Wudang Taiji, Part 1, Hua Jin 化劲 Changing Strength
Hua Jin 化劲 Changing Strength or Dissolving Strength is one of several types of internal strength or internal workmanship. The name literally means “changing” or “dissolving.” In a shop, there might be a sign that says 化地 hua di – slippery floor. In Wudang Sword, we have 龙化剑 Dragon Becomes a Sword/Dragon Changes into a Sword.
The key is the idea of change, of taking something and making it into something else; dissolving or dissipating the energy. Hua Jin in taiji push hands dissipates an opponent’s force so that instead of being directed, the force is spread out to be rendered ineffective. These changes do not need big movements. Small ones work nicely. The taiji classics say that a force of 4 ounces can deflect 10,000 pounds. Hua is the point at which the force is applied and the direction it travels – the point at which the trajectory changes.
What is Hua Jin?
But Hua Jin is more than a point or a moment of change. The nature of Hua is to become something else. So in many ways, each transition within the form requires the use of Hua Jin.
In application, taking / absorbing / changing / redirecting force can all be considered Hua Jin. The more subtle use is in changing the energy, dissolving the attack. In some ways, it could be seen as countering before the opponent attacks. The change comes before the attack can be fully formed. That change may be an adjustment in how much resistance is being applied or an opening and relaxation. For example: Suppose I am being pushed. I can do several things. With Hua Jin, I can dissolve and redirect my opponent’s force back to them. I can also make small changes in my weight and resistance to dissipate the energy my opponent is applying so it goes everywhere and not anywhere in particular.
Yes, these are subtle principles. This is not a beginner-level discussion.
The use of internal energies takes time and practice. Students need time to understand and begin to work with the concepts. Practice is the only way to develop the skill.
Wudang Taiji, Part 1, with a focus on Hua Jin