I know why many masters don’t like to teach properly or correct a student’s hands even when mistakes are obvious.
The dirty secret is that if they do the student will give them a hard time should they ever touch hands and in a style like Taiji this is unavoidable unless one is teaching a health class or a huge class in which case any touching of hands is minimal per student.
My student has grown up. He has learned to react and hit me when I have an opening. What he may not have expected is that there is a strategy of trade-off that we can use in playing push hands to still win.
During push hands my student reacted with an arm movement that left his hand momentarily vulnerable to a wrist lock. So I grabbed it with both hands.
However, he resisted my attempt to lock his wrist. In that position I had my center opened to a strike and without hesitation he launched a strike. His strike hit me right on in the solar plexus.
What he didn’t expect to happen as his strike came in was me dissipating the force of his punch by using the footwork of Repulse Monkey. In that instant that his punch struck his attention strayed away from the other hand that I was still holding. I felt the slight easing of resistance. In that instant I tightened the lock and what should have been a win for him turned out to be a loss and he went to the ground as a result of the sharp pain from the wrist lock.
I told him that when playing we can expect to get hit. The important thing is that the hit does not impact us such that it stops us. A tap does not really count as a win. Thus, as we move up the skill ladder we must learn the strategy of trade-off.
A few other examples of the strategy at work in the practice session :-
a) My student had learned how to do a punch that I always use on him. His timing was good in that the moment I attacked him his punch came in quickly like flowing water. But it didn’t hit me hard because my body has learned to react automatically by angling away so that his punch is unable to land cleanly. On the other hand, he had not learned how to angle his own body and my palm still found its target
b) I decided to let down my resistance to give my student a chance to try out his techniques. He came in with power to apply a throw. As his power was not controlled well he ended up pushing me away. In the course of knocking me away I used my body to entangle his arm and he tried to resist my lock by pulling his hand away. As I had a tight grip on it he could not do so and I ended up putting a lock on him that caused him to go down on his knees with his face to the ground
I pointed out to him how the form can teach him how to react and which part of which movements contain the strategy of trade-off. It will take a while for him to learn how to do it.