What is Chi and how to develope it

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by Mr_Grumpy, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. nzric

    nzric on lookout for bad guys

    Have a test to see who has the least lower back pain, arthritis, digestive problems, scar tissue, weak wrists/ankles, weight gain and concussion problems when they're 70.

    As for chi, I completely agree with LilBunnyRabbit - use of 'chi' is simply having an excellent command of your own body mechanics (so much so that you appear much stronger/faster than "normal"). I think that anyone who believes it can make you fly/throw people around without touching them/make yourself a cup of coffee without leaving your chair should be shot (metaphorically speaking of course), but I swore I'd keep out of the pointless "mystic chi power" discussions.
  2. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    I'm with you there. When I'm old enough to know what life is all about, I want to make sure I have the health to enjoy it!

    My fiancée can make a cup of tea without leaving the sofa. She just bats her eyelids at me and I feel 'compelled' to make one! :D

    I use the term 'qi' to explain certain sensations or to explain things, but I am unwilling to try to make someone believe in it. It is just a useful term. If people prefer to use 'nervous system', or other 'western' terms then fine. If they feel something, they might call is increased blood flow. They might call it qi. It doesn't matter.
  3. serious harm

    serious harm New Member

    Find a good IMA teacher. Real good ones with the real skill are rare, and they're not about proving or showing off to doubters. Qi is the foundation of IMA.
  4. serious harm

    serious harm New Member

    Here is some competitive push hands clips. Not too bad at all IMO. Although people on the forum I found it on, thought it wasn't too good. I think at least shows some fundament techniques of Taiji. I wonder if internet people could beat this guy in push hands.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  5. kmclye

    kmclye New Member

    Adding to the Mix

    I'll jump in here with crossed fingers! Here are a couple of points - make of them what you will.

    In SE Asia, English speakers use the words "heaty" and "cooling" to describe the believed effects of different foods and drink. For example, durians and mangoes are "heaty" but mangosteens are "cooling". These words are represent but are not truly translations of the Chinese concepts. I can't given you a translation because I don't know one. I grew up in Singapore: English is my first language and Chinese my second - English is also the first language of nearly every Chinese person I know there and none of them has a translation they feel is adequate. So if "qi" is hard/impossible to translate, it isn't alone in that.

    Second point. A few years ago, I spent several months learning Thai massage in Chiangmai. The Thais have a concept called Sen lines. These are drawn on diagrams of body outlines which are given to students. For the first few days, we worked on legs and I couldn't feel any lines at all. As predominantly left-brained operator, I was predisposed to scepticism and this failure to feel any lines fuelled that scepticism. (In fact the whole reason for doing Thai massage was to try and get out of my left-brain comfort zone. Well, it succeeded.) Around the fifth day, we started on the arms. As these are smaller limbs than the legs, everything is closer to the surface and that day, I finally felt the "Sen lines" and truly understood that there were more things on heaven on earth than were dreamt of in my philosophy! Now it could well be that someone who knows anatomy will tell me that the Sen lines are the same as such-and-such a western concept, like nerve threads or parts of the lymphatic system, and they may well be right. In any event the Sen lines have Ayurvedic origins, not Chinese, although they are conceptually analogised with lines of qi. The point is that my mind became open.

    I don't do IMA, but my instructor teaches Tai chi and Kalis Ilustrisimo. You would have thought them the opposites of soft internal and hard external. In fact, he unites them and watching him and learning from him leads me to think in part that those who have "powerful qi" also have excellent biomechanics. I can't say whether they are the same thing or have a cause-effect relationship.

    However biomechanics does not explain the heat of a practitioner's hands or the feeling of there being something tangible and malleable but not visible between them. And no, I have not felt this because I don't do FMA and apparently you can't feel someone else's so it is anecdotal. But if I accept the word of practitioners whose integrity I feel certain of, then I am willing to believe that, like the Sen lines, that heat and that feeling are there for them.

    Now does that add nicely to any confusion that existed before? :D
  6. MartialArtsSnob

    MartialArtsSnob New Member

    Not at all kmclye,
    I spent a few years as a massage therapist and I am right there with you. It is a very strange thing isn't it? What makes the conversation difficult is that in order to feel it YOU have to get out of the way. How can you talk about something that in order to experience you have to not think about? When you finally do feel it, you say, "hey I'm feeling such and such a thing”. Unfortunately now that you have brought this experience to the level of thinking and language, the feeling is gone. It's like when a Jazz musician is in the middle of a wild improvisation and stops to take out a pen and paper to write this amazing stuff down, it stops.

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