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Use The Theory of Tai Chi Push Hands to Improve Your Every Day Life

Win In Your Business and Personal Life With The Simple Mental Solutions That Explain How to Give An Inch to Get A Mile and Win

Alan Fensin

Copyright © 2017 by Alan Fensin

All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

Published by Burlington Book Division of Burlington National Inc.

Smashwords Edition




Chapter 1 Avoid Fights

The Roots of Conflict

Conflict Training

Everyday Conflict

Choices in Conflict Resolution

The Problems of Combat

The Creative Use of Conflict

Tai Chi

Tai Chi Push Hands

Chapter 2 Yield

What Is Yielding?

When to Yield

Tai Chi Push Hands

Asian Philosophy and the Art of Yielding

Yielding in Business

Losing Your Perspective


How to Yield

The Long March

Chapter 3 Listen


Tai Chi Push Hands

The Master Swordsman

Active Listening

Key Words

Nonverbal Listening

Observing Body Language


What Motivates People

Personality Types

Right and Wrong

Remain Centered

Chapter 4 Redirect

Redirect the Energy

Leading Techniques

Change the Perspective


Tai Chi Push Hands

Modes of Resolution

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goals

Strength and Weakness

Achilles Heel

Verbal Attacks

Think of Solutions

Change the Rules of the Game




Chapter 5 Win


Know When to Stop


Overly Aggressive Opponents

Close the Sale

The Entrepreneurs

Turn Competitors into Partners

Practice Yielding


About the Author


What is Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese phrase that means Supreme Ultimate. It is an old Chinese form of exercise originally created as a fighting art. Tai Chi was first created about 700 years ago by Zhang San Feng.

Tai Chi push hands (often called pushing hands or just tai chi push) is a two-person routine that teaches internal martial arts. But this is misleading, as push hands is much more that pushing and using ones hands. It is taught here as a gateway for students to understand push hands aspects that can be useful in your non-physical confrontations of everyday life.

Tai Chi push hands works to undo your natural instinct to resist force with force. Instead it teaches you to yield and neutralize the incoming force and then redirect it. It is as if you are not there when the force is directed against you. It is the same principles that most successful gorilla fighters such as Geronimo, the Apache used to defeat more powerful adversaries.

It teaches you to redirect the aggressive energy into a harmless direction. The harder your opponent pushes the harder he will fall when there is nothing to push at. The purpose for self-defense is to meet the incoming force, determining its direction and redirect it away from you. In everyday life this knowledge is used to avoid conflict and win, in verbal, non-physical, confrontations.

Conflict is an unavoidable aspect of living. In this book you will learn the mental concepts of Tai Chi Push Hands but there will be no physical exercises.


The most important single ingredient to the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. — Teddy Roosevelt

Sometimes in life we learn something so different that at first we can’t believe it really works. But after we experiment with it we are amazed that we haven’t known it years ago. This is how people feel when they are introduced to the concepts in this book. They quickly discover that position and power are not nearly as important as understanding the principles of greatness. With these principles we can consistently overcome a competitor’s strengths and rise to the top in many life situations.

Conflict in life is inevitable. But how you choose to proceed with that conflict is what will make you a winner. It’s not hard to win if you have a superior position. But how do you win if your opposition has the superior position. This book teaches you to turn your weakness into strength and your opponents strength into weakness. You can transform a no-win position into a great victory by learning these simple techniques.

People skills and knowledge of human nature brings power. The concepts in this book give you tremendous personal power. These methods have worked for many great business people and world leaders throughout written history.

The once secret and powerful principles of greatness throughout history are revealed. You can employ these same principles to make yourself a successful in every area of your life. You will learn the crucial skills of how great people do it. You will also discover how these same principles can lead too more successful, conflict-free relationships.

