To Jin or Not to Jin, That is my question (for posterity)

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

To Jin or Not to Jin, That is my question (for posterity)

Postby Plante on Tue May 13, 2008 1:21 pm

Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 19:50:19
When practicing solo forms, do you:

Work on the jin of every movement?

Not work on the jin at all, but just relax?

Or

Does it depend on what your working on at the time?

I have seen many forms over the years. SOme guys tend to just do the forms in an empty (in a good way) manner, and others work the Kua and spirals and what not to practice storing and realeasing jin.

What do You Do and Why?
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 19:53:23
I always work on making the movement as precise as I can.
Jin all the way.
I believe that a martial artist needs to have the basic force right before they can really do anything meaningful with their art.
Without the correct jin its just an empty shell.
Posted by: Bao Haes Risen from the Grav Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 19:54:29
on 26.04.2008 at 19:50:19, Walk_the_Torque wrote:
When practicing solo forms, do you:

Work on the jin of every movement?

Not work on the jin at all, but just relax?

Or

Does it depend on what your working on at the time?


What jin?
Posted by: Qiphlow Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 20:38:12
depends on how i'm feeling. sometimes i'm going for specific stuff (like moving from the hips or keeping the elbows down) throughout the form, and sometimes i'm just trying to stay as relaxed as possible.
Posted by: Interloper Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 20:42:18
I don't have any forms, so all I have are jin and structure, via passel of simple exercises that work them. Hours and hours of them per week, when maybe I'd rather be sipping gin.
Posted by: Formosa Neijia Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 20:43:43
on 26.04.2008 at 19:50:19, Walk_the_Torque wrote:

Not work on the jin at all, but just relax?



How could you think that working on jins and relaxation are somehow separate?

Dave C.
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 21:04:22
on 26.04.2008 at 19:54:29, Bao Has Risen from the Grave wrote:


What jin?


Any or all jins
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 21:12:55
on 26.04.2008 at 20:43:43, Formosa Neijia wrote:



How could you think that working on jins and relaxation are somehow separate?

Dave C.


Sorry, to be more clear; working the jins in the form as oppossed to going through the form paying no attention to them.
Posted by: C.J.W. Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55
My teacher has this conspiracy theory that over 90% of the forms found in CMA are unnecessary movements pieced together by past masters in order to 1) make money (more forms to teach, more money to make) and 2) hide the good stuff. Lips Sealed He'd often lament to me about how much time and energy he wasted in his youth learning and practicing all the long, fancy forms that gave him nothing but a sweaty workout.

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.
Posted by: klonk Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 21:52:29
on 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55, C.J.W. wrote:
My teacher has this conspiracy theory that over 90% of the forms found in CMA are unnecessary movements pieced together by past masters in order to 1) make money (more forms to teach, more money to make) and 2) hide the good stuff. Lips Sealed He'd often lament to me about how much time and energy he wasted in his youth learning and practicing all the long, fancy forms that gave him nothing but a sweaty workout.

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.


Great! I was worried that I was the only one who saw it that way.

There is a difference between training to do ALL movements

...And training so that you can do ANY movement.

If you are working a zillion forms you are trying to learn all moves, pursuing formlessness is trying to find the ability to do any move that is appropriate to your method of fighting.

As to the original question, it depends on what you mean. The folklore I have is that you should not work on fajin too often, but be aware of the implied energies in the moves whenever you practice; that's enough.
Posted by: Interloper Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 21:53:10
The Amazing Secret behind internal skills is that they are, collectively, a curriculum of bodywork that imparts a whole-body condition -- a very particular way of carrying the body, moving, receiving and transmitting energy, and generating power.

This condition is not the property of any single art, and in fact can be found in a number of disciplines, not just CIMAs.

Once you have trained your body in this way, technique "happens." Depending on how you wish to express it externally, those techniques will have certain "flavors" - the art. But alone, the body skills are powerful enough to make an individual capable of deflecting attacks, preventing and reversing throws, and delivering damaging attacks-against-the-attacker's-attacks.

Systems with no internal skills must depend on technique -- doing "a thing" -- and thus concoct curriculums of rote techniques that must be practiced repetitiously through forms, two-man drills and one-man drills. They must be recited like memorized poems, enacted like a memorized dance routine, then applied "randomly" as freestyle "fighting."

Meanwhile, the universal internal body state, which is Power itslelf, can act alone, without technique. If applied -with- technique, it makes that technique far more powerful than technique alone. But it doesn't need technique to be effective as a means of self-defense.

So, I see forms as superfluous if done without a focus on working your jins and structure as a part of them. And even better, why not just practice your internal bodywork by itself and polish it without the excess baggage of a form?

It's "artless art," but it's the source from which all powerful internal arts spring.
Posted by: Mut_Sao Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 22:48:49
Quote:
Sorry, to be more clear; working the jins in the form as opposed to going through the form paying no attention to them.


depending on where you are at in your training. If you have learn t the form then there should always be an awareness of jin. I don't think that focusing on jin means not being relaxed... if you aren't relaxed how can you be focusing on the jin? Paying no attention to the jin is either for learning the pattern... or if you already know the jin the need to focus on them may be less.

personally if learning a form i minimise the complexity by just going through and approximating the correct. once the form is learned then i focus on working on the jin as much as possible. As has been already said working on small pieces of the form in isolation... or drills is a good way of doing this.
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 26.04.2008 at 23:08:33
[quote author=Interloper So, I see forms as superfluous if done without a focus on working your jins and structure as a part of them. And even better, why not just practice your internal bodywork by itself and polish it without the excess baggage of a form?

It's "artless art," but it's the source from which all powerful internal arts spring. [/quote]

SOme great answers people, thank you.

Interloper, Couldn't agree more. In fact, thats kind of what my forms have become; a sort of workshop to polish up what I am working on. The tai chi form I have been doing for over two decades is barely recognizable these days, and my ba gua "forms" are really just a set of exercises.

I thought I'd ask the question though, as I get a real kick out of just letting go of perfection and power, and just doing the forms in an empty sort of way.

Very mood dependent.
Posted by: Bao Has Risen from the Grave Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 07:16:06
If you do the form correctly, as you have a good understanding the functions of each posture, I can't see how it is possible to practice form without working on the jins. Tongue
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 07:26:09
on 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55, C.J.W. wrote:
My teacher has this conspiracy theory that over 90% of the forms found in CMA are unnecessary movements pieced together by past masters in order to 1) make money (more forms to teach, more money to make) and 2) hide the good stuff. Lips Sealed He'd often lament to me about how much time and energy he wasted in his youth learning and practicing all the long, fancy forms that gave him nothing but a sweaty workout.

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.



Thats interesting and I agree that single movement practice is much more important than forms practice.
OTOH, lots of different movements help to increase your range of motion and also make it possible for people with different body types and dispositions to find techniques that work with them within the same style. Smiley
Posted by: Ron_Panunto Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 07:54:42
The purpose of forms is to work the jins. If your not working the jins in the form then I don't know why you would be doing them. Relaxation is necessary to effectively employ the jins.
Posted by: SteveBonzak Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 12:43:47
on 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55, C.J.W. wrote:

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.


