SOLO SINGLE HAND FIXED FOOT PUSH HANDS DRILL
Ma Yueh Liang trained in Taijiquan for aproximately 90 years and up until his death, still practiced Solo Single Hand Fixed Foot Push Hands . He was a top level Wu Style Taijiquan Practitioner and actually witnessed Yang Shao Hou doing his fast form and listened to the comments made by Yang Cheng Fu and Wu Chien Chuan as they played Push Hands . It is important to do this practice to refine your postural transitions when only stressed by the consistent touch of Gravity. i have made some of my biggest breakthroughs training this basic exercise . The practitioner will adopt a Gong Bu / Bow Stance right foot forward and right palm forward ( Father palm ) . The rear ( Son Palm) is a Seated Palm and is ready to ” help the Father” as BP Chan would say . The rear hand is “like the pin and the pencil ” on a drafting compass and acts to guard and stabilize . It must stay seated in my experience or your posture will be unstable . The torso faces 45 degrees leftward when starting with the middle finger in the centerline. The practitioner can respond to an imagined attack of either a Push ( striker) or a Pull ( grappler) to start the movement . When pushed follow ( Yin/ Defense ) the push toward your center and Ward Off the push with an Embracing Palm and square your shoulders with your imagined partner’s centerline/spine. If you do not square up, then your Ward Off will fail. Once your partner ” Casper the friendly Ghost” has missed your center, you will Roll Back/ Pull Down ( Yang/ Attack ) on “Casper’s ” wrist. You must be carful to not allow your elbow to go past ” Side Center’ or you may get trapped in your own misalignment . When your now unbalanced ” Casper” attempts to re-center himself , you follow him back with a Push ( Yang/Attack) . Once your hand has been diverted off of ” Casper’s ” centerline , then change to following ( Yin/Defense) and coil into ” Casper’s ” lead foot tying up his pulling force and allowing you to “coil out” and take “Casper” with you . This is the skill of recovery and relies on you keeping your Crown Point / Bai Hui/ Gov 20 still and raised while “giving” my loose and rope-like arm to my opponent. The effect is like tying a rope to the top of a pole and trying to pull the pole down at too sharp of an angle to be effective . ” Who has who here ” would be the question . Now while some would look at this as attack and defense , it actually can be observed as 2 Yin and 2 Yang actions . The reality is that they are all following. When pulled, i follow the pull force then add ” 4 ounces to topple a thousand pounds” with a Push. Once my force is rolled Off, i turn Yin and follow with the hand in my center. i don’t turn past 45 degrees nor do i look downward as these are all postural defects . When Pushed , i follow the force to my center with out interference and then i shift and turn causing “Casper’ to “fall into emptiness ” . i then ‘ add 4 ounces to topple a thousand pounds ” by pulling his Push in the direction of it’s new trajectory . Taijiquan uses following to attack and defend. These foundational exercises are important but all too often overlooked .