Push hands is not real combat, nor is it about determining who is superior or inferior.

Throughout the current Tai Chi Push Hands competitions and daily exchanges, some Tai Chi enthusiasts, during the push hands process, do not progress from easy to difficult and strictly follow the principles and techniques of Tai Chi. Instead, they start off by being overly competitive, eager to push their opponent away. As a result, their techniques are rough, monotonous, stiff, and forceful, lacking in technical content and the aesthetic movement of Tai Chi. Furthermore, some enthusiasts are narrow-minded and demean others. There is a lack of respect among some masters and fellow disciples, leading to disparagement of others to elevate oneself, resulting in disharmony and affecting unity and the exchange and improvement of martial arts skills. Such malpractices should be avoided by our generation.

The rich atmosphere of researching Tai Chi Push Hands is beneficial for promoting our national essence. Tai Chi enthusiasts exchange ideas for the sake of understanding principles, not to differentiate between superior and inferior. Therefore, advancing or retreating, whether you push them out or they strike you, is all natural. The person striking does not feel superior, and the person being struck does not feel disgraced. Often, if someone executes a beautiful move, the other will appreciate it together. Moreover, the person striking may not understand how they used a particular move and will ask to be struck again to figure out the technique used. The following are push hands experiences from predecessors, peers, and myself:

1. If you are tense and rigid, you are likely to be pushed out by your opponent. No matter how strong the opponent, if you remain soft and pliable, not exerting force or intentionally pushing, they cannot do much to you, and winning won’t be satisfying. When you haven’t mastered the use of whole-body force, using brute strength is a disadvantage because what the opponent fears is not your strength but your lack of it, for without strength, they cannot borrow it from you.

2. Only when your hands are light can you sense the force in others. As the saying goes, “Extending a hand is like taking a pulse,” there’s no need for heavy force on others or when striking. When sensing the force, as long as your hands and feet move together, the opponent will naturally be pushed out. Sensing force is about listening with the heart and responding with the body, acting upon feeling and reacting upon touch. This is why there’s a saying, “Practicing martial arts is like a blind person walking.” While ordinary people rely on sight and still trip, blind people must mobilize their full attention, including hearing, touch, smell, etc., to detect even the slightest noise.

3. No matter how strong or fast the incoming force, upon contact with me, it’s like hitting a net, unable to advance or retreat freely, rendering the opponent’s skills useless. Achieving this requires three conditions: 1) intercepting the incoming force; 2) entangling the incoming force, making it impossible to advance or retreat; 3) controlling their lower body, forcing them into a disadvantageous position, allowing me to overcome greater strength with less. Besides these physical prerequisites, one must also possess the unique psychological quality of Tai Chi: inclusiveness. Without opposing any external force, my “net” can accommodate any struggle, not defeating but taming the opponent, harboring no intention to defeat, thus self-defeat is the only outcome for the aggressor.

4. The so-called “visible attacks are easy to dodge, hidden attacks are hard to defend.” If you have mastered overt techniques, they will work against less skilled opponents, but not against skilled ones. At this point, you need to refine your techniques to be covert, essentially “striking secretly,” catching the opponent off guard, thereby increasing success rates. The softness of Tai Chi is such a covert force. In life, calling someone cunning refers to their character; in martial arts, it refers to the subtlety of force. Covert force is indeed more “cunning” than overt force, but upon reaching the stage of transforming force, it becomes intangible, even more elusive, like a ghost, hard to grasp, appearing and disappearing unpredictably. One must understand how to subtly and stealthily dispatch the opponent. This requires one’s force to be softer, more relaxed, and more yielding, allowing the opponent to be dispatched without the ability to defend or counter. Initially, Xingyi Quan appears very dominant, as the saying goes, “In one year of Xingyi, one can kill.” This represents the overt force stage, appearing dominant. However, at the stages of covert and transforming force, the appearance becomes much gentler, but internally, the force is even more dominant, disguised to deceive. The apparent weakness and gentleness of Tai Chi are just that, a facade to mislead, hence the internal dominance is trained to appear weak and gentle on the surface. But one should not train Tai Chi to be excessively weak or gentle, for that would be disastrous!

