I know its an itch that some of us have. The itch that is an urge to play push hands with outsiders to test ourselves.
However, the way I see it is if you had previously done it and you find that your performance is short then why not work on your skills until you have something to put to the test. Otherwise, your performance will still fall short and its human to blame the floor when we can’t dance when well we can’t dance.
If a student wants to know if he is ready to go out and play pushy pushy then an easy way to check is to test his ability in a beginner level Push Hands Game. The test is real easy in that the following is checked :-
1) Ability to listen, recognize and respond with the appropriate technique
2) Conformance of the technique to requirements of structure and intent
3) Implementation of strategy to guard space, overcome resistance and capture positions
The student tested would need to demonstrate his ability to stand there and defend his position against attacks backed by a moderate amount of pressure and power. This is a good check of conformance to requirements, body control, balance, stance work, responsiveness, timing, ability to change, control space, etc.
From here the student can see for himself where he really stands versus where he thought his skill level is. He can still proceed to go out and play but if his performance falls short against strong opponents he will at least know the root cause. Master Tai Chi Today is not about guessing where we stand in push hands but meeting the requirements of the principles.
Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Tai Chi Yang Style (TaijiKinesis) lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today