There Needs To Be a “Tai Chi Chin Na” for Each Karate Form

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s Tai Chi Chin Na Revised: The Seizing Art of Tai Chi Chuan is exactly the type of book that Okinawan karate needs for its forms.

Over the past several years, I have been working with my karate instructor to develop extensions on the basic applications of each of the forms in my style. These extensions incorporate locks, holds, throws, chokes, sweeps and the like.

In Japanese terms, then, we are moving beyond the omote bunkai and into the ura bunkai and perhaps even the honto bunkai.

(Personally, I’m not huge on relying on a foreign language to describe martial arts techniques. I’ve read too many blogs and heard too many instructors say we as Westerners continue to fudge up the term when we translate it to English, hence we I’ll refer to “extensions” over “ura bunkai” and “honto bunkai.”)

All that is to say that the extensions in Okinawan Shuri-ryu karate, from my understanding, are not readily apparent.

This books gives clear options for a certain posture or set of movements.

For me, the most significant portion of this book is when Dr. Yang goes through the Yang-style tai chi chuan form. He shows the basic postures, then gives a few possible applications for each. Despite showing the pictures, often times the details are hidden in between frames.

Dr. Yang also explains and explains the eight basic moving patterns to give us possible chin na applications, and he also gives us some pushing hands exercises to try.

I have no doubt the applications would work. However, my only real complaint with the book is the attacker in the picture often looks like he would be in a position that doesn’t seem realistic for an aggressive person to be in. He’s got a deep stance and is generally square with the attacker. I’ve never been in a fight, but all accounts I’ve noticed point to them being messy affairs. In short, the pictures seem “too nice.”

I guess that’s why YMAA also has a companion DVD.

This book is a phenomenal resource for anybody practicing the Yang style of tai chi chuan.

(Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book.)

By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.