The One Point • Gravity •

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by fusedroot, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Most schools don't have much in the way of actual qigong, so they call movement, martial and structure training "qigong." Look at Xie Peiqi and He Jinbao's material. There is zhanzhuang, there is circle-walking and there is Bagua qigong. All three are separate. Adam Hsu merely describes the circle-walking and posture holding as beneficial to the health because these practices exercises and massage the joints through a full range of motion and likely also have a massaging effect on the internal organs. He never says they are qigong, just that they are good for your health. Like Tantui, the Eight Mother Palms, circle-walking and so on, are beneficial to qigong practice, because of the stretching and breathing components. However, there is still a big difference between them and exercises specifically designed for moving the qi in specific ways. That is qigong.
  2. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    I agree with you JK,
    There can be "components" as you put it, but it is still not Qigong. Most of the "components" people refer to are as Onyomi stated Health benefits. This is why Qigong can be misleading and I agree with you that Tai Chi (along with other MA) should be practiced as MA.
  3. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    OK, well, I stand corrected then. He does call them "internal palms" and mentions that they incorporate "internal breathing training." He also teaches something he calls "Stationary Qi Gathering Kung" ; Walking Qi Controlling Kung" & "Walking Qi Exchanging Kung" and teaches that such components can be incorporated into the circle walking "internal palm" training. If he doesn't actually call all that qigong, or you don't, then that is so much the better as far as I am concerned.

    I am glad we agree. Of course there are others (even on this forum) who would argue with us and claim that Tai Chi IS a form of qigong. I have heard from several sources that their idea of what divides the so-called "internal" arts from the so-called "external" arts is that the "internal" styles incorporate "internal training / neigong" and even specifically "qigong" into the form training whereas "external styles" compartmentalise their so-called "internal" and "external" training, practicing them separately.

    Of course the confusion comes in when you try to ascertain which qigong they mean should be integrated with form practice - correct breathing? - yes that is combined with the movements, but has been in every martial art I've practiced. So-called "energetics"? Some practitioners say you should focus on so-called qi flow through specific meridians or focus on specific points of the body when performing given movements and others disagree most strongly with this idea (and not just me). Others seem to have bizarre visualisations acompanying their movements - one person who's blog I read recently described visualising black gloop coming up from the ground and clouds billowing around his arms when executing a peng movement!!! :confused:

    There is so much difference and so much inconsistency. What do you guys do? Do you have energetic or imagery visualisation integrated into your form practice? Do you visualise opponents and specific applications? Generic movement principles? Does it vary?

    Come on guys, without being condescending or secretive, tell us what you do.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2007
  4. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Hmm... what do we do? In terms of integrating qigong into martial arts, a lot of that it does on its own. Qigong gives you more body connection and explosive power. It makes your feet feel lighter and your hands heavier. In some techniques like I've described before, there is specific technique for say, using the dantian to create jin at the end of a palm strike. But these are also supposed to come naturally once you're used to them, just as say, exhaling forcefully through the nose when punching comes naturally to many fighters. It's just like taking that much further. Obviously, when it comes to an actual fight, you have no time to think "okay, now I squeeze my dantian and send energy down my lung meridian." Fortunately, you don't have to, because it's natural. All that about imagining black goop, clouds and whatnot is just silly. The reason you get so much nonsense is cuz there are a whole lot more people out there wanting to practice and understand real qigong than there are real qigong teachers to teach them.

    As for how our qigong might differ from most qigong out there, well like I've said before, it's very comprehensive and is designed only as qigong. There are gentle moving exercises, explosive moving exercises, very slow exercises, a few fast ones (generally, the better you get, the slower they become), posture holding exercises a la Yoga, as well as a large variety of techniques for stuff like how to open up the kidney and upper back areas, how to create the "neidan" by sinking the qi with a different kind of motion, etc. There are also, as I said, more types of breathing than just "reverse" and "natural." You need to be able to feel as if your breathing starts at your feet, goes all the way up your back and over your head, down your face, throat, chest and into the dantian, then back down to the feet. Only when you can get this kind of movement going even without any big motions can you do it while meditating, which will help you enter into a truly deep meditation state. Being able to enter into a deep meditation state is important for developing a higher level of qigong as it seems to greatly enhance blood flow and relaxation to a degree not normally achievable.
  5. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    *points to Onyomi* What onyomi said! :D
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I practice 3 Circle Qigong (standing pole) in order to become sung, and also to develop peng throughout the body.

    I practice Taiji form. No wierd visualisations or anything like that. Just correct breathing and intent. The only "visualisations" I do is when I envisage applications.

