A Path to Developing Fa Jing 發勁
“Power is generated from the joints” Wing Chun Proverb.
Fa Jing, or whipping power, is a difficult concept to attain. However, with regular practice and focus, a Wing Chun practitioner can start developing this skill early in their training, eventually allowing them to have the skill necessary to generate powerful Fa Jing attacks from different angles, using different techniques. The following are some pointers on how to start developing Fa Jing, which I still perform in order to continue to develop this whipping energy for myself (remember you can always become better at every concept and technique). To start developing Fa Jing, one must keep three concepts in mind while training:
2) Balance (root)
FA JING THROUGH RELAXATION
Relaxation is at the core of Wing Chun and, as such, is the primary concept for developing Fa Jing. (I was once told the first 100 principles of Wing Chun should be relax, relax more, relax even more, etc). Remember, it is not only the body that must be relaxed, but also the mind. Regular Chi Kung exercises are a great way to learn to relax both, and also develop Gong Lik (internal energy). I suggest practicing the first third of Siu Lim Tao slowly about 5 times a week. This will help train the mind and body to relax, and help with developing balance and intent .
FA JING THROUGH BALANCE
Next the practitioner needs to work on their balance. Without a strong base, Fa Jing can not be developed to its full potential. Fa Jing is generated from the whole body and from the root up. I like to practice the following three exercises to develop my balance:
1) Chi Kung (again)
2) Perform Juen Ma, slowly. With your arms chambered, from Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma, slowly perform Juen Ma (turning) while focusing on keeping the top of your head at a constant level and focusing on how the weight has been shifted. Once turned, lift your unweighted leg to check your balance and stance. I still spend many hours practicing this.
3) Practice Jum Ma, breaking it down into the shift, then sinking while keeping my back straight and arms chambered.
FA JING THROUGH INTENT
Last, to develop Fa Jing, the practitioner must have intent. Intent is defined as 1) resolve or determination or 2) showing earnest and eager attention. Every technique performed must have intent when developing Fa Jing. Without intent, the concept and techniques have no focus. To train intent, chi kung is, again, a key. While performing Siu Lim Tao practice, visualize the purpose of every technique as it is being performed and think through the technique moving from the start to the finish (how does it get to point B from point A).
HOW TO PULL THE 3 CONCEPTS TOGETHER
Fak Sau (whisking hand) is a great technique to start pulling these three concepts together, the ultimate goal in developing Fa Jing. Fak Sau is found after the Lan Sau in the second third of the form. Here is how to practice Fak Sau with relaxation, balance and intent.
- Start in Lan Sau position, and relax the body, paying close attention to relaxing the back, shoulders, neck, and arms.
- Make sure the stance is solid, and slowly shoot out the Fak Sau. Keep the destination of the Fak Sau in mind (intent, how are you getting form point A to B). Focus on the feeling of moving outward from the body and at each fulcrum (joint), think how it is connected to the last and next joint. Feel the shoulders to elbow, then the elbow to wrist, and last the wrist to middle finger tip (envision your arm is a whip and at each joint you are adding power to the end of the whip, which is the outer edge of your hand or forearm, depending on range).
- Return to Lan Sau. Practice slowly and with intent. Remember to stay relaxed.
- Once comfortable with that motion, add the legs in order to link the whole body. Lift slightly with the stance as you execute the Fak Sau and sink while executing the Lan Sau. When timed correctly, you can add a lot of additional power.
- When you practice, vary the timing; be sure to add speed.
- Practice with varying techniques. You can you blend these 3 concepts and develop Fa Jing in your Chang Sau, Lin Wan Kuen, etc.
Fa Jing can be difficult to develop, however, with regular practice, relaxation, balance, and intent it is attainable. If you have questions, please ask your Sifu or feel free to contact me to discuss.