So what is fali? and fajin? Are they the same? Or are they different? In this article ‘Master An’ sets about demystifying power generation, fali and fajin.
A lot of time is spent on power generation at An Wushu. There is, of course, a huge amount of depth to this topic not covered in this article. This is just a short article as we often receive this question.
Demystifying power generation, Fali and Fajin
In terms of the article don’t worry if it doesn’t clear everything up! It’s not supposed to: In the West, we usually Learn then Do. At An Wushu, you Do then Learn: An Shifu will explain a small amount about a concept before showing you how to develop it. You’ll go away and practice it for many repetitions, and then when you have the feeling of experience of it, An Shifu will explain much more, and it’ll truly make sense. For kung fu, this is almost always the best way to learn and is a very traditional approach.
Fali means to ‘release explosive power’ and is something anyone can do to a certain degree. If you go to the gym and lift a heavy weight off the floor, you are using (a low level of) fali.
Fali is performed by compacting the chi inside the body, and the body itself, then reversing this process to strike the opponent. In this way, fali requires a ‘wind-up’, like stretching your arms back before throwing a ball.
A strike performed with fali is a fairly ‘committed’ strike, meaning that even if your opponent moves during your strike, you are still committed to your path. (Do not think fali is not useful for this reason… a fali strike can still be incredibly fast!)
At An Wushu, we believe fali is best exemplified by Bajiquan. The video below shows some Bajiquan to see fali in action.
Fajin is the joining of the whole body together (muscle, bone, tendon, ligament, and Yi [intent]) to send out a huge amount of power over a very short distance. Bruce Lee’s famous 1-Inch Punch is what a high level of fajin looks like.
Fajin can be considered ‘super fali’ as it requires no ‘wind-up’. It will naturally be developed as a practitioner’s body control increases from many hours of fali training, however certain styles train specifically for it.
While a strike performed with fajin does of course have momentum and therefore is ‘committed’ in a sense, a practitioner will be able to change directions very quickly compared to a strike powered by fali.
View the video below to watch some Xingyiquan to see fajin in action. Being a shorter body movement than fali, fajin is easier to feel than see; however, if you watch Xingyiquan after watching Bajiquan, you’ll see the explosive movements in each style have a different quality.
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