Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What of FA-JING?

Mike Hart
Swansea, Wales
I know this question has much to do with my attachment to other practices I have done in the past. Specifically, when I trained in a system designed by a guy called Erle Montaigue from Australia (Fa-Jing Ch'uan). His whole focus was (is) on fa-jing, not surprisingly. But I remember asking you in London last year on the boxing day about that, because I was "flicking" the waist, and you asked me to try to guide all of my body, even the rear hip into the punch -- every part of the body should focus toward the target, I believe you said.
About fa-jing, you said: some people do it that way, but you don't, and that you'd stop talking while you were still gracious about the subject. What has maybe revived my interest is what you said in Holland about a push being one movement, not two. While I'm asking this question of you I also realize that, for me, this is an ontological issue of how I hold or perceive "the world" to be, or at least "my world."
OK, enough preamble. I am surrounded in Swansea by people who profess FA-JING to be the ultimate force known to man (their ideas not mine). Also, Erle is moving to Wales in a couple of weeks so that obviously this will give them more leverage in their arguments because the guy is on their doorstep. I was an instructor in his system before switching over to Cheng Hsin. I have no doubt that Cheng Hsin is a superior and more intelligent art than anything that Erle teaches -- I can feel that. In fact I am confident in my ability to take any challenges up from local instructors, T'ai Chi or otherwise. What I seek, is to understand why. I'm sorry, I just realized this is more about an ontological issue than a fa-jing vs. intrinsic strength one. I suppose I'm just looking for justification and support to what I already feel is true for me. All their fajing and dim mak means nothing with the effortless movement and intrinsic strength capabilities that I am currently developing. Their fajing is anything but effortless, in fact, it's downright hard work which wastes more energy than it applies. Still although I usually don't bother emailing you when I work things out, I thought I'd send this one because of the strangely uneasy feeling I have, even though I've worked through it somewhat. I know it's a fear deep down. But I'm unsure of how to "handle" it. It feel's like I'm in a dilemma within myself, like I want to go to Erle when he comes over and say "Hey, try me for size buddy" (if that doesn't work maybe I should say Yo' Mamma!) I feel I can't beat him yet, but there's something inside me that almost screams that. Could you help with any views at all please Peter?
Mike Hart

For one thing you are confusing psychological with ontological. Ontology is the study of "what is," the true nature of existence, of Being. Psychology is the study of mind, the emotional makeup and mental structure of an individual. Your challenge is psychological, not ontological. If we were to make it ontological (which we could do) we would look at what it "is" that is there. What "is" the drive and fear? What are their natures, how did they come to exist?

But that's not your challenge. Sounds like you are working out the relationship between "fa-jing" (for our folks who don't know what this is, it is a method to generate power, usually practiced by whipping the whole body to snap out the hand into a target -- methods vary, but that seems the general course) and intrinsic strength. You are right, fajing is not intrinsic strength. It is not even using the whole body. Since the starting place of the whip is done before the end of the whip arrives. This is a wave, but it is not using the whole body as one unit. It is NOT compression.

But it is a method some people train. Your challenge, it sounds, is an emotional one with other martial artists in your area. And it sounds like you are actually unsure of your new found abilities and understanding in Cheng Hsin, otherwise why would their bluster bother you so much? Simply shakehands and say, thank you for sharing. Unless they view the principles of interaction and power differently, then Cheng Hsin methods won't mean a thing to them. Share your view, and offer yourself as one trying to follow this view. Let them know why you chose this method as opposed that one. If anyone is open they'll hear what you have to say, and maybe consider it further. You can always invite them all up to visit me in London or Holland next time, and I can "explain" it further.
Good luck, and peace.

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