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Truly Learning Chin Na

by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, January 21, 2008
Applying Qin Na

Applying Qin Na

Though it is very hard to catch the Chin Na techniques with 100% accuracy from a book and a video, many techniques can still be learned as long as you ponder, practice, and humbly ask. It cannot be denied that a qualified instructor will help you to shorten the learning time and to transfer the key details of each technique. However, if there is no qualified instructor around, then you must rely on yourself.

The first thing to remember when you are teaching yourself is that you should focus on the principle of the technique. This will not only help you to learn that technique, but also learn other techniques which are based on the same principle. If you thoroughly understand the theory and principles, you will even be able to develop techniques by yourself. Second, after you learn a technique from a book, you should find a partner who is also interested in researching. Discuss the technique and principle with each other. Experiment with it, experience it, become familiar with it, and finally master it. There is no better way than practice, practice, and practice. Constant practice makes a technique effective, alive, and natural. You should understand that for a technique to be effective, it must be applied in a natural way as a natural reaction. Only then can you say that you have grasped the technique.

As you practice Chin Na, learn how much strength you need to do the technique on different people. This can be learned only through practicing with many different types of people. Furthermore, remember when you train your Chin Na that you must train your Yi first. “Yi” in Chinese means “mind.” You must put your mind where your technique is, then you can feel if the technique is right, and you will be able to direct your Qi to support the technique. Remember when you use a Chin Na, feeling is 80% of the technique. You must train your sense of touch so that you know without looking whether your control is effective.

Again, when you practice with a partner be careful to avoid injury. Some injuries can take months to heal completely, and if you are not careful you may even damage your body permanently and give yourself a lifetime of trouble. Therefore, when you practice you must control the power you use on each other. If either of you is in pain, let the other know so he can stop the technique. Play safe and smart, not brave and stupid. You should also learn the basic techniques for dealing with and healing injuries.

Often, a Chin Na book shows people standing in particular stances, and doing particular attacks or movements, but when you actually must use the techniques you will probably find that things are quite different. Once you have learned a technique according to the book and can do it easily and effectively, you must experiment with it to find its limits, and how it can be modified. Each technique is designed for particular circumstances, and while it can be modified, there are also circumstances where the technique would be ineffective or even dangerous to you. Also, many times you will start a technique but the opponent will move or counter you, and you will have to modify your technique or try another one, or even back away. You have not mastered the art until you have learned these things.

If you practice joint-lock Chin Na properly with your partner, eventually you are helping each other to stretch and condition the joints. This kind of exercise is very healthy for the joints. One of the common rules of practice is when you apply a technique to your partner, if he is still able to strike back in any way, your technique is wrong. Your safety is always the first concern when a technique is applied. Also, if you cannot use the technique skillfully enough in a practical situation, your technique is useless.

Naturally, if you encounter a true opponent, then you must injure him first so his fighting capability is reduced immediately. In order to injure your opponent, you must have Jin to make your techniques effective. Jin is a way of expressing power which can make the power stronger and more penetrating. When Jin is expressed, the muscles and tendons are supported by the Qi in the body so that the muscles and tendons reach their highest efficiency. Jin can be categorized as hard, soft-hard, or soft. When you apply a Chin Na, regardless of which category it falls into, if you do not know how to use your Jin in the technique, your Chin Na will be ineffective. For example, if you do not use Jin in Fen Jin Chin Na, your opponent will have an opportunity to use his muscles to resist your muscles. If you do not use a jerking Jin in Cuo Gu Chin Na, you will not be able to break or misplace the opponent’s joint. In the same way, in a sealing the breath or cavity press technique, if no Jin is used, the power will not penetrate to the right depth and the technique will be ineffective.

This subject is covered in greater detail in the book and DVD “Analysis of Shaolin Chin Na".

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, is a renowned author and teacher of Chinese martial arts and Qigong. Born in Taiwan, he has trained and taught Taijiquan, Qigong and Chinese martial arts for over forty-five years. He is the author of over thirty books, and was elected by Inside Kung Fu magazine as one of the 10 people who has "made the greatest impact on martial arts in the past 100 years." Dr. Yang lives in Northern California.


i would like to say thank you dr.yang jwing ming for every thing , i never meet you before , but its my dream , hope my dream comes true one day , i really follow all guide lines in this artical since along time cause when i begain to learn chin na , i wasnot know that great art before but i know it from dr.yang jwing ming book , i learned too much from your chin na books the whole 4 books , videos tapes ,dvd .. for sure it was , still so great journy to learn from sincer great master like you , i wasnt know the true path to learn martial arts from aqualifed master in my country , but all i can say i try all my best to learn from dr.yang jwing ming books ,dvd .. i have so many dvd , books , in the future iam going to buy more books , dvd .. the true essence of the martial arts i never know it before i know dr.yang jwing ming through his books ,vidoes , dvd ... it is really very very good way to learn people like me .. iam so far away cause iam from egypt .. many people like me from far country's or didnt found aqualifed teacher i advise them to begain the true path of the martial arts throught dr.yang jwing ming books , videos ,dvd , you will never ever found very good instructions , very sincer way to teach in any where else ,, its so hard really to find true sincer master just like dr.yang jwing ming he is very open mind , very culture , there is no secret he give you every thing to begain the journy ..

thanxz so much for every letter , every thing i learn it and still learn from you dr. yang jwing ming ..

so sorry for that big comment .. but its my true feelings

mohamed elsayed .. egypt
mohamed elsayed ahmed – December 6, 2008, 12:05 pm

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