Words of Wisdom on Push-hands ---Part one
By David Chen, 2002.

  • Practice the solo form to know yourself; practice push-hands to know others.

  • Push-hands is a game of insight, a game of discovering our true self beneath the surface of Taiji.

  • The toughest opponent in push-hands is our ego for resistance.
    The most dangerous moment in push-hands is the moment of our retaliation.

  • We get to learn our weakness through the physical and emotional conflicts of the game.

  • Bow to the strong players; they are valuable training partners for our softness---both mentally and physically.

  • He pushed me five times and I pushed him six times--- this is sport.
    He pushed me hard but I neutralized and bounced him softly--- this is Taiji.

  • You have to understand the strong in order to keep the gentle.

  • Don't put it blame on your partners, they are only a mirror of your mistakes.

  • No force can land on a yielding curtain.
    It is one's resistance that attracts a push.

  • One’s hands can hide force but cannot hide intention.

  • A four-ounce push can not work if you have a ten-pound force in your mind.

  • It takes years for junior students to melt their egos, but it often creeps back as they become more senior.

  • To be soft in soft playing is not true softness;
    To be soft during rough playing is true softness.

  • It is not that softness doesn’t work; it is that we are not soft enough.

  • Softness without rooting is limpness.
    Rooting without softness is resistance.

  • To be unpushable is powerful, but to be untouchable is marvelous.

  • Throwing an opponent to the ground is easy;
    Breaking an opponent's arm is not hard either;
    But bouncing him without hurting him is rather difficult to do.

  • A relaxed body with sensitive mind is the only technique you need for all techniques.

  • Sensitivity is what Taijiquan gongfu is all about.
    Without sensitivity, every inch of your body would be double-weighted.

  • Pushing is easy to learn but yielding takes a life time to practice.

  • Correct timing is everything, and it is difficult to teach.

  • The fun of pushing-hands is in getting to know people's true personalities---and your own, too.