Dr. Wang, Jwing Ming.  Edited by Alan Doughall.  Jamaica Plain, MA, YMAA Publications, 2nd Edition, 1996.  363 pages.  ISBN: 1886969442.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Push Hands Instruction.   By Robert Chuckrow, Ph.D..  Instructional videotape.  VHS, 43 minutes.  Yang style.  

Tai Chi for Two: The Practice of Push Hands.   By Paul Crompton.  Paul H. Crompton, Ltd., 1995.  Second Edition.  122 pages.
ISBN:  1874250405.

Tai Chi Push Hands   By Peter Chin Kean Choy. 

Tai Chi Push Hands and Wing Chun Sticky Hands: A Comparison.  By Sifu Michael Pekor. 

Tai Chi Push Hands Page.  Academy of Tai Chi and Wu Shu.  

Tai Chi Push Hands - Why?  By Erle Montaigue. 

Tai Chi Pushing Hands: Yang Style Single & Double Pushing Hands - Volume One  
Performed by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and Senior Students.  DVD 2005, 180 Minutes, ASIN: B000BAQZMG.  VHS videotape, 2003, 115 minutes, ISBN: 0940871505.  Includes: Fundamental structure of pushing hands, Taiji symbol sticking hands practice, solo single pushing hands, partner single pushing hands, partner double pushing hands.  YMMA Publication.  DVD in VSCL. 






Taiji Pushing Hands, Volume 2.  International Yang Style Double Pushing Hands Routine.  Performed by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and Senior Students.  VHS videotape, 50 minutes.  ISBN: 0940871513.  YMMA, 2003.  Includes: The three basic jins (power), advanced Taiji symbol sticking hands training, Internation stationary double pushing hands routine, and the international moving double pushing hands routine.  

T'ai Chi San Shou Drills.   By Chun Man Sit.  Tai Chi, Volume 24, No. 6, December, 2000, p. 33-37.  

T'ai Chi Sensing-Hands.  A Complete Guide to T'ai Chi T'ui-Shou Training from Original Yang Family Records.  Translation and commentary by Stuart Alve Olson.  Multi-Media Books, Division of CFW Enterprises, 1999.  Distributed by Unique Publications, Burbank, CA.  First Edition.  280 pages.  ISBN: 1892515156.  Part of the Cehn Kung (Yearning K. Chen) T'ai Chi Series.  VSCL..  

Taijiquan: The Paired Techniques.  By Igor Dudukchan.  Translated by Marina Kondratenko.  124 pages.  ISBN: 978-9668472923.  "This book is devoted to a detailed description of the Paired Techniques of the Taijiquan style Yang. Readers are presented with techniques such as: Tuishou - Pushing Hands, Duilian - The Pair Form, Fajin - methods of releasing the efforts." 

Tai Ji Tui Shou:  Mastering the Eight Styles and Four Skills of Sensing Hands.  By Stuart Alve Olson.  Patrick Gross, Chen Kung Series Editor.  Original author: Chen Kung.  Create Space Independent Publishing, 2015.  160 pages.  Volume 4 of the Chen Kung Series.  ISBN: 978-1506039961.  VSCL. 

The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan:  Way to Rejuvenation.   By Jou, Tsung Hwa.   Edited by Shoshana Shapiro.  Warwick, New York, Tai Chi Foundation, 1980.  263 pages.  First Edition.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An excellent comprehensive textbook.  A Third Edition is now available.  Chapter Six is about Push Hands, pp. 225 - 257.  VSCL. 

Training for Competing in Push Hands.   By Chen Youze.  Tai Chi, Volume 23, No. 1, February 1999, pp. 6 - 12.  VSCL. 

Los Tui Shou o Empuje de Manos

Tui Shou or Pushing Hands      La Poussée Des Mains

Tui Shou    Rochester Chen Style Taiji

Universal Tai Chi Study Group   San Francisco

Valley Spirit Taijiquan Club     Red Bluff, California.  

Virtues and Martial Arts

Warriors of Stillness: Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts
.  Volume 1.  The Teachings of Grandmaster Cai Song Fang.  Qigong Qi of the Center, Essence of Taijiquan.   By Jan Diepersloot.  Walnut Creek, California, Center for Healing and the Arts.  Glossary, 226 pages.  ISBN:  0964997606.  A study of Wu Ji meditation, 13 postures, and push hands.  VSCL. 

Who's Pushing?.  By Dan Docherty.  

Yang Style Taiji Push Hands.   By by Ted W. Knecht.    