5. When the opponent gains an advantage, one must retreat if it’s time to retreat. Advancing forcefully when you should be retreating is a waste of energy, a meaningless clash of force against force. When a skilled practitioner spars with someone, they may seem to be retreating, but in fact, they are baiting you. Once they find an opportunity, they will decisively defeat you. There’s no shame in retreating as long as you remain relaxed and empty, without expending unnecessary energy. Let the opponent push you as far as they want, like driftwood in water, never exerting force unnecessarily or striking without a good opportunity. To the opponent, it may seem like they are gaining face, but in reality, they are exhausting themselves. Tai Chi is about appearing weak; seeming weak makes others underestimate you, and when you’ve deceived them without their knowledge, winning becomes much easier.

6. Liu Yinhuhu says: If the opponent’s center of gravity moves forward, my force also moves forward, aiming to thread through their center of gravity towards the ground, one to three inches in front of their front toe. It’s like threading their center of gravity with a line and pulling it towards that spot. If the opponent can’t shift their center of gravity in time to escape my threading force, they will inevitably fall forward. Whether it’s one inch or three depends on the situation at the time. However, moving forward should not exceed three inches, or else it becomes too easy for the opponent to counter by advancing their elbow or seizing control. Less than one inch is also insufficient, as if the opponent’s toes are strong, they won’t fall forward. Within this range, if the opponent advances, they will fall; if they resist, they will find no support and fall. Their only option is to quickly shift their center of gravity. If they are too slow, my force will follow and they will undoubtedly fall. If the opponent’s center of gravity moves backward, my force, although following them back, aims to thread through their center of gravity and press towards the ground, three inches beyond the outside of their back heel. If they can’t escape my threading force, their center of gravity will fail to shift in time, and with a slight push forward on my part, they will fall backward. The principle is to not extend the force beyond three inches.

7. Liu Yinhuhu says: One must precisely identify the opponent’s skeletal joints. When applying force, first follow and crush their force, then immediately cut it off with your whole force. The process happens in an instant, with a quick shake of both hands. To shock their head, first crush their center of gravity, then direct your cutting force towards the joints in their cervical vertebrae. To shock their chest, direct your force towards the joints in their lumbar vertebrae. Without hitting the spinal joints, the shocking force will not manifest. In summary, always follow their center of gravity and cut towards their vertebral joints. The force should be continuous from top to bottom, like shaking a rope. However, this shocking force should not be used recklessly, as it can cause deep injury. If applied with excessive force, it can dislocate the opponent’s vertebrae or even damage their central nervous system, rendering them incapacitated. Use it with caution.

8. Xu Guochang says: If someone can push your arm or body, they are essentially giving you an advantage. Therefore, you should not use brute muscular force to solve the problem aggressively. Doing so may push or pull them away, but it will leave them feeling uncomfortable. The correct method is to “open the door” (i.e., allow them in with proper technique) and invite the opponent in. When they open the door, they find a deep, dark hole, intimidating them from proceeding further.

9. Xu Guochang says: Learn to bear your weight on one leg while adding the opponent’s force during push hands. In martial arts, when transitioning to an empty stance, the front leg must be completely relaxed; similarly, in a bow stance, the back leg is completely relaxed. Seek change at the “critical moment.” Regularly practice push hands with peers and encourage them to push parts of your body that are usually difficult to maneuver, such as the chest, ribs, armpits, and shoulders. Start with less force and gradually increase it. The aim of such training is to manage and integrate all parts of your body in more challenging scenarios.

10. Xu Guochang says: Regarding the theory that “the root is in the feet, generated by the legs, governed by the waist, and manifested through the fingers,” never interpret this as using the heel to stomp and generate force, transmitting it through the waist to the hands to push the opponent away. Such a method might be stronger than using just the arms but can easily lead to a “butting heads” situation with the opponent. The force starts from the heel, leveraging a bit of friction from.

Sun lutang
Sun lutang

11. Yan Chengde says: For example, when the opponent applies force to a point on my body to push forward, and I resist in the opposite direction at the same point, the one with greater force will push forward, and the one with lesser force will retreat. If the point of my resistance and the point of the opponent’s force do not coincide and there is a distance between them, a torque will inevitably be generated, causing rotation. If the opponent applies force with both hands to my right arm across my chest, even if I relax my right arm and simultaneously apply force with my left hand to the opponent’s right forearm, and use waist rotation to shift the point of force applied by the opponent, causing them to lose their advantage and generate a rotating torque, under the effect of this torque, the opponent’s upper body will lean forward and their feet will lift off the ground, allowing me to easily push them out. Thus, “shifting the point of force and leading the force into emptiness” is an important principle in Tai Chi for overcoming opponents.

