Protecting yourself – Keeping your structure
If the first step of our Yang training is building our structure and testing it with postures, our second step should surely involve some more movement.
Push Hands in the end is about protecting ourselves: In daily life, it is about fall prevention and stress resistance or resilience, in partner work and martial arts, it is about maintaining a body structure that is advantageous when it comes to protecting ourselves against attacks or sudden moves.
In Push Hands, we practice these skills in a safe setting.
❓So: How to keep our structure while moving?
There is only one way to develop these skills: we will have to train our body memory. This can best be achieved by experimenting and trying out different options. – You may know these kinds of practical approaches as „learning by doing“.
✅ Experimental Setting
We want to have spontaneous movement and reactions, so we will opt for free Push Hands. Find yourself a partner and go for it. No specific rules, just play slowly and softly with controlled movements. Every now and then the active partner stops mid-movement – and consequently, the yielding partner will stop as well. Then test the structure as in Push Hands Yang Skills 1/4 (building structure). The initial goal is not to collapse under additional pressure from any side.
✅ Optional Add-on
If you want, you may correct your posture, test again, and move on. Another way would be to ask your partner to repeat the last move and find an answer that offers more structural protection.
Have fun trying – and remember: it is not about winning or losing! – It is about joint progress!
Looking for some like-minded people to practice with? Come to one of our autumn workshops or join us for the 22nd International Push Hands Meeting in February 2023! Beginners welcome!