I thought that was what a form was...a set of simple, repetitive drills linked together. Wink

-Steve
Posted by: johnwang Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 13:07:21
on 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55, C.J.W. wrote:
My teacher has this conspiracy theory that over 90% of the forms found in CMA are unnecessary movements pieced together by past masters in order to 1) make money (more forms to teach, more money to make) and 2) hide the good stuff. Lips Sealed He'd often lament to me about how much time and energy he wasted in his youth learning and practicing all the long, fancy forms that gave him nothing but a sweaty workout.

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.

Agree 100% there. I'm glad that I gave up forms many many years ago.
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 15:45:19
Forms are just another tool of training, and I have found when done properly they both ingrain good movement habits as well as applications. Like any other training tool they have their limits. I also believe that forms, when done properly, are just a collection of the single movement exercises strung together that can be done as a form, or can be worked on as single step drills as you see fit.

I also don't buy the technique versus no technique distinction between internal and external. Look at the line forms in Gao ba gua and the drills extrapolated off them. If that isn't morphing principles into practical techniques, I don't know what is.

I think too often we try to streamline training and as a result discredit the things we don't like to do and overemphasize the things we are good at or comfortable with.

Training has many components, all of which add to skills that can be used in various settings.

You don't like doing forms, don't do them. But that doesn't mean they have no value for training.

I have used sections of forms instinctually while fighting without thinking because as I trained them I thought of the possible applications so that when a situation arose where the movement from the form fit it just came out, and it worked exactly as I had trained it.

Did this happen with every form and did it happen every time I fought? No, but the link is there.

I think that you should take both approaches in form training.

That is, you should spend time consciously thinking of application and the jin that is used, and you should also do it with a blank slate, especially after you have spent a fair amount of time practicing with intent.
Posted by: Ron_Panunto Posted on: 27.04.2008 at 18:34:35
What Walter said.
Posted by: nianfong Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 16:38:11
on 26.04.2008 at 21:12:55, Walk_the_Torque wrote:


Sorry, to be more clear; working the jins in the form as oppossed to going through the form paying no attention to them.


how is this even possible? if you're trying hard to do the form right, the jin must be right too.

do you mean taolu as opposed to single technique form?

-Fong
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 16:55:17
why do people say, 'jin', and not, 'power' ?

when practicing internal martial arts form, the concept is not to work on using power or "jin", it is to work on your internal mechanics (structure and harmony).

with this structure and movement more and more, you can more and more effectively "issue" (發 - fa) the power ("jin") through it.

Posted by: T J Lazarus Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 16:57:10
on 28.04.2008 at 16:55:17, chicagoTaiJi wrote:
why do people say, 'jin', and not, 'power' ?

when practicing internal martial arts form, the concept is not to work on using power or "jin", it is to work on your internal mechanics (structure and harmony).

with this structure and movement more and more, you can more and more effectively "issue" (發 - fa) the power ("jin") through it.



Because not all Jin is power, I prefer "energy".

Ting jin, for example is "listening energy" not "listening power".
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 17:09:54
on 28.04.2008 at 16:57:10, T J Lazarus wrote:


Because not all Jin is power, I prefer "energy".

Ting jin, for example is "listening energy" not "listening power".


well, it's all a bit confusing, since 'energy' is highly contextual, i.e. chi (qi) is energy too.

to say "ting jin" is not "listening to power" would be hard to argue, since that is a literal translation. think of 'power' in the electrical sense.


Posted by: T J Lazarus Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 17:37:41
Tomato, tomato.

Power, energy, whatever you want to call it, Jin is trained energy, like the energy in an electrical wire.

As in ting jin, I think of that as, in myself, the mental and physical state of listening to another persons energy/power.

The thing about the energies as I understand them is that they are always both internal and external.

For example, an jin, or push energy, feels a certain way to me when I do it, and a certain way to the person who its being done to. When I'm talking about training that energy, I'm talking more about training how it feels to me to do it, because I can't feel what the other person feels when its done to them, while I'm doing it.

if that makes sense.

Power just seems like it's about an outward expression, more than the internal feeling, hence the reason I prefer "energy"

and yes, chi is also energy, too, electrical and mechanical and emotional and ...
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 19:53:02
on 28.04.2008 at 16:38:11, nianfong wrote:


how is this even possible? if you're trying hard to do the form right, the jin must be right too.

do you mean taolu as opposed to single technique form?

-Fong


THis is possible due to focus or lack thereof. If I am getting back to basics and working on the shoulder posture, I will not be considering the 13 powers. If I am 'swimming in air' I will not be concentrating on Peng Lu Chi An. etc.

These jins may be taking place but not as a result of me working them into the postures.


I have read all posts but I am not sure how drilling single moves as opposed to doing whole forms came into it Huh Smiley

However, seeing as it has been raised, I would like to say I see good sense (and practice) both methods. I do not however see forms (long or short) as being a wiast of time. Far from it in fact. Over the years I have learnt to link and maintain the internal force from one posture to the next, so that the net result is the ability to move freely in any direction and maintain power and strength. This ability I attribute directly to practicing forms.

Moreover, the strength of the internal force has gotten much stronger with age. Would it have happend anyway? I don't know; but I sincerly doubt it.


"That is, you should spend time consciously thinking of application and the jin that is used, and you should also do it with a blank slate, especially after you have spent a fair amount of time practicing with intent."

I very much agree with Walter on this.

All the best

Conn
Posted by: Ron_Panunto Posted on: 28.04.2008 at 20:28:03
on 28.04.2008 at 16:57:10, T J Lazarus wrote:

Because not all Jin is power, I prefer "energy".


I don't like power or energy. IMO jin is best translated as skill.
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 10:45:19
skill is "shu" as in wushu - I don't know that jin has the connotation of 'skill' at all

the left part of 'jin' means flowing water - the right side means 'force' - it's definitely a meaning-meaning compound, one of a flowing sort of power.

使勁 shǐjìn exert all one's strength
帶勁 dàijìn (adj) energetic; (adj) exciting
勁頭 jìntóu (n) eagerness; enthusiasm
起勁 qǐjìn vigorously; energetically; enthusiastically
強勁 qiángjìng powerful; with force

if the question is "to jin or not to jin", since I do not speak chinese, I would ask "what is jin?"

'jin' is not an action but something you develop, it becomes an action when you "issue" (fa) it (hence the term.. FA jin)
Posted by: Ron_Panunto Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 12:55:07
[quote author=chicagoTaiJi
'jin' is not an action but something you develop [/quote]

That's why I like the term "skill." For example: Huajin is the skill of neutralizing; Tingjin is the skill of listening: liehjin is the skill of splitting: etc.
Posted by: Interloper Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 12:55:17
ChicagoTaiJi,
Any way of coding so those Chinese characters (I'm assuming that's what they are) show up, instead of Western keyboard characters? Undecided
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 15:49:30
on 29.04.2008 at 12:55:07, Ron_Panunto wrote:
That's why I like the term "skill." For example: Huajin is the skill of neutralizing; Tingjin is the skill of listening: liehjin is the skill of splitting: etc.


you're not hua'ing (hua=transform) the skill, but the energy


re: chinese characters, i think the board needs to be set up for unicode, they don't work for me either.

best
Posted by: meeks Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 15:54:15
to jin or not to jin?
well looking at the principles of bagua...
first principle:
bu neng duan jin (no possible break force). in the context of your question it means if you are not practicing 'with jin' you are not practicing bagua... perhaps some modern type of empty forms taught at most schools...
you'll find most questions about 'should I do this or not when I do this movement or exercise or jin' can often be answered by simply stating 'bu neng duan jin'. It's the subtitle of my book... hahahaa.

on 26.04.2008 at 20:43:43, Formosa Neijia wrote:



How could you think that working on jins and relaxation are somehow separate?

