Tthere are 13 methods of power utilized in Push Hands practice, these 13 power methods are for use in free style push hands or self defense. The methods can be applied or joined together in a variety of ways, and are ways of issuing or manifesting energy or power.
1. PENG (Ward Off / Evaluate)
The first power method is known as Peng. Peng by many accounts in the English language is defined as "ward off." However, according to Ma Yueh Liang. Son-in-law of Wu Chian Chuan, Peng means to "test" or "evaluate." This means when an opponent is doing something to you, you need to intercept or neutralize the attack or method, and test or evaluate it. Actualizing or determining where the source of their power or center of gravity is located.
2. LU (Roll Back / To Follow)
The second is known as Lu. Known by many English language accounts as "Roll Back," or "Stroke," Ma felt Lu meant "to follow." Following is an unassuming objective according to Ma, and one which yields to overcome. If you follow your opponent closely enough, soon the opponent will run out of their position trying to catch you. According to Ma, confronting or fighting with the opponent is the wrong thing to do. Follow and overcome, and send the force or opposition out.
3. JI (Pressing / Pressing Through a Limb to Penetrate an Opponent's Center)
Third, Ji. Ji by some accounts refers to pressing, but Ma taught that it was a pressing through your limb or the limb of an opponent, and going through and penetrating the opponent's center.
4. AN (Push / Pushing at an Angle)
The fourth is known as An. An translated means push. However, for Ma pushing was not only a head on affair. The power of pushing is greatly amplified when the pushing is done on specifically slight or wide angles.Furthermore, pushing can be more useful when the position of the joint you are pushing is considered, and which way the opponent's joint is trapped or reacts as you penetrate with the push effects how much force or pressure is applied.
5. CAI (Pulling / Grab Beyond the Point of Contact)
The fifth method is known as Cai, or pulling suddenly. Cai appears as a grab but that is a rough general-ization. Ma described the true Ta'i Chi technique as a grab beyond that which you are grabbing. Closer inspection shows it is much like a hooking of the opponent's joint, while the "pulling" hand may form an"Eagle's Beak" or "Claw Hand" or a gentle unassuming grasp.
According to Ma when a forceful grab is applied, the center of gravity is exposed, and the grab may soon be rendered useless. However, the pulling technique is more sensitive and less easily detected when the pulling hand acts similar to a back hoe that reaches beyond before getting a hold of a joint of a limb.
6. LIE (Lifting / Raising a Limb)
The sixth method is Lie or lifting or raising. Ta'i Chi practitioners will recognize "White Stork Flaps It's Wings" or "Jade Girl Works at the Shuttles" as Lie techniques manifesting in form's practice. Wherein one limb or both are raised for upsetting or advancing on the opponent.
7. ZHOU (Elbowing / Elbow Press)
The seventh is known as Zhou or elbowing. Practitioners who love to be lifted only to drop an elbow square into the lifter appreciate the elbow strike. However for Ma the elbow was a valuable tool for applying gentle pressure to the outside of limbs, joints or ribs. Taking the opponent out of their center and practically out of their shoes.
8. KAU (Shoulder / Back)
The eighth method is known as Kau. In this technique, the shoulders and especially the back are used to issue jing or power. Well into his 90's, Ma could with lightning and sudden speed unleash a strike with his back that sent many a practitioner flying. If you thought Fa-Jing (Explosive power) was reserved for hands, elbows, or legs think again. Explore the other half of your body, and it's usefulness.
9. JIN (Advancing); 10. TUI (Retreating); 11. KU (Look to the Left / Left Side Step); 12. PAN (Look to the Right / Right Side Step); 13. ZHONG DING (Central Equillibrium)
The five final techniques of power include: Jin, Tui, Ku, Pan, and Zhong Ding. They refer to movement or quality of movement, while initiating or reacting to change. Jin refers to advancing steps, and Tui to retreating steps. Ku and Pan refer to side to side stepping or movement with Ku meaning looking to the left, and Pan meaning looking to the right. Zhong Ding refers to central equilibrium. It refers to how connected you are, both to the ground and to the opponent's body or intentions. Zhong Ding often refers to maintaining your stability and root, although your opponent may be losing theirs. Zhong Ding may also take the form of hands sliding on and across the opponent's body continuing to be "connected," as you test, follow, push, pull, lift, or raise the opponent while at the same time maintaining your stability.