Tuishou or "pushing hands" is as important for the practice of Internal Martial Arts as meditation, Qigong and the practice of forms. Apparently Tuishou has the appearance of practicing the most martial part of Taijiquan , or any other internal style, because while movements of the sequence have a visible martial application, it is in Tuishou where it is intended to practice the basic principles of these arts by having to apply them to a partner. But the true aim for Tuishou is not to fight, not even win the match, but rather to develop ability to listen, understand and correct. To advance in understanding our movement and understand and anticipate the opposite's one.
When practicing Tuishou one is able to evaluate whether you really have the ability to act relaxed, if you can make a clear distinction between your "empty" and "full" weight and your partner's, if you can maintain a steady balance on your gravity center and whether in movement of body, arms and legs there is a harmony and a complete structure connection. Until pushing hands is practiced, one can not correctly understand the philosophical principles of practice such as "yielding to force" or "softness overcomes hard." By not understanding its application, it is not possible to advance in these principles.
Tuishou is the practice through which we can understand yin and yang complementarity, the existence of the one within the other and its transformation from the movement, Taiji.
To develop Tuishou principles well, it is necessary to practice with several partners with whom to measure the different techniques, adapting to different levels of practitioners as well as different weights and sizes.
The goal is to achieve listening to energy (Ting Jin), understanding that energy (Dong Jin) and correct application of energy (Fa Jin). It begins by developing the sensation of contact, so that when any external force comes into contact with any part of the body, one knows how to give or resist. Ting Jin allows us to react before our opponent.
Practicing relaxed Tuishou is what allows to transform muscular force (Li) in energetic force (Jin). If we are not flexible we are unstable, if we are strong someone stronger can unbalance us. For this reason it helps a lot to practice doing it with someone stronger, because soon we learn that strength is not enough. That is why Tuishou is practiced slowly, to develop listening and understanding of internal movement at the level at which it acts directly on energy.