Friday, March 4, 2016

Push Hands and Constant Pressure

I like push hands as a training tool. It allows me to practice my structure against a person in a non-competitive fashion and practice many of the patterns in kata that are not only used for ballistic attack, but are also used to receive and redirect force and put you in a position to return force without changing positions. I don't want to have to stop and reset my position to manipulate someone. I want to be able to manipulate them from the position I'm currently in.

One thing I've learned while doing this is that you need to give constant pressure. This could be deemed sticky hands, but it's more than just keeping contact, it's keeping pressure. I want to bog down the other person, to throw off their balance and keep them reacting instead of acting. I want them to have to move, shift and reset to manipulate me, so that they're always a step behind me. Part of how I do this is using stances, weight shifts and stable arm positions to lean on them. The end middle block position is a surprisingly stable position for leaning on someone. If the other person doesn't use structure than they'll be bearing some of your weight. Proper stance integrity is essential when I do this because if the person suddenly shifts than I need to have my balance.

Another lesson is angles. Use them. Angles, angles, angles. When ever I read something or heard something where someone was talking about angles they always seemed to explain it like you were lunging at someone from a few feet away at an angle, usually a 45 degree angle. I think it can be a little more subtle than this. It's really the difference between pushing a boulder and rolling a boulder. Another example would be walking furniture. You push at an angle and then the other side at an angle or you tilt it at an angle and walk it back and forth. It's the same with a person. You don't want to push into the center of their mass you want to push at the angles and tip them.

Just a few thoughts.