One night I was showing my student how to gently place both palms from Push on his chest and uproot him with little effort.
Then he asked a good question – how to reconcile this with striking especially when using Push against someone in combat whereby he will not stand still for you to place your palms on his chest to do your thing.
Good question, good question.
Two demonstrations later I think he wished he had not asked.
But its a good question in that Push is a double palm strike, not a pushing movement as how the name of the technique is normally translated into English.
Why we need to train gently the uprooting part first is that we need to cultivate the skill of allowing the force from the ground to go through our body and into the opponent with the least possible obstruction or loss of force through various factors.
To explain better I showed two ways of doing Push – one without having to touch his chest first and one with fingers touching his chest. To make the demo more convincing I didn’t push so much as strike and make the force either lifting him off his feet and knocking him back or making the force vibrate through his body.
Again, some students might think its some mysterious Chi stuff but really its just physics with a dose of intention and qualia. The principle for what I demonstrated that night is on page 105 in TaijiKinesis Vol 2. An illustration for the force models of Push is on page 163. One is good for bouncing whereas the other model is good for issuing sudden, shocking force.