Tuishou practice in taijiquan

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Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby yeniseri on Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:51 am

Is anyone aware of teachers who have started taijiquan practice by teaching tui tuishou basic/fundamentals first before form practice.
Day 1 : Begin tuishou basics

I have been a competitor (extremely low level ;D ) and teacher for over 30 years but when I started I would go to a few teachers and ask if they would teach starting with tuishou and of course, all stated 'No".
Why is that? I know the rice bowl metaphor, the need to make a living, etc but my point of view is that the utility of learning tuishou far exceeds the knowledge of empty posture(s) whitin form and function.

I understand the utility/futility of nandu (degree of difficulty) in current competition, which is pleasing to the eye but the training is external consumption only. Am I way off and just another goof in trying to change something that deserves more than just a shining trophy or the roar of pleasing the crowds. Just saying' ???
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby johnwang on Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:05 pm

Before you train PH, you need to train the entering strategies. I don't understand why most people skip this training.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:28 pm

The very first thing my first teacher taught me was two-man exercises. Not tuishou drills, but from a combat perspective, defense from punches and throwing attempts, as following, evade, finding blind angles and how to fill in the gaps. Very relaxed, no effort. Solo exercises and partner work always complimented each other right from the beginning.

He also started teaching free push hands before drills.

My teacher never taught for money, so he didn’t bother trying to keep students for securing income or creating a large group. He had a good position in the local tax office and as my father was a notorious film collector, every semester he just wanted me to copy a few movies he wanted to see and had hard to find.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Trick on Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:30 pm

the first teacher that was suggested to me when i first moved to dalian only taught PH, he basically said forms where useless. when i met him ive basically had just been doing forms and similar for quite some time. after some PH with him i knew he had nothing to teach me. anyway i took his bussiness card that he offered on which it said "military arts" , i lost it and dont miss it :) the teacher i got hooked up with taught/teach wellbalanced, everything logically and with function.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:52 pm

I devide pushing into two types
Structural and listening for want of a better name
The structural ones are taught right from the start
Every class I have ever taught includes pushing and application
As long as you put new people with someone that is sensitive to their beginner status it's fine
I had one class that was women,I told them that I would never tell them where to go in class I would just pull them or push them into place
Saying if anyone objected to that I would not do it to them
Explaining to them that it was a method of teaching yielding and awareness and how to get to a better place with awareness
I think it was great way to teach pushing
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Appledog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:16 am

Isn't the reason why most push hands 'competitions' devolve into shoving and yanking matches is because the people involved didn't put the proper time into forms practice in the first place?
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:44 am

Or was it because they weren't taught pushing correctly and their egos get the better of them
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:54 am

Well, I thought even Roman gladiators trained before they did full contact. I guess there's no reason for anyone not to go directly to that from the beginning?

Well, I don't think one can learn how to use the form movements without knowing them. But, I agree that one can't learn how to use them without practicing them against someone else. Personally, I think that's slightly different than push hands, which to me is a way of practicing "with" someone. Sparring with light contact and full contact are at different levels.

I also think that practicing applications with someone who also does tcc can be limiting. I mean that it's good to practice against resisting opponents who have no clue about tcc (im), both skilled and unskilled. Tcc guys aren't going to attack you :).
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Peacedog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:02 pm

If you want to see what passes for applied tai chi, come out to the annual Lei Tai tournament in Maryland. It is informative, a train wreck and hilarious all at the same time.

https://usksf.org/kuo-shu-championship-tournament-2/

This year it is July 26th to the 28th. Dale Dugas usually shows up to hawk dit da jow, Matt is usually there to watch/compete and anybody who is anybody in the MD/DC/VA corridor makes a guest appearance as well. Very entertaining.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:47 pm

Appledog wrote:Isn't the reason why most push hands 'competitions' devolve into shoving and yanking matches is because the people involved didn't put the proper time into forms practice in the first place?


Why would solo practice help push hands?

