Tuī Shǒu 推手 with Bā Jìn 八勁
In the past, Tuī Shǒu 推手 was also called Gě Shǒu 擖手. Gě 擖 means rubbing with force or scraping. So two people doing Tuī Shǒu rub their arms together, sometimes with force and sometime they are gentle. It was also called Dǎ Shǒu 打手. Dǎ 打 means hitting so Hitting Hands, so the two people practising Tuī Shǒu would try to hit each other. However, the name is not so important, the important thing is that two people practise their Tàijíquán 太极拳 skill together by attacking and defending whilst their hands are in contact.
When the hands are in contact, we can feel the opponent’s energy and then we can use the right technique with the right amount of energy. In Tuī Shǒu there are four kinds of Jìn 勁 – Energy in the routine, but when we attack each other, we can use the extra four Jìn, so in total Bā Jìn 八勁 – Eight Energies.
In the routine of Tuī Shǒu we use Péng 掤, Lǚ 履, Jǐ 擠, Àn 按. When we start to attack and defend, especially when we are using our footwork, we can use Cǎi 採, Liè 裂, Zhǒu 肘, Kào 靠. In the beginning, we should start with stationary Tuī Shǒu, and then we can move on to Tuī Shǒu with stepping and so use our footwork. In the beginning we should focus on making the opponent lose their balance and then later on, hitting grabbing, kicking and throwing.