    I fully agree with Taoquan's teacher;

    Qi is just energy in the body. Let it do what it will.
  7. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    This illustrates nicely the problem I have with the internal / external rationale. It is false elitism. This description makes Karate, Silat and Eskrima etc. internal/soft arts too if your teacher knows what they are doing. Seriously TQ - I think you are being sold a lie.

    Proper martial arts all employ whole body use and awareness. Of course, to begin with, beginners (in either camp) will get it wrong, but they need time to develop coordination and physical awareness before they'll be able to do it right. In this respect, from my experience, the more contact-orientated and hard, fast moving arts achieve better results faster because the student gets instant feedback about whether their movements are working. Students need feedback and guidance from their teachers too, but that is true in any style.

    Yes I know there is bad Karate out there, but there is a whole load of bad Tai Chi too (probably way more.) The good stuff in both camps is good and the Tai Chi person wouldn't necessarily win in a fight, and nor would he/she necessarily have better health - they could well be a lot less fit - look at how many fat Tai Chi people there are, even "high up." This is generally less true in Chen style. The dynamic form training is absolutely essential, in my view, to develop the speed and relaxation to strike hard and fast.

    This is just a little bit of Tai Chi slipperiness. Qi believers don't really take or leave it. If I trained in your school and refused to believe in qi or do any meditation or qi cultivation, I'm sure it wouldn't really be OK. Additionally I make no bones about the fact that in my view it is absolutely necessary to destroy the internal / external and qi rationales rather than tolerating them. This requires a lot of zeal.

    OK, so please describe the nature of that "energy." Additionally, from this statement I assume that no deliberate cultivation or guidance of said "energy" is necessary, correct?
  8. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    The nature of the energy? It's natural.
    Nothing supernatural, no mysticism. The body has energy in it. That energy is absorbed from the air we breathe, from the food we eat, etc.

    And no; in my opinion, there is no "need" to practice any kind of cultivational exercise. But I'm sure you can agree, eating a healthy diet and practicing deep breathing exercises can improve the quality of the energy we take in?

    E.G. - Who is healthier? A person who lives in the middle of London, Los Angeles or any other major city in the world, and lives off of a diet of Mc Donalds, KFC etc, or someone who lives in the country, living off of fresh, high quality produce?
  9. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    If this is all you're doing when practicing standing pole, then you are missing out a major part of it, imo. I suggest you speak to your teacher.

    Again, (my opinion) if this is your understanding of Qi, why bother to practice IMA??

    My understanding of Qi work is... to unblock Qi channels, garner and store Qi...for the purpose of issuing it at will, using Yi. Either for healing or in a martial context.
  10. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Of course there is more, but I was trying to highlight the aspects that jkzorya might relate too. There is much more, of course. Gather Qi at dan tien, develop flow along the Ren/Du meridians, clear blockages in the meridians, heighten sensitivity and connectivity throughout the body...
    A lot of this is bad mojo though, so I tried to avoid it as to not throw fuel on the fire.

    See above :)
  11. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Ooooh, touchy...


    My mistake for thinking that you were writing your open views on a forum. I didn't realise that your writing was aimed at the views of another mapper.

    (Fyi, jkz can look after herself and I am sure she wants open and free discussions.)

    Should we assume this to always be so, in case someone else gets their head bitten off.

    The idea of this forum is to exchange honest views for discussion and dissection. Healthy debate is great for learning.

    So, Grasshopper, speak frankly and then we can get back on topic. :D
  12. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on


    All martial artists, both external and internal use Qi....just that most of them don't know it. And that includes IMA's.

    The longer I am Taiji...the more the edges blur between 'external' and 'internal'
  13. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    I agree CarysB,
    I have always been taught that IMA and EMA have the same goals in mind, they just start at different ends of the "spectrum". For example, EMA start out learning the physical movements and working the body to become "hard", gradually their movements become flowing and soft with hardness. Whereas IMA train to be soft first gradually moving towards hardness then with both IMA and EMA incorporating softness and hardness. Thus making neither "superior" just different training methods in the beginning.
  14. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Not picking on you Bailu,
    I just wanted to make a point about the "microcosmic orbit" you are kind of eluding to here. I did work with this before and did exp. "bad mojo" (as you so eloquently put it :D ) and quit doing it as well. It was not until I met a Taoist master that explained this:
    "In the west you have the micro and macro cosmic orbit meditations. These are usually what is used to start out. This is bad training, you should not access the Ren and Du channels until you have opened all of the other channels first. Your 12 primary channels must be in perfect sync and health for you to start working on the "pre-heaven" (ancestral, extraordinary) channels such as Ren and Du. Otherwise problems can arise in training."

