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Grandmaster William C. C. Chen is the best known and most senior student of Professor Cheng Man-Ching. He lived with the Professor for three years and assisted him with advanced internal body training. Grandmaster Chen's push hands style emphasizes relaxation, yielding, and using internal energy and proper structure from the ground to generate power.

William C. C. Chen's Push Hands Videos

How relaxation, yielding and softness overcome force From: Essential Sports and Fitness Video Channel

Grandmaster Chen has guided many of his students to become national and world, push hands champions. Yet, there are only a few, rare (but revealing) videos of him giving push hands instruction, which are gathered here. (With a subscription you can view these and all the other videos on this channel.)


How to do Straight Pushes

Root down, fill up. Don't push forwards (NYC, 2015-2016)

William Chen teaching his students to do straight pushes, including his son Max Chen

In these push hands sessions, we see Grandmaster Chen teaching his students how to do the basic forward push. He uses serving coffee and tea on a tray to demonstrate the motion. He shows pushing with a towel to help students understand about using indirect force instead of direct force.

From: William C. C. Chen (00:14:11)

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Expanding and Disappearing in Push Hands

How to push without tensing (Hanover, Germany, 2011)

William Chen teaching Tai Chi push hands

Grandmaster Chen demonstrates the difference between "energy pushing" and pushes that come from tensing the muscles of the arms and legs. He shows how to uproot an opponent, how to disappear under a push (without injuring your back), how to resist by sinking down instead of using muscles to push back, and how to drag down a person who is pushing by their arm. He illustrates the difference between slow fa-ching (pushing) for push hands and fast fa-ching for martial arts applications.

From: William C. C. Chen and Nils Klug (Body Mechanics DVD) (00:09:19)

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How to Push Sideways

Maintain your shape. Empty out the chest and arm (NYC, 2015-2016)

William Chen showing students how to push sideways

Here Grandmaster Chen teaches push hands students an advanced form of pushing - to the side. He shows keeping a rounded "gorilla shape" and filling up, with the energy expanding from the base (the big toe and ball of the foot).

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:17)

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Basic Push Hands Workshop

Yielding first when being pushed and then pushing (Spain, 2011)

William Chen teaching Tai Chi push hands

We see Grandmaster Chen teaching students how to relax and yield while being pushed. Then, he shows a push that can be done after yielding. Finally, he works with a student on a pull that can be issued when she is pushed. (His senior student, Luis Molera, is filming in the background.)

From: William C. C. Chen and Manolo Mazon (00:02:14)

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Push Hands in the Park

Yield, neutralize, and pull (Spain, about 2010)

William Chen teaching Tai Chi push hands

Grandmaster Chen shows and talks about yielding with the whole body and neutralizing. He explains how this "investment in loss" enables winning against a bigger and stronger opponent.

From: William C. C. Chen and Manolo Mazon (00:02:32)

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Yielding Sideways in Push Hands

When going to the side is better than going straight back (NYC, 2015)

William Chen bending to show how to move around a straight push

Grandmaster Chen shows students how to get the target of a push out of the way, instead of falling into the trap of moving straight back and getting stuck.

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:30)

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Tai Chi Workshop and Demo from Early 1970's

Rare clips of push hands and martial arts applications

William Chen's students demonstrating push hands

The video starts out with senior students of Grandmaster Chen showing a basic push hands, loosening and yielding exercise. Grandmaster Chen explains the use of shoulder strike in push hands, with the audience participating. (Most of this video focuses on his students demonstrating martial arts applications derived from the Tai Chi form.) (8mm, no sound)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:02:02)

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How to Pull with Power

Focus on the chest wall and not the arm to pull (NYC, 2016)

William Chen teaching students how to do a strong pull

Grandmaster Chen teaches push hands students how to pull, keeping the knee in. He shows how holding the correct shape, with the elbow up, helps to connect the fingers doing the pulling with the toe on the ground.

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:03)

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Intensive Push Hands Instruction

Workshop for Tai Chi and martial arts enthusiasts (Hawaii, 1970's or 1980's)

William Chen applies lock on student while teaching Tai Chi push hands

Grandmaster Chen works with students to improve their push hands. He's emphasizing yielding and moving with the whole body as opposed to using the arms to push. At the end, he teaches a wrist lock. (8mm, no sound)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:03:31)

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More videos from William C. C. Chen:
More push hands videos: