Five Bows 五弓 – Part 1
In Tàijíquán 太極拳, we say “A body has five bows —身備五弓. This means that the body has five parts which are like bows and can shoot arrows. Shooting arrows means that it can hurt someone, and this is Fa Jìn 發勁 – Releasing Power. Tàijíquán specialises in this and people can spend their entire lives developing Fā Jìn. My Shīfu 師父, Chén Xiǎo Wàng 陳小旺, Fā Jìn is extremely powerful and impresses. It scares anyone who sees it and you know that if his Fā Jìn was to hit you, it would all be over.
When we train our Tàijíquán, we need to develop our Fā Jìn, but we also need to know where or which parts of our body we can use in order to Fā Jìn. There are five parts of the body we call it “Five Bows”.
The Five Bows are our body, two hands and two legs. We can all see that the hands can shoot out like arrows. To shoot an arrow, we must first pull back the bow string and hold the arrow in the middle of the bow. Then we must aim and then we can shoot the arrow. This means we need to prepare before we can shoot. For our Tàijíquán, we first must relax our hands, shoulders and elbows. Then we can make a fist or palm, and this is like aiming our arrow. Then we can Fā Jìn. When we do this our back, arms and legs will suddenly open and become almost straight, sometimes the punching arm will become completely straight. This means that all the bows will support the punching arm so that it can Fā Jìn, then that Fa Jin is powerful.