Be conscientious in Peng (Ward-off), Lu (Rollback), Chi (Press), and An (Push).
Upper and lower coordinate,
and the opponent finds it difficult to penetrate.
Let the opponent attack with great force;
use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.
Attract to emptiness and discharge;
Zhan, Lian, Nian, Sui, (stick, adhere, continue and follow)
no resisting no letting go.
Tai Chi Push Hands is an excercise that includes two people who practice Tai Chi skills and philosophy together to gain a better understanding of the principles of Tai Chi and to train several key aspects of Tai Chi including sticking, yielding, sensing, neutralizing, warding off, and others.
It is a key aspect of becoming a skilled Tai Chi practioner and should be practiced with as many different people as possible as often as possible.
Many Chinese Texts offer insight and explanation for using Tai Chi Chuan as a tool for Self Defense, including “Tao Te Ching” and “Tai Chi Classics” as well as others.
The softest thing in the universe,
Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
-Tao Te Ching Chapter 43
Under Heaven nothing is more soft and yielding then water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better:
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under Heaven everyone knows this,
Yet noone puts it into practice.
-Tao Te Ching Chapter 78
Be still as a mountain,
move like a great river.
-The Practice of the 13 Postures by Wu Yu-hsiang
Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) can be translated as Supreme Ultimate Boxing. Thought by many to be the highest form of boxing, relying on intelligence and softness rather than brute strength.
As it is said in the Tai Chi Classics.
“There are many boxing arts. Although they use different forms, for the most part they don’t go beyond the strong dominating the weak,and the slow resigning to the swift.
The strong defeating the weak and the slow hands ceding to the swift hands are all the results of natural abilities and not of well-trained techniques.
From the sentence “A force of four ounces deflects a thousand pounds” we know that the technique is not accomplished with strength.
The spectacle of an old person defeating a group of young people,
how can it be due to swiftness?
Stand like a perfectly balanced scale and
move like a turning wheel.
-The Treatise on Tai Chi Chuan Attributed to Wang Tsung-yueh
Before a Tai Chi Practioner begins training in Tai Chi self-defense, they must first practice and become very familiar with the principles, basics, forms and breathing. The length of time is determined by the individual and how often they practice and the quality of their practice. However, with a strong dedication to this art one can become as the classics say “a peerless boxer.”
Some of the Tai Chi Martial training taught at The Tai Chi Boxing Association of Colorado Springs is Basic Applications from the techniques of the form, Tai Chi Fast Training, Jing (power) Training, Advanced Martial Qi Gong Training, Advanced Push hands and 2 Person Drill Training, Free Style Push Hands and Sparring, as well as other methods designed to lead you the way to becoming a proficient martial artist in the style of Tai Chi Boxing.
Although to achieve many of Tai Chi’s great benefits it is not necessary to learn the martial aspects, a little known fact is the masters of Tai Chi who gained longevity and excellent health were all skilled masters of this wonderful martial art.
There are 4 Basic Aspects to Tai Chi Boxing
1) Fist – punching, striking, pushing, etc.
2) Leg – kicking, sweeping, tripping, etc.
3) Wrestling – uprooting, throwing, toppling, etc.
4) Qinna (Seize and Control) – grabbing, joint locking, cavity striking,etc.
The Tai Chi Boxer often uses all 4 aspects interchangeably in combat, sometimes grabbing then tripping, or maybe joint locking and kicking,
etc. All movements, however, are done effortlessly, merely going with the way of the attack rather then fighting against it.
Desiring to attract to emptiness and deflect a thousand pounds, first
you must know yourself and others. If you want to know yourself and others, you must give up yourself and follow others. If you give up
yourself and follow others, first you must have the correct timing and position. To obtain the correct timing and position, you must first make your body one unit. Desiring to make the body one unit, you must first eliminate hollows and protuberances. To make the whole body without breaks or holes, you must first have the shen [spirit of vitality] and ch’i [vital life energy] excited and expanded. If you want the shen and ch’i activated and expanded, you must first raise the spirit (pay attention)
and the shen should not be unfocussed.
-Essentials of the practice of the form and push hands by Li I-yu
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