Dave C.


because if you are 'relaxed' you have no jin. there's a huge chasm between jin and relaxed. relaxed is for old men in the park drawing circles in the air because that's how they learned it at the back line of the 400 people in the park practicing taiji by a tape played on a ghetto blaster with blown speakers.

Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 16:31:20
on 29.04.2008 at 15:54:15, meeks wrote:

because if you are 'relaxed' you have no jin.



I would contend that when issuing energy ("fa jin"), one is still relaxed, per tai ji principles.


Posted by: T J Lazarus Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 16:31:48
on 29.04.2008 at 16:31:20, chicagoTaiJi wrote:


I would contend that when issuing energy ("fa jin"), one is still relaxed, per tai ji principles.





+1
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi
Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 17:36:11
clarification, as I know what the person above meant. I think the confusion is still, "what is jin", not "to jin or not to jin".

so perhaps it is quite correct to say that when we are relaxed, there is no jin.

but what I was pointing out, is that it does not mean that when there is jin, one is not relaxed!

Posted by: Ron_Panunto Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 17:36:12
on 29.04.2008 at 15:49:30, chicagoTaiJi wrote:


you're not hua'ing (hua=transform) the skill, but the energy


No, your not "transforming the skill," you are developing the skill of "transforming energy" through years of diligent practice. If it was not a learned skill then everyone would be a taiji master from day one. It's the same with all the other jins. Taiji is the practice and method of inculcating these various skills into our body so that they can be used when required.

You can use any word you like to describe jin, however, skill conveys the most meaning to me.
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 17:42:29
on 29.04.2008 at 17:36:12, Ron_Panunto wrote:

You can use any word you like to describe jin, however, skill conveys the most meaning to me.



It's just that 'skill' is not what jin means since jin means power/strength or energy.

I am not saying transforming energy is not a skill, I am saying energy does not mean skill, I think we agree on the meanings and that's why sticking to english is best.

which is why my original post to this thread was ... "why are you saying it in chinese?" because it causes these issues.

nothing wrong with using the original terms but we should not resort to them if we are to understand clearly (unless we speak fully in chinese)
-----

to answer the original question I wil reiterate what I wrote before:

when practicing internal martial arts form, the concept is not necessarily to only work on using power or "jin", it is to work on your internal mechanics (structure and harmony).

once we learn the mechanics, then we can more properly apply the energy...


like building a good gun and then shooting it. ... you don't (necessarily) practice shooting it while you're designing it to be accurate and powerful. the main idea is to design it correctly, then it will shoot well.
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 18:47:49
on 29.04.2008 at 17:42:29, chicagoTaiJi wrote:



like building a good gun and then shooting it. ... you don't (necessarily) practice shooting it while you're designing it to be accurate and powerful. the main idea is to design it correctly, then it will shoot well.


Yeah working on the structure can be seperated from working the jin; but I am not sure mechanics is a good term to use in the context of what I was originally asking, because mechanics implies working something/ forces physically.

I was really more interested in the idea of working the jin or working on the emptyness.
Posted by: briggy Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 20:45:16
on 26.04.2008 at 21:40:55, C.J.W. wrote:
My teacher has this conspiracy theory that over 90% of the forms found in CMA are unnecessary movements pieced together by past masters in order to 1) make money (more forms to teach, more money to make) and 2) hide the good stuff. Lips Sealed He'd often lament to me about how much time and energy he wasted in his youth learning and practicing all the long, fancy forms that gave him nothing but a sweaty workout.

Just about all the forms can be replaced by simple, repetitive drills designed to achieve specific training goals as Interloper described.


I always assumed that if you aren’t training jins (maybe forces is another possible term?), then you could say that you aren’t working on anything “internal”, and often people who are just working on forms end up going though the moves – or at least that is how it seems.

My teacher once replied to a request to demonstrate his form that it would be meaningless and that the student should train jins, because (in his opinion) the postures and forms actually originate from jins.

So I immediately asked why people practise forms – to which he replied conspiratorially: “people like aaaaart”……which I thought was pretty funny, if nothing else.
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 29.04.2008 at 21:44:01
Hi Briggy,

This view of forms is all very well, but to take Jins in isolation would be to restrict oneself in terms of development. Learning how to connect the dots and seemlessly apply one jin after another is one of the great things about IMA as I see it.
Posted by: briggy Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 09:08:13
Hi Torque,

Yes, I agree. But I would say that forms only come alive when you connect the dots/jins in that way.

I think you actually were right in yr original post - which is that it depends what you are working on at the time.

In my practice these days, I tend to be looking and researching for internal connections - but it wasn't always that way and I assume it'll change again...... Roll Eyes

Best wishes,
B
sorry about the punctuation marks in the post - (portuguese keyboard)
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 10:27:16
on 30.04.2008 at 09:08:13, briggy wrote:
Hi Torque,
In my practice these days, I tend to be looking and researching for internal connections - but it wasn't always that way and I assume it'll change again...... Roll Eyes
- (portuguese keyboard)


I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

The first thing I learned was to establish the internal connections by standing. This took months to begin and is something that is continuous in training.

Next, how to shift the weight while maintaining connections.

Then how to shift the weight and turn the waist while maintaining the connections.

Then, IF all of the above was on track, start in on the form.

I believe you should not even start the form when practicing until you feel the internal connections, and then you should move only as fast as you can while maintaining the connections, which in the beginning is pretty slow.

EVERYTHING comes from the internal structure, without it you are just dancing.

With it you learn to move with power.

On a side note, hey meeks.

If I may I'd like to agree with your emphasis on the difference between relaxed and the jin state. I believe that many of the problems with American taiji started with an overemphasis on relaxation to the point where no structure was established.


As for jin, I was always taught it meant refined skill or refined power, depending on the jin you are discussing. In the martial context. It seems to fit that way in context
Posted by: GrahamB Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 10:33:44
Hi Walter,

Long time no speak! how are you?

I have a question:

on 30.04.2008 at 10:27:16, Walter_Joyce wrote:


I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

The first thing I learned was to establish the internal connections by standing. This took months to begin and is something that is continuous in training.

Next, how to shift the weight while maintaining connections.

Then how to shift the weight and turn the waist while maintaining the connections.

Then, IF all of the above was on track, start in on the form... SNIP



I'm assuming you're doing solo training here? So, how did you know when you'd established your internal connections? There's no feedback given from the air, so how did you reliably know when you'd got what you were after?

