Pushing Hands

Pushing hands, when practiced properly, is a mutual exercise where the goal is to maintain continuous exchange for as long as possible between the players. The players should be smiling.

When practiced properly, pushing hands should make you smile.

Because of improper or incomplete teaching, the form has widely degraded outside China, even devolving into a dumbed down sport, in pale imitation of Sanda. In both cases, these are competitive events for the "young guys", none of whom are internal, never sufficiently relaxed, calm and always using too much force. In the worst cases, novice internal practitioners go "force against force", in violation of the core principle of Wudang.

This devolution is partly a result of reliance on printed and multimedia materials, such as videos showing various masters pushing a skinny student back without being moved. This is just one small aspect of the art!

When I visit the Pushing Hands circle at the park, everyone looks glum. No one is friendly. Very few casual practitioners feel secure in their capabilities, and this leads to a nervous mindset.

They have been incorrectly introduced to Pushing Hands as a partizan, competitive exercise.

Real Tai Chi Pushing Hands is a cooperative exercise.

Pushing Hands should make you happy.

The goal of pushing hands is to sustain the exercise indefinitely.

For sparring there is Sanda. Don't confuse the two. One is fighting, the other is play.

Force against force is fighting. Competition is fighting.

Real Tai Chi Push Hands is play.