Learning push hands is a work in progress. Week by week I evaluate and try to push my student to progress a bit further. I am glad when he exclaimed that a technique that had previously seemed difficult and incomprehensible to him now seemed so easy. This is why my teacher said that the true price we pay for mastering Tai Chi is time.
To make my students master push hands I have been using the Song of Push Hands which I presented on page 101 TaijiKinesis 1 : Navigating the Taijiquan Maze. The four sentences that appear under 4.1 – 4.4 are of particular importance and is the basis of how I transmit the skill of push hands.
The first sentence 4.1 is from the Tai Chi Classics. To me knowing it, saying it is useless. We must implement it into practice. But saying that we must do it is not enough. We must have a method for learning how to do it and of course it all begins when we learn how to play the first long form.
The second sentence 4.2 can be learned by practicing the long form and implementing it back into push hands. The secret to doing so lies in 5.1 – 5.2 and 9.1 – 9.2.
The third (4.3) and fourth (4.4) sentences go together. When you apply 4.1 – 4.2 properly then the outcome is 4.3 + 4.4. If we do not diligently observe 4.1 – 4.4 our push hands techniques will keep getting stuck and we have to use more strength than necessary. You will not be able to achieve 3.3 – 3.4.
Even though TaijiKinesis Vol 1 does not seem as an important text as TaijiKinesis Vol 2 nevertheless Appendix B : Principles Redefined was written as a summary on the essential principles to enter the gate of mastery.
Thus, the Song of Form Play should be read together with the Song of Push Hands as each complement the other. This is a key to Master Tai Chi Today so pay attention to them in your daily practice.
To know more about our approach to Tai Chi read TaijiKinesis Vol 1 and Vol 2 available here.
Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Yang Style Combat Tai Chi lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today at the link here.