So, you think you’re a tai chi bad ass and you’re ready to test your skill. Well, before you start blasting everyone away with chi whammies, here’s a couple suggestions on taking your tai chi push hands skills outside the classroom.
1. Be courteous.
Hopefully you’re here to trade knowledge and test your skill, but who knows what’s going on with your partner. He might be so blissed out on chi that he’s levitating off the ground, but when you go to push or spar, keep in mind, everyone has their breaking point.
2. Establish the rules of the game.
Everyone does their push hands differently,so it’s important to chat with your partner about what game you each want to play. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when you end up doing ballroom dance instead of tai chi.
3. Prepare to eat bitter.
You went in with a friendly attitude and you established the rules you wanted to play by, and then you get clocked in the face out of nowhere. Hey, buddy, invest in loss. You wanna develop skill? You’re potentially going to get either your feelings or your body hurt along the way.
4. Keep your boundaries.
That being said, there’s no award given to the person who can take the most abuse. It’s all a learning experience, but if you’re getting wailed on by someone, it may be a sign to bow out, say thank you, and find a new partner. Which brings me to another point, you might want to consider going with a friend. After all, strength in numbers. You never know when a friendly push hands match will turn into an all-out brawl session.
Bring your knives, boys & girls.
5. Play nice.
Above all, play nice. Don’t succumb to ego and use an attack that doesn’t adhere to tai chi principles. You’re here to learn. Don’t be that guy that’s swinging for the fences just to feel the satisfaction of “winning”. And don’t forget to say thank you and maybe shake their hand or give them a hug after you’re done.
Even if it’s really awkward...
Good luck! And let us know how it goes!