I've seen very few push hands competitions that were worth much, mainly because the typical rules are just terrible. A friend recently pointed out this ruleset for "shuai tui shou" at the upcoming lei tai event in Houston. The rules are basically no-gi (well, no da lian) shuai jiao:
"Two 3 minute rounds with a 1 minute break in between each round. One extra round will be given if a tie breaker is needed.
The goal in this event is to place your opponent on the floor of the competition surface or to throw or push them off the competition surface. Judges will be looking for proper execution of standing grappling, throwing and take-down techniques, and sweeping.
Once the match has begun then the competitors are allowed to freely move about the competition surface.
Points are gained through causing your opponent to fall to the ground within the competition surface or to fall off the competition surface. When any other part of a competitor's body touches the ground other than the feet, this is considered a fall. When any part of the body is touching the ground outside of the competition surface, then this is considered falling out of the competition surface.
The hands can touch any part of the body below the neck and above the ankles. Double grabbing is permitted, but not gripping or pinching of the clothing, skin, or hair. Bear hugs, over hooks, and under hooks are also permitted. No obvious attempts at scratching is allowed. Small joint manipulation and pressure point attacks are not allowed as well. No striking of any style is permitted, but strong pushing and pulling are allowed. There should be no impact at all. Trapping is also allowed.
Leg techniques like sweeping and tripping are allowed. Overt attempts at kicking, however, are not allowed. Stepping on an opponent is not allowed as well."
I think this is a big step forward for US-based taiji players who want to develop basic shuai fa in a competitive setting. I hope it will lead to more played in the spirit of Chinese competitions like these:
(Chen village team cleaning house at Hong Kong tournie)
(Chen Bing vs Chen Erhu, 1992)
Why not just do Shuai Chiao?
Unlike Shuai Jiao competitions, push hands competitions don't allow competitors to grab the uniform.
These rules are very good, without the license to trip and throw, "push hands" competitions are, for the most part, a waste of time, since 70% of Taijiquan is standing wrestling.
Very cool. I remember the 1st clip, but have never seen the 2nd.
It seems like the more exposure the (Shuai) push-hands gets, the better quality people's TJQ will hopefully get. People will hopefully see this stuff and realize that merely pushing their opponent a couple of feet away just isn't the be-all-end-all of TJQ skill.
I can also imagine a whole portion of the TJQ community resisting such developments, saying it's external, Judo, physical (enter your excuse here) etc... as such developments are bound to challenge the "pushing" their "masters" have been training them in for 20 years of their lives.
But at the end of the day, who wants to compete in the watered down version of PH with no throwing and tripping (we all know who), when there is stuff like the above around. The western version (for the most part) is like the "push-hands lite" of the original... missing the flavor of real sugar, replaced with some artificial sweetener that is suppose to trick you into believing it's the real thing.
Chemical sweet'ners.. Id rather eat cancer off of a goat.
It goes both ways, Throws that involve gripping the jacket are different then throws that do not.
I never fully learned push hands so i dont know the in's and outs, but not being able to trip and throw is pretty pointless. It still leaves opportunity to practice pushing and pulling but those chances arent always open.
good points in this thread.
Who knows, maybe one day push hands competition will even allow open hand striking, and it will begin to catch up with Sumo.
I feel sorry for the guy sitting on the far left.
"Who knows, maybe one day push hands competition will even allow open hand striking, and it will begin to catch up with Sumo."
Sumo's pretty great, but I'd be glad if there were a no-jacket wrestling competition where CMA players could develop throwing skills in isolation before moving on to san shou.
Of course, if they're got the option, they'd probably be better off just signing up for Greco-Roman wrestling...
So you cannot develop throwing skills with jackets?
"Throwing skills without the jacket...is my life"!
"So you cannot develop throwing skills with jackets? "
I don't recall suggesting anything like that, Jake. My point, for the sake of clarity, runs something like this:
There are important differences between jacket and no-jacket wrestling. For example, when playing in a jacket -- no matter whether a da lian, judogi, jujitsugi or kurtka -- my first goal is to fight for my favorite jacket grips, whereas in GR wrestling, sub grappling, and san shou my concern is pummeling to get favorable under-/over- hooks.
