Push Hands with The Alberta Sport and Recreation Association for the Blind

For the month of November 2012 the Alberta Sport and Recreation Association for the Blind held its first Tai Chi Chuan course. We held the course at a quintessentially Edmonton location, The Edmonton Public Library Downtown Branch, a very dynamic and diverse institution. This course made use of an innovative approach where we integrated the practice of both the form and push-hands into every class. Typically, push-hands training does not begin until one has finished the first stage of learning the form, and often push-hands is neglected entirely. This course however, sought to re-establish the connection between these two components of Tai Chi, thus enabling the participants to train the fuller breadth of Tai Chi benefits.

Push-hands develops “adherence” skills, a solid balance, responsiveness, waist rotation, as well as a better intellectual understanding of Tai Chi. Taking a look at just one of these, adherence, the ability to stick to another person’s movement with agility and awareness, is exclusive to push-hands. No aspect of form training contains this idea due to the fact that one requires a partner to train this skill. ASRAB will be continuing to promote this integrated approach to Tai Chi with further classes and promotions to be held in January.

P1110550 from Tai Chi Edmonton on Vimeo.