I'd also be interested to know how you define "internal connections"

Many thanks,
G
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 10:46:36
on 30.04.2008 at 10:33:44, GrahamB wrote:
Hi Walter,

Long time no speak! how are you?

I have a question:


1. I'm assuming you're doing solo training here? So, how did you know when you'd established your internal connections?

2. There's no feedback given from the air, so how did you reliably know when you'd got what you were after?

I'd also be interested to know how you define "internal connections"

Many thanks,
G


As for question one, I had a teacher and I have a developed a pretty strong working knowledge of my body and how it works, how to monitor it, and how to change it and I practice a lot when I practice, usually 3-4 hours at a time 6-7 days a week. I am trying to get back to that routine now.


Question 2, you then at some point apply what you think you have in two person drills and see if you can maintain adherence to the principles under pressure. When you feel things that appear effortless on your part but have a profound effect on your training partner, odds are you're on to something.

You can also use inanimate objects, like practicing your fa jin into a column or wall and see how far you bounce back.

Or practicing circle walking around a column and play with your hand posture and see what happens.


As for question 3, in a effort to save a whole lot of writing, I define it in the classic 6 harmonies way, I favor the "body suit" analogy but for me personally, I can feel it when I am moving in a connected fashion, and when I'm not, based on my training.
Posted by: GrahamB Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 11:04:39
on 30.04.2008 at 10:46:36, Walter_Joyce wrote:


Question 2, you then at some point apply what you think you have in two person drills and see if you can maintain adherence to the principles under pressure. When you feel things that appear effortless on your part but have a profound effect on your training partner, odds are you're on to something.



Thanks, nice answers. Particularly digging the point above. I'm of the persuasion that practicing in isolation against thin air can produce incredibly deluded results, unless partner practice is included as well. Good to see you covered all bases. Smiley

Good answer to Q3 as well - Internal connection is a feeling, that reminds me of that Boston song "More than a feeling" Grin

G
Posted by: briggy Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 11:26:31
on 30.04.2008 at 10:27:16, Walter_Joyce wrote:


I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

The first thing I learned was to establish the internal connections by standing. This took months to begin and is something that is continuous in training.

Next, how to shift the weight while maintaining connections.

Then how to shift the weight and turn the waist while maintaining the connections.

Then, IF all of the above was on track, start in on the form.

I believe you should not even start the form when practicing until you feel the internal connections, and then you should move only as fast as you can while maintaining the connections, which in the beginning is pretty slow.

EVERYTHING comes from the internal structure, without it you are just dancing.

With it you learn to move with power.

On a side note, hey meeks.

If I may I'd like to agree with your emphasis on the difference between relaxed and the jin state. I believe that many of the problems with American taiji started with an overemphasis on relaxation to the point where no structure was established.




Hello Walter, agreed, thanks for your comments.

I practice all Taiji postures as standing exercises, and it was only from doing that that I was able to - as you put it - establish internal connections. Also agree with yr comments re: relaxation overemphasis.
Best,
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 11:28:35
How did no one post the following?:

It don't mean a thing if you aint got that jin..... Grin
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 14:25:09
on 30.04.2008 at 11:28:35, mixjourneyman wrote:
How did no one post the following?:

It don't mean a thing if you aint got that jin..... Grin


'Cause we were waiting for you.

Cool
Posted by: meeks Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 18:23:32
Quote:
I would contend that when issuing energy ("fa jin"), one is still relaxed, per tai ji principles.


that's fine. It's ok to disagree with each other. I will always maintain that jin is the result of a coordinated effort of the fascia and tendons and without that driving force, you're just doing empty forms. When it comes to 'fa jin' in a modern taiji sense, most guys think it's the act of suddenly doing a pao cui or some kind of punch in an 'explosion of speed' when in fact to 'fa jin' is really to demonstrate the already existing/ingrained jin within ANY movement at 'real speed'. Any time you perform a proper technique on someone at real speed, you are 'fa jin'... when someone 'fa jin' inside a single man form, it's basically "this is how it looks if I were really chucking somone" but since most people never learn to use their stuff outside of "and we also kickbox as the fighting side of our internal art" a lot of mediocre mainland chinese guys demonstrate 'pa-toi-oi-oing!!!' sudden explosion of speed and bouncy after-movements with absolutely NOTHING inside of it (if someone were really connected to the guy's arm it would have most likely been issued as 'grunt...*no movement*...').

Practice a throwing technique from taiji/xing yi/bagua over and over for about 6 months, start slightly below regular speed until you get the jist of it, then do it at regular speed for the remaining 5.5 months... and THEN start practicing it in the form (most people learn it the other way round) and 'fa jin' will no longer be some mystical secret taught in back doorways from visitors from other schools at a weekend seminar, it will just be a regular part of training and when someone asks you about 'fa jin' your immediate thoughts will be "this is as unimportant as asking me where should a lead my qi when I do <insert movement here>"

yes, I'm blatant and abrasive about jin observations. Yes, I do not believe in the word 'relax' although 'relax your shoulders a bit' is acceptable. the word I like to hear is 'drive'...drive it from here....(whole body drives as one). I use 'drive' not 'move' because most people learn 'move' but there's all too often nothing other than 'movement' without usability. those guys have lots of trophies for doing forms in front of other judges that also think fa jin is the "pa-toi-oi-oi-oinggg!!" in taiji.
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 30.04.2008 at 21:49:46
Meeks,

You need to get out and see some more skilled teachers.

You may be half-right on the tendon/fascia but still wrong none the less. Granted there is a vast number of people out there faking it like you described but you and them are both missing 'it'.

Fajin is done by tucking the tailbone with speed, it's described in the classics as the arrow being released from the bowstring, the fuse igniting the cannonball etc.

Once you learn to actually tuck the tailbone, send the wave up the spine etc, which is done at speed (not neccesarily learned at full speed) then the goal is to actually move and practice at full speed (which looks nothing like fajin) while right at the moment when you would release (fa) you hold back the tucking of the tailbone and instead 'hua' transform that movement (because the opponent changed and you would 'fa' into thin air) and in the next movement still hold back if needed, continuing in that manner until something will land. One should actually only fajin once maybe twice when actually using it.

'Obvious' practice is where you visibly tuck the tailbone to learn how to deliver power.

'hua' practice is where you have the power learned in the 'obvious' practice but don't tuck the tailbone to emit and instead 'transform' that power into your next movement.


The jin is what you do with your arms and legs using tension/relaxation, twisting or not etc.

How the tailbone tucks can determine amount of power issued and the speed - short jin or long jin.


Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 04:10:26
on 30.04.2008 at 10:46:36, Walter_Joyce wrote:

You can also use inanimate objects, like practicing your fa jin into a column or wall and see how far you bounce back.


I used to love this practice. It is very informative and can lead to really subtle movement.
Posted by: Uatu the Watcher the Ed Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 04:49:58
Methinks even among bagua people, maybe each style/substyle does "jin" differently?

