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Partner exercises (Pushing Hands)

Wu style Pushing Hands (推手tui shou) comprises a huge variety of partner exercises originally conceived to develop skills for unarmed combat. These exercises emphasize the art of ting jin (听劲), hearing the power. Tai Chi Chuan differentiates two kinds of power, Li and Jin. Li is considered to be a simple power more external and gross only derived from pure muscle strength. In contrast Jin develops from the body’s movements and postures while the limbs follow a natural flow of Qi.

An essential aspect of training Tui Shou is permanent contact with the partner using hands, arms, and legs in order to feel the partner’s intention through his movements and to enable reaction accordingly to deflect his possible attack and cause it to end in emptiness.

Long and continuous training is necessary to master this skill. Since it plays an important role in Wu style Tai Chi Chuan the training of Pushing Hands has a great impact on the solo forms.

Within the traditional Wu Tai Chi Chuan many of these techniques are cultivated and exercised systematically.

Systematic practise

As described in the solo forms also the Tui Shou comprises well defined sequences of practise. At first the “single hand” exercises (单手dan shou) are trained to develop a sensibility for the hands, elbows, and arms. Following these exercises further practise using both upper limbs are performed (双手shuang shou) including principles of techniques known as peng, lü, ji, an, cai, lie, zhou, and kao on any level of the upright body. All these techniques are trained systematically in order to be able using them in free application.

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