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I think pushing an opponent strongly is what I look for?

But while Wikipedia has an extensive article about throws, I can find little about pushes wrt combat sports.

Maybe pushes are so impractical that no one uses them on the ring and no discipline codifies them?

Is this the case? Or if not, how is such a move called and how does it look like?

I only come here having failed to find a description of a relevant move on Wikipedia.

  • Would front kicks fit your requirements? – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jun 9 '18 at 17:47
  • Must a push both be a combat sport move and increase distance? What about pushes that are not from combat sports or pushes that are intended to move the opponent but not necessarily increase distance? – mattm Jun 9 '18 at 20:59
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In Taekwondo you have the push kick, miro chagui.

The front push kick is similar to the front snap kick, but the knee is raised a little higher to produce a slight downward and frontward movement, pushing away the opponent.

The push kick is frequently used in sparring, and is also a simple and effective technique for self defense situations.

Miro chagui

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Pushes do not tend to score points in combat sports points based combat sports. In Full Contact combat sports they gain little advantage unless you are able to either take the opponent to the floor or gain a position advantage from them.

However in Chinese martial styles and their derivatives (which are not 'combat sports' but are fighting methods) pushes are fairly common.
In one of my first Shorinji Kempo classes we were shown how to adapt a block and punch technique called uchi uke zuki into a block and push technique.

We also talk about Tai Atari where you essentially body slam an opponent.

(Tai means body Atari is a word from the board game go similar to the word check in chess)

In either case the trick to these techniques is to use the weak points in the opponent's balance. There are 6 of these in a normal fighters stance:

Draw a line from the smallest toe on the left foot to the heel on the right foot. The ends of this line extended out are two of the weak points.

Similarly Draw a line from the smallest toe on the right foot to the heel of the left foot. the ends of this line are two more weak points.

Where these lines meet is the center of balance. At 90 degrees to a line passing through this point and each foot is a new line. The last two week points are on this line. (often called the 'tip of the triangle' by martial artists of all disciplines)

If you push someone along one of these lines they will stagger. Push them fast enough they may even fall over. This is very useful in self defense as it will give you a moment to run.

I believe some forms of aikido also teach similar pushes, but I am less familiar with this style.

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Sumo has many pushes that are not necessarily throws. Within sumo rules, it is only necessary to push the opponent outside the circle to win. With this goal in mind, it is probably advantageous to maintain contact (not increase distance) until the opponent is defeated.

Video examples:

  1. Instructional. Note that distance does not increase in this example until the very end.
  2. Match
  3. Match

I think this is called oshidashi, but I am not really familiar with sumo technique classification.

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Taiji (taichi), which I do not consider a combat sport, uses many pushes. The basic sequence of techniques peng, lu, ji, an can be practiced in pushing hands practice to push and displace the opponent: footage of Cheng Man Ching.

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  • I respect your experience, but answering a question about combat sports with an answer with something you start to not be a combat sport is a bit odd, you know? :) – Macaco Branco Jun 13 '18 at 13:31
  • @SeanDuggan The asker did not respond to the request to clarify what they were looking for, so I decided to err on the side of more information. – mattm Jun 13 '18 at 13:54

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