Chinese Martial ArtsQi Gong and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dit Da Jow

Dit Da Jow 跌打酒 (Mandarin Diē Dǎ Jiǔ) is the Cantonese name for a type of liniment commonly used in Chinese Martial Arts to treat bruises and sore muscles. Dit Da Jow could be translated as "fall and hit wine", since the traditional one is prepared with rice wine, although nowadays some schools prepare it with highly concentrated alcohols.

Its elaboration process consists of immersing in the alcohol a bunch of ingredients from Chinese medicinal plants and letting them rest for a time, so that the active ingredients are diluted in alcohol. The time that the ingredients have to remain soaking is at least several months if wine is used. This time can be reduced by using liquors with high graduations that accelerate the process of extracting the components. In the Shàolín Monastery 少林寺, a vessel was buried with this preparation for at least a year.

Dit Da Jow could be translated as "fall and hit wine".

Once the necessary time has passed, the resulting liquid is strained and packaged for use. The balm is applied directly to the skin with a gentle massage and is absorbed quickly. This type of preparation should not be used in open wounds.

Usually the formulas of its preparation are kept secret, and martial arts schools transmit them only from master to disciple. However, almost every recipe uses a similar base. The plants used have the properties of relieving pain, invigorating the blood and dissipating stasis, so that the 氣 flows through the meridians without blockages. Among the most used plants are peony root (mǔ dān pí 牡丹皮, Cortex moutan), olibanum resin (rǔ xiāng 乳香, Olibanum), safflower (hóng huā 红花, Flos carthami) or angelica (dāng guī 当归, Angelicae sinensis). In the past some products of animal origin were also used, such as deer horn.

Some preparations are specially designed for the training of the "Iron Palm" 铁掌 功 (Tit Jeung Gong in Cantonese, Tiě Zhǎng Gōng in Mandarin) or other specific purposes.

Dit Da Jow is a powerful ally in martial training, especially for hardening and conditioning the body, and for training with the Ching Jong 秤 樁 or wooden dummy. The hardening consists of hitting repeatedly a part of the body so that the muscle gets used to receive impacts and it is hardened slowly. This repeated beating should never be done too hard because we could damage the area, but should take place daily. It is very useful to condition the body, and especially the forearms so that they can block blows without being damaged. Despite doing it in a controlled manner, sometimes bruises and muscle aches appear. The application of Dit Da Jow helps them disappear as soon as possible, and it is advisable to apply it both before and after the exercise.

 

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