Every Thursday, in the morning, I practice Tai Chi with my Italian friends in Yoyogi Park, central Tokyo. It’s a lot of fun, I love their very active attitude and their curiosity. Today I wanted to remind them the difference between “Ward Off” and “Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane” since both stances start holding the ball. I’ve been asked about the martial application of “Ward Off” and after I showed it we starting talking about Tai Chi and self defense. I mentioned “Push Hands” techniques as a gateway for students to undo a person’s natural instinct to resist force with force, teaching the body to yield to force and redirect it. “Push hands” is performed with a partner and allows to learn how to respond to external stimuli using techniques from their forms practice. Training with a partner allows a student to develop ting jing (listening power), the sensitivity to feel the direction and strength of a partner’s intention. In that sense “push hands” lets students to train in the defensive and offensive movement principles of their martial art: learning to generate, coordinate and deliver power to another and also how to effectively neutralize incoming forces, in other words, to be in control and defend oneself.
I found this video very interesting and I invite you to watch it.