T'ai Chi Class Locations and Schedules

  All plans are tentative and depend on the weather and other contingencies.
  Every effort will be made to post the final schedule before 3:00 PM on the day of the class.


Class Communicable Disease Policy:

  1. Don’t participate in the in-person classes unless you are free of symptoms of any communicable desease,
  and have been for the CDC prescribed number of days.

  2. Don’t participate in the in-person classes unless you have received a full course of Covid 19 vaccinations and boosters.
  3. Don't attend either push hands or in-person form class after a positive Covid test until you have passed CDC guidelines post-Covid return to normal activity.
  4. A request by your practice partner that you use hand sanitizer or a mask should be honored gracefully.

  As of June 6, 2024 my understanding is that the CDC Guidelines are to avoid contact and strenuous activity for five days following the last appearance of symptoms.
  I consider a positive test to be a symptom regardless of how you feel.
  I request that you test on the day you plan to return from a Covid related absence.

  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hastings on Hudson:

  Classes will be held on Monday June 17 (6/17) at James V. Harmon Community Center.

  Two classes will be taught by me:
   6:00 to 7:00 PM Pushing Hands (for students who have completed the form and some form correction)
   7:00 to 8:00 PM Refining the form (for students who have completed the form).

  For June 24 and the month of July, weather permitting, informal practice will be held in the Park behind Harvest on Hudson Restaurant.

  There are no dues for the July meetings but donations to the hat are welcome.

  I will be in the park from approximately 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

  We may continue informal meetings in August, but that hasn't been decided yet.

  In case of bad weather or other contingencies, I'll post the final decision about class before 3:00 PM on Monday so please keep checking.

  For information about the Beginner's form class in the Community Center, go to:

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

Tuesday Zoom:

  Please note the schedule change, for this week, below.

  Class will be held on Zoom on Tuesday June 18 (6/18) from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

  Here is the link and the passcode for this meeting:


  Passcode 925697

  Please contact Pamela pamelalaregina@gmail.com about dues and Beginners Classes.

New Haven:

  Classes will be held in-person on Friday June 21 (6/21).

  Classes are held at the Bethesda Lutheran Church at 450 Whitney Ave. New Haven, CT.

  Two classes will be held:
   5:00 to 5:30 PM (for students who are learning the Tai Chi form, all students are welcome to attend)
   5:30 to 7:00 PM (for all students who have completed the form).

  Please contact Pamela pamelalaregina@gmail.com about dues and Beginners Classes.

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”, and an awareness of the timing and direction of an incoming push.

2. Push Hands is a strenuous activity.

Do not practice if you have any medical problem that is exacerbated by strenuous activity. Stop practice if you have pain or become tired.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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 a 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.

9. 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