I think that the method Brick Hit House is talking about may be a Yin style thing, or just a Xie Peiqi line Yin style thing, I dunno. But that may be one valid method, meeks' method may be a valid method in his Cheng line.

I will say that meeks' method seems closer to what I have seen myself (though there are still differences - for example, qi does have a place in practice, although without it, you can still fajin).

The tailbone in-and-out method seems somewhat similar to Dai style (or at least my present conception of it) - compress, expand, compress, expand (sort of the opposite, though).
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 09:22:14
on 01.05.2008 at 04:49:58, Uatu the Watcher the Ed wrote:
Methinks even among bagua people, maybe each style/substyle does "jin" differently?

I think that the method Brick Hit House is talking about may be a Yin style thing, or just a Xie Peiqi line Yin style thing, I dunno. But that may be one valid method, meeks' method may be a valid method in his Cheng line.

I will say that meeks' method seems closer to what I have seen myself (though there are still differences - for example, qi does have a place in practice, although without it, you can still fajin).

The tailbone in-and-out method seems somewhat similar to Dai style (or at least my present conception of it) - compress, expand, compress, expand (sort of the opposite, though).



What I am describing is not just "one" method distinct to "one" style. It is the method that is described in the songs of taiji, xingyi, bagua, tongbei, etc. It is a method that I have seen done by many different masters of many different styles including bagua obviously, baji quan, chen taiji, different styles of xingyi, even kuntao silat. It's also easily seen in arts like in sanhuang paoquan, tongbei and other similar styles. Believe me I have been getting 'out there' and meeting as many people as I can to compare and make sure it's right.

Everyone has a spine which works in 2 ways. The method I described is the common one. The method Dai boxer described is the uncommon one which we consider a higher level of practice in bagua called fanshen zhang (reversing the body palm) - the tailbone untucks with force and the effect is strikes returning to the body with force/jin.



Posted by: Uatu the Watcher the Ed Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 09:57:48
We all have different experiences - that is fine, it is hard enough getting the experiences we are priveleged to have, we cannot experience everything.

As for the classics, well - interpreting them is often difficult and may vary from lineage to lineage. Smiley
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 10:19:07
Brick,

I am enjoying your posts.

Can you identify yourself beyond your screen name?

Thanks,

WTJ
Posted by: Plante Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 10:30:54
In my practice, I try to be 'connected', to move with 'whole body power' all the time. That means whatever I do, be it circlewalking or drills, I must always move as a unit. It really is along the lines of what Meeks said. The legs and center are never 'relaxed', the upper-body is a bit more 'relaxed' but still solid. There is no let go of it.
Posted by: steelincotton Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 10:41:36
on 30.04.2008 at 21:49:46, Brick hit house wrote:


How the tailbone tucks can determine amount of power issued and the speed - short jin or long jin.



It took me a while to get the physical understanding and feeling of this statement. Where I'm at in my own practice, I can correlate the short jin with the tuck, but the long jin is another matter all together (for me anyway).

I would be interested in hearing more specifics on emitting long jin vs short jin from those with the technical experience to explain.


Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 10:41:44
The bouncing all over the place fa jin actually has a purpose beyond looking cool. Its not a punch but actually a kind of qin na technique.
The jin is sent through the opponents arm and causes them to be bounced backwards.
Ma Hong shows this very well.
Though I suspect most people don't know that its actually a technique and just do the bounce because it looks cool. Tongue
Posted by: T J Lazarus Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 12:14:27
I'm not sure exactly what bouncing you're talking about, but when I do a full-force beng in the air or against a focus mitt, there's a natural sort of recoil bounce that occurs, due to my relaxation. The energy that isn't expended has to go somewhere, so it goes back into my structure, and the bouncing keeps it from wrecking havoc on my joints, I think.
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 12:30:56
Bouncing when you do beng is actually incorrect. Beng is a strike and thus there is no reason for it to bob around in the air after it has landed.
Obviously there will be some recoil. There has to be, but letting your fist bounce around in the air like a spring is the wrong practice. Smiley
Posted by: T J Lazarus Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 12:34:41
on 01.05.2008 at 12:30:56, mixjourneyman wrote:
Bouncing when you do beng is actually incorrect. Beng is a strike and thus there is no reason for it to bob around in the air after it has landed.
Obviously there will be some recoil. There has to be, but letting your fist bounce around in the air like a spring is the wrong practice. Smiley


I'm not talking about my fist, I'm talking about my whole body.

Not in doing line drills or the wu xing mind you, just in strict punching drills where I'm putting everything into it and there isn't something to soak up that energy. It just happens. The only way I can stop it from happening is to tense up or slow down, both of which seem more incorrect.
Posted by: chicagoTaiJi Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 12:35:11
on 30.04.2008 at 18:23:32, meeks wrote:


that's fine. It's ok to disagree with each other. I will always maintain that jin is the result of a coordinated effort of the fascia and tendons and without that driving force, you're just doing empty forms. When it comes to 'fa jin' in a modern taiji sense, most guys think it's the act of suddenly doing a pao cui or some kind of punch in an 'explosion of speed' when in fact to 'fa jin' is really to demonstrate the already existing/ingrained jin within ANY movement at 'real speed'. Any time you perform a proper technique on someone at real speed, you are 'fa jin'... when someone 'fa jin' inside a single man form, it's basically "this is how it looks if I were really chucking somone" but since most people never learn to use their stuff outside of "and we also kickbox as the fighting side of our internal art" a lot of mediocre mainland chinese guys demonstrate 'pa-toi-oi-oing!!!' sudden explosion of speed and bouncy after-movements with absolutely NOTHING inside of it (if someone were really connected to the guy's arm it would have most likely been issued as 'grunt...*no movement*...').


yes, the fa jin is using the body weight, not a contraction of the muscles, which is in essence contrary to tai ji principles. it immediately halts the "qi"!

Quote:

Practice a throwing technique from taiji/xing yi/bagua over and over for about 6 months, start slightly below regular speed until you get the jist of it, then do it at regular speed for the remaining 5.5 months... and THEN start practicing it in the form (most people learn it the other way round) and 'fa jin' will no longer be some mystical secret taught in back doorways from visitors from other schools at a weekend seminar, it will just be a regular part of training and when someone asks you about 'fa jin' your immediate thoughts will be "this is as unimportant as asking me where should a lead my qi when I do <insert movement here>"

yes, I'm blatant and abrasive about jin observations. Yes, I do not believe in the word 'relax' although 'relax your shoulders a bit' is acceptable. the word I like to hear is 'drive'...drive it from here....(whole body drives as one). I use 'drive' not 'move' because most people learn 'move' but there's all too often nothing other than 'movement' without usability. those guys have lots of trophies for doing forms in front of other judges that also think fa jin is the "pa-toi-oi-oi-oinggg!!" in taiji.


yes, it's sad.

if you practice a slow punch for 15 years, you fine tune your body in such a way that 'fa jin' becomes more and more efficient.

everyone who punches "fa"s "jin", the question is doing it more efficiently. more efficient = more power, more efficient = more safe and useful in real situation.
more efficient = more healthy.
Posted by: meeks Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 13:58:09
what I'm trying to iterate is that the majority of guys who are 'concerned' with fa jin have no real understanding of jin at all. they do relaxed forms and then want to 'fa' something when they have nothing to emit other than 'relaxed/empty speed'.

