Sanda Fighting Arts is hosting a Taiji push hands seminar taught by Barking Rabbit on August 21st(register HERE) so today we will discuss the benefits of training push hands.
Videos of MMA fighters dominating self-proclaimed taiji masters are all the rage these days. While it is important that phonies be called out, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. The slow, free flowing practice of push hands is beneficial to every fighting art, from Sanda to Muay Thai, Shuai Jiao to BJJ. The benefits of push hands are:
It slows things down – Speed hides errors. Slow, controlled movements allow your body to move as a solid unit. Practicing proper movement slowly will translate to more power when moving at full speed.
It develops sensitivity – The point of connection for push hands is usually on the wrist/forearm, and that’s it. From that one point of connection, you will learn to feel your opponent’s weight shift and from there you can feel where they will move next. Developing this skill is extremely valuable in other fighting arts that move quickly. Imagine knowing when the next take down will happen simply because you are in the clinch.
It focuses on breathing and relaxation – Staying loose and breathing properly is critical in any martial art. Mastering breathing and relaxation will increase stamina, agility, speed, and power. It will also help you stick to your game plan and keep you aware of your surroundings in the ring (and in life).
We highly recommend push hands training to anyone looking to improve as a martial artist. It is complimentary to any martial art, not just Shuai Jiao or other Chinese martial arts. Happy training and be sure to check out our schedule for classes, seminars, and other special events!