Yang Style Taijiquan Push Hands.   Chapter Three, pp. 163-177, found in Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan.  Bu Fu Zhongwen (1903-1994).  Translated by Louis Swaim.  Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books, 1999.  Glossary, bibliography, 226 pages.  ISBN: 1556433182.  Translations of many Tai Chi classics are included.  A list of the 85 movement long form and detailed notes and descriptions of each movement are provided.  251 movement analysis illustrations.  Over 76 of the illustrations are traced and drawn from photographs of Yang Cheng-Fu.  Detailed descriptions of the long form, pp. 26-162.  Push hands information.  Yang Tai Chi essentials.    I have found this to be an excellent book!  This book was first published in 1963 in China as "Yang Shi Taijiquan".  An informative introduction and good translation by Louis Swaim.  VSCL. Three Push Hands Methods: 1. Fixed Step Push Hands (Ding Bu Tuishou), p.165.  2.  Active-Step Push Hands (Hou Bu Tuishou), p.167.  3.  Dalu, p.170-177. 


Related Terms:  Push Hands, Tui Shou, Tuishou, Push-Hands, Kampfkunst, Pushing Hands, Da Lu, Rolling Hands, Moving Push Hands, Sensing Hands, Sticking Hands, Ka Shou (Scaping or Grating Hands), Da Shou (Striking Hands), Fighting Hands, Single Push Hands, Double Push Hands






Tui Shou, Sensing Hands, Pushing Hands, Sticking Hands, San Shou, Da Lu



"Push Hands is a relaxed, two-person sparring exercise that one may begin upon completion the Tai Chi Short Form. It may be considered as the bridge between the Form and fighting practice. Three specific techniques are emphasized: sticking--maintaining light contact with an opponent; listening--sensing the magnitude and direction of an opponent's force; and yielding--responding to an opponent's force partially by giving way, and partially by controlling or guiding its direction. The ultimate goal of the training is to reduce the amount of force needed to neutralize attacks, so that one may defeat speed and strength with skill."
Chu Tai Chi, New York



"There is a comment attributed to Yang Cheng Fu which says, in effect, that when you do push-hands the  hands don't move.  This is excellent advice and it goes hand-in-hand with the way the body is move in the form, etc. In other words, the power which is expressed in the hands and arms is the ground strength which has been propagated through the body (along the peng path) and which is directed by the waist.  When learning to do push-hands, the hands should be roughly in front of the body centerline and should not move from there.  If they are moving in relation to the centerline, you are most probably using local strength 
and are therefore not using the correct internal strength."
-  Mike Sigman, A Push Hands Major Error



"The objective of Tai-Chi Push Hands is to learn how to harmonize the Yin/receptive and Yang/assertive principles, so that better health, communication and vitality can be achieved.  This positive exercise system helps the practitioner to find more balance and self-confidence in his daily life."
-  Peter Chin Kean Choy, Tai Chi Push Hands



"I've decided to attempt to change the name of push hands for our school.  Taking the cue from the late Robert W. Smith, I've started to call Tui Shou "sensing hands."  Though "push hands" is a more literal translation from the Chinese, it is less helpful in describing the spirit of the exercise.  Sensing Hands speaks to neutrality, the absence of force, listening rather than doing -- all of which are what Cheng Man-ching's Tui Shou is about. Robert Smith grasped that Professor's approach is perhaps what is most unique and outstanding about his Taichichuan.  Though we do "push," even that action has more to do with sensing and following rather than attacking.  The tao of our Sensing Hands is to stick, listen and understand energy. The very power has much more to do with sensitivity than force. When we reach the point where we understand where the opponent is strong and where he is weak, and if we are able to stick to his energy, he will not be able to resist us. Because of our sensing ability."
-  Wolfe Lowenthal, Long River Tai Chi



"What tournament push hands is: An opportunity to play with players of various skills and styles in an energetically charged atmosphere; a way of testing what you will actually do when faced with an opponent intent on pushing you into the cheap seats; a test of how effective your taiji form is when faced with opposition; a test of how well you have integrated your taiji principles; a chance to display your stuff before your peers; an opportunity to experience the rapture of pure timelessness that comes from having your entire consciousness focused in the NOW of competition; a chance to say that on such and such a day, under certain rules, you were able to defeat those players that showed up and competed in your event; an opportunity to FACE YOUR FEARS (fear of failure, of performing before others, of another body in close proximity, of that much energy, etc.), and purge a few demons."
-   Push Hands Competitions - Why Bother? 



