Chin-Na or Qinna (擒拿) is the set of joint lock techniques used in the Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu) to control or lock an opponent's joints or muscles/tendons so the opponent cannot move, thus neutralizing the opponent's fighting ability. There are over 700 Chin-Na traditional techniques found in all martial arts.
Qin" (chin) (擒) in Chinese means "to seize or catch," in the way an eagle seizes a rabbit or a policeman "catches a murderer" (qin xiong, 擒兇). "Na" (拿) means "to hold and control." Therefore, Qin Na can be translated as "seize and control.
Chin-Na is a compassionate way of fighting. Instead of injuring opponents seriously, like breaking their bones or damaging their internal organs, so that they cannot continue fighting, you put them out of action temporarily.
Chin Na is based on deep knowledge of anatomy and physiology. In order to use this technique successfully, one will need to understand how the human skeleton is built, how our joints function, what kinds of muscles we have, what they are attached to, and how they contract.
Generally speaking, in order to have the effective and efficient fighting capability, almost all Chinese martial styles include four categories of techniques. The first category is composed of the techniques of striking, punching, pushing, pressing, etc. The second category is using the leg to kick, sweep, step, or trip. In these techniques, contact time between you and your opponent must be very short, and the power for attacking is usually explosive and harmful. The third category is called wrestling (Shuai Jiao, 摔跤), and it contains the skills of destroying the opponent's root and balance, consequently throwing him down. Often these techniques are mixed with the leg's sweeping or tripping, and the body's swinging or even throwing. attack.
The last category is Qin Na, containing grabbing techniques that specialize in controlling or locking the opponent's joints, muscles, or tendons. However, you should understand an important fact. In a combat situation, the above three categories are often applied together, and cannot be separated. For example, while one of your hands is grabbing and controlling your opponent, the other hand is used to strike a vital cavity. Another example of this is that often you use grabbing to lock your opponent's joints while throwing him down further.
Because of this, sometimes it is very difficult to discriminate clearly between techniques in a real situation. As a matter of fact, many Chinese martial artists believe that since there are many other non-grabbing techniques, such as pressing or striking the cavities or nerves, which can make the opponent numb in part of the body (or even render him unconscious), thereby providing control of the opponent, these techniques should also be recognized as Qin Na. You can see that, as long as the techniques can immobilize an opponent, it does not matter if the cause is a joint lock, numbness, or unconsciousness—all of them can be classified as Qin Na.
Nobody can tell exactly when Qin Na was first used. It probably began the first time one person grabbed another to control him. Grabbing the opponent's limbs or weapon is one of the most basic and instinctive ways to immobilize him or control his actions.