It doesn’t to my own experience at least. I’ve met tons of long time form practitioners who also have studied push hands drills. Most of them still suck, are hard and tense up when they try free push hands.

Most of players who enter competitions lack experience and lack understanding and confidence in push hands principles. Most of them practice to win matches, not to develop genuine tai chi skills.

wayne hansen wrote:Or was it because they weren't taught pushing correctly and their egos get the better of them


Learning ph correctly takes a lot of time and many have too much ego to learn it correctly. Everyone need to lose many, many times before you can start winning.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Appledog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:56 pm

Bao wrote:
Appledog wrote:Isn't the reason why most push hands 'competitions' devolve into shoving and yanking matches is because the people involved didn't put the proper time into forms practice in the first place?


Why would solo practice help push hands?

It doesn’t to my own experience at least. I’ve met tons of long time form practitioners who also have studied push hands drills. Most of them still suck, are hard and tense up when they try free push hands.

Most of players who enter competitions lack experience and lack understanding and confidence in push hands principles. Most of them practice to win matches, not to develop genuine tai chi skills.

wayne hansen wrote:Or was it because they weren't taught pushing correctly and their egos get the better of them


Learning ph correctly takes a lot of time and many have too much ego to learn it correctly. Everyone need to lose many, many times before you can start winning.


True, but I find it somewhat unsettling that you don't intuitively understand why solo practice helps you in push hands. It's absolutely vital. This isn't something I came up with on my own, it's said by one's teacher's enough that it probably shouldn't come up here...

I do understand what you mean about long time forms competitors not being very good at push hands. To be good at push hands you have to train in it, not just do forms. It's just that if you don't do the forms first you really can't do the push hands.

And by forms I mean Tai Chi forms. Let us not get into the nightmare that goes over when people from other styles start doing push hands :)
Last edited by Appledog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Taste of Death on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:11 pm

Taiji forms and push hands are two separate things. How does one learn yielding while doing the forms? If one wants to be good at push hands one should practice push hands with a skilled partner.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Appledog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:25 pm

Taste of Death wrote:Taiji forms and push hands are two separate things. How does one learn yielding while doing the forms? If one wants to be good at push hands one should practice push hands with a skilled partner.


Can you please explain from what perspective you are saying this? Are you a professional Tai Chi teacher, or are you saying this from the perspective of a student? I'm curious mainly because not only are you wrong, but you're wrong in a way that even players form other martial artists could correct you on, and directly so after you have been told by someone that they (forms and PH) depend on one another. The reason I am asking is to promote a discussion where we can share our reasoning, and not an argument, so I hope you take it in that respect :) And to answer your question is very simple. You learn to yield in the form by being shown where the application of a segment is to yield. Actually practicing that is the push hands level, and you may not know this but this also answers your question; How can you practice yielding in push hands, if you do not know where the application is to yield? And the other side of the coin (stating it to underline the point everyone seems not to understand) How can you learn to push in push hands if you do not know when to push? It is not as easy as pushing when you go forward. That is not even really what push hands is about.

First you need to learn the form because that is where you learn to express the energies properly. Then you base push hands off that. If you do it backwards you will damage your ability to express proper energy and can develop bad habits which can be difficult (or even (theoretically, under some conditions)) impossible to recover from.
Last edited by Appledog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby everything on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:45 pm

I think I learned rollback first.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:17 pm

Appledog wrote: This isn't something I came up with on my own, it's said by one's teacher's enough that it probably shouldn't come up here...


That's a problem. Many teachers say that you need so and so long time form (and maybe stance) practice before starting PH. What is the basis for these statements other than that everyone goes on saying so? Form and solo practice can help your rooting and whole body movement as well as awareness of movement. But it won't help you understanding things as timing, distance and angle, how to use intent in PH and the psychology of PH.

I do understand what you mean about long time forms competitors not being very good at push hands. To be good at push hands you have to train in it, not just do forms. It's just that if you don't do the forms first you really can't do the push hands.


exactly.
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