T'ai Chi Class Locations and Schedules

  All plans are tentative and depend on the weather.
  If the weather changes, I'll post the final decision before 3:00 PM on the day of the class.

  My Communicable Disease Policy:

  1. Don’t participate in the in-person classes unless you are free of symptoms of any communicable desease.
  2. Don’t participate in the in-person classes unless you have received a full course of Covid 19 vaccinations.
  3. Don't attend either push hands or in-person form class for ten days after a positive Covid test and after testing negative twice with a minimum of 24 hours between tests.
  4. A mask must be worn during indoor practice.
  5. Hand sanitizer should be used before contact with a new partner.
  6. Any request by your practice partner that you use hand sanitizer should be honored gracefully.

  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hastings on Hudson:

  Classes will continue at the Community Center on Monday (1/30) starting at 6:00 PM.

  Two classes will be held: 6:00 to 7:00 PM (Pushing Hands for all students who have completed the form)
  and 7:00 to 8:00 PM (Refining the form for students who have completed the form).

  Pushing Hands is taught as form correction and training in T'ai Chi Principles, not as a contest.

  Please contact Will wdmorrison@gmail.com about dues and Beginners Classes.

  Please read the Communicable Disease Policy (above) and the Pushing Hands Training Guidelines (below).

New Haven:

  Class will continue on Zoom on Friday 2/3/2023.

  Two classes will be held: 5:00 to 6:00 PM (for all students who have completed the form)
  and 6:00 to 7:00 PM (for students who have just begun studying Tai Chi).

  Please contact Pamela pamelalaregina@gmail.com about dues.

  Here is the link and the password for these meetings:

Passcode 120315

Pushing Hands Training Guidelines


1. Push Hands is training, not a contest.

Pushing hands is a form of physical and mental training. It is intended to replace the common reflex to resist being pushed with an effective method of relaxing, absorbing and guiding a push. It is intended to replace reliance on upper body strength with reliance on posture coupled with leg and hip movement. To accomplish this it relies on the quality of “rootedness”, a resilient relationship to the ground and “listening”, an awareness of the timing and direction of an incoming push.


2. Agreement between players about the level of their play is important.

If one person wants to saw wood and the other wants a higher level, undesirable results can happen. In general the more experienced or skillful player should adapt their practice to accomodate the less experienced or skillful player. Using a shallower or shorter stance is one way to do this.


3. A request to Push Hands can be refused and no explanation is required.

Push Hands can be terminated at any time and no explanation is required. Before beginning push hands both players should reach an understanding about the level of push hands that will be practiced. If one person is, for example, able to “saw wood” and no more, then the more advanced player should agree to meet them at their level or below. Bullying can’t be tolerated.


4. Push Hands should provide benefit to both players.

At each stage in development of Push Hands skill both participants can benefit. This is of particular importance in early push hands training. When one practice partner gives the correct type and quality of push the other practice partner can experience performing real (as opposed to ritual) neutralization. The partner providing the push gets to experience being neutralized and learns how to avoid over extending and so becoming vulnerable.


5. If Form and Push Hands are different, one or both are incorrect.

Push Hands and Form constitute a complete T’ai Chi practice. One may study T’ai Chi Sword or T’ai Chi Lance for their pedagogic and physical value after the push hands concept of neutralization has been understood and to some degree accomplished. When this happens the practitioner will find a new level of meaning in the form practice because each movement between postures will be experienced as containing a “neutralization” and each self-correction of a posture error will be experienced as containing a “recovery” from the initial effect of a push.


6. Push Hands isn't a replacement for Form Practice.

Push Hands and Form constitute a complete T’ai Chi practice. The form allows a practitioner to "know themselves" while the push hands allows the practitioner to "know the other." Knowing the other is accomplished by feeling the effect the other has on the practitioner. Without the form, push hands degenerates into wrestling.


7. Discern when you should move your feet.

In commonly practiced push hands, a movement of either foot under the impetus of the practice partner (or as some would have it, “opponent”) is considered defeat. Our practice is training, not a contest. Discerning the moment and situation in which receiving a push requires you to move your foot rather than lose your upright body posture is an important part of training.


8. Do not change speed to seize an "oportunity."

Push Hands is done in slow motion for the same reasons the form is done in slow motion. It allows study of internal sensation and release of tension. Moving faster is trying to win, not trying to listen and neutralize.




Liam Comerford

September 23, 2017

about Liam Comerford

E-mail me at:ldcomerford@gmail.com