"The T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Taijiquan) Classic says, "When the opponent is hard, then be soft, this is called zhou or yielding. Here one tactically is following movements that are strong in order to be able to return or re-emerge. If you “follow” harmoniously and the opponent feels swamped or uncertain this is called adhering. The idea of expressing hard energy implies the notion of attack. it need not be so. Hardness may thwart attack by unbalancing softness. Jamming the others intentions is to shut the door on their expectations. However such hardness is neither forceful or stiff. Take for example the attacking movements of ward-off or press as used in push-hands method. "Soft" has the significance of protecting, guarding or conserving (shou). But this should not be a softness that is weak or limp or technically sloppy (Something of a technical crime!). Each defensive movement although "hard" and "soft" may appear analogous to attack and defence, it is ones mind that makes the situation so. To be mindful is to understand each persons intention and inner meaning as it is uncovered, this is a true relationship to posture. One should avoid the use of stiff, forceful energy to attack or to yield. Perhaps the strangest contradiction one is likely to uncover in pushing hands is the need to developed relaxed, unplanned concentration from above to below. When for example your opposite player (friend) uses ward-off or press to attack and oppress , then use the defensive movements of roll-back and push to neutralise. This kind of movement is called moving away -Zhou.

In following harmoniously one loses stance then the whole self needs to right itself, here we are maintaining stance and then losing stance. To fall is to get up. One can move the centre of gravity and each loss of posture can be turned to advantage in time. This is common place and an invaluable learning method. An example would be to use ward-off or press to attack with the intent to cause the player to lose their stance. However real life situations are rarely so easy! Often one hears the quoted maxim that if the opponent moves with speed one should respond quicker and if the opponent moves slowly, then respond slowly in keeping, but this is extremely high level skill and should not be taken too literally. After all we are all so different in skill and form. Better is to keep alert, adapt and breathe."
-  Paul Zabwodski, The Art of Pushing Hands



"First of all, realize that you are participating in a sport. It is not the same as participating in a fight. If you want to win at push hands competition, forget punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, striking and anything else related to martial arts. Just get as strong as you possibly can.  Find the biggest, strongest, most athletic opponents you can and practice pushing them.  Play with your left foot in front, your right foot in front, and with your feet wherever the heck you want. Get strong. Become flexible, but flexible under the full pressure of a big, tough opponent.  Forget points. Just play rough and tumble push hands. Play so that it’s almost a "sumo" match, without the strikes and throws. This is the best way to prepare for a push hands match in an American tournament."
-   Michael Pekor,  The Nature of Push Hands Competition in America



"Pushing hands trains these technical principles in ever increasing complexity of patterns. At first students work basic patterns, then patterns with moving steps coordinated in different directions, patterns at differing heights (high, middle, low and combinations) and then finally different styles of "freestyle" push hands, which lead into sparring that combines closing and distancing strategies with long, medium and short range techniques. These exchanges are characterized as "question and answer" sessions between training partners; the person pushing is asking a question, the person receiving the push answers with their response. The answers should be "soft," without resistance or stiffness. The students hope to learn to not fight back when pushed nor retreat before anticipated force, but rather to allow the strength and direction of the push to determine their answer. The intent thereby is for the students to condition themselves and their reflexes to the point that they can meet an incoming force in softness, move with it until they determine its intent and then allow it to exhaust itself or redirect it into a harmless direction. The degree to which students maintain their balance while observing these requirements determines the appropriateness of their "answers." The expression used in some Tai Chi schools to describe this is "Give up oneself to follow another." The eventual goal for self-defense purposes is to achieve meeting the force, determining its direction and effectively redirecting it in as short a time as possible, with examples provided of seemingly instantaneous redirections at the highest levels of kung fu by traditional teachers. Pushing hands also teaches students safety habits in regard to their own vital areas, especially acupressure points, as well as introducing them to the principles of chin na and some aspects of the manipulative therapy or tui na also taught in traditional Tai Chi Chuan schools. At a certain point, pushing hands begins to take on aspects of qigong (chi kung), as the students learn to coordinate their movements in attack and defense with their breathing."
Pushing Hands in Wikipedia



"Push Hands is the mutual probing of the internal jing, its dependent on the sense of touch, seeking out the opponent's centre of mass and flaws, definitely not the same as the methods of external martial arts, even more unlike what is called "horizontal defeating the straight".  At the start is the study of fixed stance Push Hands, which must emphasize 'ward off, rollback, press, push must be dilligent", must not simply go through the motions, cultivate careful listening to jing, completely neutralising, not messily moving, etc, the above good habits. Then proceeding to study Big Rollback (Ta Lu), using pluck, split, elbow stroke, shoulder stroke, also equally emphasizing on listening to jing.  When highly skilled people Push Hands, they mutually seek out each other's jing, not conforming to any fixed forms, thisis also known as Sparring Push (San Tui)."