Successful people in this world are those who get up and look for circumstances they want. If they can't find them, they make them. — George Bernard Shaw

Everyone in today's competitive world has countless interactions with others. These may be supervisors, subordinates, associates, vendors, customers, investors etc. Unfortunately some of these interactions will result in conflict and these will be remembered much longer than the normal exchanges. Yet the successful resolution of these conflicts is paramount to a successful career. Good relationships, and constructive conflict resolutions are the major keys to the long-term success of any business. In fact they make up the common denominator to all successes. People who practice these methods are successful in their business endeavors and also find that their personal relationships run smoother and are more satisfying.

Some people ask why they should learn the techniques in this book. They believe they are doing fine by just charging blindly ahead. After all, that's what they've been doing all their life and it has usually worked! The answer of course is that with the concepts in this book they could be doing much better with less effort.

This book is divided into five chapters. Each chapter is based on one key concept I used when I taught tai chi push hands.

The five chapters are titled:

  • Fight – where we learn to push each other and to resist the push. The word “push” is used to mean the opponent’s attack.

  • Yield – where we learn to trade just enough ground to overcome our opponent’s push.

  • Listen – where we perceive the direction and force of our opponent’s push.

  • Redirect – where we redirect and control the push so that it has no effect on us.

  • Win – where we turn our opponent’s energy back on them and use it to win.

In this book these five concepts are examined in the context of a mental wisdom situation. Instead of actual physical fighting the mental equivalent is used. Many quotes are used to show how these concepts proved successful for famous and great leaders through out history.

Chapter 1 Avoid Fights

It doesn’t make much difference how much other knowledge or experience an executive possesses. If he is unable to achieve results through people he is worthless as an executive. — J. Paul Getty

Chapter over view

This chapter explains why conflicts and fighting occur so often. We will see that it is a normal part of life. However, what we do with this conflict will determine our prosperity and success or failure in life.

This chapter also gives an overview of conflict and war. Later chapters teach you how to avoid unnecessary friction and succeed in spite of the normal conflicts of life.

Most people believe that the biggest, most powerful fighter will always win. But this is not necessarily true. You will see how a small and old Tai Chi master can consistently defeat larger and stronger opponents. This is true in war, business, and all aspects of our personal lives.

The Roots of Conflict

It is part of our evolutionary heritage to struggle, to survive, and to compete with each other for jobs, mates, and opportunities. However, we are more than just simple competitors. After all, negotiation and reconciliation are also part of our evolutionary history.

We still carry our primitive instincts from the time when survival required the immediate satisfaction of the basic physical needs, such as food, shelter, and protection from predators. According to scientists, we still carry in our brain stem the old reptilian brain, with its set of survival instincts. Most scientists believe that the rational, intelligent part of the brain cannot always override the instinctive and emotional reactions of our earlier and more primitive brain.

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. —Albert Einstein

Events that we interpret as a threat to our safety can trigger survival reactions that our newer, more sophisticated brain cannot always control. In the course of daily life, very little actually threatens our physical survival; however, each of us has on occasion been overtaken by just this kind of fear. We fear many things apart from threats to our survival. We fear failure, ridicule, shame, and rejection. We often fear almost any change in our lives. These fears can often act as subtle motivators and catalysts turning a discussion into a conflict. Even though the real source of the fear is not a threat to our survival, we find ourselves reacting as though it were.

It would be nice to make sure, every time we feel anger coming on, that it is really warranted and not the product of our own fear. But that’s not always the case.

The number one reason employees get fired or passed over for promotion is their inability to resolve workplace conflict. Certainly many fights can be avoided for better and more creative solutions and that is one thing this book will teach.

Conflict Training

If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your foot. —Unknown

If evolution and genetics have left us with a tendency toward aggression, then what of our conditioning? Children are trained to compete at an early age. Success is often defined as being bigger, smarter, or stronger than someone else. As they grow a little older, children may enter the highly competitive fields of school athletics, music contests, and other extracurricular activities. Success in these activities is defined as being the winner, and failure as being defeated. This builds character in our youngsters and is beneficial in the development of their personalities. Sports and other competitive activities encourage children to overcome difficulties, raise their self-esteem, and teach them to work with teammates.