12. Yan Chengde says: When the opponent applies force to me, I must “release” joint by joint, if they hold my hand, I relax my wrist; if they hold my wrist, I relax my elbow; if they hold my elbow, I relax my shoulder; if they hold my shoulder, I relax my waist; each joint acting as if it were disconnected, my body like a chain of segments, letting the opponent’s force fall into emptiness, not causing a chain reaction throughout my body. However, “storing then releasing,” with each segment connected, allows the force from the waist and legs to directly reach the fingers. Martial arts theory states: “Its root is in the feet, generated by the legs, governed by the waist, and manifested through the fingers”; “From foot to leg to waist, all must be a complete breath.” The so-called complete breath is the connection of each segment, releasing and connecting are important principles of exerting force in Tai Chi push hands.

13. Yan Chengde says: To attack the void, one must rapidly alternate between solidity and void within oneself to respond adeptly. For example, if the opponent’s point of attack is biased towards my left side, at that moment, I make my left hip void, causing the opponent’s attack to miss; at the same time, I sink force into my right hip, using the force from my right hip to attack the opponent’s left side, thus generating a horizontal rotational torque. Its effect can cause the opponent to rotate to the right and lose their balance. Changing between solid and void, attacking the void while avoiding the solid, does not only apply to the hips but also between the left and right hands, within a single hand, within a palm, and indeed throughout the whole body.

14. Yan Chengde says: To achieve lightness and agility in maneuvering, one must first master the skill of “sticking,” enabling the hands, arms, shoulders, and back to stick, preventing fear of attacks to any part; the energy must sink, generally to the dantian, and during maneuvering, it can sink to the soles of the feet; the body’s joints can relax, allowing relaxation and extension, making it difficult for the opponent to “grab hold” or “cause pain”; the change between solid and void must be agile, detecting the opponent’s solidity and void through “touching and sticking,” and immediately changing one’s own state accordingly. In the constant change between solid and void, find the point of attack, seize the right moment, exert force swiftly, with short and quick bursts of force, full of elasticity, achieving “connectedness and a complete breath.” Exerting force does not require stretching the arms too long, as lengthening due to vigorous exertion can lead to loss of control and inability to defend quickly, making it easy for the opponent to take advantage and counterattack. Exerting force is like releasing an arrow, with precise timing and concentrated force point. A slight touch can make the opponent bounce away, like the explosion of a bomb, making it impossible for the opponent to counter, known as “inch force” and “dividing force,” with experts being described as “having springs all over their body.”

15. If the opponent is highly skilled, especially with quick reactions and strong defensive capabilities, direct attacks are easily defended or countered. In such cases, employ the tactic of feinting, or bluffing, using feints to attack high then low, left then right, thereby shifting and distracting the opponent’s attention, making it difficult for them to accurately judge the next move. Then, taking advantage of the opponent’s disarray, quickly strike from the right angle to win amidst confusion.

16. Circumvention is avoiding the opponent’s front, using footwork to move to their side or behind to attack. In push hands, when the opponent’s forward momentum is strong, avoid their force and do not confront them head-on;

17. Probing for force is a tactic similar to “casting a stone to ask for directions,” using feigned actions to test the opponent’s reactions. If the opponent responds accordingly, seize the opportunity to attack. Probing means to apply pressure in various directions and angles to elicit a reaction from the opponent, thus identifying their force. If the opponent has good posture and does not reveal their force direction under moderate pressure, use rapid, explosive force to discover their passive posture and quickly attack, giving the opponent no time to adjust their posture until an effective attack is completed.

18. The follow-up tactic refers to taking advantage of the moment when the opponent actively uses a technique by following their momentum. When the opponent’s force has reached its limit, apply a little more force to make them passive and lose their balance, falling to the ground. This is known as the tactic of yielding to follow the opponent. During push hands, if the opponent uses pulling or leading techniques, do not resist but follow their force entirely. Make the opponent believe they have led you, but maintain your center of gravity. Once their force has reached its limit, then proceed to exert force, by which time it’s too late for the opponent to adjust their posture.

19. The defensive counterattack tactic involves initially focusing on defense in push hands competitions, waiting for the opportunity to counterattack during the opponent’s offensive moves. Martial arts theory states, “If the opponent does not move, neither do I; if the opponent makes a slight move, I move first” and “Strike later to arrive first.” The opponent’s active attack requires changing their original stance, which is likely to expose weaknesses. If you can identify the right moment to counterattack while defending, success is more likely. Additionally, being prepared mentally for “staying calm to await action” makes it easier to use counterattacks. This tactic is particularly useful against opponents who are impatient, lack match experience, or prefer aggressive assaults. Use proper offensive actions to cover the intent of your counterattack strategy, simultaneously provoking the opponent to become more impatient, creating more opportunities for counterattacks. Main techniques for counterattacking include following, yielding, accompanying, and intercepting.

