The value of Traditional Push Hands Methods
Traditional push hands methods were created by the founders of these arts. A modern trend is to allow practitioners to compete against each other utilizing some of these methods. Maggie Neuman referred to this type of teaching as “throwing fresh meat to the seniors”. This style of teaching generally hooks people by their ego and fans the flames of their ego. This is actually counter to proper training. The predictable circles in traditional training are there so that you learn to recognize circles, follow circles, and capture circles. When they are rhythmic they allow you to practice timing which is critical for pulling off many of the higher skills. When you have a predictable pattern then you may observe when your training partner is moving outside of that pattern without knowledge of their conscious mind. Traditional Taijiquan training uses push hands as a method to connect one with the movement of their subconscious mind. I follow the conscious movement and the pattern, however I listen to my partners attempts at crossing me up that he is not even aware he is applying. Following your partners subconscious tendencies will have him falling out of the center without even understanding why he has done so. It is easy for my partner to defend the conscious movement because his mind is with it. His listening skill is most likely not up to the task of following and controlling his subconscious resistance and intention. Following and Leading his subconscious movement out of center is a relatively easy task as my partner is not aware of his subconscious activity. Once your subconscious mind and your conscious mind are in harmony Then you will have achieved ” Bu Dui , Bu Ding” .