Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Pushing Hands, Neutralising Hands

Sometimes you wonder why pushing hands (tui shou 推手) is called thus, since the aim of pushing hands is to learn how to sense and then neutralise your opponent's force. So why isn't it called neutralising hands (hua shou 化手)? By calling it pushing hands, people misunderstand it, thinking that the aim is to push; they end focusing on how to push people, instead of learning how to neutralise their opponent's force. The "push" in pushing hands is for your partner to learn how to neutralise it.

Then again, there is this concept as well, that neutralising is pushing (化就是推) and also that only when you can neutralise, can you really be able to push (能化才能推). Maybe this is why it is still called pushing hands, since at the end of the day, neutralising your opponent's force also means being able to push him. Yet we must not confuse this with just pushing; neutralising your opponent's force and being able to push him are both the means and the ends. Focusing only on one (usually pushing) is to lose seeing the forest for the tree.

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