    Though even after this I have not continued (or I guess restarted) my training in the microcosmic orbit.
  15. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    My writing wasn't aimed at the views of JKZ. I just wrote what I believed JKZ could relate to. Of course, I am willing to discuss further if anyone else is interested. As can be seen by Taoquan bringing up the topic of microcosmic orbit (more comments coming below on this).

    I'm sure she can look after herself.

    Let's do that then. :)

    Hi TQ, no worries :)
    I've not done any practical work towards the microcosmic orbit, waaaay beyond me. I've done a little theoretical research on the subject, but not too much.
    Of course, going back to where I first eluded to MCO, 3 circle standing pole is a great way of syncronising and clearing the meridians. There are also a few other neigong exercises I practice in order to build the inner connections and get everything lined up.
  16. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Very wise BT, imo.

    My QiGong teacher disappeared (very Daoist!) and so I have spent the last six years practicing on my own. Fortunately, I have enough experience to know when it gets dangerous and can repair any damage done. Unfortunately, QiGong teachers (who actually understand what they are transmitting) are rare as hens teeth here.

    I only do the MO after tuning into my body. :D
  17. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Fina-freakingly! someone with some sense about the ren-du circuit. You need to get your 12 meridians at least somewhat open before you can really do the ren-du circuit and to try to do so before will either fail or rely on methods too forceful to be safe. This is a big misconception out there. Supposedly you first learn the so-called "microcosmic orbit" and then the "macrocosmic orbit." In reality, you must learn to flow the ren-du and 12 meridians at the same time and the 12 meridians must be somewhat open to open the ren-du. They pull each others' levels up. Our school does not even use the the "micro" and "macro" terms like that. According to my teacher (and other qigong lit. I've read), the "Xiaozhoutian" (Small Heavenly Circulation) refers to ALL the energy flow in the human body, which stands in contrast to the "Dazhoutian" (Great Heavenly Circuit), which is all the energy in the universe outside the body (the Ancient Chinese believed there was a correspondance along the lines of "the human body has 108,000 pores, the Heavens have 108,000 constellations," etc.).

    Once they're both somewhat open, then they both flow. You don't say, okay, today I'm doing "small orbit" and tomorrow I'm practicing "big orbit" (though of course, some exercises focus more on the ren-du and some more on the 12 meridians). Nor do you say, "now that you've mastered the small orbit, I think you're ready for the grand orbit." It doesn't work that way.
  18. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    In my honest opinion if you believe ANY of this stuff, you are living in a fantasy world. There is not a SCRAP of evidence that any of this is real.

    I was asked by Taoquan to explain how this following comment was indicative of Tai Chi slipperiness:
    It is a piece of Tai Chi Catch 22 cunning. It makes a statement pertaining to the assumed (taken for granted) existence of qi in such a way (as is typical of so-called "internal martial artists") that automatically de-skills anyone who doesn't have an identical attitude.

    Try this on for size: "those who truly understand qi (i.e. "Qi Masters") realise that qi just a trick to pull in and keep scores of gullible punters." I would never say anything like that, I'd just honestly state my opinion "qi is just a trick to pull in and keep scores of gullible punters" without implying that those who "understood" this had superior knowledge and those who didn't were fools.

    Here's another piece of de-skilling, courtesy of our old pal onyomi:
    This is characteristic "internal arts" egocentric self-absorption ("finally - someone else who knows that my opinion is true.") The statement relegates anyone who knows about the ren-du theory but discounts it as garbage, to a position of ignorance.

    Not everything we read or hear is true. Not everything masquerading as medicine or science is accurate. Not everyone is wowed by pearls of Ancient Wisdom such as the body having "108,000 pores" coinciding with "the 108,000 constellations of the Heavens." A very quick spot of research seems to indicate that there may be something like 7 million pores on a typical human body and something like 100 billion x 100 billion stars out there, so (just like the concept of qi, ren-du theory and the internal / external arts dichotomy,) the notion is outdated and innacurate. If that can be so innacurate, it surely casts a shadow of doubt on all the other stuff that goes with it.
  19. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    ...and only in Tai Chi world could unreliability be seen as a virtue! If he/she disappeared without letting you know where to find them, I think that shows irresponsibility and selfishness. Self-absorption practices (such as qigong) do make people quite detached and selfish, I think.
  20. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Hi jkz,

    I merely stated a fact, I didn't give my reaction to his disappearance. Truth be told, I was furious. If I had known in advance of even a week, I would have got as much information and clarification as I possibly could.

    However, being thrown in at the deep end so to speak, made me search for my own answers.

    Can you explain why your opinion of qigong is that of a self-absorption practice as this is something I personally have not come across.


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