5 Section Taiji Sensing Hands
(Wuduan Taiji Jueshou)
Sensing hands or jueshou is a practice method for exploring the preliminary stages of taijiquan partner study. Through simple, non-competitive exploration, sensing hands develops tactile and kinesthetic ‘listening’ skills which enable practitioners to discern and express different qualities of touch, force and intention. The goal of jueshou is the development of ‘sticking and adhering’ skills, leading to an ability to ‘comprehend energy’ for the purposes of self-cultivation and self-defence.
In the practice of traditional taijiquan, students eventually graduate from solo forms to partner work called ‘push-hands’ (tuishou). Conventional push hands study employs a wide array of repetitive training drills in order to achieve mastery of what are known as ‘intrinsic energies.’ Command of these energies supports advanced martial arts training but oftentimes in traditional environments, the tedious early stages of skill acquisition are neglected in favour of more gratifying intricate or competitive play.
In 5 Section Taijiquan, these fundamentals are addressed through a unique preliminary level curriculum which focuses on the early 'sensing' (jue) elements of two person work. In contrast to traditional curriculum training, sensing-hands practices may be introduced to students at any stage of the 5 Section program, even at the outset. Consisting of five ‘energies’ (jin) and supported by five ‘connection operations,’ sensing hands can aid even beginning practitioners in quickly gaining a deeper understanding of the nature of the art.
The sensing-hands practice ‘free-binding’ is of great value in fostering comfort and confidence when it comes to bridging the gap between solo and partner training. It clearly reveals principles which are often under regarded in solo practice and assists one greatly in the mastery of the 5 Section paired bare-hand and straight-sword forms. Jueshou practice provides an excellent foundation for traditional training and personal development through taijiquan.