Fa Jin

Vincent Chia/2022.06

Fa Jin, the action of bouncing-off, is like a diamond that has many facets. Is it possible to explain Fa Jin as easy as ABC and as crystal-clear as a diamond? Why not!

Firstly, let’s start from a concept that has been passed down, generations after generations from the Taoist masters: force is transmitted through bones (structure) and flow is transmitted through ligaments and tendons. The key takeaway from this concept is: force and flow are parallel traffic highways occurring at the same time but in opposite direction via different conduits.

Secondly, the whole Fa Jin process can be as easy as ABC, so what is ABC? As a Bowing Concept. What is bowing? From a Fan Jin’s perspective, there are two obvious ones: 1. Taking a bow to store the energy and 2. Drawing the bowstring and release the arrow. How to achieve both at the same time? Taking a bow requires one to relax the hip joints. For Fa Jin, consider the case which you stand with your left leg at the rear and your right leg at the front, once you have engaged your opponent, the contact point, for example: your hand, remains unaltered; the hip joint for the substantial leg (left leg) is allowed to rotate but highly recommended to remain firm to allow the force traffic to be grounded, at the same time, the hip joint for the insubstantial leg (right leg) magically “draw” an anticlockwise circle to draw the bow-string from the point of contact, the effect is like spreading a wing; given the right opportunity, you may release your “arrow” towards your opponent’s weak spot behind his/her body by performing a slight “rocking” on one foot or both feet. Drawing the bowstring may be obvious to you but how is this process related to the action of taking a bow? Simply refer to the Lowering Posture; the inclination of the body does look like taking a bow, isn’t it?

The above paragraph apparently describing a relatively stationary style of Fa Jin, how about a more dynamic response, such as: Fa Jin that occurs in a transitional movement? In addition, the hip joint for the insubstantial leg (for example, the front right leg) has much freedom to “draw”, not only an anticlockwise but clockwise circle as well, is it any further insight on this? Both of your questions are related: when your opponent approaches you, simply allow your hip joint for the insubstantial leg (for example, the front right leg) to follow through and “draw” a clockwise to reflux back his/her force/flow/momentum elegantly.

The descriptions so far tend to be quite mechanically and physically inclined, where is the energetic coherence if there is any? Yes, there is, simply practicing your Tai Chi such that the energy in your body moves like a single sheet of continuous conveyor belt, this will heighten your sensitivity, unify your movement and improve your Fa Jin tremendously.

Figure 1: Lowering Posture



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