Saturday, January 26, 2008

Experts in Pushing Hands

Being able to make someone fall does not make one an expert in pushing hands. The real expert is one who can make someone fall, when his opponent is trying to make him fall. Thus, when he is not being attacked, he does not attack. But once his opponent tries to attack him, he uses his opponent's force to counterattack.

So, being able to push someone down is just half the journey. And sometimes, you are able to push someone not because you are using your force correctly, but because you are using brute force. There is still a long way towards being able to make your opponent push himself down, to make him fall on his own.

Drawing Circles When Pushing Hands

Last night when I was pushing hands with my teacher, we were practising how to just draw circles smoothly, in as light a manner as possible. My teacher was telling me that whenever I push hands, all I need is to relax and draw circles, and I will be able to neutralise all attacks, and if my opponent uses brute force or resists, he will lose his balance.

What my teacher did was that he drew big circles, leading my movements towards the extremities of my centre of gravity. When I push, he will use my strength to lead me further forward. When I retreat, he will follow my force and make me move back a little further. Then, just when you least expect it, he draws me just a little beyond the edge, and I would fall. All these, while simply drawing circles.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Don't Panic

One of our natural reactions is to tense up when we feel fear. Once we sense danger, it is only natural for us to try to fight or flee. And that reflects in pushing hands as well, when our opponent manages to find an opening in our defence.

And it is all the more important when being attacked to remain calm. Once you panic, you tense up, you kua is no longer relaxed, and you become a single stiff block easily pushed by your opponent. Instead of panicking, if you remain calm, you can then relax your kua, which allows you to sink your weight, making it harder for your opponent to push you. Then, you can take your time to slowly neutralise his force, sensing where he is coming from and then deflecting it away.