Five Bows 五弓 – Part 5

By now we should understand that in Tàijíquán 太極拳, whenever we strike using Fa Jìn 發勁, we must connect all the Five Bows 五弓 together. Both arms, both legs and the body must connect so that we use the whole body. The most important part of the body is the waist. The waist directs the body and the movement to where you want to Fa Jìn. The arms and the legs assist the waist. The power comes from the leg and so we need strong legs in order to Fa Jìn. We cannot Fa Jìn if we have weak legs. To develop our legs, we must train our stance and this training makes the bones bigger and stronger. This is how traditional training works. When we strike, we usually think about hitting with fist, palm or elbow, but we can also strike with our legs and also our knees. In both the Lǎojià 老架 and Xīnjià 新架 we have kicking techniques which are very powerful. When we kick, we need to use the waist, the standing leg and both hands. These must all cooperate to assist the kicking Fa Jìn. We cannot just kick without the rest of the body cooperating with it – this is Tàijíquán. We cannot just use our leg, we must always use Five Bows and they must work together as this is what makes the kick strong and powerful. This is also a healthier or safer way to kick as if we just used our leg, then we can more easily injure ourselves.

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