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Josh's push hands "training camp" was based at Grandmaster William C. C. Chen's School of Tai Chi Chuan in New York City. The objective was to train for a year with the intensity and focus needed to become the first Americans to win world championships. The team was comprised of top U.S. competitors that included Daniel Caulfield, Jan C. Childress, Jan Lucanus, Irving Yee, Calum Douglas-Reid, and Max Chen. As Josh describes in his book "The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance", many of the sessions were videotaped and studied carefully at night.

Josh Waitzkin's Push Hands Training Videos

How the winning U.S. team trained for championships From: Essential Sports and Fitness Video Channel

These are exclusive videos of the "training camp" organized by Josh to prepare for competing in the 2004 world push hands competition. There are drills, relaxed two-man exercises, and plenty of fine and instructive push hands bouts. (With a subscription you can view these and all the other videos on this channel.)


First Training Camp Videos - November 2003

Josh pushing hands with Daniel Caulfield, Session 1 (2003-11-24)

Josh Waitzkin and Daniel Caulfield pushing hands

This is the first video in the "training camp" series, which started a couple of weeks after Josh won the Gold in the 2003 World Kuoshu Championship in Brazil. Here the push hands is with his most frequent training partner, Daniel Caulfield (yellow shirt), who also won national and world championships in 2004. They start out with slow, warm-up pushing. As the pace gradually picks up, the action remains clear, with lots of useful throwing, pushing, and neutralizing techniques.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:16:48)

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Josh pushing hands with Hank Gearson (2003-11-24)

Hank Gearson and Josh Waitzkin pushing hands

Josh works out for a couple of minutes with Hank, who is both a full contact sanshou and push hands medal winner, and it gets a bit rough - but well worth watching. Then, Josh works with Jay, who has less experience in push hands, and we see a good example of soft handling and circling around.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:06:45)

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Josh pushing hands with Daniel Caulfield, Session 2 (2003-11-24)

Josh pushing Daniel Caulfield

Josh and Daniel go at it twice in this clip, with some excellent throws and some good escapes from close calls. In between, Josh pushes hands with Steven Asherman, and Grandmaster Chen rescues him after a couple of minutes.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:11:47)

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Josh practicing with Daniel Caulfield, Session 3 (2003-11-24)

Daniel Caulfield throwing Josh Waitzkin

In this workout, Josh and Daniel focus on aggressive throws and preventing throws by spinning with them. They take turns, and in the second half get some guidance from Grandmaster Chen, who is out of camera, on the sidelines. The clip starts with Josh warming up by doing some practice rolls.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:05:26)

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Warming Up at the Nationals - June 2004

Josh and Daniel Caulfield getting ready and staying loose (2004-07-03)

Josh Waitzkin and Daniel Caulfield pushing hands

This most interesting video shows the workout Josh and Daniel Caulfield did immediately before their first matches at the 2004 National push hands championship in Orlando Florida. The warm-up is fast paced but very relaxed and includes some revealing footwork. In this competition, Josh went on to win 5 Gold medals and 3 Silver medals and Daniel won 5 Gold medals as well.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:01:56)

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Final Training Camp Videos - November 2004

Josh pushing with Jan Lucanus and Daniel Caulfield (2004-11)

Josh Waitzkin and Jan Lucanus pushing hands

This is the last day of Josh's Training Camp, which was organized for William C. C. Chen's U.S. team competing in the 2004 World Push Hands Championships in Taiwan. In this video, Josh, Jan Lucanus, and, and Daniel get a nice, moving-step workout, and there's punching and kicking practice going on in the background with Max Chen.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:01:47)

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Josh, Jan C. Childress and Max Chen practicing push hands(2004-11)

Josh Waitzkin and Max Chen after push hands throw, with Jan C Childress watching

This is a moderately paced, round robin push hands with Josh, Max, and Jan C., showing lots of good moves and throws.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:13:11)

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Josh and Max Chen work on throws with Jan C. and Jan L. (2004-11)

Josh Waitzkin, Jan C. Childress, Max Chen, and Jan Lucanus work on push hands throws

Josh explains and demonstrates how to throw or takedown a push hands opponent. He and Max work with Jan C. and Jan L. to practice close-in maneuvering and effective throws, making for a good lesson.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:03:02)

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Josh and Max Chen work on throws with Irving Yee (2004-11)

Max Chen and Irving Yee after push hands throw, with Josh Waitzkin watching

Irving Yee, a Tai Chi champion in the lightweight division, is the center of attention in this high energy video. He pushes hands with Calum, followed by Max, followed by Josh, ending with a session of repeated attacks and throws.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:05:19)

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Josh pushing hands with Daniel Caulfield (2004-11)

Josh Waitzkin pushing Daniel Caulfield

This is the final video of Josh and Daniel pushing hands before the world championships, and it shows that they are ready. They clearly know each other's tricks, which forces them to work that much more intensely and creatively. In the background, we see Max and Calum practicing fixed step push hands, and there's even a few interesting minutes where Grandmaster Chen is pushing hands with advanced students.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:18:07)

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Josh practices being at the ring edge with Tom Otterness (2004-11)

Josh Waitzkin pushing Tom Otterness

Josh works with his back against the border, with Tom repeatedly making forceful attacks. Josh uses a variety of effective methods that include rooting, slipping, circling around, and giving way suddenly.

From: Josh Waitzkin (00:04:12)

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