Fa Jin Internal Power in the Martial Arts
Includes references / links to boxers and Olympic judo
Secret FA JIN: The Lost Art of internal energy striking By John Bracy
I once asked the famous hsing-i/ xingyiquan master “Indestructible” Liang Kequan to hit me with an internal power strike. He declined, saying that doing so would “make you throw up.”
Uncle Liang was describing the effect on the body of a rarer kind of “internal strike.” Fa Jin is the general term meaning to “express” or “issue power.” However, for the internal martial arts (IMA), the term has a special meaning.
Most fa jin practiced today refers to a kind of bounce back where a correctly placed “soft” response (from a palm, forearm, or other aspect of the body) causes a training partner to be thrown backward. Essentially it refers to force being sent back into and thus controlling –– or directing –– the opponent away from the practitioner.
But there is a rarer, potentially dangerous, version of the practice –– the kind of internal power strike Master Liang was talking about. That “technology” has always been treated as a closely guarded secret. That form of secret fa jin doesn’t repel the opponent back and away from the practitioner. Instead, “energy” is directed into the opponent. At its highest “dose” application, the strike penetrates the core of the attacker and stresses internal organs. Because of the inherent danger involved in the practice, the initiate studying the technique must at the same time learn to carefully gauge the amount of “energy” they release into a partner or opponent. Care must be taken to prevent injury.
BELOW: Email to a prospective student/ client
2 aspects of fa jin Tai-chi and Internal Martial Arts Power
1. The Bio-mechanics to Issue a Lot of Power when really Close
2. Striking with Fa Jin Internal Energy
2. What makes “Internal” Martial Arts INTERNAL
The internal martial arts may look pretty, but they weren’t designed that way. They are sometimes called “soft.” But that’s a side effect.
development note – add handprint story to https://chiarts.com/stories-from-the-path-random-notes-and-collection-of-anecdotes-by-john-bracy/
,I got some good news and some bad news – But in the end, it is great news. You’re a smart guy, so I think you will get my point right away. It addresses the examples of FA JIN that you sent me to look at.
A person cannot effectively fight with 2
feet solid on the ground
First, it would be nearly impossible to “set up” a
position with two feet solid on the ground in the midst of combat. Boxers can sometimes do it for a fraction of a second, but this is before they are fully engaged. The best boxers never do. Watch
Mohammed Ali’s feet where they show on these links:
On many ba gua videos found on YouTube you will see examples where the practitioner, while demonstrating a technique, comes in close with two feet solidly on the ground. While planted the practitioner will apply a throw or take down. Every thinking MA practitioner must ask himself, how is this possible? Are you really expecting your opponent to stand still while you set yourself up for the throw or takedown?
Even Olympic Judo players (judoka) don’t plant their feet flat and solid while executing their throwing techniques
HoHowever, you do find examples like these ba gua practitioners showing their “skills” with flat and planted techniques. They are examples of the art taught by individuals who never used their art in combat and never studied with teachers who did. For example,
Which means, aside from not being something that might actually work in a real fight, the power of the technique like that comes from a shoulder power/ torque-based skill (because of its reliance on superior upper body mass) that would only work on someone who is weaker than the practitioner.
Try planting your feet against someone (or especially more than one) who is slapping at you or trying to punch you. It would probably be impossible under these conditions for you to plant your feet in a solid stance. YOUR OPPONENT WILL NOT STAND STILL FOR YOU.
It puzzles me why so many IMA teachers teach their students techniques while both feet are planted – and it why so few can use their IMA in a real fight. It produces something called “fulcrum” or “teeter totter” effect.
It is explained in these videos in terms of SPRING vs. FULCRUM or SPRING vs. LEVER – Watch the trailer for video. https://chi-arts1.vhx.tv/products/ba-gua-advanced-the-3-pillars-of-mastery
It has been over a hundred years since more than a handful of practitioners in the know had to rely on their skills working in a real fight. That, and partly because teaching of fighting arts (other than tai-chi for health) was illegal in China during the cultural revolution (1967-1976 ?) plus famine and civil war, a lot of real fighting knowledge by masters who really knew the stuff was lost – real knowledge began to be increasingly replaced by OVER STYLIZED MOVEMENTS.
For examples – and their corrections, in terms of over stylized hand positions often found in ba gua, see these videos.
After reviewing the material, let me know if you still wish to go forward with your training and I’ll give you instructions to send some videos and / or still photos to get your body positions right to begin mastery of real fa jin