Push Hands Interviews

A series of video interviews on Push Hands (Tui Shou)

"The Push Hands Tapes": video interviews on Push HandsHaving visited, and taught at, the Push Hands Meeting in Hannover, Germany for 10 years it became apparent to me that, although we were all doing the same activity, many had completely different ideas on what it was they thought they were doing. There were many reasons for this, different education systems, where some focussed on relaxation, whilst others were more concerned with over-balancing their partner/oppenent and others focussed on increasing their inner stability.

I thought it may be of interest to talk to a number of those who had a strong interest in push hands, hence their reason for being there, and try to get a perspective on the many approaches to this art.

Some of the responses were short and to the point whilst others had a great deal to say. I hope you find them to be of interest.

These interviews were done by Ronnie Robinson at the 2010 International Push Hands Meeting in Hannover, Germany, organised by Nils Klug.

Here are the questions, feel free to send your views on the matter.

Push Hands/Tui Shou Questions

1. Can you remember your first exposure to push hands, what were you taught and what reasons, if any, were you given as to its purpose?

2. How do you introduce push hands to your students?

3 What are the basic starting points for you?

4. What key elements do you feel are essential for effective training?

5. What do you see as common problems that inhibit the learning process?

6. Do you have a viewpoint on the varying approaches or attitudes to push hands?

7. Are their any aspects of the practice that can annoy you?

8. What do you find to be particularly pleasing in the training?

9. What are your views on competition push hands?

10. What do you feel is the overall purpose of the exercise?

Push Hands Interview Mario Napoli

To provide an insight to the many ways push hands in taught and practised in Europe (and beyond) these same 10 questions were put to a number of teachers and students who attended the event.

In order to make the videos more viewable we edited them into short clips, for Mario’s interview the responses ran to three videos.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel and send your own responses or comments for publication.

Push Hands Interview Sylvia Oldenberg

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Push Hands Interview Serge Dreyer

To provide an insight to the many ways push hands in taught and practised in Europe (and beyond) these same 10 questions were put to a number of teachers and students who attended the event.

In order to make the videos more viewable we edited them into short clips, for Serge’s interview the responses ran to four videos.

Push Hands Interview Henk Janssen

Henk has studied Taijiquan and Qigong since 1976 following the lineage of Yang Cheng Fu/Cheng Man-ch’ing. His teachers include: YT Phoa, Rob en Erich Völke en Daniel Smit.

Henk has also attended various workshops with:
Mantak Chia, Benjamin Lo, William Chen, Lau King, Lauren Smith, Wee Kee Jin, Fernando Chedel and Scott Rodell.

He has taught Qigong and Taijiquan since 1985. Tui Shou is one of his favorite tools. He successfully competed in pushing hands competitions at various national and international events.

Push Hands Interview Lauren Smith

To provide an insight to the many ways push hands in taught and practised in Europe (and beyond) these same 10 questions were put to a number of teachers and students who attended the event.

Lauren Smith began body-oriented training  as a high school wrestler in America.  He began meditating in 1984, and in 1988 began studying tai chi in Taiwan, in the line of Chen Panling, Wu Jianquan, Yang Shaohou, Ji Zixiu and Xu Yusheng. He studied a mixed Taichichuan form with Ken Duhamel, a student of Bo Sim Mark and in 1990 began training in Taiwan with Serge Dreyer, a student of Wang Yennian. Lauren also began baguazhang study with Lai Kanzhao, a student of Wang Shujin, and came into contact with students from the Chen Manching lineage, most prominently, Tao Pingxiang in Taibei.

With his teached’s support he began competing in push-hands competitions, practicing with hundreds of Taichi players from all schools. He has won seven first place medals in competitions in Asia, the USA and in Europe and attained two University degrees in Chinese, a BA from Brown University, USA and an MA from the University of Münster in Germany. His final papers were translations and commentaries of various texts on tai chi chuan.

Living in Germany since 1993, Lauren has trained with western movement techniques such as Feldenkrais, Rolfing Movement and Bothmer Gymnastics. Elements from massage, meditation and body work in general have found their way into his courses. As well as pushing hands, Lauren also teaches form and various aspects of movement and awareness in general.  Most importantly, he transmits tai chi as a chance to discover our inherently peaceful, powerful and playful center. He teaches workshops throughout Europe.

Push Hands Interview Nabil Ranné

To provide an insight to the many ways push hands in taught and practised in Europe (and beyond) these same 10 questions were put to a number of teachers and students who attended the event.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel and send your own responses or comments for publication.

Nabil Ranne was born in 1975, doctor in Sport Science and studies Chen taijiquan with Chen Yu, only child of Chen Zhaokui and grandson of renowned Chen Fake in Beijing.

Author: Ronnie Robinson

Images: Ronnie Robinson