Shen & Yi or I mind intent for Self Defense

I have previously written a post on Shen and Yi or I for health. This post is about Shen & Yi or I for Self Defense.

Let me begin by saying that most folks have some ability with shen and yi simply by virtue of being alive. Shen is emotional mind intent. Yi or I is intellectual mind intent. If an attacker is so angry or/and scared that you can feel their anger or fear then you are feeling their shen. If the attacker is very determined to get you to the extent that you can feel their determination then you are feeling their Yi / I.

Also, when you perceive that someone is staring at you and you look at them and see that they actually are staring at you then you are feeling their projected mind intent. If they are angry or upset with you then you are feeling their shen mind intent. If they are thinking about a question they want to ask you because you are likely to have the answer but there is no emotional aspect to it then you are feeling their yi or i.

With a little practice you can fill your own defensive/aggressive action and/or mind intent with determination that can be felt thus directing your Yi / I mind intent and you can learn to utilize your emotional response so that it can be felt thus directing your shen. With time and practice yi / i and shen can be refined and focused as well as increased so that you can project the mind intent without having to physically act. At the higher levels of ability a practitioner can project their yi / i and shen so that they are actually able to directly affect others with it.

Most likely your direct personal experience of the power of shen is due to your walking into a room full of people who are very sad (such as at a funeral) and the feeling of sadness is so thick that it makes you feel sad or at least solemn. The same can be said for walking into a party of happy people. Even if you are a little down you end up feeling better because the happiness is contagious. Shen is the energetic mechanism that is transmitting the emotion to you.

The most direct exposure to Yi or I that most people have is walking around a corner into a near head on collision into someone coming from the other direction. Even when no contact is made the person with the lesser intent feels the emotional trauma of the near impact much greater than the person who was more determined and focused about where they were going. Literally the yi or i mind intent is the energetic feeling that has been felt and experienced by the less determined of the two people. Obviously both people can experience the event and sensation of the intent from each other fairly equally.

My first memorable experience of this was when I was a freshman in high school. I played soccer and was varsity on the team. At a practice I went to kick a goal and one of my more experienced team mates who was supposed to be blocking me actually fell away and nearly hurt himself as he got out of the way because I was so determined to make the goal that he could feel my determination and it frightened him because he felt like I was going to spike him with the ball at close range by kicking it as hard as I could into the net which was only about 10 feet from me. His fall was so dramatic and surprising that I did not kick the ball and when asked what happened he told us how my actions had affected him.

Both the shen and the yi or i can be trained to such a level that the practitioner can project this mind intent to others strongly enough that it can easily be felt. High level practitioners can both defend themselves and heal with shen and yi / i.


  1. Dan Eidson, DCH, LMT says

    Fascinating article, don’t know how I overlooked it.
    How do you go about keeping the negative energy away from negative people in a funeral or anywhere else, utilizing shen and/ or Yi/I?
    I can feel negative energy coming off a person at quite a distance. Sometimes I get negative energy on me through being empathetic towards someone while working on them in therapeutic massage. Could you share how you ward off or block this energy? Thanks

    • Sigung Clear says

      The more advanced protection that is ongoing constantly as you work and conduct yourself (which I believe is the question you are really asking) is best taught through personal transmission and a lot of practice after completing the basics.

      However, I will write a post on energy protection. The basic answer to your question is addressed on my video Protecting Your Energy and it is a great place to start.

      Best Regards,

  2. Laoshi Moses says

    Great article.This what Champions are made of.(How Muhammad Ali psyched out and beat Sonny listen at 22 years of age,and liston then was so intimidateing,and menacing he won most of his fights before he through the first punch.this is taichi’s spirit.however,it is a relaxed penetration that connects and absorbs the adversaries energy field at one’s highest level.(1st skin,2nd bone,3rd spirit)at each level peng is our wall,lu is our diversion,the rest is what you are free up internally,and physically to allow to manifest…Agreed?

    • Hi Laoshi,

      Could you clarify what you mean by “the rest is what you are free up internally,and physically to allow to manifest”

      I understood the first part but I didn’t quite follow that last sentence.


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