According to a recent interview with Senior Beijing Wrestling and Sanda Team coaches, pushing hands is a modern sport and creation. It has minimal to do with the yin and yang theory in a historical sense. In the late 1970s, confrontational push hand sports were developed, and by 1980s- standardized. Pushing is the most popular technique in the modern Chen sport. Using one or both hands to push the other side out of the venue. In regards to factual Chen Taijiquan training in feudal times- this style of push hands is a new concept.
Many Chen Tai Chi practitioners today have minimal interest and knowledge of factual methods of the original system. The 1928 fitness reform in China shifted the context of Chen Taijiquan considerably, yet failed to make any distinction the modern interpretation is not historical truth. Chen Tai Chi practitioners today who do not appreciate the feudal military context of the art, are still enjoying the empty-hand methods of medieval melee combat, used by Ming-era Chinese Knights- whether or not they realize or accept it.
The modern interpretation of Chen Tai Chi Chuan history is rooted in the Peking Opera and folk tradition of the late Qing Dynasty- standardized by the Chinese Government in 1928. Tai Chi, Xingyi, and Baguazhang developed centuries apart, yet are instructed under one category labeled “Internal Martial Arts”. Only the China government has authority to set the standards on internal/ external styles at that scale, as fighting lineages usually never agree on anything.
Taiji Push Hands training has evolved from the ancient military confrontation tactics of the two-handed spear. The offensive and defensive “sticking and adhering” strategy between soldiers in the Ming era, utilized weapons context entirely and often at long range. Chen Taijiquan push hands were never intended purely for unarmed wrestling, close distance- the modern approach requires much additional supplementation for practicality.