As children become adults, however, they are faced with more complex situations and social roles. Unfortunately, as adults we sometimes continue to operate with a “defeat the other side” mentality, even when it is not necessary. This mentality is often counterproductive in achieving our personal and business goals and can actually cause failure.

When we feel frustrated, many of us are conditioned to react with anger. This anger in turn may sometimes help us to get our way. Soon, we think of our fits of anger, perhaps including shouting matches and pounding of fists, as a positive force, because when we let it all out, it seems to get us what we want. But what we are really creating is a climate of fear, distrust, and deception all around us. We bully our opponents, employees, spouses, or children. And eventually we reap the negative consequences. Our personal relationships deteriorate, and we plant the seeds of future failure. Consequently, our clients may choose to deal with someone else for their future business ventures. Our spouses and children may learn to fear us and to conceal their true feelings just to keep the peace. And our employees lose their motivation and their interest in the company, and may even subtly sabotage production.

A word spoken in anger may mar an entire life. — Greek Proverb

Direct attacks are not the only form of conflict you may encounter. People often use manipulation as a way to wear you down. You will know that you are dealing with a manipulator if:

• Your spouse orally agrees with your recommendations but continues to ignore them in his day-to-day work.

• A supervisor compares your demands of him to those made by other employees who may or may not have similar jobs.

• Your relatives waste your time by causing delays or showing up late.

• You feel that you are being deceived but cannot put a finger on the reason why.

• Your opponent seems to go out of his way to be nice to you, but he makes no effort to really help you come up with solutions to problems.

• Your opponent blames a third party who is conveniently absent.

• Your opponent lies to you, but with a smile on his face.

If the enemy’s agent speaks humbly but he continues his war preparations, he will wage war. — Sun Tzu, the Art of War

In the end, whether most of our aggression comes from evolutionary traits or social conditioning, we continue to face conflicts in our daily lives. What counts is how we choose to handle ourselves and achieve our goals.

Everyday Conflict

The ballplayer who loses his head, who can’t keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all. —Lou Gehrig

Conflicts come in all shapes and sizes. Giant corporations collide in legal battles involving billions of dollars. Nations fight each other. Individuals battle over insignificant matters. There are conflicts in relationships between spouses, between siblings, between parents and children. There are conflicts in business between employees, between employees and customers, between employer and employees. It is not possible to totally eliminate frustrations, anger, or aggression from society. And if all conflicts were eliminated, it would make for a very boring world.

Just as we have learned to compete since infancy, we have also learned and practiced our social skills, including those necessary for conflict resolution. All through childhood we are channeled into avenues of cooperation with our peers, teachers, siblings, parents, and neighbors. We have learned to form friendships and alliances. But we have not received the same emphatic feedback for these activities as we have for winning in competition. Still, nothing in this book is alien to our previous experiences.

One dilemma of our era is that, although it is a period of great alliances, international exchanges, and global solutions, these situations come with their own set of problems and conflicts. There are clashes of culture, ideology, priorities, and ethics.

The best policy in war is to keep a state intact. To ruin it is inferior policy. —Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Family owned and operated businesses often carry additional elements of potential conflict. Personal conflicts compound the differences over running the company. In such cases, it becomes difficult to separate the two areas and to arrive at successful resolutions. A business problem may be solved, but a relationship conflict may remain and be a source of future problems.

Conflict and competition between businesses is on the rise. Competition itself is acceptable—it is synonymous with a free market society—but many people believe that competition must involve discrediting or destroying rival businesses. There is an increase of advertising knocking the competition and using negative sales techniques. Mudslinging campaigns between businesses or politicians are more prevalent these days. Yet opinion polls have consistently shown the public to be opposed to these techniques.

As individuals, there is a need in many of us to lash out at things that offend us, and to defend ourselves by attacking others, even before we know if they are really dangerous. A few years ago, I walked to a restaurant with a potential client. We were in the Chicago Loop, home to millionaires and beggars alike. Standing alongside a new construction site was a depressed looking panhandler. As we passed in front of him, he asked my client for any spare change. “Get away from me!” my client shouted. “Keep away or I’ll hit you!”

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