Quote:
You may be half-right on the tendon/fascia but still wrong none the less.

oh gee, I guess I should give all my money back to my students... and get a refund from my old shifu too...

Quote:
Fajin is done by tucking the tailbone with speed, it's described in the classics as the arrow being released from the bowstring, the fuse igniting the cannonball etc.

Once you learn to actually tuck the tailbone, send the wave up the spine etc, which is done at speed (not neccesarily learned at full speed) then the goal is to actually move and practice at full speed (which looks nothing like fajin) while right at the moment when you would release (fa) you hold back the tucking of the tailbone and instead 'hua' transform that movement (because the opponent changed and you would 'fa' into thin air) and in the next movement still hold back if needed, continuing in that manner until something will land. One should actually only fajin once maybe twice when actually using it.

oh god...spoken like a true book reader. yea that's it..after all these years of schooling guys about tucking the pelvis properly I'm just completely wrong because you interpretted someone's writing different. thank you for reminding me why I find 'off the topic' more interesting
Posted by: Plante Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 15:38:44
on 01.05.2008 at 13:58:09, meeks wrote:
thank you for reminding me why I find 'off the topic' more interesting


Please keep posting here. It's worth it.
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 15:54:19
on 01.05.2008 at 15:38:44, Plante wrote:


Please keep posting here. It's worth it.



What he said.
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 17:17:20
on 01.05.2008 at 15:38:44, Plante wrote:


Please keep posting here. It's worth it.


I also enjoy your posts. They have helped my practice greatly (especially some circle walking stuff that you wrote a couple months ago) Smiley
Posted by: mixjourneyman Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 17:42:02
on 01.05.2008 at 12:34:41, T J Lazarus wrote:


I'm not talking about my fist, I'm talking about my whole body.

Not in doing line drills or the wu xing mind you, just in strict punching drills where I'm putting everything into it and there isn't something to soak up that energy. It just happens. The only way I can stop it from happening is to tense up or slow down, both of which seem more incorrect.


My bad, I thought you were talking about bouncy beng as a single movement drill.
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 18:27:54
on 01.05.2008 at 13:58:09, meeks wrote:

what I'm trying to iterate is that the majority of guys who are 'concerned' with fa jin have no real understanding of jin at all. they do relaxed forms and then want to 'fa' something when they have nothing to emit other than 'relaxed/empty speed'.


I agree with that.

on 01.05.2008 at 13:58:09, meeks wrote:

oh god...spoken like a true book reader. yea that's it..after all these years of schooling guys about tucking the pelvis properly I'm just completely wrong because you interpretted someone's writing different. thank you for reminding me why I find 'off the topic' more interesting


I don't understand what you mean. You do 'tuck' then? Did I misunderstand your writing/post?

Maybe we could understand how you fajin if we saw a videoclip of you or maybe your teacher.


Posted by: 8gua Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 19:05:30
i too enjoy your posts meeks ...thanks for sharing
Posted by: C.J.W. Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 19:08:10
I'm with Meeks on this one because the jin method I have been taught and doing is close to what he's described.

The idea that jin is issued from a state of relaxation is actually misleading. In order for muscle to produce any sort of movement or force, there must be contraction/tension in an anatomical sense. If we were trully "relaxed" and "not using muscle" as many IMA teachers are found of saying, we'd be lying in bed like vegetables. The sense of relaxation experienced during fa-jin comes from using the fascia, tendon, deep muscle, and connective tissue surrounding joints in a different manner than how it's usually done in everyday activities.

You shouldn't have to issue in order to have jin. It's already there within the body. In a combat situation, fascia/tendon is stretched like a drawn arrow - ready to be released at any moment. It's only a matter of "letting it out" in a unified way.
Posted by: Formosa Neijia Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 19:33:35
on 29.04.2008 at 15:54:15, meeks wrote:
because if you are 'relaxed' you have no jin. there's a huge chasm between jin and relaxed. relaxed is for old men in the park drawing circles in the air because that's how they learned it at the back line of the 400 people in the park practicing taiji by a tape played on a ghetto blaster with blown speakers.


No. You're making some pretty huge assumptions about what I'm saying based on this quote.

Enjoy your practice.

Dave C.
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 20:19:45
Fajin has been described by many a respected teacher and previously qouted here on ef saying basically that: it is a 'second force' that arrives a split-second after the initial strike has landed.

In regard to me being just a book learner, here's a clip of me from awhile back doing the 'obvious' practice of emitting 'fa' with every strike. You can't really see the tailbone tucking but you can see the lumbar spine moving from concaved to convex as the tailbone tucks and the shoulders move forward as the thoracic spine changes, one can also slightly see the second force arriving at the end of the strikes, some are better than others, especially the ones at the end.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kd7SbYVtRu4


I am sure you all know what the 5 bows (wu gong) are, which are better thought of as the 6 bows until the spine can coordinate as one unit. The lumbar spine is 1, the thoracic spine the other bow. The legs and arms the other 4 bows. As cjw and meeks have described the tendons/fascia in the arms and legs contain that stored energy in their shape, but the jin in the legs needs to coordinate with and be added to the stored jin in the spine, then added into to the arms.
The jin in the arm and leg bow combined with turning of the waist is great in itself (I've met a few extremely powerful IMA guys who simply do that), but compared to the force generated by the teachers who also use the spine, it less than half of what the body is capable of. They're in a totally different league IMO.

The book "Scholarly Boxer" which is thought to contain the basis of thought and songs for what became the IMA's has a good description/ song for 'fajin'.



------

Steel,
I mostly just do what I might call 'medium' jin but one way to look at 'short' is that the tuck is quick and the timing has to be right so that it arrives when the hand makes contact, it helps to be proficient in the normal movement because you have to be able to do the strike 'cold' leng. The short jin also wants to penentrate into and stay in their body. The 'long' jin can be done after contact is made or at the end and wants to pass through their body, and it's overall a more relaxed feeling than the short jin. That's how I look at it at this point in time anyway, hope it helps. Smiley

Posted by: Kreese Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 20:42:25
I'm with Meeks. From my Chen Taiji perspective, the jin is there and all it takes is the intention to relax just before the release and out pops the jin. The bow is continuously drawn, ready to shoot. Otherwise, I'd have to tense up before like an external art, i.e. TKD. But I'm still learning, so FWIW...
Posted by: I-mon Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 21:04:56
isn't it nice to be as relaxed as possible WHILE developing continuous force with no breaks? Tongue

shit's got to be linghuo, yo.
Posted by: David_White Posted on: 01.05.2008 at 23:49:59
on 26.04.2008 at 19:50:19, Walk_the_Torque wrote:
When practicing solo forms, do you:

Work on the jin of every movement?

Not work on the jin at all, but just relax?

Or

Does it depend on what your working on at the time?

I have seen many forms over the years. SOme guys tend to just do the forms in an empty (in a good way) manner, and others work the Kua and spirals and what not to practice storing and realeasing jin.

