Workshop Notes for Steve Chan’s Push Hands Workshop in Toronto on Nov 17-18, 2012

by on 2012/11/17

I am very impressed with Steve’s demos, he is able to explain his actions exactly like Master Chen with no deviation. It’s like deja-vu. I have heard the same explanations from Master Chen in a different place at a different time. I can learn so much from him.

Day 1

Concepts:

1. Being Full
2. Find the line or create the line, and break the line
3. Identify the centre of the opponent
4. Identify the space, and then take it out
5. Connect the front hand to the rear foot.
6. Switching

Drills:

1. Both people stand with the right foot forward, after being full, a push by the finger is all that is needed.
2. Punch: Stretch all the way to the rear foot – Point the elbow down, sink the shoulder, open the rear kua, point the rear knee up, push the floor from the rear foot.
3. Opponent pushes/charges forward to you, test the force two times, on the 3rd time, find fullness and rotate (push the finger).
4. Step forward in between opponent’s feet with the left foot, lock the left knee, don’t let the left knee go over the ankle, split vertically between the left knee and the right hand, which tries to  push along the opponent’s spine upwards powered by the right foot having the energy travel along the line between the right hand and the right foot.
5. Negative circle with my leg behind opponents front leg. Focus on keeping the left shoulder and right hand stretch with the intention to pick up something off the floor. Don’t push the front shoulder forward.
6. Hand on the rear shoulder of the opponent, stretch it with his front foot, break that line by sink my front kua.
7. Let the opponent push the abdomen, try to switch between the two feet continuously. Split into the two directions that are perpendicular to the incoming force.

Problems:

1. Unable to clearly identify the opponent’s centre, which depends on his action at the time.
2. Unable to feel/see the space, even if we are told, we are not able to take it out.
3. The front kua collapses whenever we try to action.

Steve also gave corrections to yilu:

• Ken – Brush knee: Left shoulder pops up as the left goes up
• Hugo – 2nd Flash the back: Bring the elbow in line before bringing it to the rear foot. Keep the left shoulder in the 180 degree turn.
• Kelvin – Always keep the hand and the foot connected

Day 2

Strategy:

• When the opponent is loose during push hands, one must act first and just follow what you are trained to do with being distracted or disturbed by the opponent.

Drills:

1. Person A prevents Person B from moving in, while Person A does whatever necessary to move in (focus on not being detected by Person A).
2. For the step-up in “Step Up To Punch”, the rear right foot of Person A is the power source, and Prevent B pushes against the left shoulder of Person A while Person A tries to step up.
3. For “Ground Dragon”, after getting down with weight on the rear right foot, one needs to switch to the front left foot. Once the left knee reaches the top of the left ankle, it can not move forward anymore. One must pull the rest of the body up to get to “Golden Rooster on Left Foot”.
4. When Person A pushes on the biceps of Person B, Person B can align his forearms in the middle between the arms of Person A, point the fingers at the centre of Person A, and push from the rear foot.  The second way is to rotate the elbow outside and place the hands on top of Person A’s forearms to pull Person A into the Person B’s centre to offset Person A’s balance before pushing Push A back out.

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's 97th disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact: kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca

Michael Winkler November 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

I can easyly imagine that this was a great workshop. I really did enjoy the time on Daqingshan 2010 and 2012 with Steve (and the others of course!), and a think that he keeps Master Chen’s teaching very consistant and clear.
Go, Steve go – I wish you the best Practical Method carrer!

James Tam November 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Steve is an outstanding teacher. He can do it, show it, and explain it. Moreover, he is a very patient instructor. I would try my best to take advantage of any opportunity to learn from him.

Thanks for the notes, Kelvin. The drills are very informative. This might be asking too much, but it would really help a lot if you can provide a pic for each of the drills? Eg., For drill 4: not sure of the starting position. Is the right elbow touching the partner? For drill 2: is it punch to the ground or “Yan Shou Hong Quan”? Thanks in advance.

Zhang Detao (Linyi) November 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Steven only studied for 4 years and is so good already. It seems that Master Chen’s teaching is working.

Michael Winkler November 19, 2012 at 4:35 am

I am looking forward to Steve coming back. He is a class act in every way; backs up everything he teaches.

Hugo Ramiro November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

Kelvin, we can go through the drills and photograph them on Saturday.