Pushing hands is a two person tai chi practice, which complements the individual practice of the tai chi form. When you practice the tai chi form, you are exploring how energy moves within your own body, but with pushing hands you have the benefit of understanding the interplay of your own energy with that of a partner.
At a superficial level, the objective of pushing hands is to attempt to affect your partner’s balance while simultaneously doing your best to prevent your own balance from being affected. At a more significant level, you are developing many aspects of your mind while understanding how energy and form relate to one another.
Some of the purposes of tai chi pushing hands include;
1. To maintain continuous contact with your partners arms/hands until one of you unbalances the other.
2. To learn to relax under pressure.
3. To neutralise a partners force and speed and use it to your advantage.
4. To be able to remain calm, centred and alert in the face of physical pressure or mental force.
5. To develop the ability to detect subtle movements, energy flows and changes in speed, direction and pressure.
6. To enable the mind to focus on the present moment and increase its awareness.