9. Degree of Jing: Visible, Hidden, and Melt
Let's move on to discuss the meaning of "visible," "hidden," and "melt" in jing, i.e., the three stages "visible jing," "hidden jing," and "melt jing." The "visible jing" can be seen easily and everyone can identify all movements in the power issuing process. The existence of jing in "hidden jing" cannot be identified clearly and not everyone can see and understand the movements well. The "melt jing" cannot be recognized at all. The "visible jing" is described with four traditional characters that mean "with shape and expression;" the "hidden jing" is "with ambiguous and almost non-existing shape and expression;" and the "melt jing" is "without shape and expression."
Then what is "shape?" And what is "expression?" There are the two steps in the power issuing process: preparation and utilization. In other words, the former is accumulating power and the latter is issuing power.
When one can advance his skill gradually from visible to hidden, and then from hidden to melt to accumulate and issue power, his movements become invisible to most people. Accumulating power is the preparation step that is like "pulling the bow." Issuing power is the utilization step that is like "releasing the arrow."
We can use "stealing heart palm" (偷心掌) in "da baji" as an example. I would show all the movements clearly if I demonstrate it. However, if my teacher, Sifu Liu Yun-Chiao, were to demonstrate it, you would be totally confused because you won't be able see all movements clearly. The layman may say, "Sifu Hsu, your baji is better than your teacher's!" This is due to the fact that I must try my best to intentionally show all the power issuing movements clearly so that people can see each step. Sifu Liu’s demonstration would not show the movements of accumulating and issuing power clearly because he used the "melt jing" all the time! As a martial arts practitioner, we should pay attention: The differences lie in each one's skill and achievement.
Last but not least: what is the mental aspect of jing? Here is the conclusion of this article.
Jing is not force; it is more advanced and refined than force. Jing is not a posture; it is a movement--postures are the preparatory and ending positions, while movement is the transition between postures. Jing is not spirit, expression, or "beauty" although jing can be expressed beautifully. Jing is not qi but it requires qi. Jing is not a physical body but it requires a physical body to carry it out. Jing is not a thought and not a mindset either, but it requires your mind to lead and focus it.
Then what's the use of mental training in kung fu? It is important to remember this: Chan si jing is endless and flexible. It is full of varieties and possibilities. It is not monotonous at all. It waits for the best opportunity to emerge calmly and quietly with no haste. It does not insist on subjective opinion and determination. It takes advantage of any opportunity without reservation and hesitation. When it identifies the target, it persists and does not give up easily. Therefore, it affects the practitioner's character, interpersonal and social skills, and attitude towards life. The characteristics of chan si jing are exactly the typical characteristics of Chinese people. That's why Chinese invented the kung fu. They invented chan si jing due to these special ethnic characteristics. The same can be said of other areas outside of martial arts, such as philosophy, arts, and literature.
Chinese individuals can take the full advantage of chan si jing due to their personalities and mental characteristics. Therefore I have the following advice for all practitioners of kung fu, especially non-Chinese practitioners who are reading this article: In addition to kung fu practice, you should study and come to understand the Chinese people, their culture and characteristics. This includes the study and experience of disciplines such as philosophy, history, the arts, cuisine, and even the language. This is the best way to help you to master kung fu and, at the same time, make this art, which is so deeply connected to its ethnic roots, into a genuine Global Chinese kung fu!