A World of Difference
Hsing-I Straight Sword DVD

Key Principles of Chin-Na and Joint Locks

Forward_turning_elbow I'm working on the new website (only my current students know the URL), putting new DVD-quality video on it every day. It's an intense job to try to put all of our curriculum onto videos, into e-books, and get it up on a teaching site. The videos teach all the techniques, forms, and practice methods of the arts that I've been teaching for the past 11 years. I'm hoping to launch it to the world by July 1. In the meantime, there's SO much to do.

Today, I'm editing more video of basic chin-na and getting ready to put a 10-minute clip on the site. As I was editing, it struck me how easy self-defense can be if you can just switch to a different mindset. It struck me because I talk about it in the video that I'm placing on the new site today. :)

A lot of us, in the early years of our training, focus on techniques. For example, if he grabs me here, I should do this specific technique. Or if he pushes me here or punches there, I should do this or that.

The key to effective chin-na or any aspect of the martial arts is to free yourself from that thinking and apply concepts to any specific situation.

If someone attacks me, he is not my target. It doesn't really matter how he punches or what technique he throws. My targets include his elbows, knees, neck -- any joint that comes close. So unlike some martial arts, I don't want to stand back and punch and kick. Chen tai chi is a close-up martial art for in-fighting. I want him to come close enough to put his wrists, elbows and knees into range.

From there, you just take that particular joint in the direction it doesn't want to go. Quickly and with fa-jing. Repeated practice in these concepts, using specific techniques, is important. Internalizing the movements and reactions by practicing in a free-style sparring situation is crucial. With enough practice, at a certain point, you lose the need to respond to this with that and you follow the concepts and principles for effective self-defense.


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Kevin Smith

Chi-Na is for beginners. I can create a chi force field that repels any attackers.


Kevin, it's about time you showed up again you silly man.

Kevin Smith

Really. It's true. Just ask Ken. I used to repel him in Davenport on a regular basis.

Gerry Hopkins

A chi force field operates much like the defensive shields on a starship. When the dilithium crystals weakens the force fields lose strength making the starship vulnerable to enemy (think Klingon)weapons.

Similarly, during an encounter between two martial artists with comparable capabilities, power reserves in the tantien (our body's reactor core) will diminish causing the chi force field to lose strength ("Shields are down to 30%, Captain."). At this time the opponent can slip inside the force field--much like a photon torpedo--and apply chi-na to ensure victory, proving once again that beginner techniques are often the best techniques.


Now, if you want to talk serious martial arts secrets, let's discuss ninja cloaking techniques.

Sean C. Ledig

Is that me in that picture? Jeez, I really gotta lose that gut.


Now Sean, I don't recall that Buddha ever complained about his gut. Perhaps in your next life....

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