Chin Na

Danjo

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I've read quite a bit about the "art" of "Chin Na" in the various Chinese MAs. It involves grappling in the various ranges. However, it doesn't seem to usually be separated into a distinct art the way that Aikido or Judo is. It always seems to be blended with a striking art and is found in most forms of Kung Fu.

I know that in Kajukenbo we have put this type of thing back into the art and pretty much every technique we have involves manipulation via grappling etc. That ranges from simple wrist locks, redirection, imobilization, to take-downs, throws and submissions. There seems to be a great many references to early Kenpo/Karate using the same type of thing.

However, much of what I see people do these days is to not so much blend as to "add on" to what they have. They'll take BJJ and just add it on rather than blend it into their system. The problem that I have with this is that unless the system is integrated from the ground up, you're going to be dealing with incompatible fighting theories. The various systems of Kung Fu had their Chin Na integrated into it and the whole system was founded with this theory in mind. Kajukenbo did the same thing. The founders stripped down everything and came up with a new system that had all of the various elements incorporated into it from it's inception. They didn't merely take Kenpo and slap on some Judo techniques. I think that's what made Kajukenbo stand out to me when I first saw it. It wasn't merely my old Shotokan with judo added on the side, but rather a whole new system.

While I understand the need to develop grappling skills so as to be comfortable fighting in that range if the need arises, it also seem to me that one has to shift gears mentally and physically in a way that we don't if they do not have this range built into their system from the ground up.

Now, not being very familiar with EPAK etc. beyond what I've seen at tourneys and read on here, let me ask how many have started adding grappling to their system and how many have it organically intertwined into what they have. I know that what goes under the label of EPAK is pretty wide ranging and so I expect that there are different answers depending on when you started training and what line you came from. I know that Jeff Speakman seemed to think that he needed to add BJJ onto his Kenpo and come up with 5.0 (whatever that means). Having not seen enough of it, I can't tell if it an add-on or a complete re-working from the ground up.
 

Xue Sheng

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Just as a Note:

Chin Na (pinyin qinna) can be a CMA all by itself, there are qinna masters. However you will find qinna in every single CMA to varying degrees. Much or Qinna would not translate well into sports competitions since part of its definition is muscle and tendon tearing and joint breaking.

Also for someone to really know qinna there is a lot of associated training not to mention training in application ad nauseum until long after it hurts.
 

Flying Crane

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I cannot speak for any other lineage of kenpo, but in Tracys, we have a lot of that kind of thing. Joint manipulations, locks, breaks, dislocations, takedowns, etc. It is part and parcel of many of the standard techniques in our syllabus.

The one thing we don't focus on is ground grappling in the sense of staying on the ground to out-grapple an opponent and therefore "win" the submission. Instead, we focus on breaking away from him, including injuring him to whatever degree is necessary, and at the first chance, getting back on the feet to either escape or continue the fight from that point.
 
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I cannot speak for any other lineage of kenpo, but in Tracys, we have a lot of that kind of thing. Joint manipulations, locks, breaks, dislocations, takedowns, etc. It is part and parcel of many of the standard techniques in our syllabus.

The one thing we don't focus on is ground grappling in the sense of staying on the ground to out-grapple an opponent and therefore "win" the submission. Instead, we focus on breaking away from him, including injuring him to whatever degree is necessary, and at the first chance, getting back on the feet to either escape or continue the fight from that point.

That's our main focus too. We do have ground grappling as well so that we can defend against it and so that we're familiar with it in case we get tackled etc. but our main emphasis is to get back to our feet ASAP.
 

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Chin Na is not an 'art' or 'style' per se, but a skill that is applied within one's martial style. Chin Na includes not only joint maniplulations, but also consists of ripping, tearing, and separating muscle from bone, sealing the breath, and sealing the bloodflow.

There is no specific body method associated with Chin Na, there are no entries, or forms. The skills associated with Chin Na are applied within the context of the art you train. For example, if you practice Tai Chi Chuan, you will utilize a soft on the outside, hard on the inside (steel wrapped in cotton) approach to respond and lead your opponent into your Chin Na technique.

The joint locks in Chin Na can be used to (a) Immobile to Submit, (b) Disrupt Balance to Throw, or (c) Distract your opponent to Strike.

For example, in Baguazhang many applications of Chin Na techniques are used the Throw, as a principle of that art is to always consider multiple attacker scenarios. You wouldn't want to tie yourself up too long trying to force one opponent into submission.

Chin Na is but one skill within complete martial art, that would also include Kicking, Striking, and Wrestling. In general Chin Na is more difficult to use against kicking and striking, but easier against a wrestling situation because the opponent has committed to a hands on situation. Developing the skill in your styles entries will improve your ability to apply Chin Na against strikes.

In Parker-style American Kenpo, there is both Chin Na and Anti-Chin Na, but generally not to the depth of usage found in traditional Chinese Arts. Although there are some locks taught to submit and take down the opponent, the vast majority of Chin Na found in the parker system are used to set up a strike.

hope this helps,
pete.
 

marlon

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I cannot speak for any other lineage of kenpo, but in Tracys, we have a lot of that kind of thing. Joint manipulations, locks, breaks, dislocations, takedowns, etc. It is part and parcel of many of the standard techniques in our syllabus.

