Qi Gong (Chi Kung)
Qi Gong is the utilisation of the qi (energy) inside and around our bodies. The training of Qi Gong often follows the path of learning to cultivate qi, becoming aware of and strengthening qi, then increasing the use of qi within the body. There are 3 main uses for qi, the most common being for health and relaxation. Qi Gong exercises can be meditative or vigorous and serve to maximise the body’s potential for using the energy. This is done through improved alignment and posture, opening and using channels/meridians within the body, and a precise focus on breathing methods. With increased qi flow through these meridians, comes less muscular tension, calmness of mind, and reduced ‘blocks’ along the meridians. Chinese medicine theory is largely based on injuries, disease and sickness being treated through the removal of these blockages which are symptomatic of the problem.
Another use for Qi Gong training is to increase the attacking efficiency of your kung fu techniques. This may be through Iron Palm techniques where physical conditioning, herbal ointments and Qi Gong are combined. Another example would be through Fa Jing (explosive power). This is what was demonstrated by Bruce Lee with his famous one inch punch. see here
Your defensive efficiency can be increased through qi gong as well. Iron Shirt training trains the body to withstand blows. This is both through conditioning and directing of energy to parts of the body to reinforce the impact.
The very nature of practicing Qi Gong keeps your mind calm, your senses sharp, and muscles relaxed. This maximises your ability to do any task be it physical or mental. Qi Gong is the underlying tool which is used within Tai Ji, Xing Yi and Ba Gua.
Qi Gong is taught in conjunction with our Tai Ji and Xing Yi curriculums. This internal class utilises Qi Gong to correctly perform the techniques and routines. Your instructors are Shifu Richard Nicholls and Shifu Kevin The.
We hold evening classes around Brisbane in several locations each week. We cater for all paces and levels, from beginner to advanced. Please click here for our timetable. Your first lesson is free.
LEVEL 1 QI GONG
- 2 TAI JI QI GONG STANCES (ABDOMINAL BREATHING)
- Holding Mountain Stance
- Holding Ball Stance
QI GONG WALK (Warm down walking)
- 9 QI GONG WARM UP EXERCISES
- Hands around neck
- Swing arms
- Arms & hips circling
- Knee raises
- Shoulder revolutions
- “Carry rock over back”
- Snake wave up & down
- Step back & kick up
These 9 exercises are designed specifically to work on warming up various parts of the spine from the brain stem right down to the coccyx. The result is a loosened up spine with less qi channel blockages, therefore enabling a more successful qi gong session.
This is done by ‘floating’ one leg up and forward off the floor (to approximately knee height) whilst simultaneously raising the opposite arm upwards and forwards. The other arm lifts backwards and upwards (both arms float to shoulder height. The step is then ‘floated’ back to the floor before weight is transferred to the next step.
LEVEL 2 QI GONG – SINKING QI (MICROCOSMIC ORBIT)
“Body Checks” The correct structure and alignment of the body is crucial for maximising the potential of your qi flow. Here are a few self checks you can do for yourself.
- Feet – should be hip width apart with toes pointing parallel.
- Knees – should be kept slightly bent and directly in line with toes.
- Hips – very important to keep pelvis tucked under to stop strain on lower back.
- Lower Back – if hips are tucked then lower back (spine) should have hardly any curvature.
- Back and Torso – should be as upright and vertical as possible.
- Chin and Jaw – should be pulled back so to sit atop the spine.
- Head – should not tilt sideways or forwards. Should feel as if suspended by above.
- Eyes – eyes should stay slightly open and gaze downwards (but don’t tilt head).
- Tongue – should be touching the ridge on the hard palate just behind the top teeth. This connects a full energy circuit throughout the torso.
- Breathing – as long and as deep as possible. Breathe in through the nostrils. Expand the abdomen as you inhale and collapse it on the exhale. Focus on (i.e breathe to) the Dan Tien located just below and behind the navel.
- People are often confused by the seemingly contrasting directions of lifting and sinking. In fact, you do both. From the Dan Tien downwards, visualise everything grounding into the floor. From the Dan Tien upwards, you can imagine everything stretching and expanding upwards.
Other pointers: Face equator for best results. If inside keep doors closed. If outside preferably don’t do in direct wind. Better not to do when tired or hungry, or just after a meal. First thing in morning is the optimum time where the most oxygen is being released into the atmosphere by vegetation. Between 9pm and 11pm is the worst time to practice.
Meditation may cause you to experience many new sensations because you are stimulating qi flow and increasing awareness of your internal body. You will probably feel most of the feelings listed below. Any aching sensations are usually a result of incorrect posture and the muscles lacking endurance. Your body will develop with practice and eventually you will be able to hold your posture with no discomfort. This may take a few weeks or months. You may also experience other sensations not listed. Everyone is unique.
SENSATIONS DURING MEDITATION
- Sweating – a sign that the body is cleansing itself and discharging toxins.
- Numbness/Tingling – a sign that qi is flowing.
- Trembling – a sign that qi is flowing.
- Body Heat – a sign that qi is flowing. When energy flows it heats the body.
- Feeling Asymmetrical – the body is trying to rebalance itself.
- Yawning – a sign that you are able to relax but perhaps are too tired.
- Burping/Flatulence – a good sign. The body is discharging toxins.