Saturday, 10 August 2019

Extracting JIn

The main purpose of form training is the extraction of its core components, referred to as its intrinsic jin. This is the ultimate aim of all martial arts.
Sun Lutang, for example, understood this and through a lifetime study and practice was able to “extract”the core components of three kinds of martial art to create his own system: Taijiquan’s balance and harmonisation of opposites; Xingyiquan’s footwork whose core component is “step forward to follow, step back to”; and Baguazhang’s core body method of agile twisting and circling. Taijiquan itself was created through the extraction and absorption of the core components of several martial arts systems at the time of its creation as well as the incorporation of the core principles of an ancient Chinese philosophy and Traditional Chinese Health Methods.

"Jin" is the most important component of Taijiquan, and the understanding of "jin" is the door to the application of its skills. The initial Taijiquan practice concerns “fixing the frame”. Fixing the frame is the fundamental of skill building because the correct body frame is the key to realising jin.
Begin with the basic foundation of vertical and horizontal alignments of the body and joints, and then, strictly in accordance with the requirements for Taijiquan, proceed in an orderly way.

Sloppiness to strict adherence leads to gradual distortion and the desired result will not be achieved.
Form practice is the foundation for entry to the attack and defence elements of the art, which in turn is gleaned from understanding the core components that make the art what it is. The past masters have clearly summarised the practice process for us in the form routine. The arrangement of the routine in the whole set is not arbitrary. Its compiler used the clever combination of potentials to form a continuous situation that trains attack and defence from all directions, not by single technique but integrated through a complete set. This is the representation of Taijiquan.