Single Hand Push
The next Level of Two Person practice is to move on to Single Hand Push. It is important that you spend a lot of time first on your Hands Attaching practice, so that you are comfortable with stepping both forward and backward, practicing in a soft relaxed manner, and being able to feel the energy flow to some degree. A good strong foundation in Hands Attaching will allow you to progress a lot faster in Single Hand Push.
Begin as you did in Hands Attaching facing your partner in Preparation, making sure to follow the guidelines for connecting that you learned in a past article. Then, step up into the Hands Attaching form by stepping out 45° to the right side, bringing up the right hand to rest on a Taichi Ball, dropping the left down in front of you, fingertips pointing to the earth, weight shifting to the right foot. Step up with the left foot to form a Bow and Arrow stance, circling up the left arm to contacting each other lightly, making sure that you contact at the wrist, and that the arms are at a 45° angle, forming a good Hands Attaching Form, attaching to your partner. Remember that when you attach, you do not want to pull back either physically or energetically, but rather, attach to your partner in a smooth manner. Also make sure that your center lines are aligned.
Now begin to move, circling in a clockwise direction, arms now parallel to the floor, the person moving forward, sending their energy forward and exhaling, the person moving backward, harmonizing with the energy flow and inhaling. Continue circling in this manner, roles exchanging, flowing together. In the beginning stages, make sure that the circle that you make is perfectly round. Imagine a point on the floor between you and your partner at the half way point between you, along your center lines, that is the center of this circle. Make sure you turn at least 45° to each side, but not more. Keep the circle very light and smooth. The object is to join your energies and flow together, not compete.
Also remember the key points that you learned in Hands Attaching. Do not break contact. Learn to move using your true feeling, not relying on your eyesight, or physical feeling of contact to remain attached to your partner. Relax as much as possible to allow your feeling to take over, not using your eyes or wrist as your guide as to when you should move. These are all reasons why you have to move so slowly in the beginning. If you move too quickly, you end up falling back to physical level practice, and your energy and sensitivity will not increase.
Another way to get the idea of this circle, is to imagine an axle at the center point between you. At the top of this axle is a wheel with a handle attached to it. Both you and your partner are holding this handle, and using it to turn the wheel. This will help to keep the circle a uniform size and make sure that you turn properly on each side. Go slowly, concentrating on this circle, keeping it flat, not rising up or down, going around at a consistent speed, neither speeding up nor slowing down. Also remain even, not leaning in any direction, feeling the crown-point suspended up.
Practice starting to the left side as well as the right, remembering the importance of energy balance. Also remember to coordinate the forward, backward movement with the turning of the Dan Tian, which in turn, turns the waist. As with Hands Attaching, this will require many years of practice in order to be doing it in a really energetic manner. These are just the most basic details to get you started. In a later article, we will go into finer detail on this form. For now, this will give you a good solid start.