I wouldn't totally discount push hands once you have some understanding of these skills. If when doing push hands you are trying to tie up your opponent's limbs, or overly using a lot of muscle it doesn't help train these skills. If you are using it as a means of understanding how to ground, negate, or redirect forces solely utilizing internal strength gained through solo training or other partner exercises, it is a valuable exercise applicable to grappling as it is merely a short form of stand up grappling.
Boy we have to be more careful and clear. I have to slow down and collect my thoughts before I post so quickly and off-handedly.
Stan meant the exact opposite of what you thought he was saying too. Ouch! You are in fact-agreeing with Stan. He advocates push hands and what you can do with it.
He was dismayed, as are many I have met in ICMA that -their- teachers were telling them-"Do more forms, do more forms."
(kata). And they don't really make gains like they could. So, when Stan asked his teachers (after he started finally getting more power in training in more direct methods here) he got "Do more forms."
SO he he watched me with some very serious ICMA master level teachers, he bore witness over two years here to teachers from a host of arts train in direct methods here and he is literally watching them gain power, softness and sensitivty. So he has some serious thoughts as to kata and form being a much slower training model, in light of witnessing the resut of more direct methods.
Stan, if I messed that up, my apologies