The ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi uses many different tools and techniques for self defense. Among these is the use of Qi for martial arts purposes. Qi is the energetic or vital force of the body. Qi is often not well understood in the West, and is sometimes made to seem mysterious by those who teach about it. However, Qi can be explained through Western science, specifically in light of biology and physics.
Jings are expressions or forms of Qi for a purpose through mental intent. Electric Jing is one of the 36 different types of Jing in Tai Chi. Some of these Jings are purely physical, while others are energetic in nature. An advanced practitioner can express Jings, whether physical or energetic, without external physical movement. While jings can’t always be seen, they can definitely be felt.
Electric Jing increases the flow of electrical energy through the body. The ancient Chinese discovered important pathways of internal energy flow. They called them the microcosmic orbit and the macrocosmic orbit. The microcosmic orbit flows down the front of the body to the groin and then up the spine. The Macrocosmic flows from the top of the head down the front of the body to the feet and then back up the back of the spine. In many people, these two orbits are severed or flow-limited, and Tai Chi is designed to increase the flow of energy through these channels.
The first thing many students learn in Tai Chi is a posture called Wu Chi. Wu Chi is a standing posture that is designed to open the macrocosmic and microcosmic orbits. Clear’s Tai Chi has 13 basic points related to proper Wu Chi posture. If students have these points correctly, they can put their hands together and feel a ball of energy without having to do anything to form the ball if they have the proper Wu Chi posture. This ball of energy shows that the Macro and Microcosmic orbits are opening up and flowing more freely.
Once students have an idea of what an energy ball feels like in their hands, they can do the series paying attention to whether or not its energy is on. If, in a certain place of your set, the energy ball goes out, it means that something went wrong with its movement that cut off the energy flow. Students can then go back, find out what cut off the flow of energy, and correct it.
An important part of building electric jing is relaxation. For the energy to flow through the body, the Tai Chi student must be completely relaxed. This is a source of a major misconception about Tai Chi. Because Tai Chi is generally practiced as a series of slow, flowing, and relaxed movements, many people have the idea that the art is not intended for combat purposes, or believe that to use it in combat, the movements must be performed with more tension. . so that they have power.
Unfortunately, neither of these ideas is correct. Although it can be used for health and healing purposes, Tai Chi is actually a powerful martial art. One of the reasons it is often practiced in a very relaxed manner is to allow students to develop the energetic flow necessary to achieve the deadly aspects of the art.