Pushing Hands - the Martial Applications of Taijiquan

It is difficult, for even those practicing the art of Taijiquan, to see how the movements in the form could possibly have any sort of combat application.

Martial application is divided into the following disciplines:

Martial Purpose

The martial purpose behind each movement in the form is discussed and demonstrated as the student learns that move. These applications of the movements are later explored in Pushing Hands.

Basic Self Defense Techniques

It is said that a "well-rounded" martial art should teach each of the following martial disciplines:

  • Hand techniques (striking/defending)
  • Leg techniques (kicking/footwork/linking)
  • Joint Locking (grappling/chin na)
  • Throwing

Taijiquan teaches us all of these disciplines in the form, and adds a 5th discipline: Fa-Chin (Fa-jing).

Pushing Hands

Push Hands (Tui Shou) is the most important (and fun) training technique for Taijiquan martial application. This discipline is a partnered exercise, where the students connect to each other at the wrists and apply the techniques of Taijiquan to attack and defend. This is a very easy and surprisingly gentle practice, and can be performed by students of any skill level. The Pushing Hands techiques taught are:

  • Single-hand push hands (teaches defense, balance and hip placement)
  • Two-handed push hands (teaches the martial applications of the form and fa-chin)
  • Sticky hands (teaches defense, interception, and strategy)
  • Quick-striking (teaches quick reactions and strike/defense with minimal movement)
  • Competitive balance (teaches balance)

Pushing Hands

Pushing Hands

San Shou