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.

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