Practical self-defence applications exist for all the movements of the Tai Chi Hand Form – in our martial classes we drill these movements repeatedly to develop them as reflexive responses. This practice can be done slowly to develop technique, and later more energetically to simulate a realistic self-defence situation or for pushing hands/sanshou competition training.
Below is a slideshow with photos taken during sessions focussing on throwing and striking applications.
Dave and Vince demonstrating the form and application for the move Sweep Lotus Leg, including some footage of this technique being applied in Sanshou competition by Vince.
Dave and Vince demonstrating the form and application for the move Brush Knee Twist Step, including some footage of this technique being applied in sanshou competition by Vince and Chris.
The photo album below shows a class session where we looked at the practical application of the move “As if Shutting a Door” from the Tai Chi Hand Form.
This technique is used in response to a flurry of punches, to close down the attacker and move from striking range into a grappling range.
This allows the defender to utilise the “Pushing Hands” (grappling) skills which are trained in Tai Chi martial lessons to control the attacker, ideally looking to unbalance the attacker before moving into a throw or submission technique.
The photo album below shows James (University student attending public class) performing the technique “Parry and Punch” from the Hand Form upon John.
In this technique, when the attacker throws a committed punch to the head, the defender quickly evades the defense using “Seven Stars” footwork (trained in paired pushing hands exercise), lightly parrying the attack and countering with a close-range punch to the floating ribs.
Wearing boxing gloves (optional) allows the partners to train more intensely to better re-create the conditions of an authentic attack without risking injury.