Greetings. Wettest October in history. Mild temperatures. Everything is green and lush. Beautiful. Hope to see you at one of the upcoming workshops. All students are welcome. I hope you are enjoying your practice.
Tui Shou – Push Hands: Deep Level Training
Tui Shou, mostly called push hands, is a great training device/exercise for gaining sensitivity, awareness, martial skills, and deep understanding of what makes Tai Chi so special. Most people are afraid of the competitive aspects of push hands, so even Master Choy called it Joining Hands, to make it more acceptable to those on a spiritual quest.
Yi is the thinking mind or intention. Every action is preceded by an intention. If our opponent/partner wants to push us, first his mind must make the intention. If we are sensitive enough, we can feel this impulse or brain wave start to form. You must pay attention with your body/mind.
The Yi then send this signal to the body and the Chi starts to build. The Chi energizes and stimulates the muscles, so it must build to a certain level before the muscles start to move. If you are sensitive enough, you can feel this build up of Chi.
Finally, the body moves, and this is expressed as Jing. This we all feel easily, yet if we listen carefully, we can control this release before it gets too strong.
So the highest level of push hands training is to listen to the opponent’s mind, and deal with the intention even before the Chi starts to build. Next level would be to feel the Chi build before there is movement, and last level would be to deal in a relaxed fashion with the Jing.
This training can lead to the deepest levels of Tai Chi benefits knowing others. It can seem almost mystical to play push hands with someone skilled in this practice. They seem to know what we are going to do even before we ourselves decide on our action. Don’t be afraid to play on this level, and you can gain much.