20. The strategy of attacking first and then defending implies that after achieving success in an attack, one should primarily focus on defense to force the opponent into impatience and seize opportunities to score. If the opponent appears careless, launch a sudden attack, catching them off guard and unprepared, achieving a surprise assault. After succeeding, engage with the opponent defensively without launching further attacks. Due to the limited time of the match, the opponent will become impatient, eager to regain lost points. At this time, defending without attacking can drain the opponent’s stamina and reveal more of their weaknesses. When a clear gap in the opponent’s defense is found, take advantage of the situation. Techniques often used at this time include dodging, vacating, leading, and drawing.

21. Pay attention to three points during push hands: 1. Lowering the hips means relaxing them down to the heels. The better the relaxation, the greater the rebound force. Skilled martial artists send people flying by relaxing them out, not striking them out. Why relax down to the heels rather than the balls of the feet? Because the rebound force generated by the heels is different, providing a solid counter-support force. The force from the balls of the feet, after going through the bending of the ankle joint, is halved and slowed down. 2. To coordinate with the rebound force from both heels, slightly lift the heels off the ground before exerting force. The heels should contain the force as if stepping on ants. 3. It’s commonly thought that the launching force relies entirely on the back foot, but correct whole-body exertion involves pushing off with the back foot and stepping down with the front foot. The trick to sending someone flying is to step into the central gate with the front foot, then exert force by stepping down with the front foot.

22. Shen Shanzeng says: For instance, if you press your hands against the opponent’s chest, do not just exert direct force. Imagine the force as two streams of water, flowing around the body to reunite behind the opponent. In this way, when you release the force, the opponent does not feel increased pressure on their chest and cannot resist, while their feet may “float” off the ground. Similarly, with your hands pressed against the opponent’s chest, do not think of exerting force directly against their body, but towards the space beside their body. Aside from the body, everything else is space, and space is much larger than the body’s surface area. By exerting force in this manner, the opponent will be pushed in the direction of the exerted force.

23. Zheng Manqing says: One must be completely relaxed and thorough. With not a single thought in mind, one cannot withstand any external force. Giving no leverage for others to use. Striking with hands is counterproductive. Grabbing is foolish, and holding someone is like throwing oneself, inviting trouble.

24. Zheng Manqing says: There are secrets to Tai Chi push hands, but these secrets are so simple that they are almost unbelievable. Yet, you must believe them; otherwise, you cannot succeed. The secret is only this: you must relax both body and mind, and you must be willing to accept failure for a long time. You must invest in failure to succeed. My achievements today are because I set aside my pride, believed in my teacher, relaxed my body, calmed my mind, and let the energy flow freely. Initially, this often resulted in injuries. Sometimes, I was hit so hard that I lost consciousness. But I persevered. Listening to my teacher, focusing on my energy. In my defeats, I forgot pride, anxiety, and ego. I completely emptied myself, giving everything over to the energy, and gradually, my skill improved. Only then did my responses become quick and efficient, allowing me to neutralize and strike in an instant. My students either do not believe in this method or, even if they believe, are not enthusiastic in pursuing it, so how can they succeed?

25. Zheng Manqing says: Without push hands, you will not progress. But note, I now tell you, you’re better off practicing with a child. Pushing with a skilled adult, he will exert force, and you will too. When pushing with a child, consider them as an adult. When pushing with an adult, see them as a child. This might seem contradictory but it’s not. A child provides a relaxed practice partner. When you benefit from their “relaxability,” you can pretend they are an adult. This elevates the practice to the aspect of “application.” Conversely, why see an adult as a child? It’s a method to dismiss fear, but this “courage” does not truly overcome fear. When we dismiss fear, we also let go of arrogance.

26. Zheng Manqing says: Push hands is mainly a method for achieving objectives. It teaches the sensitivity of touch and the ability to discern, as well as judgement of distance. In actual combat, do not let the opponent touch you, but stay close enough to attack effectively. Some masters possess what we call “receiving force.” This force can not only neutralize the opponent’s attacks but also counterattack simultaneously. Some higher-level masters control this ability subconsciously. If attacked from behind, they can use the opponent’s force to send them flying a distance away without barely feeling it. Such individuals have no difficulty in actual combat. Although ordinary fighters may not have this ability, they can train their perception through push hands, allowing them to approach the opponent without being touched.