"Pushing Hands is a simplified form of sparring popular with students of Tai Chi.  Lacking the punches and kicks common in the practice fighting of many external martial arts, Pushing Hands is a gentle sport of control where success is achieved by upsetting 
the balance of one's opponent.  Typically, participants begin facing one another, each in a bow stance.  Each participant has his or her outside hand on the elbow of their opponent and the inside hand on the wrist.  As the match begins, the pair use their hands to push against one another, seeking to control one another's energy.  Sudden or forceful shoving is taboo. The victor should be the pusher of the greatest skill, not the greatest brutishness."
Tai Chi Push Hands



"The challenges of competition can be stimulating and enjoyable.  But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear.  Competition is enjoyable only when it is a means to perfect one's skills; when it becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be fun."
-   Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow


Tai Chi's "Wonderful Hand."
Chang Cheung-hsing's "Message of His Discovery of the General Theory of Tai Chi Ch'uan."

"Totally Yin with Yang is "Soft Hand".
Totally Yang without Yin is "Hard Hand".
10% Yin with 90% Yang is "Hard Rod Hand".
20% Yin with 80% Yang is "Combat Hand". 
30% Yin with 70% Yang is "Rigid Hand".
40% Yin with 60% Yang may be classified as "Good Hand".
Only 50% Yang beautifully matched with 50% Yin, without being partial to either Yin or Yang, is regarded as "Wonderful Hand".
The execution of "Wonderful Hand: is an expression of Tai Chi.
When all images and forms are completely neutralized, things once again return to their original state of "nothingness." "
Cloud Hands, Inc.  Tai Chi Chuan: The Technique of Power, p 75.  By Cloud Hands Inc., 2003.  290 pages.  ISBN: 0974201308.  VSCL.   

My teacher, Sifu Knack, once spoke of "Blood Hand" when you punch so hard that the blood of your opponent is on your fist.   



"But without the focus on jin, an odd thing begins to happen. First of all, the contest becomes by necessity one of muscle and local strength (even if you only use "4 ounces" and you use local strength, it's not Tai Chi).  The next step for the aggressive ones is to see how assertive and strong they can get without admitting to the other guy that what they're doing may not be Taiji at all.  This is the common problem. In fact, the "rules" at the Tai Chi Tournaments do nothing to foster good Taiji, they are simply rules
to keep the local strength down to acceptable levels."
-   Mike Sigman, Defining Push Hands



"Fair Play is a philosophy of coaching. It is grounded in the belief that sport is a moral pursuit, and is emphasizes participation. Underlying the fair-play philosophy are certain principles. These principles have as their aim the development of a true competitive 
spirit; true sportsmanship. The fair play philosophy emphasizes the following: 1.
   Respect the rules of the game.  2.  Respect officials and accept their decision.  3.   Respect the opponent or training partner.  4.   Maintain dignity under all circumstances
The Push Hands Free Play Zone is an opportunity for tai chi chuan push hands players to work with a variety of partners of different skill level in a safe environment.  The emphasis should be on mutual learning and the Fair Play Philosophy.  1.
The play zone is not a competition.  2.  Have fun and Learn from one another.  3.  Work with as many people as you can.  Work with people you are comfortable with and especially those you aren’t comfortable with.  4.  Stretch out the play to work on structures, techniques and being there."

-   Canadian Taijiquan Federation, Push Hands Free Play Zone



"Because it's interactive, push hands may be the highest expression of tai chi chuan. Every lesson it teaches applies equally to the martial arts and life. The two main things you have to deal with in life are interaction and change - the things that produce the most stress and trauma. When you deal with these successfully, you feel like you're on cloud nine. Likewise, when you practice push hands successfully, you feel exhilarated."
-  Chris Luth, On Push Hands



"Many authorities including Ma You-ching and Wu Tu-nan state that Tui Shou was originally called Ka Shou or Da Shou. Ka means to scrape or grate, so we would have scraping or grating hands; while Da means to strike or to hit so Da Shou is striking hands, but a striking hand also, in Chinese, alludes to a fighter. Indeed, one of the Tai Chi Chuan Classics, the Da Shou Ge is often translated as the "Song of Pushing Hands"; it should more accurately be translated as the Song of Striking Hands" or the "Fighter's Song". So why the name change from Da/Ka to Tui Shou.?

