I would like to share some context regarding my approach to Tui Shou.
I had difficulty making the transition from highly detailed Tai Chi form choreography to freestyle partner practice. I missed the definitive instruction and found myself lost and frustrated trying to stay relaxed while maintaining principles in the moment. Most of the time I found myself getting “pushed out” and not learning much from the encounter. Over time I found others who felt much the same way.
The thing that finally helped me with Tui Shou was performing well-defined partner exercises designed specifically for practicing basic concepts. I became more comfortable with the experience of interacting with a partner while maintaining principles, and doing so in a cooperative manner. This increased my comfort with Tui Shou, which gave me confidence to explore and attempt more, and to recognize when things were aligned to principles & working and when they weren’t.
Since then I have practiced more, studied more, and learned more from people in the area and elsewhere. I’ve come to appreciate the importance of partner practice in deepening one’s Tai Chi. As one fellow practioner put it, learning Tai Chi without push hands is “like learning to sing without hearing yourself”.
Based on my experiences, I have learned it is possible to safely participate with and learn from others in Tui Shou regardless of age, size, or gender. I hope that you will join me in practicing Tui Shou as a way to deepen your own Tai Chi practice and help foster a community committed to practicing Tui Shou in a cooperative, constructive environment.
Tui Shou Guidelines
A conversation between five senior female T’ai Chi players reflecting on their experiences in push hands.
Women in Push Hands (Part 1) video
Women in Push Hands (Part 2) video