Chin Na or Qinna

Chin na or Qinna  is a Chineseterm describingjoint locktechniques used in theChinese Martial artsto control or lock an opponent’s joints or muscles/tendons so he cannot move, thus neutralizing the opponent’s fighting ability. Chin na su (Chinese: ; shùmeaning technique) literally translates as technique of catching and locking in Chinese. Some schools simply use the word na to describe the techniques. Chin na features both standing and ground basedgrapplingtechniques.

SomeChinese Martial artsinstructors focus more on their chin na techniques than others. This is one of the many reasons why the chin na of one school may differ from that of another  All martial arts contain chin na techniques in some degree. The southern Chinese martial arts have more developed chin na techniques than northern Chinese martial systems. The southern martial arts have much more prevalent reliance on hand techniques which causes the practitioner to be in closer range to their opponent. There are over 700 chin na traditional techniques found in all martial arts. In the Non-Temple White Crane style there are 150-200 chin na techniques alone. Along with Fujian White Crane, styles such as Northern Eagle Claw (Ying Jow Pai) and Tiger Claw (Fu Jow Pai) have chin na as their martial focus and tend to rely on these advanced techniques.

Since Chinese culture has influenced countries like Japan and Korea, Chinese martial arts has influenced their indigenous styles as well.Aikidoand Jujitsudeveloped in Japan, and Hapkido found in Korea, had taken their chin na techniques from Chinese martial arts,One can see that many original Chinese chin na techniques resemble those found in other grappling based arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.Depending on the school and instructor, chin na is assembled in different ways. Some chin na systems resemble Brazilian Jiu Jitsu due to their focus on ground grappling. Another may be more similar to Judo due to their focus on standing Rou Dao (the soft techniques of chin na). The next school may appear more like Hapkido due to their focus on wrist and small joint locks

Chi Na Techniques

  1. “Fen jin” or “zhua jin” (dividing the muscle/tendon, grabbing the muscle/tendon). Fen means “to divide”, zhua is “to grab” and jin means “tendon, muscle, sinew”. They refer to techniques which tear apart an opponent’s muscles or tendons.
  2. “Cuo gu” (misplacing the bone). Cuo means “wrong, disorder” and gu means “bone”. Cuo gu therefore refer to techniques which put bones in wrong positions and is usually applied specifically to joints.
  3. “Bi qi” (sealing the breath). Bi means “to close, seal or shut” and qi, or more specifically kong qi, meaning “air”. “Bi qi” is the technique of preventing the opponent from inhaling. This differs from mere strangulation in that it may be applied not only to the windpipe directly but also to muscles surrounding the lungs, supposedly to shock the system into a contraction which impairs breathing.
  4. “Dian mai” or “dian xue” (sealing the vein/artery or acupressure cavity). Similar to the Cantonesedim mark, these are the technique of sealing or striking blood vessels and chi points.
  5. “Rou dao” or “rou shu dao” (soft techniques) which generally refers to the techniques deemed safe for sparring and/or training purposes.

Chin means to seize or trap, na means to lock or break, and while those actions are very often executed in that order (trap then lock), the actions can be performed distinctly in training and self defense: A trap isn’t always followed by a lock or break, and a lock or break is not necessarily set up by a trap.