Yale New Haven T’ai Chi Study Group Push Hands Guidelines
- Push hands practice is
limited to dues-paying members. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis
at the discretion of the teacher with the consent of the study group principals.
- People will be authorized to
practice in the push hands class after they have been approached by the teacher
to begin practice. Alternatively they may request admission to the push hands
class. If they request it, and they have studied for an adequate length of
time, their form will be observed, corrected, and if it demonstrates correct
understanding of "root", "soft", proportion and
connectedness, they will be considered ready to begin push hands.
- Push hands is not to be
taught student-to-student. It will be taught one-on-one with a qualified
teacher and practiced as "sawing wood" until the student has shown
the mastery needed to begin more difficult practices or an "unfixed"
form of push hands. Questions should be directed to a qualified teacher.
- Push hands is not a
replacement for form class. Push Hands and Solo Form are mutually consistent.
Form class and Push Hands reflect on each other. Corrections made in Form class
should be applied to Push Hands practice and understanding that grows from Push
Hands practice should be applied in form class. Thus, coming to push hands
class or practice without attending the preceding form class is poor form and
limits the possibility of applying the class content.
- Push hands is a training
method. It builds awareness and sensitivity. It is a method for growing skills
in root, softness, proportion, connectedness and responsiveness. It is not a
contest. Contests of strength against strength will not be tolerated. They are
antithetical to the principles of T'ai Chi. They damage both the participants
and the onlookers. Employing any techniques that involve sudden changes in
speed, or are useful only within push hands rules will also be considered
infractions as they also can damage both participants and onlooker.
- Each person with whom you push
hands in our school should be treated with concern for their immediate
wellbeing and for their development as a student. Failure to do so will result
in a warning. Continued disregard of these guidelines will result in
termination of push hands privileges.
- It should be understood that
push hands is practiced in other t’ai chi schools, both within and outside our
lineage. It is strongly suggested that before achieving significant
understanding and mastery of the skills of push hands, practice with persons
from other schools, even within the lineage, be avoided for reasons of personal
safety. This instruction was given by Professor Cheng.
- Under no
circumstances should a student claim to represent the school or the lineage
unless they have received "permission to teach." This is the common
practice in many arts.
© 2017 Yale New Haven T’ai Chi Study Group