The purpose behind pushing hands is to develop internal awareness, principally through the sense of touch.
Practitioners slowly run through a series of exercises, where each side is continually in contact with their partners arm or hand. The purpose in these pre-set pushing hands exercises is not to win, but to sense and control. As such it becomes a form of active meditation as each person experiences the others actions and counters them gently, without force.
The state of quiet awareness engenders a clear and alert mind sensitive to the subtle changes. This mental state carries over into everyday life and allows practitioners to be more attuned to the ever changing circumstances of our existence.
For most of our students, the practise of Tai Chi is purely for a stress free mind and a healthy body. As such the pre-set pushing hands exercises form an integral part of that endeavour. However, at selected branches we have the ability to cater for those students who wish to use Tai Chi as a martial art and the more robust competitive form of Free Style Pushing Hands. In these exercises the two students attempt to unbalance each other, in a healthy exchange of Tai Chi techniques.