I believe that the exercises which we now refer to as pushing hands were developed after the fighting applications to enhance skills that would be useful in fighting. Subsequently, as is the case today, some people learned only the pushing hand drills and not how to apply the skills thus acquired. The drills became an end in themselves, a kind of pointless, unscripted, partnered ballet.

Many people practiced pushing hands, while few did the San Shou, literally "Scattering Hands" which is the term used to refer to self defence techniques. So gradually many practitioners came to perceive Tui Shou as a separate entity, which, coupled with knowledge of the form, would give them a self defence capability. Not so."
-  Dan Docherty, Who's Pushing?




Rules for Pushing Hands
Noncompetitive - Fixed Step
(For mixed Taijiquan players of different ages, sexes, bodyweights, and abilities.)

The purpose is play, friendly and respectful practice, and learning.
Each partner should take turns going out of balance, yielding, giving in - loosing.  
Partners should always be gentle, and carefully cooperate with each other.  
Injury is to be avoided at all times.  
Always practice techniques in cooperation and avoid surprises.
Respect the rules of fair play, free play, and fun play.
Bigger players need to soften up, relax, be sensitive, and play gently.    
Serious non-competitive players should read the book by Master Kauz.
Excessive and brute force is discouraged and never permitted.  
Unruly, undignified, sexual or inappropriate contact is never permitted.  
Strikes with the hands, elbows, feet, knees, or legs are never allowed.
Careless or intentional strikes to the face, neck or groin are never allowed.  
Players should remove jewelry, watches, rings, or necklaces.  
Leg kicks or sweeps are not allowed.  
Grabbing and pulling or pushing with both hands is not allowed.
Grabbing and pulling or pushing with one hand is allowed. 
Joint locks or twisting grabs (chin na) are never allowed.   




Rules for Pushing Hands
Competitive - Fixed Step
(For Taijiquan competitors matched by sex, bodyweight, and abilities.)

Excessive and brute force is discouraged and may be penalized; however,
     the interpretations and decisions of the referees and judges vary on this issue.  
Intentional strikes to the face, neck or groin are not allowed.  
Strikes with the hands, elbows, feet, knees, or legs are not allowed.
Excessive or unruly contact is not allowed. 
Players must remove all jewelry, watches, rings, or necklaces.   
Kicking, sweeping or wrestling techniques are not allowed.  
Grabbing and pulling or pushing with both hands is not allowed.
Grabbing and pulling or pushing with one hand is allowed.  
Joint locks or twisting grabs (chin na) are not allowed.   
Follow all Tournament Rules



"The three most popular formats in the U.S. are Fixed Step, Restricted Step, and Moving Step. In Fixed, the feet stay planted and any movement is penalized. In Restricted, one step back and forth is allowed (provided you keep the same foot forward at all times), with points awarded for making an opponent take one off-balance step. In Moving, you are allowed free movement within a small circle, with points given for making an opponent take two or more off-balance steps, leave the circle, or fall down."
-   Push Hands Competitions - Why Bother? 



"Pushing hands training is the most important, simply because with out it you’re Tai Chi form will only be a form of exercise, not the training of the true martial art. Pushing Hands is the link between the long form and the execution of a martial art technique in a real life and death situation, the long form is where you are practising the moves of the martial art technique with co-ordination of breath, where as Pushing Hands is where you learn to apply the technique in an exercise of working together with a partner, through this training method you will learn to feel and adhere to your partner learning to sense when your partner is going to initiate an attack, by feeling through your hands this is also known as sticking and listening energy."
-   Bob Fermor, Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan



Be conscientious in Peng, Lu, Chi, and An.
Upper and lower coordinate, and the opponent finds it difficult to penetrate.
Let the opponent attack with great force; use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.
Attract to emptiness and discharge.
Zhan, Lian, Nian, Sui, no resisting no letting go.
Song of Push Hands



Be serious about ward off (peng), roll back (lu), press (ji), and push (an).
Up and down following each other.
This makes one's opponent feel that it is very difficult to enter.

However he uses monstrous power to attack me, I use four ounces to guide him aside, deflecting his thousand pounds.
Lead his strength to nothing, and then attack immediately.
Adhere, stick, and follow him without losing him.
Song of Push Hands












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