|Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Xiaowang pushing hands in the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School|
To use Taijiquan as a combat art, both form training and push hands must be seen as complementary and vital. Training the form without doing push hands, while giving some exercise benefits, will not equip an individual for combat and self defence. Conversely, if an individual just does push hands without the foundation of form training, while they may develop certain techniques, they will not be able to use these to their full potential. Therefore, the experienced practitioner should train form and push hands concurrently, without favouring one over the other. While the less experienced practitioner must accept that form training is the basis and foundation upon which any future push hands success is based.
|"Tuishou and form training are inseparable"|
In the words of Chen Xiaowang: “Tuishou and form training are inseparable. Whatever defect a person has in the form will be revealed during push hands as a weakness that can be taken advantage of by an opponent. That is why Taijiquan requires one to have the whole body working in unison. One must practise tuishou frequently. Tuishou is a practical application and is the only way of accurately testing the form. Learning Taijiquan and its postural requirements is like manufacturing the different parts of an item of machinery. Tuishou is like its assembly. If all the different components of the machinery are made to requirement, then it is easy to assemble the machinery. However, if the parts are wrongly built and are either too big or too small, or if they are simply the wrong parts - it will be impossible to build the machine”. (Source: The Essence of Taijiquan)