Fa Jin Internal Power in the Martial Arts

Includes references / links to boxers and Olympic judo

An email to a prospective student/ client


Hi Ricardo

,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

see    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfcCfekFGwQ


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.


Every one of the video examples you sent me are of practitioners who demonstrate their speed (and presumably power – which I have some doubts about) while having both feet being firmly planted.  In reality, in the midst of emotions, super stress, fear, anger, etc. – while someone is trying to hit and hurt you, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PLANT YOUR FEET. 

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.

This links to a video of me doing some fa jin internal power applications for the internal martial arts

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

Warm regards,