Angus Clark with Andrew Heckert
Andrew is from Philadelphia and visits us once or twice a year to share his wealth of experience in the field of Pushing Hands. His last teacher was Master Tao Ping-Siang, whose motto was ‘Not by Force’ and whose teacher was Cheng Man-Ching (the same as for my late teacher Dr. Chi Chiang-Tao). Andrew runs enjoyable workshops and is extremely good at showing how to make the ‘light touch’ work.
“You can find out more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – Plato
Plato sums it up pretty well there, dont you think? Bearing in mind, of course, that the person you’re finding out about is yourself as much as ‘the other’. That’s Pushing Hands in a nutshell!
Out of the nutshell, Pushing Hands is a term given to describe a whole range of partner exercises, both choreographed and freestyle and based on the martial art that is Tai Chi Chuan. These exercises, based on principles of softening, yielding, listening and following encourage you to respond to situations creatively and along the way find out a bit more about yourself.
If you think about how much of your life is in relationship – conversations, emails, texts, phone calls, as well as more intimate relationships, then you realise that a lot of your life-time is about relating. Pushing Hands gives us a way of exploring all of this.
You start by simply listening to the contact with another person and to the information that the contact gives you.
You develop your sensitivity and ability to respond as well as your sense of grounding and resilience.
Based on the idea of ‘yielding’ like a reed in the wind, you learn to listen, through the touch, to follow what is happening and create out of that. You don’t respond to what you think might happen or what, perhaps, you want to happen; just simply what is. It’s nice and profound; intriguing and fun.
Newcomers and more experienced players are all welcome.