A few weeks ago, we had a chance to discuss with a visiting Chinese Tai Chi master regarding the new draft Tai Chi Push hands competition rule from mainland China.
Those who watched Tai Chi Push Hands competitions, all have the feeling that it’s very un-Tai Chi like but more wrestling contests, full of force against force, without any sign of “Four ounce handles thousand pound”. That’s must be the same feeling of the governing body.
The draft rule first published around April 2015. The organization committee spent three years consulting many Tai Chi masters (from different styles) to come up with this aiming to return it as a true Tai Chi competition.
The significance of the new rule are:
· It’s from the highest national Wushu controlling body – “Chinese State Sports General Administration of Wushu Administrative Center”.
· It sets up future standards for China domestic, international and potential Olympic events.
· It’s strong intention of promote true Tai Chi techniques.
The new rule has been used in many competitions in China such as the prominent “China Jiaozuo International Taijiquan Exchange Competition” (中国焦作国际太极拳交流大赛). More and more Tai Chi schools, competitors are getting on the bandwagon.
Here I list some of the key points of the new rule:
1. It’s a “Fixed Step” not “Moving Step” (or “Free Step”) competition.
2. You will be judged by your “Double-hand Push Hands Drill” skill.
3. Initial attack/defence must come from “Double-hand Push Hands Drill” motion.
4. Designated initial attacker/defender to avoid duel attacking resulting in fighting force against force.
Although initial view might see the rule being overly restrictive, but understanding where it’s coming from, I believe it warrants more effort to experience before jump into conclusion.