What do You Do and Why?


For me it depends on what solo form i am doing. When walking the mother palms i have been taught specific areas of concentration (associated with each of the Gua's) in addition to specific energetic qualities when changing.

If set forms i will try to relax and "feel" for the specific power of each movements - both ones that i know i should search for (as instructed) and ones that naturally manifest.

If free style forms then thats exactly what i let happen - free style - allow the movements to dictate the power and energetic qualities of the entire form - then reflect on what i have been feeling.

My teacher never discussed specific Jins etc but reinforced the idea of feeling and having control of each movement in the form. He would get me to keep a journal of what i experienced within the certain forms and use that as a training tool.

Recently i have been working on specific elements of each form, really breaking the form down and working on one particular movement or technique until it feels right.

The difficulty, as i am sure all know, is often taking those qualities that one manifests in forms and integrating them into tui/rou shou, free sparring, and free fighting.

D
Posted by: GrahamBonaparte Posted on: 02.05.2008 at 01:26:56
on 01.05.2008 at 12:30:56, mixjourneyman wrote:
There has to be, but letting your fist bounce around in the air like a spring is the wrong practice. Smiley


You better not let certain Carribean friends hear you said that. But then again, as I always said, there are certain things in war of which the commander alone comprehends the importance. Nothing but his superior firmness and ability can subdue and surmount all difficulties.
Posted by: meeks Posted on: 02.05.2008 at 01:58:37
thanks for the compliments, folks.

I was thinking about this in traffic today, and I think I can better clarify my meaning...

most guys discuss 'fa jin' like it is a technique; it's not. it's an ability...a developed skill over a period of time (sound familiar). To describe the mechanics of what you are doing and what an opponent might do is a technique, not a skill. you can 'fa jin' when doing a lock or throw. you can fa jin when kicking, punching, breaking free, deflecting... each instance requires completely different expressions of coordinated jin. to break it down into 'your arm does this, your pelvis does this...' ... that's merely an instance of a technique done quickly. problem is, most guys' teachers either talk about jin like it's a secret concept (dangle the carrot to keep you there) or they simply say it does not matter (they've never learned it). does this make my angle of definition a little more clear as to 'why' I'm saying what I am saying?

as for pelvic tilt... the tilting of the pelvis is the result of various connections throughout the core - not the goal. One can tilt their pelvis and still be completely 'sandy' in their connection and coordination (that's a bad thing). so when asked about pelvic tilt? answer: bu neng duan jin. if the coordinated connections result in a tucked tailbone, rolled pelvis, great. that's what I was wanting.
rules of posture: xiu tun (sounds like 'sheeoh twun') - tuck the tail bone under. what you need to learn is HOW it ends up being tucked. it works with the circular effect of drawing the navel in and up (lifting qi hai), sucking the stomach in (yea, I've never learned buddhist/positive breathing...) rounding the upper and lower back and hollowing the chest (to name a few). You'll find that if you're not coordinating these as one unified movement, you're simply tucking your tailbone under and that only looks good for the camera so that when guys publish a book it's 'pretty'.
Later, you'll find it no longer matters when it becomes natural. the problem is, most people don't go through the 'layers of development' and try to jump into the deep end of "I'm relaxed" when in fact, they're just empty because they haven't developed the foundation and comprehension of what's inside. conditioning exercises are paramount for any development, more than forms.
Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 02.05.2008 at 08:12:45
That post is the strongest argument as to why you should KEEP POSTING on substantive threads.

Please continue to do so.


Walter

p.s. hey Dave, how the hell you been?
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 11:14:11
Check out this chart on the 3 steps of development in xingyi, "MR. DI: Large number of texts on theory of Xingyiquan published in first decades of twentieth century use many terms borrowed from Taoist classics. I made a comparison of the terms and their relation to the "Three Steps of Skill" (San Bu Gongfu), the most important theory in Xingyiquan:"
Obvious Power (ming jin) Hidden Power (an jin) Neutralizing Power (hua jin).

http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/xyxy/ ... ngBIS.html

Ming jin is the obvious practice of 'bao fajin' (tucking the tailbone), after it is learned and developed (the new student is locked in the school for 2 years - Smiley ) the practice is done in the 'an jin' stage- slowly to develop a smooth flow empasis on not tucking the tailbone or fajin. The two contrasting methods of practice develop the hua jin stage.

In bagua we call it 'hua jin' obviously but also refer to that level of practice as hunyuan (mixing the way) or a good translation - 'formless'. The enemy dictates the form you take. The enemy dictates whether you 'fajin' (emit, issue(tuck the coccyx(weigu))) or 'hua' (right at the last moment transform your own jin (by not tucking) and neutralize/ transform the enemy's).

Posted by: charles Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 12:33:58
Meeks, great posts.

Brick,

I don't usually comment on videos. I'm not sure what you are specifically working on in the video clip you posted, or for how long you have practiced it. In my observation, the jin doesn't make it to your extremities (i.e. hands). It doesn't make it past your upper back and shoulders. It would help to not raise your shoulders and not let the "qi" rise into the upper back. Coordinate the actions as one... Actually, exactly what Meeks said in his last post:

Quote:
what you need to learn is HOW it ends up being tucked. it works with the circular effect of drawing the navel in and up (lifting qi hai), sucking the stomach in (yea, I've never learned buddhist/positive breathing...) rounding the upper and lower back and hollowing the chest (to name a few)...


More navel and lower back (dan tian/ming men/hui yin), less upper back, no shoulders.

Trying to be non-confrontational and helpful...
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 12:54:48
No problem. As I mentioned that's an old clip and actually what you critiqued is the same things that Dmitri had already picked out and helped me to fix, he's got a great eye, and you as well I guess, so thanks. Unlike some others, I do appreciate any criticisms. Smiley

As for quoting what meeks wrote, I can't say that makes sense to me or would actually relate to how I was taught. I'm actually working on reverse breathing while fajin so I keep the belt meridian expanding out from the inside while contracting inward at the same time, diapraghm down, so that when the tailbone tucks it jolts diverts the dantian qi out the back through mingmen and up the spine. Qihai point, being the opposite- I don't know, I'll have to look into that I guess, I don't know about lifting, maybe contracting a little though.

-- just read your edited post, that make some sense - thanks.

Posted by: charles Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 13:16:18
on 03.05.2008 at 12:54:48, Brick hit house wrote:
when the tailbone tucks it jolts diverts the dantian qi out the back through mingmen and up the spine.


I'd suggest you forget you ever heard the term "tailbone tucks". Work on the dan tian/ming men/hui yin moving in/up and out/down. The tailbone will take care of itself without any concious thought or required intervention. Concentrate on the coordinated movement of this area through slow, non-forceful practice. When that works, speed and power will happen naturally.
Posted by: dragontigerpalm Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 13:19:22
This is a very good thread.
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 13:40:40
on 03.05.2008 at 13:16:18, charles wrote:


I'd suggest you forget you ever heard the term "tailbone tucks". Work on the dan tian/ming men/hui yin moving in/up and out/down. The tailbone will take care of itself without any concious thought or required intervention. Concentrate on the coordinated movement of this area through slow, non-forceful practice. When that works, speed and power will happen naturally.


