Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

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Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:27 am

Hi All,

This is my attempt to show how we begin to progress from push hands patterns into a sort of sparring. Of course, there's a lot of intermediary stuff not included, but the idea here is to move beyond fixed drills as soon as one is able and have more of a structured play, gradually incorporating more and more techniques as opportunities arise.

Please let me know what you think!

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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby zrm on Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:04 am

Well I liked it.

I noticed on your website you also train Xing Yi and Bagua. Do you ever incorporate Xing Yi / Bagua concepts and movements into your push hands practice as you transition into free-flow / light sparring drills? Or do you treat them as separate arts?
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby everything on Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:22 am

Looks fun. For what you're doing I would want to "throw" (bad pun, not intended) in more throws.

PH seems to work well as a bridge to free throwing/grappling sparring, since you are already in "clinch range". It has always seemed less useful to bridge to free striking from kicking/punching (no clinch) ranges since it assumes a starting point at close range. It seems interesting from a dirty boxing pov, though.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:43 am

zrm wrote:Well I liked it.

I noticed on your website you also train Xing Yi and Bagua. Do you ever incorporate Xing Yi / Bagua concepts and movements into your push hands practice as you transition into free-flow / light sparring drills? Or do you treat them as separate arts?


Thank you!

Yes, where ever possible I incorporate stuff from the XYQ and BGZ too if it'll work in the softer format of this type of sparring. For example, the first foot sweep I do is really a variation of the application for xingyi dragon. Bagua's mud-stepping is also valuable (used nimbly) for trapping the feet just before a throw/take down.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:49 am

everything wrote:Looks fun. For what you're doing I would want to "throw" (bad pun, not intended) in more throws.


Yes, that'll be for future vids. Some people complained that this one was too long! I'll try to focus on just a few techniques next time. This one was meant to be a general overview showing fairly simple things people can practice to help get them to a place where they can start some soft sparring, especially from a distance.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby Taijikid on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:56 am

Good direction!

How many would teach even a simple one hand push hand drill the correct attention to possible defensive holes to yourself as a result of your push or redirection.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby Bao on Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:42 pm

Nice vid, thanks for sharing.

I wonder though why you decide to go directly from drill and not from free push hands. Drills are cooperative and the skill set in use is very limited compared to more push hands. In a drill, you don't have the mind-set to defend yourself in a free format and you are not using distance and angle in the appropriate way for a free situation as sparring. When you practice drills, you follow and redirect a limb. When you do free sparring, you need to connect to the opponents center, have a pro-active attitude and control distance and angle. Drills are IMO not the best way to practice with this kind of fighting mind-set.

... JUST IMHO and IME...
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:01 pm

Bao wrote:Nice vid, thanks for sharing.
Thank you!

I wonder though why you decide to go directly from drill and not from free push hands.


Well, basically because there wasn't time, and the biggest complaint I've gotten so far was that it was too long a video! :P My goal was to give a VERY general and cursory overview of a progression from simple single-hand PH to soft sparring. That, to me, seems like the biggest question that aspiring martial artists have about TJQ. I'm also not too comfortable with the word "drill" in my practice. I feel like even in the single-hand exercise there is a substantial element of free play that requires the participants to stay alert and responsive.
Last edited by daniel pfister on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby Bao on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm

daniel pfister wrote:
Well, basically because there wasn't time, and the biggest complaint I've gotten so far was that it was too long a video! :P


They speak nonsense, IMO. It's not too long.

I feel like even in the single-hand exercise there is a substantial element of free play that requires the participants to stay alert and responsive.


Of course there should be. Still, drills are very one-dimensional. The positions you always deal with in drills do in free push hands mean that you have bad timing. You should not let your opponent should have a comfortable position and distance, and he should not be given the opportunity to even make a push or a strike. In drills you are always one step behind what you could have done in free push hand or sparring.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby zrm on Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:09 pm

I feel drills are important to train the subconscious motor control. The goal is for the body to innately recognize when a certain technique is applicable.

For me the ideal training progression goes from drill -> to drills where you take advantage of mistakes -> drills that take advantage that also have purposely broken timing -> drills with broken timing with moving step -> free form sparring restricted to certain techniques -> free form sparring

I feel if you skip the steps your free form sparring has a habit of devolving into bad boxing with no technique. This is because (at least initially) you will find yourself in positions you have not drilled before and your body doesn't know what to do when you get there. If you keep finding yourself in an uncomfortable position its usually a sign that you've either found a new position to develop some drills from or that you need to revisit drills from an earlier position to stop that position from happening as much.

I get what you are saying about positioning, but to me that's just another drill. Drills from a no-touch position where you mirror the opponent and keep distance and get an angle. Drills where your partner tries to change level etc.

In Ziranmen we do 'shadow partner practice'. No attacks, just moving around with footwork trying to find an advantageous angle. Looking for good opportunities to enter, every now and then giving away an opportunity on purpose for the partner to take advantage of.

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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby everything on Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:13 pm

daniel pfister wrote:
everything wrote:Looks fun. For what you're doing I would want to "throw" (bad pun, not intended) in more throws.


Yes, that'll be for future vids. Some people complained that this one was too long! I'll try to focus on just a few techniques next time. This one was meant to be a general overview showing fairly simple things people can practice to help get them to a place where they can start some soft sparring, especially from a distance.


I like it. Definitely would like to go from pattern ph, to more free ph, to soft sparring.
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby nicklinjm on Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:50 pm

Re: the original video, very nice stuff- think how to bridge from fixed PH to some kind of sparring is one of the big questions that people studying tcc for combat have. Also like the fact that your partner in the demos is actually giving you some real force to deal with! Your students are lucky ~
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:50 pm

nicklinjm wrote:Re: the original video, very nice stuff- think how to bridge from fixed PH to some kind of sparring is one of the big questions that people studying tcc for combat have. Also like the fact that your partner in the demos is actually giving you some real force to deal with! Your students are lucky ~

;D
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Re: Push Hands: Patterns to Free-Flow

Postby daniel pfister on Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:50 pm

Bao wrote: In drills you are always one step behind what you could have done in free push hand or sparring.


Right, that's why I teach a pattern (drill) then quickly move to the variations and ways to play within it. This video was meant for people that are unsure about how you get to the more ideal place your talking about.
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