Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | April 8, 2009

Fa Jin; Issuing Energy

I’ve been asked recently about the role of “fa jin” or issuing energy, or explosive energy in tai chi. It is prevalent, or at least, more obvious in chen style tai chi. The player collects energy, then, in a relaxed, but explosive way, throws it out. The whole body should be completely relaxed(I’ve given myself a little whiplash on one or two occasions. Ha!). The bow and arrow metaphor is good hear. You pull the bow, and then let the arrow fly. Also, the metaphor of the whip. Think of a dog shaking water off his body. Whole body, very explosive.

If you are practicing tai chi for health and wellness, fa jin should be very very limited. Your focus should be on collecting and transforming chi, not expending it.

In martial terms, fa jin is a very useful and effective technique, but it does not need to be used every time in every technique. Tai chi is a full encyclopedia of defense and attack, so there are many gentle deflections, throws, pulldowns, etc. that rely on timing, distance, execution, sensitivity.

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