Push hands ward off, deflect, squeeze, press

In Tai Chi (also spelled Taiji), push hands (Tui Shou) is a two-person training routine used to teach students about the principles of softness, yielding, and the redirection of incoming force. It also helps to develop sensitivity and understanding of energy (Chi or Qi).

picture source: https://modern-wushu.fandom.com/wiki/The_Eight_Gates_of_Taichi

The terms you’ve mentioned — “ward off”, “deflect”, “squeeze”, “press” — are part of the Eight Gates of Tai Chi. These are fundamental concepts that apply both in the solo forms and in push hands. Here’s a brief description of each:

  1. Ward off (Peng): This is the principle of maintaining a kind of outward or upward expanding energy. In practice, it might look like an upward deflection or an unbalancing of the opponent.
  2. Deflect (Lu): This principle involves yielding to and leading an opponent’s force in a circular manner, often to the side or slightly backwards.
  3. Squeeze (Ji): This is often translated as “pressing” or “squeezing” and involves a kind of inward-directed force, often applied with two hands working together.
  4. Press (An): This principle is usually translated as “pushing” or “pressing down.” It involves a kind of sinking energy and is often applied after deflecting an opponent’s force.

These principles are important in push hands practice and understanding them can help students develop their ability to yield to, redirect, and apply force effectively. However, the precise interpretation and application of these principles can vary among different styles and teachers, so it’s important to work with a qualified instructor. They can provide guidance that’s tailored to your style, body mechanics, and skill level.

Scroll to Top