View Full Version : sticky hands

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Kung Fu Liane
02-23-2003, 06:17 AM
does anyone else do sticky hands training in their school? anyone have any views on whether or not it is an important part of their training?

i think it is, at least it teaches you not to hold on to your partner, which is a major critism of aikido from the point of other styles

also, does anyone know of its history? i think its a chinese exercise (from tai chi) that has been adopted by aikido.


Kevin Wilbanks
02-23-2003, 07:23 AM
From what I've seen, it looks like there is a big difficulty with combining sticky-hands and Aikido. In order to have time to go through enough of a sequence of folding, pushing, punching, etc... for an exchange to resemble sticky-hands, you have to stand still for a while, facing your opponent, center-to-center, at close range. In any Aikido I've seen, one never does this on purpose. In Aikido, one is constantly stepping and turning to achieve a position in which nage is facing uke, yet uke's center line is facing elsewhere and is therefore deprived of most strong attack options. Also, Aikido ma-ai is just outside kicking range, where uke has to take a step to make contact. When this distance is closed, something decisive should happen and there will be no standing still for nage, nor getting one's mind caught up in a tangle of hands.

Use a search engine and look up 'wing chun'. The original Tai Chi may have had sticking hands, as it was a very comprehensive art. However, what goes around as Tai Chi these days has pushing hands, an entirely different kind of exercise.

Paula Lydon
02-23-2003, 09:03 AM
~~Hi Liane!

Yes, we randomly practice the simple form of beginning sticky/puch hands and every once in a while move onto two handed push hands. As I personally have practiced both Tai Chi and Wing Chun over the past years I and some other folks at the dojo will play with more advanced and open forms of sticky hands and feet (I like to call it sticky body).

I, too, feel that it's an important part of training in any MA as it does teach you not to rely on grabs and also to maintain an open, sensing mind/body with your partner. I find that it greatly enhances my ukemi as well as henka and kaeshi waza. Keep it up and enjoy! :)

Hanna B
02-23-2003, 09:09 AM
Hi Paula!

Would you say that Wing Chun's sticky hands and Tai Chi's push hands are related or entirely different?

02-23-2003, 09:38 AM
I think Pa kua has a version of sticky hands done on the move. (?Walking the circle?")

Other than sticky hands, there is a simplified trapping system I learnt in WT imaginatively called..."punch, punch, parry, parry". Basically works like the jab catch drill in boxing, but with "inner gate" punches. (Vertical fist). I punch, you slap away and respond, I intercept and respond etc...

I've seen a clip of "aikido sticky hands" - kevin is right, look awfully static


I find that working blindfolded does wonders for sensitivity. So much so that I'll sometimes close my eyes during movement briefly to get a feel for things. Try it with taisabaki, the results can be startling...you may not end up in the place you think ;-)

02-23-2003, 09:49 AM
There are, in Tai Ji, more advanced forms of push hands that do involve movement by both partners, but it requires a very empty mind to keep from tripping over your own feet.

Another excellent example of push hands in Aikido is how I got a date with my wife!:D

We had both recently started Aikido, lo those many years ago, and I knew that she had also done Tai Ji in the past, so I offered to do some push hands training with her outside of class.

We've been married 5 years, and she still thinks mine was the best pick up line ever :blush: .

Paula Lydon
02-23-2003, 11:56 AM
~~Hi Hanna!

I think that they must be related as you cannot follow your partner well in push-hands without understanding 'sticking' and you cannot simply 'stick' to your partner in Wing Chun without understanding the yin/yang interrelationship and flow of moving hip moving body. For both, connecting/leading/following without grasping or disengaging are important factors in a deeper understanding of technical execution, in Aikido as any other MA. IMHO :). Enjoy!

Kevin Wilbanks
02-23-2003, 01:40 PM
I think with a little imagination and understanding of principles such as leading, following, musubi, etc... a good sensei can come up with drills and exercises to help students grasp these things without the need to import a whole other art or trappings of one, which may or may not be compatible with Aikido. My original sensei did. Unfortunately, I became so engaged in this kind of thing that I tended to neglect the nuts-and-bolts of proper form.

Peter Ralston has a freestyle, competitive push-hands style game with free foot movement which is good for this, and staight-up Aikido moves can often emerge. I'm not expert at it, but in my experience anyone who can open up their mind to it and loosen up their body can start benefiting from it in just a few minutes. Tripping over feet didn't seem a problem and I see no reason why one would have to wait to attain advanced status in tai chi to try it.