Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tips on Controlling the Opponent's "Jing Yuan"


A friend from Brazil who does a different form of Martial Arts recently asked me this question:

"Some time I controled his Jing Yuan point in the first contacts, closing the energy circuit, but I lost this control very easy...What are your comments regard this?"

To begin with, first have a look at this clip from Youtube:

To understand the opponent's Jing Yuan, you must first understand your own Jing Yuan. How? Try this simple exercise:

1. Stand approximately 30cm away from the wall, facing it, feet parallel.
2. Put both hands on the wall, shoulder width apart, at shoulder level.
3. Push against the wall by extending the arm.
You will find that when you do the above correctly, you will push yourself off balanced. You should also be able to feel a region somewhere between Du.9 and Du.6 being "pushed back" equally but opposite direction to the application of the force on the wall by your arms. This is your static Jing Yuan.

Now, try pushing against the wall in different stances, different distances, different angles, then move on to pushing a moving object such as a car. You will find the reflective region may NOT be directly between your shoulder blades anymore, but moving somewhere near the region depending on the way you apply the force.

Your opponent's Jing Yuan is similar to this. Although it is always going to be close to his shoulder blades, it will never be static as his actions will always be dynamic. Train yourself to be sensitive to his changes so you can always precisely locate his Jing Yuan by feel, and not by anatomical features. If you can do this properly you will always be able to instantaneously "bounce" him out as soon as he applies forces.

So, how do you maintain a "lock" on the Jing Yuan?

By applying a very small amount of pressure on the opponent, the "four ounces" as described by the Tai Chi Classics, you can constantly keep track of the opponent's Jing Yuan. However, the amount of pressure applied MUST be small enough not to let the opponent detect, so he cannot capitalize on it and attack you in return. Occasionally, you can also "nudge" him to provoke a reaction to recapture the Jing Yuan. But the golden rule as always, never give the opponent enough to sense you.

So, when do you actually us the Jing Yuan to throw the opponent? As soon as the path between you and his Jing Yuan is consolidated. This usually happens when he wishes to use strength, or when you have chase/control him so much he could no longer run. But NEVER try to throw him if the path is not consolidated. If you do so before consolidation occurs, your throw will not be effective and he may be able to retaliate. Hence, learning to feel for the consolidation is also an important part of training.

1 comment:

Nat Yelverton said...

Very interesting video - I've seen a few demoes of this and it does look fairly uncanny. I've also seen demos where people are "bounced" away which look very spectacular. I'm guessing it would be much more difficult to achieve in a fighting situation but I'm assuming the purpose of demonstrations like this is more to do with developing attributes which are useful as opposed to "super powers".

Actually I have a few questions that have been bothering regarding t'ai chi and it's effectiveness in real situations - I won't go into detail here but if you could see your way to answering a few I'd be very grateful!