Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Single Drills for Push Hands Practice

Single Drills for Push Hands Practice

When we practice our tai chi form, we lead the chi through our movements for health and to get the feel for staying relaxed. Push hands practice allows us to practice these skills with a partner so we can test our combat techniques and even further hone our relaxation.

I have been lucky enough to learn some tips on push hands from a great teacher, even though I practiced with him for just a few minutes. I attempt to practice these skills every day with or without a partner.

What? Practice push hands without a partner? How can that be?

If we leave the context of the form for just a moment, push hands becomes a practice in redirecting an opponent's energy. If we feel the energy in our movements, we can prepare for push hand in our individual practice.

Start by raising your arms into hold the ball position (both arms are shoulder height and slightly curved). Imagine a partner in front of you.

Relax, inhale and sink your knees slightly, hollow your torso. Exhale and turn to the right leading from the dan tien — this will simulate intercepting a partners energy and redirecting it.

Practice this from the left.  Then practice with an elongation of the torso as well.

Remember to stay relaxed and keep in touch with your chi.

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