Push hands in non-martial sports, especially football/soccer is pretty fascinating. I saw someone use press in a pickup basketball game. Not sure where he learned that. If he got it from taijiquan or what. He just very lightly pushed.

In football/soccer there is a constant subtle ph battle happening. You don’t want to throw your opponent (and he might fake fall like a taijiquan hippie for the ref to see the foul) too blatantly, but you want an advantage. Single arm ward off kind of thing is very useful. Same with a basic swimming arm motion. If you watch a lot of elite games you’ll see diagonal flying type of splitting quite a lot. Of course you see a lot of deliberate and inadvertent elbows. Plenty of kao using shoulder and thighs. One day when I was playing someone tried to use quite a good pull down on my wrist. I dropped further down. We exchanged a half-knowing look after that but never talked about this incidental grappling contest. If you watch corner kicks and other set plays there is quite a lot of grappling. Lots of push. The other day I saw a nice headlock hip throw. There is a lot of roll back energy used in spin moves. I’ve thrown someone down with borrowing energy just by spinning (you still have to control the ball, though) and he basically threw himself.

I think if you want to see a large amount of good and not-good fully resistant amateur push hands by elite athletes in totally non-martial art/sport, just watch a lot of top level football/soccer. UEFA Champions League and English Premier League will have a lot of ph. I doubt these guys have ever heard of taijiquan “energy” as being useful or of ward off, press, push, pull down, elbow, kao, split, rollback, but they use all 8 energies all the time. They also use 5 movements.

I think that’s fascinating proof that these “energies” can be seen in use ALL the time and it’s not actually unique to taijiquan. That taijiquan catalogued them into these 8 is pretty interesting in the reverse, isn’t it? People say they don’t make sense but if they watch the world’s favorite sport, it should be obvious it makes total sense. The energies are so natural that non taijiquan athletes intuitively use them constantly. From that standpoint, learning tjq should be fairly obvious and practical in a very fast way.

started doing cloud hands out of boredom in my work chair and lo and behold it’s better and easier than standing for some odd reason for cranking up the flow immediately. very weird. there is the waist turn which is artificially longer through the extra rotation from the chair turning a little bit. there isn’t any separation of substantial and insubstantial in the legs. hmm.

After about 10 days, I’m finding that Mr. Meredith’s advice I mentioned below works well for me, though I haven’t tried it every day. The good thing is that as a byproduct, I do try at least “flow” mode every day again for the first time in a long while and that gets things going at a basic level for me, anyway. So getting back into this is good. Well, going much more slowly with pauses to relax more and do his counter sink really does help a lot. I then continue back into flow mode. I have to read the book more and try his advice every day and see if it keeps improving things for me. Will see if I can do it and try to post back.

I’ve started reading Scott Meredith’s enjoyable book Tai Chi SURGE and working on incorporating his advice. Since I learned ZMQ37 long ago including in camps with his teacher, it’s pretty easy to follow along with his tips. Usually I do “river” or “flow” mode as he says and it already feels good energetically including the “from feet to hand” feeling he describes, which is not a metaphor but a tangible and real feeling just like hunger, nausea, thirst, etc., but since it isn’t subjectively, unbelievable, blow-your-mind strong like he talks about feeling, I figure I should try his detailed advice to see if these “accelerants” can really help me work on this to the next level. Really for its own sake or as qigong for health. It’s been too long since I tried to practice every day so I’m probably back at kindergarten level. Just getting restarted now for about a week and there are some hints of progress already, so I’ll see if I can remember to do another post or more on any progress.

Not really sure how to take a baseline, but improving this time seems like a great goal.

From http://www.livestrong.com/article/260805-the-recovery-heart-rate-time-after-cardio-exercise/

Two-Minute Recovery

The heart rate two minutes after exercise is referred to as the recovery heart rate. This is the most common measurement in determining cardiovascular fitness. To test for improvements, record the working heart rate during exercise, then record recovery heart rate at the two-minute mark. Subtract the two-minute recovery rate from the working heart rate to determine a baseline for improvement. For example, if working levels were 150 beats per minute and the two-minute recovery rate was 95, then 55 is the recovery heart rate.

So improving “TMR” is the goal. It seems like the best way to measure it would be on a stationary cycle. Not sure if one should hit a target like 140 for x minutes, then stop or what. Also doing this as interval training is the overall goal.

Randomly came across this article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_centrifugal_force

The diagram describes a different example but it makes a peng and lu kind of “energy” clearer, I think. The ball is tied to a string and spinning around a post. The string is exerting a centripetal inward force due to the circular motion. The ball is exerting reactive centrifugal force. The net force on the string is zero but the string is in tension. This seems similar to incoming force that is borrowed and rolled (back) with circular motion, creating the reactive centrifugal “peng” force on its own (so your arm for example “has no force”, meaning the net force appears to be zero, though some small force goes into creating the circular motion).

reactive centrifugal force

Amazing. From http://www.minds.com/blog/view/257921183838638080/chi-master-controls-animals-by-channeling-his-energy-a-true-super-human