Specialties & Skills of Fa Jin in Playing Hong’s Tai Ji Quan
Master Hong Junsheng had addressed incisively on the skills of Fa Jin (strength exertion) of Tai Ji Quan. This article briefly states his ideas and experiences in order to show up our strong yearnings toward him.
Should people Fa Jin (to exert strength) when they are practicing the Quan? How to do it? These questions have been the hotspots in the previous discussions for quite a long time. Many flesh learners would feel blank about it. Those who have practiced Kung-fu even for years may completely fail to grasp the key points of it and get no way to do it. In the book of Theory of Tai Ji Quan, composed by Wang Zongyue, the author stated strength exertion within many pages. However, lots of learners have no previous experiences in boxing and Fa Jin. Some of them feel surprise and illogical when they have been finding some players of other systems can Fa Jin well enough. It seems that playing Tai Ji is just like pulling a load of china hoods which would be broken once it is being shaken.
Someone quotes the moving theory as slow as drawing silk in the book to describe the pace in playing Kung-fu. They consider it must be slow and the silk would be broken once it moves faster, but actually they know nothing about the filature. The silk is drawn in a speedy pace because the axis is circinal and the cocoon and silk are both rolling during the course of filature. The silk will be broken only when it is facing an obstacle and being pulled over tightly.
The book of the Theory of Tai Ji Quan stated that Qu Zhong Qiu Zhi, Xu Er Hou Fa (go straight from screw). Here the word Qu means screwing rather than flection. It is a form of screwing movement while the word of Zhi means taking a single straight direction. Qu Zhong Qiu Zhi means going forward helically. This situation is similar to that the aiguille and bullet go from a Rifle. It focuses on the exact direction and the power is too strong to resist.
Someone considers the strength of Tai Ji Quan as elasticity like a spring. Though the figure seems loose, it's tight. When people press it, the elasticity is preserved. The strength differs from screwing.
Others think the Fa Jin is as a separated one. However the Theory said that Jin Duan Yi Bu Duan (Strength may pause while spirit persists) and Duan Er Fu Lian (the Jin being paused then exerted again). It's obvious that the correct way to exert the strength is pausing in figure but persisting in mind. There are two explanations:
One is that the strength is exerted around. The broken line freely goes after the exertion of strength so that it pauses in figure and the remaining strength persists.
The other is that your strength rolling as a wheel, which rolls away the extraneous items while you are receiving no influence and moving in its tack as usual.
Fa Jin cannot be separated from melding and leading the attacking sent by your opponent. Here is an example with your own hands. When you use your right hand to defend yourself, you usually adopt some movements such as rolling back, plucking and splitting. These movements are twines and strength towards the right back comer. When the hands of you two are twisting on a tightest level, your Jins will naturally turn back to the opposite directions respectively as the tightest rope acts. People will twist out their hands and Fa Jin forwards. When you are using your left hand, you should put your hand on the right elbow joint of your opponent, Fa Jin soon to twine your elbow clockwise from the outside and press it down. Once the hand of your opponent is rolled back, he would step forward and Fa Jin in pressing, elbowing, or body stroking. Through these movements, your Jin would mm around fight forward with Fa Jin by your left hand. The cooperation form of your hands is that leading and melding the coming attacking with your right hand and Fa Jin with the left. Discussing about the single hand, we would say that twining inside with right hand is leading while twining outside is Fa Jin. It means that the movements in putting the left hand on your opponent's right elbow, twining clockwise and lowering the left elbow, will lead and meld while those of fingering up to the left are Fa Jin. Though the angle variations is difficult to describe, generally speaking your body should be turned right when leading and melding toward the right side and the right leg should be twined counterclockwise from outside.
When you are Fa Jin, you could use your toe touching the ground to step forward while use heel to back off. At the same time, you should exert forward and offload backward to keep the balance. The method to keep the steadiness is to go follow a curve like a letter "s", raising the knees, lowering the buttocks and to maintain an upward arc in falling down. If the arc is downward like a piece of curve, people stand on a sharp-angled posture and the center of your gravity would be pitched. Such flat curve might go against your Fa Jin.