9/24/2012 12:38pm, #21
-many comps don't allow "hooking the back", that is, wrapping your arms around the back like a bodylock. Underhooks need to be done with the hand pointed up
-you can't grab the legs, but you can use your legs as fulcrums and tip the other person over them. However, both feet need to be planted, so reaps/grapevining are not allowed.
-some judges will scold you for doing anything resembling wrestling, because they're idiots. For example, if you try to start with your upper body bent forward you may get a very annoying lecture on why that isn't real tai chi or something.
-you can and should do arm drags though.
-there's really not much cramming to be done, just learn the starting position and circle thingy. You start with your right foot on the horizontal line and your left foot in the opposite quadrant, with the hips turned forward (so the back foot should point slightly forward too to allow this). Keep the back heel down to appease judges and possibly to assist in directing their force into the ground.
-the right hand touches the opponent's right hand at the back of the wrist area, and your left hand touches palm to their right elbow, and they do the same. You now have a neutral position where a sudden push can be neutralized by pushing up on their right elbow with your left hand (assuming a right push).
-you will make 3 circles with the arms touching in this position, then you will try to push each other. You may try to learn something about how they play when they circle- if their arms are limp, you can probably collapse them against the torso and shove them. If their arms are aggressively pushing forward before even starting, you may think to arm drag them if they're aggro out the gate. You may want to use this as an opportunity to feed them some false information. Or, just pretend you're in a kung fu movie and try to look all poised.
That's pretty much all the info you need to know to drop in and compete at one of these things. They won't be asking you who your favorite tai chi patriarch is or anything. Just wear some silk PJs and act like a weiner and you should blend right in.
9/24/2012 2:55pm, #22"Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
9/24/2012 5:11pm, #23
I started adding a few additional push hands infiltration notes for the curious, but it kinda turned into the rambling conceptualizations that push hands is notorious for, but anyway:
-you'll probably hear about "neutralizing", which basically means to take the structure out of someone's push so it doesn't move you off balance. Have someone zombie push you and push up on their elbows, and their push should lose its power. Its basically this applied to different arm positions. A judoka stiff-arming might be considered neutralizing.
-Another concept you may hear is p'eng (pronounced like electronic table tennis). The idea is that you maintain structure when someone tries to collapse it, but you don't do so by simply pushing directly back against them- you do it by adjusting your body. The idea is to not have loose noodle-arms you can just press against the body and then continue to press the person off balance, but you also don't want to directly oppose their force or they may drag you off balance with a pull. A good mental device for this is to imagine that you have an egg in your armpit, and you don't want to collapse your arms on them and crush them. Once your arm is collapsed, its easier to push you off balance.
-The most effective simple strategy, therefore, is to always be in a position where you can neutralize their push, and generally the superior position to neutralize from is from inside and underneath. So, when you see the arms waving around against each other in the videos, that's what's going on (ideally). If the other person is looking to get inside and underneath, you should try to get inside-and-underneath-er. Like any wrestling-type game, struggling for the better position is important. Fight for the inside-and-underneath position and you'll find that your opponent's attacks are always coming from the outside and are easily dealt with.
-some people play with a very long, but not wide, stance. Probably influenced by some kung fu style they do, or they're under the impression that wider stance=more stable. A grappler should already know that this isn't true after a certain point. They are vulnerable to sideways pressure rather than trying to push straight back
-a good technique for sideways pressure is to get an underhook (remember, open handed, not hooking the back) as they try to push you with their back arm, and as you neutralize up, also twist their body so their torso points to the side. Once the hip is sideways, you should be able to push them towards their back without much trouble.
-push hands is kind of a mixed bag on whether or not you can grab, but generally you can't grab with both hands, and some groups won't let you grab at all (and they might say something groanable like "it's called push hands not pull hands, hehe!"). And you definitely can't grab the clothing. If you're allowed to grab, you should learn to do this: have your partner try to explosively push your right shoulder from the neutral position, and since your wrists are touching, grab and pull their hand down and to your right as you turn right. This is useful because people like to spazz out in tournaments and try to catch you off guard right after three nice slow circles. Use your left hand to assist as necessary.
-I don't know if you have this imaginary device in judo/BJJ because the dynamics are more, well, dynamic, but anyway: your feet are shoulder width apart, with one in front of the other, so you can imagine four quadrants with your feet diagonally across in them. The two quadrants without feet in them are the places you want to try to push/pull them into, because those are the areas that don't have a post to help them balance. In the example in the last point, after you've got them in a compromised position by pulling them down and to your right, they may still be standing but their posture's all funky, so then what do you do? Then you try to get them to fall to their upper left or lower right, the quadrants with no posts.
-there are different type of push hands comps, as Riv mentioned- fixed step, restricted step and moving step. Fixed step is the one where they're standing with their feet planted and try to get the other guy to step off balance. Its often considered to be the precursor to moving step. Restricted step means that you can shuffle once forwards or backwards doing a move. So, if you've got someone who wants to lean away from you like The Matrix, you can shuffle in to push them with your bodyweight and a straight back, instead of keeping your feet planted and being forced to arch forward to reach that far (I used to play with a guy who used this as a disbalancing tactic; I don't recommend it). Moving step is the one in the circle in those vids. The goal is to push them out of bounds or throw them to the ground. You can also get points if you get their knee or hand to touch the ground. Therefore, given the option, an aspiring wrestler or judoka should choose to compete in moving step if given the option.
Some of the more experienced tai chi folks here probably have better advice though.
9/24/2012 9:07pm, #24
9/25/2012 4:16am, #25
9/25/2012 7:13am, #26
9/25/2012 11:05am, #27
Oh, also you can keep the other guy from getting points by hanging onto him as you're being pushed out or being thrown, since if both of you go down or out, nobody gets points. We spent a fair amount of time working on shrugging people off when they try to drag you down, because otherwise it can be hard to do so. So sometimes when people are up on points, they'll just focus on clinging to the other guy so they can't be thrown or pushed out without bringing the other guy too.
9/25/2012 12:45pm, #28
In ICMAC, they closed that loophole. Holding on to keep from falling is a stoppage; doing it twice is a warning/point off. As can be seen in the video in which the lady falls and pulls me on top of her.
9/26/2012 7:24pm, #29
I'm enjoying that this is the only format so retarded that people will protest a call that benefits them.
"The only important elements in any society
are the artistic and the criminal,
because they alone, by questioning the society's values,
can force it to change."-Samuel R. Delany
RENDERING GELATINOUS WINDMILL OF DICKS
THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST NON-EUCLIDIAN SPLATTERJOUST EVER
It seems that the only people who support anarchy are faggots, who want their pathetic immoral lifestyle accepted by the mainstream society. It wont be so they try to create their own.-Oldman34, friend to all children
9/27/2012 6:10pm, #30