The Science of the Knockout (KO)

I have to warn you before you start reading: I sat down to write a brief post about knockout science … and ended up with the web’s longest (5,000+ word) single page on the science & art of the Knockout (aka the “KO”).

Chen Xiang - Motion Capture StudyBoxing Knockout Punch

In this extremely long resource, we’ll progress from knockout basics, to knockout power, knockout anatomy, and then onto one of the largest repositories of knockout gifs you’ll find anywhere.

While it may be controversial, I write this from the perspective that everything in this article is contained in the centuries old classical tai chi principles. Brain science and sport science have come a long way since then, allowing for lots of new descriptions …

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Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?

MMA & Combat Sports in general have a mixed reputation in what I will refer to as the “Traditional Martial Arts” (TMA) communities, and the relationship between tai chi & MMA is no different.

Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?

I have heard all the rhetoric: MMA isn’t a “real” martial art, our techniques are too deadly for the ring, sport fighters are barbaric, fighting for sport is against the tao, MMA is too external, it is consumerism at its worst, it is corrupting our children, etc…

I’m not going to agree …

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Tensegrity and Taijiquan (Tai Chi Ch'uan)

No matter what school, style, or lineage of taijiquan you may encounter, it is likely that over the course of studying this internal martial art … you will at some point be forced to totally reconsider the way you think your body works.

Tensegrity Structure AnimatedTensegrity Structure :: Human Body

The above spinning image (left) is an example of a structure being held together by the force of tensegrity or tensional integrity. In other words, the rigid green “beams” are never touching, but are suspended in their shape by the interconnected flexible red “strings.” The structure in the black and white image (right) is a symbolically simplified model of our skeleton & muscles to display that the …

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Guo Shilei Taijiquan Lecture Series - Part One

Who is Guo Shilei (郭石磊) … and where’d he get his ill gongfu skillz?* (See videos for proof)

According to an excellent interview available on his own site … Guo Shilei began his deeper studies into the Chinese Internal Martial Arts (CIMA) when he was 15. That is when he met his teacher, who is the renowned Shi Chongying (石崇英), a 6th generation inheritor of Ma Weiqi style Bagua as well as a 7th generation inheritor of Yang style taiji. Guo’s own words express his relationship to his teacher the best:

“When I was 15 I met my teacher Shi Chongying and, thinking that my iron arm was already …

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Study Guide to Taijiquan Fajin (Fa Chin ... or 'Fa Jing') - Part Two

The most popular topic of reading & discussion on this website is tai chi “fajing” (a technically incorrect spelling / concept). As such, I am going to build & refine this extensive online fajin study guide, for my fellow taijiquan enthusiasts to consider and comment.

Before I provide some of my own analysis on several fajin demos of accomplished taijiquan masters … we need to review the basics.

Cheng Man Ching's Fajin (or "Fajing")

The Basics of Taiji Fajin

First of all, the “correct” translation would be taiji fajin (pinyin) … tai chi fa chin (Wade-Giles) … or 太極發勁 (Mandarin).

I get the impression — quite often — that many western taiji practitioners feel that “fa jin” is …

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Chen Yu Taijiquan Yong Fa (Chen Yu Tai Chi Applications)

Everyone in the world of taiji quan must show respect & admiration to Chen style tai chi. As the forebear of taijiquan (by many historical accounts), Chen family Patriarch Chen Wang Ting was perhaps the originator of tai chi as we know it. The Chen family “cannon fist” style, and its unique development of a specific kind of internal power, has evolved over the last 500 years into the many various styles of tai chi as we recognize them today.

Chen Wang Ting Statue

<<< Chen family patriarch Chen Wang Ting (1580–1660) >>>

While there are many parallel stories of the development of taijiquan, all the modern styles of taijiquan officially or unofficially credit the Chen family style as their …

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Taiji Fajin (Tai Chi Fa chin) - Chen Xiaowang

Check out this collection of Chen taiji Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang demonstrating his fajin. Fajin or fa chin literally means to “issue force.” Typically, when we think about a fajin exertion, we are imagining the explosive form of jin, as seen in these videos of Chen Xiaowang. While there are other forms of fajin, on this website we will stick with this convention. Take a look at the Tai Chi Fa Jin category to see all of our videos of various masters demonstrating their fajin energy, and even get some ideas of how to practice this energy yourself.

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