Chin Na

Chin Na is a complex system of grappling that is found in most Chinese Martial Arts. The Chinese have a long history of medicine and research into the human body. Indeed the study of Chinese medicine formed part of a traditional martial artist’S curriculum. The same principles that are used to heal in Chinese Physiotherapy (Tui Na) are used to harm in Chin Na. Literally translated, Chin Na means the technique of grabbing (Chin) and locking or breaking (Na) and it focuses on the manipulation of an enemy’s tendons, nerves, joints, bones and muscles to incapacitate him.

Chin Na is broken into several specialised categories, as follows:

  • Fen Jin. Jin translates as tendon, sinew or muscle while Fen means to separate. By dividing muscles from tendons, parts of the body can be stopped from working. Thus an enemy can be temporarily frozen in place by an expert in Fen Jin. Permanent damage can also be made by literally tearing these structures away from the skeletal system.
  • Cuo Go. Cuo translates as disorder and Go means bone. Traditionally martial arts masters were also bone setters. Again they can use their knowledge to heal or harm and Cuo Go is the painful art of displacing an opponent’s bones through grabbing and manipulation.
  • Bi Qui Bi means to shut and Qui means air. Bi Qui therefore is the art of shutting off an attacker’s air. Much more refined than common strangulation, Bi Qui utilises a variety of techniques to stop an opponent from breathing. The muscles around the lungs can be restricted, blood and/or air flow to the brain interrupted at the neck or a massive shock can be given to an enemy via a precise strike that temporarily shuts down the autonomous breathing reflex. There are several sensitive areas around the abdomen that will result in complete loss of wind if struck, in which case an aggressor will be unable to continue to attack.
  • Dian Mi. This is the most difficult and secretive area of Chin Na as it relates directly to attacking energy meridians, important blood vessels, nerve clusters and other weak points in the body that, when struck, elicit a very adverse reaction in an opponent, up to and including death.

The science of Chin Na is found in other Asian martial Arts such as Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu and Judo in Japan. Korean Taekwondo also contains pressure point fighting in its syllabus. Chin Na may be focused on, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the style of Kung-Fu in question. Tiger Claw, Eagle Claw and Praying Mantis are notable for their Chin Na emphasis.