Che-San: 扯身勁 


         Che Mah: 扯馬勁

 The: "Wheel Body Power"




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In Tantric Simhanada Vajramukti (Lion's Roar!) Martial Arts, there are x4 Sakti's (gings) and x4 Kaya's (body's).  Of these, the Chakra-Kaya-Sakti (Wheel-Body Turning-Rotor Power) is of particular importance when considering the Han-Chinese compared with the Indo-Tibetan aspects of the tradition.  See link: Simhanada Tantra Kaya Sakti and Integrated Saktis-Gings

 In the Chinese variants of the tradition, this Sakti (ging) is often divided into two: 

Che-San Ging 扯身勁  Che-Mah-Ging 扯馬勁

The Character "Che" or "Tere" depending upon dialect, literally means:  "rip up; tear down; pull; drag; haul; strain".   In the martial context, as found in the Han variants of the Lion's Roar! tradition, it indicates a rapid acceleration and turning.  In Che-San, it indicates the motion of rotating the body/torso (San)  thru the waist (Yel/Yao)   This is a direct echo of the Sanskrit notion and application of turning the body thru the waist as a 'Rotating Wheel' which in direct Chinese translation would appear as this:

輪子身  "Wheel Body".

Note that the middle character "Ji/Zhi" is found as the middle character in Si-Ji-Hao "Lion's Roar!" and also refers to "Seed", or to 'Son' as in a "Son of the Lord Buddha".

獅子吼  "Lion's Roar!" Si-Ji-Hao (Chinese) Simhanada (Sanskrit)

   "Seed"/"Son"  Ji/Zhi (Chinese) Bija (Sanskrit)

This is an important indication of the Han's early Tantric understanding of the principle of rotation thru the waist, as in a Buddhist "Prayer Wheel":


The turning or rotating of the waist is therefore THE Tantric Seed motion of the body, and, this Seed is the first action towards achieving the "Lion's Roar!" itself: Simhanada Vajra-Kaya Lion's Roar! Diamond Thunderbolt Body (Sanskrit).

in Chinese:


When the Lion's Roar! entered into China and began its long series of cultural overwriting, the exact Tantric meaning was displaced, and instead re-placed with the more familiar (to the Lay-Chinese) idea of generating biomechanical force thru the rotation of the body.  Esoterically, the Chinese replaced the Indo-Tibetan Navel Chakra and Prana Wind Powers, with their Dan-Tien and Chi energy concepts, and additionally, in some branch traditions, further dissected the motion by isolating the movement of the feet as a separate action.

The Che-Mah "Wheel/Turning Horse":


The original Indo-Tibetan construct did not separate body/waist and feet - conceptually.  In practice, yes, very discrete linkages operate and discriminate between the waist and feet as alternative or synchronistically conjoined primary drivers.  However, some Chinese branches have further complicated the matter by keeping the waist effectively 'solid' and instead driving thru the rotation of the hips.  It is still referred to as Che-San, but its resultant action and effect are very different, than when the waist (as originally specified) is employed freely.

The primary use of the waist rotation is to work with the spine (vertical axis of the body and 'Central Channel in Indo-Tibetan Yoga-Mukti "Combat methods") as a cog and spindle.  If you envisage the spine as the axis of a gyroscope, then rotating that axis sharply will generate terrific rotational force throughout the plane of the gyroscope in its turning horizontal plane (waist).  By contrast, if you rotated the plane itself, by applying force to the circumference of the horizontal plane (the hips by analogy) the force is much less. The closer to the governing vertical axis that the rotation occurs - the faster, the more powerful, and the 'shorter', the paradoxically 'long' path, becomes.  Hence, by this method, it is possible to generate great 'whole-body' power over short distances.  The waist may move with great acceleration but be barely perceptible externally.

Turning as a solid unit does not maximize either speed or power.

It is here that the Han notion of Che-Mah comes in, but, as a linked action, about the vertical axis (Central Governing Line). 

The feet can turn independently of the 'torso' (waist) but still generate great turning force.  The vital factor is the central channel (spine).  If this is properly aligned, then the pelvis will likewise be correctly aligned, and the 'power' can travel, up and out as issued impact force, into the target.  Proper linkages, also mean that impact force as issued, can be safely resisted as a return stroke, back into the structure, without that structure falling apart under the force of its own impact energy against the opponent.

A highly refined skill, involves the use of the feet to 'oppositely lock' the torque, so that power can be re-fired up and thru the structure as in a continuously uncoiling snake or spring (Kundalini).  This is an advanced aspect of Tantra.

The waist too can oppositely lock, and re-fire in concert with the dynamics of the feet, and indeed in opposite lock to them generating even more force.

Typically, the Han Chinese branches will not do this, and instead they un-link, dynamically, the feet from the waist action, so that the entire body and its root (stance) turn as a single unit - typically side to side in a horizontal plane.

The Tantric versions of the art use upward and downward coiling action in concert with side to side motion, and use the whole body including the feet to generate Chakra-Kaya Sakti "Wheel-Body Power".

To do this, the practitioner needs to be entrained in the Four Ruling Lines of the body see link The Lion's Roar Ruling Body Lines and be able to fully understand the notion of Prayer Wheel turning, and to be trained Tantrically in the appropriate 'internal' (as the Chinese would regard them) Chakra-Prana methods.

The Chinese seek to activate the Dan-Tien and Chi Meridians by their motion of the waist - but when they turn the hips solidly, and when they ignore the linked use of the feet - this does NOT happen.  The Indo-Tibetans seek to link the entire body and the Charka-Channel system by highly refined and powerful use of rotational arcs within the body.  They DO NOT distinguish, as the Chinese often do, between 'internal' and 'external', BOTH are linked as aspects of Bodhicitta (enlightened Buddha Mind).  The action of the body and its 'passions' are used as fuel for Tantra.

In Tantric Lion's Roar! the Che-San is STILL the Wheel-Body, the entire body, including the feet: dynamic biomechanics squeezing out every last 'drop' (Sanskrit Bindu) of energy and power, and linking up the Chakra's to release Bodhicitta !

               Om Mane Padme Hum