Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I know I've been posting a lot of this guy's videos, but Mike Martello just has some of the best examples out there.
Here he is in Taiwan doing push hands with his instructor, who is 81 years old. Keep in mind that Mike is not fighting him, just learning from him.
This goes back to the previous Wing Chun post, where the master included many pushing techniques as well as striking.
Push hands practice is not fighting practice in the direct sense. Internal arts are difficult to learn and rely on extreme sensitivity. If you have ever crossed hands with a very good Tai Chi or Aikido practitioner, you know how they can instantly find your center of balence and center of being. I have been putty in the hands of a skilled Aikijitsu practitioner years ago. I could not feel how he was manipulating me and at any given moment he could have broke or dislocated me in a number of ways. Under the push-hands rules of engagement, my Tai Chi instructor Michael Gilman, an international champion constantly defeats me. As I have described, he can instantly find my center.
Push hands teaches us proper stance and distance from opponent for offense and defense. It teaches us to not "butt heads", power against power. Rather, you learn to follow your opponents energy and utilize it to your advantage.
Remember, when you steal someone's center and really "push" them, every table, chair, stairway and sharp corner in the room becomes your weapon.