A Letter of Appreciation

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28th, 2012 by Walls-Kaufman

Dear David,

I would like to share some of my observations about your Push Hands skill with the readers of your blog, if you don’t mind. This is a small token of my appreciation of your mastery.

So this is addressed to someone who would like to know you better.

I’ve met Dr. David Walls-Kaufman at one of the Push Hands gatherings hosted by sifu Paul Ramos. I immediately noticed David’s distinctive individual style of Pushing Hands, and obviously wanted to have some practice with him. I was lucky enough to have numerous exercises with him at the Tuesday gatherings during almost two months. I also went to one of his Saturday morning open classes and practiced with him a Tai Chi Form. I have learned some very useful thing from David, and would like to thank him for sharing his experience and knowledge.
Here are some of my observations on David’s style and skills.

First, I (I believe, as many others) experienced David’s enormous power of Push. This is not just a physical power but a power of his Chi. It is extremely difficult to keep your balance under such a Push. Almost impossible.

Second, I noticed his very advanced yielding skill. He could meet any Pushes, even very quick and hard ones, with a gallant yielding and absorbing. After that, of course, the attacker will face an unstoppable Push. David’s Yin and Yang work together and harmoniously.

Third, David has a brilliant skill of redirecting the opponents Pushes. It doesn’t matter, from which sides Pushes come – David will somehow redirects them from his center and then goes to the center of the opponent.

Fourth, I always observed David’s sensitivity, full concentration, or mindfulness, if you will. “Your hands are your antennas,” once he said to me. His antennas are extremely sensitive and work very well indeed.

Fourth, he has stressed the importance of standing meditations, by using different elements of a Form. I believe, his strength is partly based on this practice.

Fifth, David pays a great attention to breathing, circulation of Qi and Qigong as a whole. Once he said during a practice: “Tai Chi is Qigong”. So his approach is clearly internally oriented one.

I also noticed and respect his willingness to teach others and practice with less advanced individuals. So it is not a coincidence that all novices love to learn from him. He is indeed very well-respected Master among all levels of Tai Chi practitioners.

Finally, David is a good storyteller, he can tell many fascinating stories about his teacher and other great Masters. These are inspirational stories, and they can describe not only a beauty of Tai Chi, spirits of Push Hands and skills of great teachers, but David’s dedication to this Art. David, despite of his mastery and 25 years of experience, is a devoted student of Tai Chi. His love of Tai Chi, perhaps, is even bigger than his powerful Push. It is nice to see his determination to continue learning Tai Chi. This quality characterized any real Master.

I guess there might be some critics or skeptics of some aspects of David’s Push Hands style. That is quite normal since every Master has his or her own way of doing things. One thing is clear for me: David has developed a powerful technique of Push Hands and his skill deserves recognition and a huge respect.

Alisher Faizullaev, D.Sc., Ph.D.
PS. Here is the link to Alisher Faizullaev’s article titled “Tai Chi Lessons for Negotiators”: http://isd.georgetown.edu/files/Alisher_Tai_Chi.pdf

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,