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...