Wu Style Tai Chi Pushing Hands
The classics state "Tai Chi is the art of using the mind, not force." This does not mean that there is no power. The strength comes from the mind/body connection. Tai Chi Pushing Hands and solo forms train the will and mind whilst preserving strength. Emphasis is on the combination of the mind, Qi and body working together as one unit. Training in Pushing Hands teaches how to apply Tai Chi movements using the mind/body connection.
- Do not use excess force. Learn to divert and neutralize opponent's force rather than try to match it.
- Keep the mind and body calm. This training improves mind and body awareness and sensitivity.
- Maintain your centre of gravity at all times.
- Maintain contact at all times.
BaGua — Eight Directions
The thirteen central features of Tai Chi Pushing Hands are based on the Bagua or eight directions and the Wu xing or five elements. The eight directions and their related movements are:
- Ward off (Pung) — Yang. Redirecting force away from your centre.
- Roll-Back (Luo) — Yin. Yield to and take control of opponent's force.
- Press (Ji) — Stick to and press before opponent can move.
- Pushing (An) — Connect with opponent's force and control their centre.
- Pull-Down (Cai) — Direct opponent's force downwards, disrupts their balance.
- Twist (Li) — To lock a limb.
- Elbow (Zhou) — Elbow attack
- Shoulder (Kao) — Combined body force directed up through shoulder to opponent.
Wu Xing — Five Elements
- Step Forward (Jin) — Yang. Following opponent.
- Step Back (Tui) — Yin. Accepting force in order to regain position or neutralise opponent.
- Left (Ku) — Follow opponent's force from right to left
- Right (Pan) — Follow opponent's force from left to right
- Centre (Zhong Ding) — Your centre of gravity. Training in slow form develops Zhong Ding. All movements, methods and applications are based on Zhong Ding.