No offense but I'm going to have to trust and believe in the words of my grandteacher who practiced everyday for 68 years.

Besides, the only reason that I posted on this thread is in regards to meeks saying that any time one moves at full speed it is 'fajin', which maybe I'm misinterpreting his post but that implies that one can't move at full speed without 'emitting/ issueing a jin'. Which is just not true or even a goal in my training, hence my references to the 'hua jin' practice etc. and the goal of my/our 'hunyuan'( formless) practice. There is in our school one simple 'ignition' movement to emit and the same mechanism can be held back at the last moment to transform it, the result being a consecutive build-up of jins and forces inside your own body, and if timed right built up inside the changing body of the opponent. It all gets released at the proper time and by our conscious choosing of when.

Maybe it's a semantics issue here but in order for me to practice our hua jin method (hunyuan) I have to use and rely on the function of the coccyx being the root of my spine and root of my movement. If that makes sense.
Smiley - but don't think I'm not using the dantian as well.

Thanks for making me think about it though.

Posted by: charles Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 13:54:58
on 03.05.2008 at 13:40:40, Brick hit house wrote:

No offense but I'm going to have to trust and believe in the words of my grandteacher who practiced everyday for 68 years.


No offense taken.

Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 14:10:12
on 03.05.2008 at 13:54:58, charles wrote:


No offense taken.

Since you mention it, have you ever met your grandteacher to see and feel how he moves and related that to the words he uses?


Yeah, back before he passed on. Very large and extremely hard dantian though and very refined movements, it's been much easier to learn from his student and my teacher. Got to feel some of the other dantian motions as well, very similar if not the same as some of the movement I got to feel when I met Chen Xiao Wang.

Posted by: neimen Posted on: 03.05.2008 at 17:35:57
easier to think of jin as energy you're maintaining the potential to use at all times, while you're moving or standing still. jin is the internal kinetic vocabulary your body has to talk back with, when you make contact with the opponent.

if you can only 'have' jin when you're moving at high speed and expressing (or feel like you're expressing) jin, you're probably getting your jin (or the feeling that you have jin) from acceleration.

in which case, you may have a hard time applying the jin in question at short range or no range. let alone when you're dealing with energy coming at you from an unexpected direction.

jin is the reason that you want to stay centered and rooted and sensitive at all times.

Posted by: Walter_Joyce Posted on: 05.05.2008 at 08:05:26
on 03.05.2008 at 13:16:18, charles wrote:


I'd suggest you forget you ever heard the term "tailbone tucks". Work on the dan tian/ming men/hui yin moving in/up and out/down. The tailbone will take care of itself without any concious thought or required intervention. Concentrate on the coordinated movement of this area through slow, non-forceful practice. When that works, speed and power will happen naturally.


That has been what I was taught and my personal experience as well.
Posted by: bailewen Posted on: 05.05.2008 at 12:03:23
Basically I got drawn in by the same post that Meeks is getting feedback on. Mostly, he nailed it. I only disagree on the way it's done but as far as what it is he is right.

I'm gonna use this other post though to revive one of the old topics that used to come up all the time. The tailbone "tuck".

on 30.04.2008 at 21:49:46, Brick hit house wrote:


Fajin is done by tucking the tailbone with speed, it's described in the classics as the arrow being released from the bowstring, the fuse igniting the cannonball etc.

Once you learn to actually tuck the tailbone, send the wave up the spine etc...

...right at the moment when you would release (fa) you hold back the tucking of the tailbone and instead 'hua' transform that movement....

...'Obvious' practice is where you visibly tuck the tailbone to learn how to deliver power.

'hua' practice is where you have the power learned in the 'obvious' practice but don't tuck the tailbone to emit and instead 'transform' that power into your next movement....

...The jin is what you do with your arms and legs using tension/relaxation, twisting or not etc.

How the tailbone tucks can determine amount of power issued and the speed - short jin or long jin.


I'm gonna come out front as say that this is just plain wrong. It's a standard misinterpretation cause by a classic inadequate translation.

I challenge anyone here to cite a classic text or quan pu from any known style that states that one should "tuck" the tailbone. The phrase the shows up in every text I have seen so far is "wi lu zhong zheng". That means "The tailbone is centered. There are also generally lines telling you to "ba bei" or "pull out the back" which means to open up the lumbar region of the spine which can create the false image of a tucked tailbone.

According the classics, tailbone tucking is explicitly wrong.

My second "problem" with most fa-jin explanations is that "jin" is not necessarily explosive. I am a broken record on this one but as I have said a million times before, there is nothing inherently explosive about jin and nothing specific about the body mechanics because it could be completely dependant on what jin or jins you are expressing at the time.

Fa jin is not necessarily explosive.
Tailbone tucking is counter indicated by the classics.

[/quote]
Posted by: Walk_the_Torque Posted on: 05.05.2008 at 14:55:14
bailewen,

I don't agree or disagree with what your saying here Huh Grin and heres why. I think it could be a matter of perspective with the tail bone.

I was originally taught a method simillar to what you describe, where the tail bone is centred, and the torso is moved in such a way (forward) so as to open the lumber spine. So in effect, even though you might not be actively 'tucking' the tail bone, it amounts to the same thing.

As for jin being explosive or not; I think its really a matter of what jin your using and how it is applied that determines its quality.
Posted by: bailewen Posted on: 05.05.2008 at 14:59:58
Boy you really did manage to neither agree or disagree. lol.

I think there is a difference though. The different perspective creates a different energy through the whole body.

The direction of the intent between "ba bei han xiong" and "tuck the tail" is different enough to create a whole different flavor on things.
Posted by: Brick hit house Posted on: 05.05.2008 at 19:03:29
on 05.05.2008 at 12:03:23, bailewen wrote:


I challenge anyone here to cite a classic text or quan pu from any known style that states that one should "tuck" the tailbone. The phrase the shows up in every text I have seen so far is "wi lu zhong zheng". That means "The tailbone is centered.
According the classics, tailbone tucking is explicitly wrong.



I completely agree that the tailbone should be kept centered but I don't think it should be held in the same place rather it should be moved and used. Tucking and untucking both play a part.
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Re: To Jin or Not to Jin, That is my question (for posterity)

Postby SPJ on Wed May 14, 2008 7:29 am

Thank you for bring back the thread. It is indeed a big lesson for everyone.

1. at first, we have to understand where Jin comes from and where it is going. we practice stationary postures and then moving postures, It is to understand the jin and balance in the postures. or dong jin.

2. we do hitting practice with pads, and push hands with a training partner, we may understand how the jin interacts with resistance (pads, bags) and how our jin is interacting with the opponent's jin, such as flowing, emerging, directing, redirecting, receiving, sending etc etc. this part is called listening to the jin of ours and those of the opponent, or ting jin.

--

in short, jin is in all the practice we do.

of course, we all have to start with relaxation first before we would appreciate "jin".

--

just to add some thoughts.

:)
Last edited by SPJ on Wed May 14, 2008 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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