Peng Jin gets talked about all the time in relation to Tai Chi, yet you rarely see anything shown or discussed about its usage and relationship to actual fighting. I wanted to make a video that did that, so here it is!

Tai Chi Chuan, after all, is a martial art, and not just a collection of interesting ways of manipulating ‘force’ in the body for purely health purposes. It’s a martial art that uses Sung Jin, or ‘relaxed force’ in preference to hard strength. One of the reasons why it prefers relaxation over hard strength is that it enables the use of Peng Jin. You simply can’t do Peng Jin unless you are sufficiently relaxed. In terms of martial arts it’s a very useful skill that can be used as shown in the video.

There’s much more to Peng Jin than what I’m showing here – but it would require a much longer video to go into all the intricacies. I don’t, for example, talk about how I’m doing what I’m doing, I just show what the effects are.

Another factor to consider is that Peng Jin should also be a quality that’s always present in the Tai Chi practitioner, rather than something you turn on or off for technique purposes. However it’s the subtle, but powerful, effect of the Peng ‘bounce’ on an opponent that I wanted to demonstrate, so that’s what’s shown here.

The classic “Song of the eight postures” describe Peng Jin as:

“What is the
meaning of
Peng energy?

It is like water
supporting a
moving boat.”

Imagine the way a boat bobs on the water, and that will give you a good insight into Peng.

The (martial) use of Peng Jin in Tai Chi Chuan

5 thoughts on “The (martial) use of Peng Jin in Tai Chi Chuan

  1. Thanks, it does. As for ‘engineering speak’, I think I’m still confused either way – with either ancient or modern terminology and methods 😉 Though when I think of Peng Jin the rotund (yet rock solid) frame of Wang Shu Jin and the truer meanings of ‘like iron wrapped in cotton’ often springs to mind. Cheers, Robert


  2. Well firstly I’ve only done a single workshop on Systema, so am hardly qualified to talk about it. Secondly, I’m not a big fan of the Sigman-esque redefinition of traditional terms (like Song and Yi) into (some would say questionable) engineering-speak like ‘ground path’ and ‘force vector’. So it’s kind of tough for me to answer your question.

    I think the answer I’d give (take it how you will) is that Systema doesn’t root into the legs to do its thing, hence can’t get quite the same bounce effect (not knocking Systema here – hell, Tai Chi has to have something that makes it unique, or what’s the point???), but there’s such a wide variety of content in Systema that there’s bound to be something that’s very similar in there somewhere.

    Hope that helps.


  3. Hello – was wondering what you thought of Peng / ‘whole-body-ground-vector’ force-skill (as Mike Sigman defines it) in the context of Russian Systema – eg. does Systema use it andor even need it?


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