In addition to the time it takes to get comfortable going from jacket to no (or vice versa), I've found it requires work to switch even between different styles of jacket. Example: transitioning to the judogi added a whole new dimension of sleeve play that gave me grief when I moved from no-jacket and da lian training to BJJ and Judo.
So what I'm saying is: if one is ultimately training to compete in san shou, it helps to have a competition framework in which to develop throwing skill without a jacket. Do you find this assertion controversial?
I have lots of skills,
Jacket throwing skills, no jacket throwing skills,
Don't forget bow-hunting skills, Robert. Chicks totally dig that...
oh yeah, almost forgot.
Bow Hunting skills...
Don't forget your mastery skill of killing a perfectly excellent discussion board thread with you dim mak dim witlessness.
How about i dim yo ass?
Hmm, well imo. If you want to develop no gi throwing skill for san shou, you can always learn to do that while training in sanshou, since they dont use a gi in sanshou. lol, im just pulling your leg. But even if Taiji push hands was modified to allow throws, i still dont think it would be practical training for san shou, because in san shou you are also dodging punches and kicks.
Throws that are learned while using the gi will still have the same base principles as throws without the gi. What changes is the way you trap your opponent.
There has been a mention of adaptation and how the best fighters are the ones who have the ability to adapt the best. I think that fact is true. Converting throws from gi to no gi is just another adaptation. On the other hand, going from no gi, to gi, will be more of a challenge, since with a gi, it is easier to defend against attacks of the no gi persuasion. for a grappler, something to grab, is always a good thing.
I think its sort of a pressing issue in the world of the so called internal martial arts. I think styles like bagua, xing yi, taiji, etc. Are, with no exaggeration intended, probably some of the most contemplated martial systems i have come across. But they simply lack a logical approach to sparring methods. Perhaps because of the "Pagan Health nut" aura that seems to surround it. I mean, wasnt this art kicking ass all over china back in the day? and are you seriously telling me that all these guys would do is push hands and the Taiji forms? I have seen some really good push hands guys out there.
That being said, Where is Taiji quan? Is the world not worthy?
Sambo jacket, like a judo gi with epaulettes and belt loops.
"But even if Taiji push hands was modified to allow throws, i still dont think it would be practical training for san shou, because in san shou you are also dodging punches and kicks."
I've found takedowns much easier when set up using strikes than under pure grappling rules. Concentrating on the harder version of the problem -- wrestling without strikes -- thus pays dividends in the clinch.
And thanks for clarifying on the kurtka. I wanna learn some sambo someday.
The same group of Chen taiji stylists <http://www.chenstyletaijiquan.org/> are hosting a leitai fighting event with surprisingly decent rules November 13th:
This is a combat-only tournament with Lei Tai Sanda style rules that employ all combat elements: striking, kicking, grappling, wrestling, throwing, and qinna. All styles and competitors are welcome to showcase their skills, ages 16 and up.
More detailed info will be posted soon, but here's the story so far:
Full contact to the body, light contact to the head.
Hands and feet to the head and body.
Kao, elbows, and knees to the body only.
Qinna to the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles.
Throws, grappling, and wrestling are allowed, but only 10 seconds are allotted for groundwork.
Immobilizing Qinna is allowed while standing or on the ground to the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles.
As this is an amateur event, there will be required protective gear:
Head Gear, face cage or shield is optional.
Chest Guard is optional, but is required for female competitors.
MMA Gloves with 1” padding over the knuckles.
Shin and Instep Guards.
Competitors can be barefoot or wear Fei Yue style martial arts shoes.
1 point for clean strikes.
2 points for clean kicks.
10 points for clean throws and take downs (competitor stays on their feet).
10 points for clean immobilizing qinna.
5 points for dirty throw (you fall on top of your opponent).
2 (3 minute) rounds and 1 (2 minute) round for tie breaker.
$50 before October 30, 2010.
$100 at the door.