In our previous blog, we discussed the unique aspects of Wu Style push hands and learned to apply them via the Wu Style single hand push pattern. We now continue to learn the Wu Style push hands pattern using both hands.
Wu Style Double Hands Push
If you already know the single hand push well, then learning the double hands push is relatively simple. Think of the pattern as a repeat of both left and right sides before transitioning to the next movement sequence.
- Step forward with your left foot and maintain the same square stance as the single hand push exercise.
- Raise your right arm in front, making contact with your partner’s arm just below the wrist. Raise your left arm and place your hand below your partner’s right elbow.
Basic Movement Pattern
- Turn sideways and lean forward leading with your left shoulder, square your body and extend your arm. Your partner will follow by leaning back, placing the left wrist on your right arm just below the elbow, then turning right to deflect your push.
- Use your left wrist to make contact with your partner’s left wrist, with your body still leaning forward, extend your left arm. At this time your right wrist will lose contact with your partner’s arm. Your partner will simply turn the body to the left while still leaning back with both hands staying in contact with your left arm.
- Now it is your partner’s turn to lean forward sideways leading with the right shoulder, then squaring to the front and extending the arm. You follow by leaning back, placing your right wrist on your partner’s left arm just below the elbow, then turning left to deflect the push.
- Your partner will continue to lean forward, connecting the right wrist with your right wrist and then extending the arm. You follow by turning to the right to deflect the push.
- Repeat from Step One.
Note at Steps 1 and 2, you are advancing and your partner is following by retreating. Then at Steps 3 and 4, it is now your partner’s turn to advance and you retreat to follow. The rhythm is slightly different from other push hands patterns; instead of the typical advance and retreat cycle, the rhythm for the Wu Style double hand push is a double advance and a double retreat cycle.
Once your body feels the new rhythm, then you can proceed to make enhancements to the exercise.
Enhanced Movement Pattern
- Switching steps: At the end of the pattern cycle at Step 4, take a step forward and continue to repeat the pattern starting from Step 1. Your partner will follow by taking a step backward while all other movements remain the same.
- Improving the connection: At Step 3 when your partner is advancing and you are following, place the inside wrist on your partner’s left arm then rotate your arm inwards as your body turns to the left. At Step 4 when your partner is advancing a second time, do the same with your left wrist rotating it inwards as your body turns to the right.
Similar to the single hand push, even though you may be leaning forward and backward, you have to lift the crown of your head and maintain a straight back, anchoring your weight down onto the back heel.
When advancing in the double hands pattern, your partner is redirecting your forward force with both arms. If you over-extend or extend without the corresponding counter balance of the back heel, you will be easily taken out by your partner.
When retreating, anchoring your weight correctly with proper posture is vital as your partner is applying forward force one after another and you must be able to turn both sides with your hips without losing balance.
Up to now we are still talking about SELF CONTROL. To move to the next stage of CONTROLLING YOUR OPPONENT, we begin by listening carefully to the contact points.
When advancing, remember not to use brute force to push your arm forward, keep the contact points soft by leaning and turning your body first before extending your arm. When retreating, do not turn your body prematurely or try to redirect with your arms, absorb the force and let your body turn and flow with the force.
Continue your practice in this manner and you will soon discover the beauty of Wu Style push hands with its unique rhythm and seemingly effortless movements.