How To #3
Pushing with Peng Strength
by Mike Sigman
The only way to acquire good familiarity with peng is to constantly play with it, finding its uses and limitations. As you progress, you'll begin to find that there are less limitations than you thought; almost any move can be made using peng motivation in conjunction with whole-body connection.
At first, in seeking to use the least muscular effort to propagate peng with movement, there are some basic ideas to keep in mind: use a reasonably wide stance, keep your weight on the back leg, sink the body down to point that the shoulder joint has the least tension, relax the lower back (so that it begins to bow slightly outward), and let the peng feel relaxedly compressed, not tensely extended.
Once the ground path is firmly in place between the hand and the opposite back leg it's not difficult to straighten directly along the peng path for a forceful push. Don't raise straight up and don't let the hips go inward; straighten directly into the peng path.
The hinge between the two legs of a stepladder takes minimal effort to push down/open when it's already almost open. It finishes pushing open the legs easily. When the hinge is closed to an acute angle, though, it's very difficult to press down on the hinge and get it to affect the ladder legs.
The same is true of the body "hinges." It takes minimal effort to exert an opening force along the peng path if the path is composed of a series of almost-open hinges. The hinges are the knee, the hip, the back bow, the shoulder, and the elbow. Each one of these goes from almost-open to open, exerting and adding force along the peng path. It's very powerful.
Try opening doors with this arrangement as you walk slowly up to them. Practice from various positions. Learn to compensate if the shoulder angle is too acute by bringing the force from the hip to the elbow; don't train yourself to push with shoulder muscles. Eventually, those practitioners who are martially inclined can learn to hit in this powerful manner that uses little force.
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Page maintained by Ian Young; last change June 11, 2000.