27. Ye Damit says: Push hands is one of the main components of training in Tai Chi. If you cannot exert force as you wish, what should you do? From my experience, it is not solely about moving hands and feet. Ultimately, how can one be sure they are on the right path? If the direction is wrong, could it be a waste of effort? Yes, frankly, it’s very possible. Therefore, this issue must be considered seriously. To reach a conclusion, the following questions must be analyzed and studied: 1. The body moves, hands do not; 2. Feet move, body does not; 3. Feet secretly move, steps do not; 4. Feet continuously move in a chain-like manner; 5. Exerting force is receiving force, and receiving force is exerting force; 6. Exerting force is neither in the hands nor in the feet; 7. Practice achieving neither holding nor releasing; 8. Receive the opponent’s force, and they will fall out themselves; 9. Use the wall (wall, panel, door) to practice freely without obstruction, drawing an invisible, continuous chain-like figure (∞) across the chest; 10. The fundamental basis is established.

28. Ye Damí states: There are two exquisite techniques in Push Hands. 1. “Following their body, but leading with yours”: Generally, in Push Hands, the body follows but the hands lead, giving the opponent opportunities to take advantage of. This is not the superior method, as it cannot achieve victory without fighting. 2. “Externalize their body while preserving your own”: This is about reaching a state of natural forgetfulness, transcending beyond oneself, achieving a state where your whole body is relaxed and clean, making the opponent unaware of you while you alone know the opponent. This leads to being unbeatable in battle, overcoming any attack, undoubtedly causing the opponent to fall.

29. Ye Damí says: The variations in Push Hands techniques of Tai Chi are vast. I am now applying our national acupuncture theory to Push Hands. All truths are the same; below are some references for consideration. 1. Follow, 2. Aid, 3. This is called tonification;
4. Approach, 5. Take away, 6. This is called sedation. 7. Application: Tonify where there is emptiness, sedate where there is fullness. 8. Equal tonification and sedation mean, for example, changing from clockwise circles to counterclockwise circles suddenly; or from two clockwise circles to one or two counterclockwise circles. This is what is meant by “unpredictable changes.”

30. Listening to force is fundamental in Tai Chi sparring. Generally, it starts with the tactile sense of the skin, then listening to the force with intention. Many people, after a period of Push Hands practice, find their hands become much more sensitive to listening to the force, changing as the opponent’s force comes. However, this ability has its limits because it’s peripheral. The training should progress to listening with the spine, as it’s closest to the point of exertion. If you can clearly listen there, what you emit will always be faster than the opponent. The martial arts saying, “Many err by abandoning the near to seek the far,” highlights that many only know how to listen and emit with their hands, not knowing the most direct and nearest point of exertion. This is the mistake of “abandoning the near to seek the far.”

31. Jiang Yukun says: There are four methods of tripping with the legs: inserting, pressing, hooking, and sealing. “Inserting” involves using your leg to insert between the opponent’s legs, squatting down, and levering them off the ground using the principle of leverage; “Pressing” uses the knee or hip to press inward on the opponent’s lower limbs, leaving them no room to retreat, as in “Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane” or “Slanting Flying” stances; “Hooking” is using the inside of your foot to hook the outside of the opponent’s foot, then pushing forward with both hands to make the opponent stumble forward, as in “Grasping the Bird’s Tail” push maneuver or “Step Up to Left Ward Off”; “Sealing” involves placing your foot in the path of the opponent’s movement, using your hands to manipulate so they trip over themselves, as in Tai Chi’s “Plucking Hand” and “Horizontal Rowing Hand.”

32. Lin Mogēn says: To hit a point accurately, the force must be stable, and the counter-force from the ground must be used. However, before striking, one must listen carefully to the opponent’s intention through tactile sensation. If the force comes from above, strike from below, using the energy from the Dantian. If the force comes from below, strike from above, as if pushing a small cart. If the force is on the left, strike from the right; if it’s on the right, strike from the left.

33. Lin Mogēn says: In Push Hands, striking too quickly or slowly doesn’t work; too heavy or light doesn’t work either. It should be neither light nor heavy, neither fast nor slow. Hitting a point accurately with just the right touch will send the opponent flying.

34. Lin Mogēn says: In Push Hands, move the hands without moving the body for feints; emit force with the body without moving the hands, the hands serving merely as a decoration.

