Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fun With Push Hands

Last night we were goofing around and started with a basic push hands pattern. Our goal here is not to just do patterns over and over, but to explore where we can go with the concept. The idea is to have a little give-and-take, Yin and Yang, and try to stay in contact and keep the flow going. This is one thing makes Chinese Internal Arts different than Kumite or point fighting in Karate. There are times when we could go for a takedown or power strike, but in this drill it is more important to keep the flow going.
Here's the beauty of video; it really allows you to do some self-analysis of form and technique. In this case, my training partner (in black; a former Nationally-ranked fighter on the Karate circut) has a superior root to my somewhat more narrow stance. He consistantly moves into my center, forcing me to fight from a defensive position. We move from the pattern, to some basic joint locking techniques, and then to a little free-style scrapping- In the end we trade a few low kicks.
Push hands practice is not self-defense fighting, or even sparring. It is conceptual in nature, about learning to alternate rooting and yielding, transfering power and proper structure and distance. Adding some hitting and kicking lends a little reality to what might otherwise be a dry pattern...


Patrick Parker said...

Now this looks a lot like the toshu randori that we do in aikido. This is the type of thing that has made me want to learn something about taichi, etc... for a long time now. Push hands.

Dave said...

That's a good clip. You guys must have access to a good teacher. Really, this is better than most of the stuff that you see on the web.

I don't want to seem pedantic, so ignore my next comment if it isn't useful. Have you learned big rollback (dalu)? I ask because your partner seems to come in fairly straight a lot and you could likely catch him more often by stepping back off the centerline and applying pluck, split, elbow, and kao. Your bagua footwork done backwards would also help in applying those.

Or have you already tried all that?

Formosa Neijia

Dojo Rat said...

Pat; you would love this stuff and all the Aiki applications you can fit into it--
You're exactly right, I should be able to counter his foward movement with rollback. Corey is a very strong and stable fighter, I can usually deal with other people easier.
We almost deleted this video because we didn't think it was good enough, but decided to keep it.
We have a lot more tools to use that we did not show yet, joint lock transitions etc.
And yes, we do have a good instructor, Michael Gilman, who we travel to train with once or twice a month. Plus we get to thrash our other training partners and students on the weeknight workouts,
Thanks for the rollback suggestion, I also need to get a deeper root. We'll keep working on it, and I think it will get pretty wild and animated as we progress further.

Dave said...

Just to clarify, (and as you probably know) there's a big difference between rollback (as in grasp bird's tail) and the PH practice of big rollback (dalu). Regular rollback from grasp bird's tail wouldn't be as useful in this situation since it goes at a shallow angle back. In my experience, that isn't enough for really aggressive forward players like your friend.

Dalu takes you off the centerline completely by adding corner stepping in 90 degrees. From that new angle, the corner energies of pluck, split, elbow, and kao can be devastating against an aggressive player. Instead of going back as you are in the clip, you can step off at the corner and move into him. Aggressive people don't like this. :)

This clip shows some of what I mean:

BTW, the email on my page doesn't work. If you need to contact me, you can use chessman71 "at" Sorry for the confusion. I'm curious as to what your idea is that you mentioned.

Formosa Neijia