Monday, February 1, 2010

Pushing Hands

[Path to Mastery 2/1/10 - Wk21 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.16.09)]

Today's Lesson:

8 Type Tui-Shou (Pushing Hands)

Now that the practitioner has learned the basics of grappling and striking in the 4 type pushing hands, the practitioner learns how to utilize power effectively in through the 8 Type pushing hands.

Power comes from being able to do a certain type of movement better and more effortless than someone else. One cannot be all powerful because one cannot become efficient and effective in all techniques. Power implies focus, and one cannot be focused in all manners. There is not enough time to train all techniques. When you try to train all techniques, the practitioner who has been practicing only one technique will most likely be able to overwhelm all of your other techniques because of his familiarity and proficiency compared to yours.
In reality if one’s listening skill is top notch, then one does not need power since you will be able to use your listening skill to use your opponents force against them. However, this is not always realistic, and if the other is about the same skill level as you then the most you maybe able to do to your opponent is neutralize his attack and then attack with your own force. If you don’t have power then, you are not in a good position.

Also, learning how to use a few techniques over and over again allows one to learn specific listening skills. This is because the great familiarity one attains from repeating the neutralization and application of these specific techniques translates into examples of finer and more effective leading and following of forces. This experience of specific listening skill combined with the more general listening skill attained from the freehand training fuse together to produce a very heightened listening skill.

Unlike most martial arts, in Tai-Chi, one learns how to use one technique to penetrate any defense. One technique has limitless variation. As long as the power generation method and the structure being utilized is the same, the outward appearance of the technique may be completely different and yet it may the same technique. Thus, over time, the ability to generate power becomes limitless from any angle. Even though one is only utilizing a few techniques in effect, one seems to have limitless technique because the techniques have limitless application.

In addition, the 8 type pushing hands are created so that the practitioner becomes comfortable using any part of the body as a weapon, by learning how to generate power through any contact point.

Through freehand a practitioner trains adaptability and the ability to understand the opponent’s movements, force and intent. Through the 8 type pushing hands one learns how to generate power from any part of the body so that the whole body at any time can be used as a weapon. As the Tai-Chi name suggests, one trains the broad spectrum of unexpected movements while training a very limited focused variation of movements. This way, one learns how to yield and adapt while one learns how to generate power and be focused.


Nick, if I remember correctly, because of a certain situation, you were not able to submit the tracking everyday. I understand this. I am not sure that this effects you training everyday or not, but currently looking at your tracking sheet, it is not giving me any idea of what it is you are doing with your training.
The last time you dropped by, you had said that you understood what needed to be done with the tracking sheet and that you just needed to confirm your understanding. Looking at your current tracking sheet I don't see that.
Even if you don't submit everyday, you should show the dates everyday. Also, you should find a way to train everyday even if you can't submit the tracking sheet everyday. Currently the tracking sheet does not show the daily progression, and when there are comments attached, I am not at all sure when you trained and what you trained.
If you are not sure how to correct this issue, please let me know when you are coming next and we will review the tracking sheet again.

I saw that you training log has not been updated since the 26, last Tuesday. Even if I am not around please keep submitting the tracking sheet. Even if I can't view them, it keeps your routine in rythm and I have a place where I save all your submission and it becomes valuable history.

Now, brothers,

I am not sure whether you were aware of this, but our second phase is over. The end of the second phase was 1/30/09. I feel that this second phase was not as fruitful as the first. I take most of that responsibility.

I don't feel I did a good job keeping everybody focused and making sure what the goal was. If I were to ask what was the goal for the second phase, I wouldn't be surprized if either of you couldn't answer it. For the third phase, I would like to put the end date and our goals on the top so that we can't loose it.

I would love to get some good feedback from both of you to improve our journey together!

Let us work hard, and let us walk towards mastery!


  1. First of all Sang you are right, I have no clue what the goal for the second phase is. I am still working on mastering the 30. I am as close as I have ever been and closing but still do not have it as of February 1, 2010.

    My goal for part 3 is to master the tracking sheet. I honestly do not believe I have ever fully understood it. What I thought we were talking about earlier is that to use the dating feature I marked my progress on a weekly basis because that was the date I used. I am thinking that you wanted to make a note for every day and then include it in the comment but as I said again since September 12 of last year to know I have never fully understood the chart so I could very well be wrong. Again this is why my goal is to actually master the chart, from their I can understand where else in the system I am going.

    As for the lesson, it is so much like the rule of one! You can't train all skills because you would be incompetent, if you specialize then you can do some good. On a personal note Sang I am glad that you were able to use what you have trained and bring it to a practical level, because the real world is the test.

  2. Sang,

    I thought the second phase was fruitful. I learned a tremendous amount. I think due to your traveling and the holidays it didn't feel as congruent. As far as feeling the responsibility, as masters we must take on that responsibility for ourselves. We cannot count on you doing it for us.