What are you doing when you practice Push Hands?

To an untrained observer, push hands looks like a grade school game. simply try to push the other person until someone falls or moves.

Seems simple. However, if you are really trying to learn Tai Chi, this is not the goal. When you practice push hands, you are not trying to physically move your partner.

You are really trying to move your opponent’s energy.

If you can do that, physically moving them is no big deal. In fact, it takes very little physical effort at all. This is why when we practice push hands we usually practice very softly.

It doesn’t take much training to physically shove some one. It’s just a matter of having muscle. However, push hands is about developing real internal power and skill.

And if you have internal power, physical strength won’t be much help against you. An opponent’s strength will only push them off of you.

Someone would have to weigh three or four times more than you do in order to move you with sheer physical strength.

When you are pushing someone, look for breaks in their structure, places where there are gaps in their posture. These are energetic breaks and a person can be pushed using these. If you can’t find these gaps, then look for their root and move it.

If someone pushes into you, you can move your center of gravity out of the way and push them perpendicular to yourself.

What It Feels Like

When a large wave rolls in and hits you, you can be knocked over, dragged down, and pulled ashore.

Yet there is no place where you could hit the wave and find resistance.

This unstoppable wave-like force is one important quality you want to develop when you practice push hands.


  1. Hello Mr. Clear, thank you for making this training available to the public. I have trained in martial arts for over 20 years. Nin-jitsu Ju-jitsu Taikwando and Michuan Tai Chuan.
    I have always been interested in Tai chi. My body is too banged up at this stage in my life to be rolling on the mats with the young bucks. I feel your program is just what I need a practical effective way to self protection along with the joy and self satisfication of continuing in my martials arts journey.
    Thank you for your time reading this and for making your system available.
    Sincerely, O. Wayne Allen III

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