When a person decides to learn the internal martial art of Taichi, they will eventually come across the term: Jingong 勁功.

Much of what is written about it almost doesn’t exist. I think, at last count there were in English about three or four books on the subject, with nearly all of them written by one person. While in China, as a martial concept, it is a vague topic that they like to keep as a secret transmission.

However in baguazhang when something is labeled as a secret, it really means that the topic is hard to explain accurately and is usually inappropriate learning material for a student that only wants to learn how to kick ass and win fights using physical techniques.

But because of who I am and where my journey is leading me, I will explain using modern visualisation techniques what jingong is. Bearing in mind, that I have given an explanation before in podcast number 156. Only this new example is a better one.

To Chinese, jin is a very yang, very masculine word. And it has connotations of success, power and force. Whereas qi would be regarded as being very yin or feminine. Hence most Chinese martial arts do not focus on jin much. Not because jin is a secret but because jin is a given in the style. The problem most styles face is that their jin lies on the surface and hasn’t been internalised.

In internally focused martial arts, a truly dedicated practitioner gets the point where all that internal work, expressed as qigong, suddenly is in need of an external outlet.

The external manifestation of qi (氣) is what jin (勁) seeks to be.

I guess this next explanation would better explain it…

The cultivation of qi through qigong is like building and operating a nuclear power station, with your body being the nearby town that uses the electricity the station provides. So far so good.

However, the side effect of having a nuclear power station is that there will be some radioactive byproduct to deal with. And it is what you do with that byproduct that is jingong.

Most martial arts masters will go down the road of inner door secrets, which in this example means having nuclear warheads. Nobody knows they have them but everybody knows they have them. Whether or not they can actually deploy those weapons is another matter entirely.

For people like me, on the other hand, I see qi like energy being stored in a battery. Once my battery is full, it electromagnetically expands beyond its physical confinement to start filling up the batteries of those around me; something like having a strong aura, or even better, being the centre of my very own feng shui map wherever I am.

I could give other examples but this is one of those things you are either gonna “get it” or not like sex after losing one’s virginity.

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