Monday, November 14, 2016

Pushing Hands Was Never Designed For Competition

I have been watching small clips of pushing hands on Facebook often these few days (somehow, they often appear on my timeline). Most of them are clips taken during pushing hands competitions (I think there were a few recently) but there are also some clips taken during pushing hands practice sessions.

A trend I noticed is the people in these clips are all very focused on winning. Instead of the pushing hands that I know and practise, these clips look more like a mix between wrestling and judo. These people grapple at each other, try to throw each other, and basically just exert a lot of force. A lot more force than what taiji is about.

One even commented that he ran out of stamina because his opponent was much younger than him.

But if pushing hands is about exerting force and having stamina, then all those old masters, who are obviously not as strong or have as much stamina as fit young men, will definitely lose. But no, true masters of taiji do not lose with age. Instead, the more they practise, the better they get.

I find it sad that people are grappling and wrestling with each other and calling it pushing hands. No, that is not pushing hands. Pushing hands is a very specific exercise designed to teach people how to sense force. In the first place, it was never designed for competition. Turning it into a competitive sport is turning away people from what pushing hands is really about.

I hope more people can realise this, and bring pushing hands back to what it really is, an exercise designed for its practitioners to learn how to sense force. Those interested in competitive sports can always design their own system with a different name, just like sanda.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

New Start, Again... Back to Practice

A new start.


Now to get back to practice.