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  1. #1
    Jack Rusher's Avatar
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    Chin Na Fa, Traditional Chinese Submission Grappling

    I recently received the book Chin Na Fa, Traditional Chinese Submission Grappling by Liu Jinsheng and Zhao Jiang (translated by Tim Cartmell) as a gift. The original text was written by a pair of officers in the Shanghai police department as a guidebook for close combat and prisoner restraint. The backstory presented in the author's preface indicates that the material comes from old scrolls concerning a body of Chinese submission grappling techniques collectively known as "Disha Shou," but it's not clear to me what level of proof there is for the provenance of said documents. In any case, it's essentially an instructional manual that describes a number of joint locks, chokes and strangles, some of them well presented and others a little off target, all of them with vintage photos of skinny Chinese police applying the techniques on each other.

    The sections of the book are:

    1. "Head Techniques," contains many techniques that, at the admission of the author, aren't very meaningful unless one has long hair (defense against hair grabs, and so on). The intro text suggests that these were more important when everyone wore long hair. Some of these techniques are rather like standing arm bars/wrist locks from traditional jujutsu, a few are impractical neck breaks, and the last one is essentially a full nelson.

    2. "Neck Techniques," starts with what I can only call a "standing rape choke," that looks like it'd get countered with a shovel hook to the floating ribs. On the other hand, there are decent versions of the guillotine choke, RNC, cross choke, a few collar chokes, and the arm triangle choke.

    3. "Shoulder Techniques," which starts off with a strange "standing omoplata" shoulder lock that looks highly suspicious to me, but moves on to some leverage moves that have worked for me as throw setups, and then a few locks that I've only known to work on the ground shown here from a standing position.

    4. "Chest, Ribs, and Back Techniques." Contrary to the name, these are all standing wrist/elbow/shoulder locks in response to attacks against the body. Some of these might work against an untrained opponent, but I've not much faith in any of them.

    5. "Waist and Stomach Techniques." Mostly the same comments as (4), with a couple of additions. There's a decent CMA throw that also shows up in Judo (sorry, can't remember the name) shown here as a back break (unlikely), and a photo showing a man holding his opponent in guard while controlling both of said opponent's wrists. This latter photo is one of the things that brought attention to this book when it came out; no currently practiced Chinese system has the guard. Unfortunately, the description of the technique says that this is a last ditch move to squeeze the man until his ribs break and his diaphragm pops (WTF?).

    6. "Arm and Wrist Techniques." The aikido/traditional jujutsu collection of standing locks, more or less, plus the Americana, cross armbar (juji-gatame), a funny legs-only armbar done from scarf hold, and a double armbar from the mount (which I've seen work in exactly one highlight reel).

    7. "Finger Techniques." Just what you'd think.

    8. "Crotch, Leg, and Foot Techniques." A couple of whacky standing joint locks/breaks, plus a heel hook and a knee-bar.

    It's an interesting read, the best part of which is probably this quote about the sad state of CMA training as of 1936.

  2. #2
    Putting the "ow" back in "flowery technique"
    NJM's Avatar
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    So, all in all, would you reccomend this manual? If only for historical perspective?

  3. #3
    Jack Rusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJM
    So, all in all, would you reccomend this manual? If only for historical perspective?
    Actually, that's the disappointing part of the whole thing. Cartmell translated it as he found it without supplying much contextual information about the history of Chinese grappling systems (something about which he knows a great deal). The pictures are fairly entertaining, but it's not up to snuff as a collection of techniques relative to more modern books (including some written by Mr Carmell), and there's too little history to make it valuable -- at least to me -- as more than a curiosity.

  4. #4
    Scott Larson's Avatar
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    That quote is a kick in the nuts.

    Good old communism taking the fighting applications out of martial arts.

    "BE HAPPY AND LOVE THE GOVERNMENT! BE GOOD CITIZENS"

  5. #5
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Interesting. I was thinking about picking the book up I'll pas and pick up something else.

  6. #6
    Putting the "ow" back in "flowery technique"
    NJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrusher
    Actually, that's the disappointing part of the whole thing. Cartmell translated it as he found it without supplying much contextual information about the history of Chinese grappling systems (something about which he knows a great deal). The pictures are fairly entertaining, but it's not up to snuff as a collection of techniques relative to more modern books (including some written by Mr Carmell), and there's too little history to make it valuable -- at least to me -- as more than a curiosity.
    Which of his other books would you reccomend?

  7. #7
    Jack Rusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJM
    Which of his other books would you reccomend?
    It depends what you're looking for. His book Principles, Analysis, and Application of Effortless Combat Throws is quite good as a study of throwing, though I feel compelled to mention that it's impossible to really learn proper martial technique from books. He also has some BJJ-specific stuff co-written with Ed Beneville on passing the guard that I haven't read, but that's highly rated.

  8. #8
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jackrusher]It depends what you're looking for. His book Principles, Analysis, and Application of Effortless Combat Throws is quite good as a study of throwing, though I feel compelled to mention that it's impossible to really learn proper martial technique from books.[ /QUOTE]
    You know what I'm going to ask for when you have time.
    '
    I promise I have some vcds I'll review when I was researching my old art.
    Last edited by It is Fake; 10/14/2008 3:46pm at .

  9. #9
    Putting the "ow" back in "flowery technique"
    NJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrusher
    though I feel compelled to mention that it's impossible to really learn proper martial technique from books. .
    That's always a given.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hui_Xiu
    That quote is a kick in the nuts.

    Good old communism taking the fighting applications out of martial arts.

    "BE HAPPY AND LOVE THE GOVERNMENT! BE GOOD CITIZENS"
    Dont' forget to thank Chairman Mao.:XXbuzzsaw

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