At the end of a night in 2012, at the end of a sweaty training session, at the end of our strength’s use, we practiced free dance.
We started slowly before moving faster, changing tempo now and then, but always turning round and round like a top in spin.
What style be it is the question – some see baguazhang, some see Aikido, some see Vietnamese Wing Chun, some see Tai Chi’s 9-palace stepping, others see what they want to see.
Whatever it may be it is at the end of the day the principles of turning and translation at work to teach us how to use turning and stepping to absorb, neutralize and position.
P.S. – in Tai Chi the principles of this type of free stepping and turning is taught within our straight sword form. How to turn, how to step, how to free your body up to turn quickly and effortlessly whilst defending and attacking is taught within the applications of the straight sword.
A clip from 2012. Most of the time when I do push hands I minimize my body movement so that its difficult for an opponent to read me.
However, we do train the movement of our body. One example is shown in this clip below :-
In this type of practice we have to let the tension go, not completely, but enough to allow us to be like a rubber band that can absorb, neutralize and return the opponent’s strength.
Its not a confrontational type of push hands. Neither is it a collapsible, tofu-like type of push hands. Its should feel like you are a bit drunk, not enough to be pushed over, but not enough to fight back hard, just in a drunken state of mind to be pushed, not resisting hard, yet not going completely soft.
It can be a fun practice as the person doing the pushing can help the person being pushed to improve. Remember to ALLOW, OKAY and ENJOY the pushing. If you don’t know what I am talking about refer to this post.
Basically, pull when pushed, push when pulled. Hey, this sounds familiar……. ah, yes, its the famous Judo maxim.
However, if you want to borrow the opponent’s movement and strength this is what you would do. This principle is baked into a number of Tai Chi movements so its not just a Judo thing but a universal principle.
So push-pull like a pulley when you do this dance.