Friday, August 17, 2007

Dislocating, Tearing, and Dim Mak

Taiji Chin Na

Practical Chin Na

Dojo Rat here again, ending my tour of duty at TDA Training; Nathan! Please take away the keys! BBM promises to return the silverware!
Yesterday's post was on the genteel art of Aikido, where the founder Uyeshiba passed down a sense of martial morality to not damage the opponent too severely. Not so with the Chinese systems, and the sub-arts of Chin Na. While Jujitsu and Aikido are recognized as arts in themselves, Chin Na (to seize, catch or hold) is a sub-category within Chinese arts. The techniques are divided into five groups: 1. dividing (tearing) the muscle/tendon, 2. misplacing (dislocating) the bone, 3. sealing (cutting off) the breath, 4. sealing (pressing) the vein/artery, and 5. pressing or striking Qi meridian channels and "cavity press".
The first book, "Taiji Chin Na" is by the prolific author Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming. This is the book that will convince people that Taiji is indeed a fighting art. Yang takes all the traditional postures of the Yang Chen-fu form and demonstrates the five categories of Chin Na listed above for each posture. "Taiji China Na" provides clear pictures and explanations of techniques, with graphics of the directional circles overlaid onto the photographs. I highly reccomend this book for people who want to understand what the hell they are doing in some of the obscure postures in the Tai Chi Chuan forms, and how to transfer those skills to combat.
The second book, which I am working my way through now is "Practical Chin Na", by Zhao Da Yuan with translation by Tim Cartmell. I had the pleasure of attending a Bagua seminar with Cartmell, so I saw a taste of these techniques in action. Zhao is a fourth-generation Bagua master, and is currently chief martial arts instructor at China's Police Officers Academy. This book does not focus on the movements within forms, instead it offers physics, angles, and anatomical principles that make Chin Na work. Rather than photos, the book has well-drawn pictures that are easy to understand. This book also goes into details of Dim Mak, with illustrated anatomical charts of meridian striking points and the effects of these techniques on the human body.
If you are into the grappling arts at all, both these books will give you ideas of techniques that you can integrate into your system. And if you practice Tai Chi Chuan or Bagua, you absolutely must have these books for reference. New and used copies are available at


Blackbeltmama said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. I've been looking for a good one on meridians. Very cool!

And I NEVER promised I'd put the silverware back. NEVER. Forks were part of my payment for posting over here.

What? You guys didn't get paid! Ooh, I'd talk to Nathan about that! ;-)

Dojo Rat said...

BBM: if you are looking for the best book on martial anatomy, meridians, nerves, organs and skeletal, check out Marc Tedeschi's "Essential Anatomy For Healing and Martial arts".
It is the best book with incredibly good illustrations.

JoseFreitas said...

DR: Bryant Fong in San Francisco organizes (or did) seminars with Zhao Da Yuan. GO!! If you can, it'll blow your mind away, plus since you seem to have a good grounding in locking, you'll get a lot from it. He also teaches kickass Bagua weapons forms, complete with supplementary drills and exercises, etc...

Blackbeltmama said...

DR, thank you so much for that book recommendation. They don't have it at my library, but I'm going to check out amazon. Thanks much!