In the past two years, Sifu Niko Alsup has been busy. He competed in several tournaments and won a few dozen of medals and four grand champion titles: 2014 International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC )– Orlando, 2014 ICMAC – Los Angeles, 2015 ICMAC – Chicago, and 2015 ICMAC – Orlando. Unlike some contestants who only compete in Push Hands, using their advantage of having more mass and muscle, Niko is excellent in Tai Chi (Taiji) chuan and won medals in both bare hand forms as well as weapon forms in addition to Push Hands. According to him, his secret of winning Push Hands tournaments is the adherence to Tai Chi fundamentals. He is going to share his insights with fellow practitioners at workshops scheduled on March 12th and 13th, 2016 in O’Fallon, IL, right across the Mississippi river from St. Louis, MO.
Born to Sifu LeRoy Alsup, Niko thought it was fun to play Tai Chi and started to follow his dad around at age 6 and learned the Yang Style. Now at 22, he has been a Grand Champion multiple times and is now a teacher himself. Push Hands is a two-person training routine, which is also practiced by other internal martial art practitioners. Push Hands training can improve one’s internal strength (or Nei Jin). Through touching the skin of another person near the wrists, a practitioner can learn the sensitivity of an opponent, his own body coordination and positioning, and when to use leverage against an opponent at the right time. Push Hands is a routine to develop combat or self-defense techniques. However, in tournaments many contestants are too eager to push or shove and abandon Tai Chi fundamentals. During the two-day workshops in March, Niko will team up with his father and teach Push Hands specific stretching exercises, how to root firmly with footwork, single-hand two-person Push Hands basic routines of the horizontal, vertical, and figure-eight circling, double-hand two-person routines, tournament Push Hands, and sensitivity training. Niko said it is essential to have solid footing and perfect upper/lower body synchronicity so you can apply Tai Chi techniques and energy to deflate or redirect incoming brute force. In the workshops, he will reveal the techniques of all pushing scenarios.
Ever since Niko’s victory on the tournament floor, some practitioners have wanted to study with him. With the announcement of the workshops, some have already registered. Currently, practitioners from Chicago, South Carolina, and St. Louis will attend this event. For more information and sign-up, you can contact Niko at 618-789-2805 or email@example.com.