Wudang Taiji, Part 1, Kong Jin 空劲 Emptying Strength
Kong Jin 空劲 Emptying Strength is one of several types of internal strength or internal workmanship. The name literally means “empty” or “emptying.” If I have finished my coffee, I might say that my cup is 空了empty. But empty strength is more than becoming empty so that the appearance of substance is all there is; it can be used to empty the energy from an opponent.
The key is the idea that we can learn to become insubstantial just as we can learn to become substantial. Kong Jin in taiji push hands would most often result in the opponent not having anything to act on because whatever is there is empty. It’s part withdrawal of energy and part being still.
What is Kong Jin?
Kong Jin seeks to not be. It is more the absence of than the presence of. And for this, there is much that is absent. There is no force. There is no resistence. There is no effort. There is nothing. Whatever had substance seems to be a cloud that cannot be grasped.
In application, perhaps the most simple direction for kong is to not be there. If my opponent grabs my arm, I don’t resist. I empty it so that what my opponent holds seems to be air. This need only happen for an instant. In that moment, my opponent will release my arm — looking for something that isn’t there – substance.
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 Kong Jin