35. Lin Mogēn says: In Push Hands, one must possess the skill of “using four ounces to move a thousand pounds,” following the force naturally, without resisting or yielding too much, transforming it into something invisible, emitting it imperceptibly. No matter how the opponent attacks or how strong they are, one must be able to do as one wishes, with unpredictable changes. Making the opponent lose their balance and become disoriented, creating a situation where the opponent feels overwhelmed. This level of skill requires long-term practice and can only be achieved through calm and diligent training.

36. Lin Mogeng says: In Tai Chi, Ward Off should carry the intention of Roll Back, Press should carry the intention of Push, Pluck should carry the intention of Lean, and Elbow Strike should carry the intention of Shoulder Strike. They cannot be used in isolation. Everything moves together, everything is still together. Be mindful at all times, ingenious in every action. By knowing both yourself and your opponent, you can respond adeptly.

37. Lin Mogeng says: To learn to receive force is to master lifting and releasing; without understanding how to receive force, it’s difficult to employ Tai Chi’s techniques of lifting and releasing. In receiving force, identify the opponent’s “handle”—strike when there is a “handle”, find a “handle” when there isn’t. A “handle” refers to the opponent’s stiff, rigid, or stuck points. To receive force is to lead and transform it; without being able to receive, it’s not easy to lead and transform. For instance, to bounce a basketball passed to you, if you can’t transform and receive the ball smoothly, it will bounce off your hands. Thus, possessing the technique to receive and transform the ball allows you to dribble, pass, and shoot. Tai Chi combat involves instantaneous transforming and striking actions, unpredictable in the span of a single breath. The requirements for transforming in Tai Chi far exceed those for ball sports. Ensure that no part of your body is constrained, and avoid movements that cause other parts to sway and affect each other. Only then can you cleanly transform and direct the incoming force.

38. Lin Mogeng says: In push hands, under normal circumstances, begin by lightly placing both hands on the opponent without exerting effort, so you can clearly sense their movements. If the opponent moves first, strike by going with the flow. If the opponent remains still, try to provoke movement by loosening up or probing slightly. The moment there’s any resistance, relax your waist and drop your hips to receive the opponent’s force and implement lifting and releasing, striking them back in the opposite direction from where their force originated. In real combat, adapt to myriad changes and individual opponents.

39. Lin Mogeng says: In push hands, my hands are like a sheet of paper sticking to you. I follow your every move and exploit any opening.

40. Lin Mogeng says: In push hands, movements should be coordinated between the upper and lower body, the inside and outside harmonized. To seize an opponent correctly, go along with the incoming force. If you intend to strike with the front hand, the rear hand should extend, applying force in opposite directions. For example, when executing a Press, the rear hand primarily exerts the force. Without root force, there is no counterforce; without counterforce, it’s difficult to exert force. If the opponent doesn’t attack, then I slowly encroach upon them. While transforming, also attack.

41. Lin Mogeng says: Do not fear being heavy, but be wary of being too light; do not fear obvious force, but pay attention when there is no force; do not fear the real void, but beware of the false void; only eat when fed directly, do not force it; strike when there is solidity, do not strike when it is not solid.

42. Lin Mogeng says: If you resist against me, I don’t want your resisting force. I’ll lift you up, making your feet lose contact with the ground.

43. Lin Mogeng says: Receiving force is about dropping the hips, which must be agile, dropping the hips involves sagging the buttocks, and dropping the hips is about lifting the person up, sagging the buttocks is about sending the person flying. When lifting someone, feel the opponent’s breath; when their body sinks and they exhale, assist them; when they naturally inhale and rise, go with the flow and strike. Simply put, lift on their inhale.

44. Lin Mogeng says: In push hands, one should not move without cause; move only for a reason. The waist and hips must rotate, known as moving without moving the hands, with integrated force running through. The shoulders are the root of the upper body, and this root must not be shaken. Forget about the shoulders, connect the wrists, shoulders, elbows, and back into one entity, linked with the waist and hips. In advancing and retreating, move like waves, coordinating with the principle of the hands and shoulders remaining still. Be unknown to your opponent, like water flowing into every crevice, taking initiative to control the opponent, the method of knowing the opponent. Prioritize gentleness and compliance, no matter what techniques the opponent uses to attack, respond with relaxation.

45. Lin Mogeng says: In push hands, the opponent’s hand must extend, but their shoulder and elbow become focal points. With my energy penetrating, I target these focal points to strike, and the opponent will undoubtedly fall.


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