THE TRADITIONAL CHEN ROUTINES/VIDEOS
(all material is Copyright of Chen style Taichi Centre 2010)
The Ancillary Exercises The Open Hand Routines Push Hands Weapons Routines

PUSH HANDS AND APPLICATIONS
(explanations further below)
 



Push Hands (Tui Shou) & Qinna (Joint-Locking)
Push Hands is usually taught only after students have achieved some competency in the Old Frame One (and hence relaxation, flexibility and "grounding" skill). It begins as a two-person co-operative exercise. Participants seek to develop sensitivity in feeling the balance (or lack thereof) of their partner (and self) by linking wrists and moving together in circular patterns. The goal is to maintain integrity of one's own moving equilibrium at all times.

Competition forms of Push Hands go further and seek to exploit awareness of a partner's moments of imbalance, if they exist, and so cause them to fall with a minimum use of force.

Co-operative Push Hands training is a rather structured routine but with experience becomes almost a freestyle "dance." When competitive it is tantamount to free-sparring though martial applications are usually excluded.

The above clip was taken December 2010. Here Malisa Ng demonstrates co-operative Push Hands with David including impromptu qinna techniques and internal skills.

Qinna are the "joint-locking" or grappling skills which add to Chen Tai Chi's "arsenal" of self-defence techniques and make it a formidable martial-art when mastered.
They require little force to be very effective and ideally complement the other powerful internally generated forces associated with higher level Tai Chi.

42 Fajiin Push Hands Applications 2006:
Many Chen stylists will not have heard of this 42 Fajin, Push Hands applications training routine. It is a relatively new innovation created by 18th generation Chen Village leaders Chen ZhaoPei and Chen ZhaoKui.

This advanced demonstration makes it clear that Chen style, at its highest level, has some extremely hard aspects which compliment the extreme softness associated with Tai Chi in the popular European mind. The old Chinese description of TaiChi as "iron covered in cotton-wool" becomes evident here.

This single person, flowing fajin training form was only taught to the young 19th generation "Four Buddha's" and one or two others for a special performance. It was long forgotten by these teenagers until Zhu Tian Cai revived the routine in 2003 to assist students taking advanced Push Hands training.

At that time the form contained 32 distinct movements. Zhu added ten more movements because he realised that the full set of Chen Village fajing strikes was not wholly represented in the 32 form.

The 42 Fajin (meaning "shove" or "force discharge") teaches advanced stylists the practical applications of moves which are subtly inherent in the Old Frame One. Its intent is to teach a person how to suddenly discharge force from every part of the body. These skills are of course for use in real self defence situations. Such applications are too forceful to be used in practise Push Hands with another person without the possibility of serious injury and were therefore choreographed into a flowing, single person training routine.

Tempting though it may be, beginner and even intermediate Chen stylists are strongly advised not to contemplate taking up training in the harder aspects of Chen style until they have mastered the "soft", internal techniques of Old Frame One - which usually take many years. Premature training in such hard techniques "short-circuits" the formation of a "Tai Chi Body" which means the Fajin skills will never be as powerful as they could have been. The hard techniques derive their full power from an underlying soft "Tai Chi Body."

More information on the origin and purpose of the 42 Fajing training form can be found by clicking here to read a good article by David Gaffney - who regularly hosts Master Zhu in Great Britain.

The attached video is abbreviated footage of a handful of the movements. This footage comes from a more advanced Push Hands Workshop (Chenshi Taichicise) given by Master Zhu in New Zealand 2006.

 

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