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The methods of the chin Na style are used to control a person's movements. Chin Na, and the Japanese version Jujitsu (developed from China), are as old as the art of Shuai jiao. In china today there is still a style called chin Na, but generally speaking, it is a lost art. The Chen Tai ji Chin Na is a more complete system. The main reason for this is the fact that behind the Chen village in Henan province are high mountains and also that it is surrounded by the Yellow River. In early times it was difficult to traverse the mountains and one would have to wait for the Yellow River to subside to be able to enter the Chen village. Therefore, the chen Tai Ji Chin Na was not as easily dispersed as the style of Chin Na.

In Chin Na you try to control a part of the body by locking joints and acupuncture points with methods of grabbing, kneading, poking, lifting, pressing, and pushing. These methods are also used to release your opponent's control over you. The purpose of Chin Na is to control one point, thereby controlling the entire body. A similar example describing Chin Na would be: if you wanted to control transportation in an area, you would do so by controlling a seaport, highways, and railroads, thereby preventing goods from being moved.

When Chen Tai Ji Quan was developed, it was the first martial art to combine other arts together. One of the many different arts it combined was ChinNa. The Chen Tai Ji Chin Na was adopted partially from the famous book titled "The 72 Inner and Outer Grabs," which was written at the end of the Ming Dynasty. Even up to modern times Chen Tai Ji Quan push-hand practitioners-used Chin Na. In the chen village there is a famous saying: "first you lure the opponent, then dissolve his energy, first use Chin Na, then throw."

In the saying there are four characters which we will explain further:

1. "Ting"

- means "listening as a spy". This is the listening that the opponent is not aware of, because he is in the chaos of tilting.

2. "Yin"

- means to lure the opponent into a move that is anticipated. This is further broken down to a negative or positive type lure. The negative is to provoke the opponent's move. The positive is lure him into throwing a punch, etc., toward you in a self-defense manner.

3. "Hua"

- means to dissolve the energy, making the opponent's attack miss its destination. It can also mean "capturing" your opponent's defensive energy as half of your move. In either case, the feeling is one of creating a "hitting empty" situation.

4. "Na"

- locking occurs when you capture at least two centers and lock them together. Two extremity centers (e.g., hand/arm - shoulder/back) are most commonly interrelated to create Na. This is because when the opponent's back is captured he cannot sink and use the power of earth, i.e., stability. At this point, the second meaning of Na is produced, i.e., uprooting/spiral power. the definition of earth (or stability) is that the opponent must be able to join his sinkness together with his breath to produce any power; therefore, if by using Na, you lock the points together, you have in fact pulled up his attachment to the earth, i.e., tilting your opponent. The idea of spiral power comes into play because Na is achieved by twisting your opponent so that he locks himself.

5. "Fa"

- is issuing power. However, power is never issued: a) if your opponent can fight back: b) if he is stable; c) if he can issue power to meet your power. The first three of the four methods, Yin, Hua, Na, are in fact the manner in which you get the opponent in a situation not to be able to defend against your issuing of power. The manner in which the power is issued most commonly is at a right angle to the direction your opponent is moving.

Chen Style Chin Na is different from other types of Chin Na. Most other types of Chin Na concentrate on patterned movements or methods. Chen Tai Ji Chin Na does not use patterned movements. Chen style Chin na use a small amount of power to overcome a larger power. When using Chin Na, you should not use brute force. Most other types of Chin Na have what is known as the grab and lock techniques. Very few have the same method as the Chen style, which is: when your opponent locks you, release his lock and apply a locking technique on him. The Chen style, when training in Chin Na, works out with this method. By training in this method you change a losing position (self-defense) into a winning position. In the Chen style, in the beginning of training, you learn how to release the opponent's Chin Na and lock him with both hands. As one becomes more advanced in the skills of the chen style, you can use one hand or one leg to apply Chin Na. The most advanced form is using your own energy to feel the opponent's pushing force on your body, at which time you use this energy without the hands.

In Chen Tai Ji Chin Na, the "Na" syllable of Chin Na does not necessarily mean to lock; it can also mean to hold (even hold your own balance). One can even use the legs to hold an opponent. But this does not mean to grab the legs with the hands and hold. your legs actually hold your opponent.

Within the movements of Chen Style Chin Na you must have quietness and softness. Within the softness you have hardness. When an opponent grabs you, to defend against his movements, it involves certain types of changing; you cannot use only strength. Another important characteristic of the Chen style is the joints (in which you reverse or lock) The second is locking the nerve points. The third is to lock the small joints so that when pushing the opponent off balance, he feels pain, thereby controlling him for longer periods of time. The most advanced stage of Chin Na is to use minimum power to control his entire body. In this stage the opponent can be controlled by just one finger. In the Chen family history, every generation has had some people highly skilled at the use of Chin Na. One recent skilled practitioner was the 18th generation Grandmaster Chen Zhao-Kui. Chen Zhao-Kui was so advanced with the usage of Chin Na that he could control his opponent's entire body with just one finger. The Chen Style Chin Na is similar to the push-hand exercise in that you must have "Ting-Jin" (or feeling), speed, and soft power. It is also important to know the distance between you and your opponent, your stance, and the arm, wrist and finger power. All of these must be precise. When using Chin Na, The first contact should be soft, then the other movements can be harder. You must combine hard and soft, not patterned movements. The Chen Style Chin Na combines hard and soft, just as one should practice the Chen Tai Ji sets.

In the Chen family village, practitioners use an old saying while training:" patterns of movements are from the outside, trained energy is from the inside." One can use the inside and outside together. By doing so, what you want in your heart (mind) can be accomplished. In other words, whenever you think of some movement it will come out. You should have Qiao Jin. Qiao Jin means to have strength with finesse; not too much, not too little. It means to use strength to control the opponent without his being aware. You should understand Qiao Jin (or trained energy), mentioned in the village saying above, then you can solve the problem or relax your opponent's Chin Na on him when he attempts to use it, at which time you can use Chin Na on him. When you have this internal energy, your opponent cannot release your Chin Na technique.

You cannot use your Chin Na skills well if you do not have a firm, rooted stance. It is possible to meet an opponent that has, to some degree, Qiao Jin. At this time the opponent may change his center of power. With this in mind all you have to do is hold that point of the center of gravity and focus on it so that the opponent will fall down. On the other hand of the opponent does possess Qiao Jin and a firm stance you may fall down. To possess Qiao Jin you must use the sticking, luring, borrowing, and throwing energies. These different energies will be discussed in future articles on Chen style Chin Na, as well as article on Chen Tai Ji Quan.