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Seize the Opportunity with Chin Na—Part 1

by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, July 12, 2010

Chin Na literally means "seize control." Chin Na covers a wide scale of defensive and offensive techniques, from very fundamental hand grappling to the very advanced Dim Mak. The fundamental techniques can be learned by any martial artist or even by someone without any martial arts experience. These fundamental techniques can easily be adapted and incorporated into any martial style such as Judo, Wrestling (Shuai Jiao), Karate, or Tae Kwon Do to increase the range of responses. In open-handed styles, many opportunities for using a grabbing Chin Na arise. Once a person has mastered all these fundamental techniques, he can continue his study in the advanced Chin Na, which is so deep that it will take more than 20 years to learn, practice, and master. It is knowledge without end or limit. When Chin Na reaches an advanced level, the application of Qi (internal energy) and Jin (internal power) becomes very difficult to understand.

Speed in Chin Na Speed is the most important factor in an effective Chin Na technique. With many Chin Na you need to use only one-half or even one-third of the power of your opponent. However, without speed you will not be able to control your opponent before he escapes or reacts against you. There are many other Chin Na which do require considerable power to execute the technique and to maintain control. If you do not have the necessary speed and power, your Chin Na will remain second rate, and you will often find that you have exposed yourself to counterattack or otherwise put yourself in a disadvantageous position. Therefore, speed and power are a major part of the training in a Chin Na course.

In order to make the grabbing Chin Na effective, you must first train your grabbing speed and power. This training will include: finger and palm speed and power, arm extension, and twisting speed and power, using the waist to direct the Jin to your arms and fingers, and stepping to set up the advantageous position for your technique. In all, an effective Chin Na requires speed, power, and the coordination of arms, waist, and stepping.

Remember one thing. When you use a grabbing Chin Na on an opponent, you are showing him mercy. If you can control him with a grabbing Chin Na, you can strike or kick him more easily and more safely. There are two circumstances under which you would use a grabbing Chin Na in a fight. The first is when you are using sticking and adhering techniques, and grabbing Chin Na can be used easily and effectively. The second is when your fighting ability is much higher than your opponent's, and you do not want to injure him. You demonstrate your Chin Na on him to show mercy and to prove to him that you have the ability to control him.

General Chin Na Rules

Once you have decided to use your grabbing Chin Na, you must control him completely. Half-way control will only bring you trouble and danger. There are a few general rules which you should remember:

  1. When you apply a lifting Chin Na, you must lift your opponent's heels off the floor. Otherwise, he will still have his root and he will be able to punch or kick you.
  2. When you use a downward Chin Na, you must bring him down so his face or elbow touches the ground, and he is completely defenseless.
  3. When you use a circular Chin Na, you must destroy your opponent's balance and pull his root. His root and balance give him the ability to resist and counterattack. Once he has lost his root, you can then control him either downward or upward.
  4. When you apply a Chin Na control to an opponent, you should always have a backup technique such as a punch or kick, so that you can destroy his capacity to fight if your Chin Na control fails. If you see that you need to hit him, do not hesitate. Remember: to show mercy to your opponent is to be cruel to yourself.
  5. Whatever Chin Na you do, do not turn your body in front of your opponent. Set him up in an awkward position first, then you can turn either on his side or behind him. Turning in front of your opponent without first putting him in a disadvantageous position is extremely dangerous and unwise.
  6. The key words of grabbing Chin Na are twist, bend, and press.

You can find more about Chin Na reading the article Truly Learning 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.



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