The one thing we don't focus on is ground grappling in the sense of staying on the ground to out-grapple an opponent and therefore "win" the submission. Instead, we focus on breaking away from him, including injuring him to whatever degree is necessary, and at the first chance, getting back on the feet to either escape or continue the fight from that point.

skk has this too...from our kajukenbo heritage i suspect

marlon
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Darnit, Dan...you're going to make me say something decent about Jeff and his approach, despite my history of bagging on the original release of his 5.0 stuff.

IMO, the 5.0 was just add-on. And done poorly, from inadequate understandings of not only the actual skills developed by grapplers, but of the algorhythms used by them to set up an opponent, or capitalize on liabilities. Since the release of 5.0, Jeff has become a regular on the mat of one of the Machado's black belts, and is learning the ground game from a more proper perspective. He mentioned at a recent event that he's having an MMA octogon at one of his next camps, AND (and I thought this was interesting) a kenpo-only heavy-contact ring, allowing many of the kenpo moves which have been regulated out of open tourneys. He's also been in the gym a bit, and is looking fit and larger. Good on him for that.

I teach a "brand" of kenpo in which judo throws and BJJ flows are taught as add-ons. I also have stopping points along the way...4 month "semesters" wherein the main emphasis of training is on isolating and drilling specific skills from judo, BJJ, JJJ, necessary to make the skills-set applicable and intuitive from the ground up, on the fly.

That out of the way...Quite literally, over 2/3 of the EPAK kenpo system is comprised of techniques that counter some sort of grappling attack, often with other grappling solutions. Throws, manipulations, etc. I think what's missing, however, is a "distance from the tree" effect. When I learned Lone Kimono as a kid, for example (there weren't as many studios or lineages back then), I was taught it was against a siezure of the lapel as either a setup for a throw (the attacker is fixin to toss me), or for a punch (the guy is pulling me into a hit). In that lesson, we covered:
1. Proper seizing technique (curling clothing up inside the closed fingers of a fist ala judo)
2. The throws available from that seizure (hip, shoulder, firemans carry, etc), and breakfalling out of those throws
3. Wristlocks and arm bars that act as a defense against follow-through by the attacker
4. Basic quick escapes from straight and crossed, one-hand and 2-hand wrist and clothing seizures. (grip breaking).

THEN we went on to the goldmine of a new technique...Lone Kimono. It was taught with an air of "and now, the golden nugget you've all been waiting for...". After learning it, we were encouraged to apply the things we learned in practice with it. What happens if you bar the elbow this way, instead of that way? And so on. Can you, from the point of pinning the attackers hand, shuck in to counter throw him? What are the defenses for a hip or shoulder throw that you can insert while banging on him? Try it against a guy who's going to punch you; then try it against an attempt at a hip throw...and so on.

I didn't get out much. When I did, I met people doing Lone Kimono against a plain old lapel grab, as if -- somehow -- the lapel itself was a pain sensitive vital organ that might debilitate us as combatants if we didn't defend this awful invasion of squeezing the material of my shirt collar. I have not yet had to tap out form a painful collar grab. I have, however, happily used the arm bar from Lone Kimono to juke the grip of a guy who was trying to place me in a collar choke. And against throw attempts. And used the downward strike to the offending appendage to break grips.

James Hawkins posted a brilliant summary of the jujutsu moves that are in kenpo...the throws, and where they occur, in what techniques, etc. What's missing, IMO, is training those same maneuvers in isolation. The sukuinage in Dance of Death or Locked Horns is gonna be really hard for someone to pull off, if they have never just trained sukuinage in isolation for 30 minutes or more. Kenpo guys lacking this isolation training miss the hooks with the hands, fail to spin the guy on a tight enough horizontal axis to effect a true throw, miss the timing and reach necessary to pull it off in quick time, etc.

In short...is it there? Yeah. Are the vast majority of kenpo schools doing what it takes to ensure their students have the actual fluent skills in applying it on an as-needed basis? nope. Leading to a herd of folks who don't even know what it is they know, or don't know. But they got the patch, know the cool definitions, own the books, and so on.

I have 1 regular student, and 2 semi-regular students here in Nor Cal. I'm a bit rough on them; I make them train these things in isolation, which means lots of breakfalls, bruises, skin pinches and split fingertips from kimono gripping drills, sore joints from frequent wrenching, etc. The school down the street teaches the system without the strain or pain, and without the isolations. Packed mat.

Go figure.

D.
 

punisher73

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I've read quite a bit about the "art" of "Chin Na" in the various Chinese MAs. It involves grappling in the various ranges. However, it doesn't seem to usually be separated into a distinct art the way that Aikido or Judo is. It always seems to be blended with a striking art and is found in most forms of Kung Fu.

