The feature of Fa Jin in South School Kung-fu

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The feature of Fa Jin in South School Kung-fu
    South School Kung-fu is the general description of South Shao Lin Kung-fu and other types of local boxing with obvious regional features. South Shao Lin Kung-fu is a system derived from the ancient kung-fu of the centre China and passed down to the South from generation to generation.
     After the South Song Dynasty, more and more people once lived in the centre China started to move to the South. Their descended cultures, combined with the elements of environmental changes and social variances, had shaped the unique humanities and regional cultures of the south China. South Shao Lin Kung-fu was also formed in this process and was continuously taught to non-Shao-Lin-apprentices. Modernists ordinarily consider Noah men are strong while the South ones are weak. But actually it's a misunderstanding. South Shao Lin and South School Kung-fu are as doughty as the North boxing. Since one century before, South School Kung-fu being famous in the regions of Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macao, had spread over all the region of Southeast Asia, North America and even to the whole world step by step. At present Kung-fu widely spread in various places around the world with longer histories usually are South Shao Lin Kung-fu and its derivatives.
    In the latest 50 years, there were lots obstacles to the development of Chinese traditional Kung-fu in mainland China. Not only people changed their ideas in practicing Kung-fu but also the techniques lost with the previous masters passing away. However, on other beaches of ocean, including Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and North America, we can still find the practical value and essence of Chinese traditional Kung-fu, and the heroical spirits from most of the players. It's not strange that many Kung-fu fans abroad usually feel that few players in the Mainland are actually practicing Wushu as it has been showed just a kind of sport. It's a great pity that a large number of the players can never show up the inwardness of Chinese traditional Kung-fu as well.
     Master Zhang Liquan, addressed as one of the Three Tigers of Dongjiang River during the Republic of China period (1912-1949), was a propagator of contemporary Pak Mei Quan. At that time, special geography and society circumstance had created some atmosphere in practicing and using traditional Kung-fu. in eastern Guangdong, so the practitioners had tried their best to reach a level in both ideology and Quan skills in a conscious way or even unconscious. It was high esteem not only held by his successors but also by practitioners of any school of Quan that Mster Zhang had a profound understanding in Kung-fu and great Quan skills. People attributed his achievement to his taking the tradition of Kung-fu being a master.
Mr. Choi Wingsum, a successor of Mr. Zhang Liquan, has practiced Pak Mei Quan for forty years. Because Hong Kong always attaches importance to inheritance of traditional culture even in peacetime, Mr. Choi experienced strict demands by propagators and masters of older generation in the years of 1960s and 1970s. Almost everyone knows that no practice, no Kung-fu, but a lot of people will not practice it hard like Mr. Choi in reality. He often mentioned that to master Pak Mei Quan in the past, he must practice the basic training of Kung-fu for thousands of times according to what Master Zhang Bingfa, his teacher, had demanded. Choi has got some important ideas about Fa Jin (exerting strength). He said:
    "my teacher told me some points about how to Fa Jin, his father Master Zhang Liquan had handed down many methods, much the same with only minor differences due to similar body structure to everyone, that is, one should focus on all his strength in one and send out as a whole. Therefore, it's not easy to achieve the level of Liu Jin (six forces) Qi Fa (sending out together), emphasized by successors of Pak Mei Quan.
    When I was young, I had been scolded by my teacher for many times for my hard-to-master Liu Jin Qi Fa. However, what I knows today about it is different from the past since I have got to understand that Liu Jin Qi Fa should be with San Men Qi. I was diligent in exercises in focusing on my own strength and learning skills combined with boxing stunts. It had taken a long time for me in practicing the Liu Jin, during which I could not exert strength easily. As a result, my face was twisted with tension. In my opinion, movement of internal organs is the fundamentals of focusing and exerting strength. Though the movement is almost the same for everyone, the way to exert strength in an instant is different, such as attacking with a fist, a palm, an elbow, a forward sliding, getting an occupation of the opponent's position and, sending my own forces at my original place without any moving.(Editor: Masters of many schools in north China take the very similar understanding with Choi, which indirectly demonstrates all Chinese Kung-fu are from one family.)
   It's important for you to Fa Jin especially Fa Zheng Jin (sending your forces in one) that your waist and hips should be in the right position while the forces are sent from those parts in a flash. I didn’t understand how to exert forces from the abdomen before, namely practice not on the right point, so I exerted weak and insufficient whole forces. But now, I can do it as easy as I like."
   Sending out forces right from the abdomen discussed by Choi Wingsum shares a same fact with the one mentioned by many boxing manuals and proverbs that "Li You Ji Fa (the spine produces power)." Actually, predecessors have left various boxing manuals and proverbs showing their experiences of kung-fu practice, but not exact methods of practice, so successors have to study and practice Kung-fu all on their own.
   We often notice some expressions mentioned in the books or scriptures of Xing Yi Quan about Ning Jin (force in screwing) and Zuan Jin (force in drilling), however, there might be only few people in Kung-fu circle having obviously seen such two Jin expressions with the South School. As a matter of fact, there is no difference between people who practice Kung-fu of the South School and those the North, each of them has two arms with their ranges of motions almost the same. Everyone could do a good job if he has sent his forces correctly and has played Quan movements quite right. While you are watching people of different schools practicing Kung-fu, you will have seen them all alike.
   It has been quite a long time since Thomas Weiyu Cheng was apprenticed to Zhang Bingfa, the son of a master of Pak Mei Quan (white eyebrows boxing), named Zhang Liquan. He says:
   "There are numerous ways to practice Fa Jin (send forces) in playing the Quan. One of them is to Fa Jin in the process you are practicing Tao Lu (a set or sets of the Quan movements or a series of skills and tricks). Chuan Mo (a kind of tne Quan movements) is an important one in practicing Tao Lu skill combining attacking with defending changed timely in the process of playing the Quan. It requires the coordination of both hands to bring and explode all Ning Jin and Luo Xuan Jin (force in screwing) together with breathing and, to puff processes to attack opponent, it also requires the assorting with your Yao Ma (a movement with both your waist and the gait of horse).
   "Your force goes along with your Qi (interior strength and breathing), while Qi is sent by your thought." Fa Jin (sending force) in playing Pak Mei Quan fundamentally concerns with the adjustment, balance and function of your Qi and blood handled by your breathing so as to keep you holding of the right degree of Fa Jin. However, in order to come to a satisfactory effect, it is essential for you to have a well-functioned mind.
  Both Qi and force to be handled by your breathing. In case your Qi is sent smoothly, you can concentrate your Shen (spirit) to send your gigantic forces accordingly. As Qi is restrained in your body, your strength is hidden in your Qi. When you have concentrated your Shen with your breathing you are able to attack your opponent as a tiger having an unstoppable drive showing your strength in hardness. On the contrary, while you are defending yourself, you need to be softer to send your forces in a good order as floating clouds covering the moon without leaving their tracks in softness while your hardness and your softness should be associated together in one."

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