Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Follow-up: Sensing Hands vs Push Hands

When I asked teacher what the literal translation of t'ui shou was, it was, in fact, "push hands", even though the word used for "push" in our form is an not t'ui.  Apparently they're synonymous.  Then without any prompting he said that some people preferred "sensing hands".  When I asked him what he thought about that it was largely a non-issue for him, but he said it might be all right as an alternative translation and understood the emphasis on sensing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sensing Hands: Push Hands Re-framed

"If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things."  K'ung-fu Tzu

This was a portion of the explanation that K'ung-fu Tzu (or Confucius as we know him) gave to his disciples on his principle of 'rectification of names'.

I think about this with regard to our practice of t'ui shou or what is commonly called 'push hands'.  There has been a move over the years by some notables in our lineage to change the translation to 'sensing hands'.  And while it may not be a very good literal translation of t'ui shou, it may more accurately express the intention of this valuable practice and be 'more in accordance with the truth of things'.