I know that in Kajukenbo we have put this type of thing back into the art and pretty much every technique we have involves manipulation via grappling etc. That ranges from simple wrist locks, redirection, imobilization, to take-downs, throws and submissions. There seems to be a great many references to early Kenpo/Karate using the same type of thing.

However, much of what I see people do these days is to not so much blend as to "add on" to what they have. They'll take BJJ and just add it on rather than blend it into their system. The problem that I have with this is that unless the system is integrated from the ground up, you're going to be dealing with incompatible fighting theories. The various systems of Kung Fu had their Chin Na integrated into it and the whole system was founded with this theory in mind. Kajukenbo did the same thing. The founders stripped down everything and came up with a new system that had all of the various elements incorporated into it from it's inception. They didn't merely take Kenpo and slap on some Judo techniques. I think that's what made Kajukenbo stand out to me when I first saw it. It wasn't merely my old Shotokan with judo added on the side, but rather a whole new system.

While I understand the need to develop grappling skills so as to be comfortable fighting in that range if the need arises, it also seem to me that one has to shift gears mentally and physically in a way that we don't if they do not have this range built into their system from the ground up.

Now, not being very familiar with EPAK etc. beyond what I've seen at tourneys and read on here, let me ask how many have started adding grappling to their system and how many have it organically intertwined into what they have. I know that what goes under the label of EPAK is pretty wide ranging and so I expect that there are different answers depending on when you started training and what line you came from. I know that Jeff Speakman seemed to think that he needed to add BJJ onto his Kenpo and come up with 5.0 (whatever that means). Having not seen enough of it, I can't tell if it an add-on or a complete re-working from the ground up.

I don't think that this is just a problem with kenpo lineages. I think that alot of the MA's now are trying to add things. That is the issue though. If you have a style that emphasizes keeping your distance to employ long range weapons, and then you add on parts that tell you to close the distance to employ close quarter weapons....which paradigm wins in combat? As you said, the parts need to be integrated with the same idea so you wouldn't know "what part" is being used.

It is also interested to read that early masters would state that the "grappling" aspects were best used on someone who was not familiar with the method being used against them.
 
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Yeah, there's an old saying that says to "Strike before submitting" Throws and holds generally need to be set up in order to work on all but the lamest opponents. They are "Finishing Moves" if your strikes fail to deal with the situation.
 

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Yeah, there's an old saying that says to "Strike before submitting" Throws and holds generally need to be set up in order to work on all but the lamest opponents. They are "Finishing Moves" if your strikes fail to deal with the situation.

My Taiji Sifu is rather good at Qinna and the only person I have ever had use qinna on me that I never felt it coming. But he never sets up anything. As he has told me a various occasions, I lock myself. Basically he is just incredibly patient and redirects and waits until his opponent is in the wrong position and then they are locked. This is not to say that if he saw another opening or advantage that he would not take advantage of it. But he does not try and manufacture places to apply qinna he waits until the appear actually
 
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My Taiji Sifu is rather good at Qinna and the only person I have ever had use qinna on me that I never felt it coming. But he never sets up anything. As he has told me a various occasions, I lock myself. Basically he is just incredibly patient and redirects and waits until his opponent is in the wrong position and then they are locked. This is not to say that if he saw another opening or advantage that he would not take advantage of it. But he does not try and manufacture places to apply qinna he waits until the appear actually

I'm sure that there are several people that are highly skilled in grappling etc. that can throw on a submission or throw without a set-up, but the "Strike before Submit" rule of thumb is for the average student.
 

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Danjo said:
I'm sure that there are several people that are highly skilled in grappling etc. that can throw on a submission or throw without a set-up, but the "Strike before Submit" rule of thumb is for the average student.
Not necessarily so. again, think of Chin Na as a skill within your martial style. if the philosophy of your style is to anticipate, or intercept, then yes- you may want to emphasize the strike then submit approach... However, if your martial style is one that tends towards yielding, following and sticking to your opponent, striking or any hard contact during entry will feed information to your opponent and blow your cover... for these styles better to be like a ghost and lock him up as a result of his own doing. Any striking would follow the initial lock or disruption of balance.

pete
 
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Not necessarily so. again, think of Chin Na as a skill within your martial style. if the philosophy of your style is to anticipate, or intercept, then yes- you may want to emphasize the strike then submit approach... However, if your martial style is one that tends towards yielding, following and sticking to your opponent, striking or any hard contact during entry will feed information to your opponent and blow your cover... for these styles better to be like a ghost and lock him up as a result of his own doing. Any striking would follow the initial lock or disruption of balance.

pete

Okay. Have fun with that. I'd rather hit em. LOL.
 

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Danjo said:
Okay. Have fun with that. I'd rather hit em. LOL.
Ok, then you've made your choice based on your martial style and training preferences. both entries have advantages & disadvantages, and skill level is required in either case to be effective.

pete
 
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Ok, then you've made your choice based on your martial style and training preferences. both entries have advantages & disadvantages, and skill level is required in either case to be effective.

pete

No doubt. I'm just too old to change. :)
 

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