David Sim wrote:
I did a bit of wudang tai chi ('practical tai chi') a couple of years ago, and did a bit of free step push hands. I've quite recently taken up shodokan aikido, at least partly because I enjoy shiai (and other forms of) randori in the same way that I used to enjoy push hands, and have been loving every minute of it. Two questions though...
i) Does anyone which aikido techniques would be allowed in free push hands? Presumably atemi waza, but what about the others? I never really got advanced enough to be able to do anything I wasn't allowed to!
ii) One of the things I did get onto in tai chi was using little leg sweeps to manipulate the opponent's balance in push hands. There isn't anything like this in the randori no kata (and hence in randori) for safety reasons, but are there such techniques in aikido generally?
My personal opinion is that most Aikido is one sees is not necessarily what O-Sensei meant by Aikido, so that point needs to be considered. On the other hand, most "Tai Chi" you see in the west is just someone's take on it, as well. I've seen numbers of skilled Chinese just sit and watch western "Tai Chi" (including "Wudang" or "Practical Tai Chi") and just say that it wasn't really Tai Chi. So that presents a problem right off the bat, doesn't it? Doing a few "nei gongs" that allow your mates to jump off a chair onto your chest is something they do in southern Shaolin, not in Taiji, BTW.
That being said, Irimi Nage, Tenchi Nage, and the arm kokyu's would be good in a free-sparring arrangement... with the eye always open to take kotegaehi or sankyo or shiho-nage.