The most fundamental of the many ‘trained’ energies or Jin that comprise the art of Taiji is the skill of ‘Song’ Jin.
Its full title might read ‘Fang Song Jin’ but in Taiji this term is abbreviated to Song Jin and it is probably the most commonly used term in the specialised vocabulary of Taiji Quan. The full term Fang Song is more generally reserved for Qi Gong practices. ‘Fang’ means to liberate, let go, to free and ‘Song’ means ‘to loosen’ or ‘slacken’. Interstingly the same character also denotes a pine tree which in Chinese culture is symbolic of longevity. This may indicate the desired health outcome of achieving this particular skill. Fang Song is however specialised technical terminology used in Qi Gong and Taiji Quan practices and as such its meaning often stretches beyond ordinary usage and takes on … Read More »
The most important theoretical aspect to consider when reviewing the ‘Internal’ in Nei Jia Quan is that they are ‘embodied’ concepts/philosophy. These concepts are unique to traditional Chinese culture and they actively shape the methods and combat strategies of these boxing systems.
The foundational framework in Taiji Quan is Yin/Yang theory. As the primary method and martial namesake (Taiji = Yin/Yang) it is obvious that we need to understand how Yin/Yang theory becomes a defining principle of this Taiji boxing system.
The cosmological theory of Taiji refers to the two emergent states of Yin and Yang. Visually this is expressed in the Taiji diagram often referred to as ‘two swimming fish’. In this diagram, Yang/White holds a balanced predominantly upper state in relationship to Yin/Black which sits below. Both express the theory of interdependence and continuous transformation from one to the other … Read More »
As I have already mentioned in Part-1 the three main boxing systems that are associated most commonly with Nei Jia Quan are Hsing Yi, Ba Gua and Taiji quan. These three systems are bound together by a common conceptual framework, hence their grouping. Internal Boxing systems are an ’embodied’ principle/concept and this separates them from most other systems that have developed primarily around the mechanics of attack and defence, speed, strength and of course stamina. Internal systems are developed out of traditional Chinese cultural concepts and ideas. These same concepts/ideas also can be found manifest in other aspects of Chinese culture like Daoist religion, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Qi Gong, Chinese Art and Feng Shui etc. They are culturally defining and express a cosmology, theories of origination, explanations of natural process and phenomena, illness and disease, seasons, growth and decay, … Read More »