Raleigh Chinese Martial Arts

Push Hands - Tui Shou - Developing Skills like a rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes settle their matters with their form of push hands, (tui shou).

by Sifu TW Smith

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push hands raleigh knox

Rattlesnakes Use Their Style of Push Hands

Push hands is called Tui Shou in Chinese. It is an exercise, a skill, and opportunity to learn how to apply martial skill from fluid motion. <br>

Tui Shou starts simply by classmate touching forearms, and working back and forth to rock your classmates balance point while at the same time protecting your own.

Tui Shou continues to be a progressive pushhands exercise. While pushing hands the students start with:

  • Listening - to hardness and softness, quickness and slowness, adhering
  • Attention - to center line while pushing and withdrawing the hand
  • Mechanics - waist turning, folding, supporting six sides

Some schools and students stop here, this level of tuishou training will improve ones taichi, bagua and skills and is good for your health practice. This level of pushhands is great for supporting a "Health Oriented" practitioner.

Push hands for power (Jing) is the next level of practice. At this stage, the tui shou practice also brings:

  • Stance gripping - ability to use stance and waist to develop foundation
  • Waist Sync - power must be synchronized by the waist or it be only a fraction of its potential, and will get the push hands practitioner off balance
  • Bio Mechanics - now the structure has to be ready to maintain and express power, not just movement.
  • One Time - reducing the gap between intention and expression

This level of tui shou training is essential for students that want to develop Jing power. This is often a slippery area for kung fu / martial art practitioners because their interpretation of jing comes out as snappy and rigid, which isn't correct. Also, this level is where "Health oriented" schools will use the "excess force" excuse, because their students are unable to manage themselves or deliver higher levels of power.

Tui Shou - Push hands to settle matters. At this stage of training, even amongst classmates, every detail counts:

  • Power - Six sides, one time, one line, full body integration
  • Stealth - Sensing your opponents intention while masking your own
  • Cleverness - Using their mistakes, creating pitfalls, baiting
  • Speed - Seizing the fluid moment, because within a half-second, the window of opportunity is closed
  • Relentless - Create an opportunity and do not back off till you have secured the upper hand

This level is considered to be one below full sparring (san shou). This is what I call the rattlesnake level. The rattlesnake have the ability to cause tremendous damage to one another. Yet they choose to settle matters amongst themselves with a natural version of pushhands. They will connect, adhere, push and pull till one has been repeatedly taken off balance and withdraws. They do not strike one another, and use the skills and strength developed to survive and hunt in the rest of nature.

If you have further interest in Push Hands Workshops and Lessons : Push Hands |Tui Shou Workshop | Raleigh 

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