Every push must be a pull

by Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy on 2011/03/20

  1. When you push correctly, your opponent feels that he is being pulled from behind him, this is the point you add a quick move to finish the push. There has to be a feeling on the part of your opponent that he is falling into “something”, being pulled into something. Otherwise, it is a push in it’s common sense, not in the taiji sense. For example, if you push a square box on pavement over a distance of ten feet, you are doing a common sense push. When you finish the push, the box is in a position similar to when you started, no better or worse. But if you push the box to the end of the pavement where there is a drainage hole, nudge it a bit, and it falls into the hole, then that is different. How can this be done? That’s the taiji way that cannot be described easily here.
  2. In regard to your rear kua and positive circle front push question, I can tell you that when the rear kua does not move forward and moves, instead, backward, and correctly, there will be a spiral force that comes out of this move, that is longer than the distance between the rear foot and the front hand. This is the taiji energy that we want to produce. This is only possible when there is a connection between the front hand and the rear foot with the manipulation of the kuas, elbows, knees, dantian, etc. In taiji, there is a saying, “when it is moving outwards, there is nothing outside of it; when it is moving inward, there is nothing inside it.” This quote means the outward energy movement is unlimitedly large; while the inward energy movement is unlimitedly small. Your rear kua questions touch upon this topic. Again no answers or explanations here yet.
  3. There is a concept called “demarcation”, without which there is no taiji separation. Roughly put, whenever you move, there is a point, only one, on your body that is neutral. Everything in front of it moves forward; everything behind it moves backward. People do not have this demarcation in the body without special training and therefore they won’t know the meaning. When this demarcation is present, there is the possibility of “connections” in energy movements in the body. This is again something very difficult to explain. It can be felt very easily and clearly. My online lessons only deal with clear and easy concepts (and yet they don’t appear to be clear to most people). The demarcation line is also what makes a push a pull.

About Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy

Chen Style Taijiquan 19th generation disciple. International Standard Bearer of the Practical Method system of Hong Junsheng. Second generation master of Hunyuan Taiji. Been teaching internationally since 1985. Educated in the West with a Master's Degree in Education. Highly accomplished through the lineage of two great masters. Disciplined, precise and powerful. He teaches a complete system of taiji based on the principle of yin yang separation; indirect power as a core concept; movement and tranquility as the source of action. In both theory and practice, his taijiquan deals with the problems of double-heavy. He is a real treasure of the heritage of taijiquan.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

gigi December 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Is there a relationship between the “demarcation line” and the “cliff” ?
When do we find in the form the “aim” and the stretching intent, similar to “expansion”?
Great job with the site for those who take the first steps in the real taiji!


Chen Zhonghua December 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

“Demarcation line” and “cliff” are one of the same. Demarcation line is used theoretically. It is a point of reference. Cliff is when it is used in application such as push hands.
Expansion is physical. It involves aim and stretching.


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