Kung Fu Qi Power and How To Acquire It!


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Kung Fu Qi Power and How To Acquire It!

‘What is Kung Fu Qi-Power?’ ‘ How does it work?’ and ‘How can it be readily obtained?’ This article provides straightforward answers to these questions plus practical guidance for those wishing to learn more or start practicing the classic routines, drills and methods enabling Qi-Power acquisition.

‘Qi’ (vital energy) is trained, harnessed and strengthened, via Qigong (‘gong’ means ‘strong’) literally ‘strong-qi’ exercise. Two basic categories, Internal and External, exist and balancing these brings optimum results in Shaolin Kung Fu training. External physical development comes first but internal energy training is then essential to balanced progress.

Nei Dan (internal) Qigong refreshes brain and bone marrow, strengthens the five major organs (lungs, kidneys, liver heart and spleen) and builds internal muscle closer to the body’s core. Whilst the West has neglected internal energy training, Chinese Martial Arts have developed tremendous expertise here. Health improvements, increased endurance and general body-strength are typical indicators of progress in this area

‘Qi’ (‘life-energy) is associated with breath– we can live 30 days without food, 7 without water but not 10 minutes without air. Structured breathing, central to internal Qigong, is frequently practised alongside exercise patterns designed to store, balance and distribute Qi to meet your bodily needs (and aid stale Qi elimination). Although a qualified Teacher should guide your endeavours, safe progress is possible via traditional routines designed to facilitate this like these two classic examples.

Yeuh Fei’s Ba Duan Jin.

In The Song Dynasty (1127-1279 CE) Chinese General Yeuh Fei, to repel an invading Nomad army, taught his troops Ba Duan Jin/ Eight Section Brocade in preparation for the conflict. This increased general strength and endurance and arm strength in particular even at full extension, greatly enhancing hand-to-hand combat and weapon skills. Yeuh Fei is also accredited as founder of Eagle-Claw and Xin-Yi Kung Fu styles and this eight-exercise routine is also widely practised by students of Changchuan or ‘Longfist’ Kung Fu.

Bodhidharma’s Yi Yin Jing

On arriving at the Shaolin Temple in Songshan (526 CE) the First Patriarch of Chan Buddhism set about improving the strength and physique of the Monks via, amongst other things, the aforementioned twelve-exercise routine also known as the ‘Muscle and Tendon Changing Classic”. This considerably improved the Monks’ flexibility and overall health, leading to considerable advances in their martial capabilities when integrated into their Martial Arts training.

These two are well-known, tried and tested routines delivering Qi-Power to serious practitioners, but there are more: ‘Wu Qin Qi’/ ‘5 Animals Play’ (1) and ‘Liu Zi Jue’/ ‘Six Sounds Breathing’ and ‘5 Elements Breathing’ (2), for example. Each approach is different (although overall aims are similar) reflecting China’s long history, diversity and the influences of Buddhism/ Taoism respectively.

Fortunately, free internet-based materials exist to get those interested underway. Some well-made DVDs for home practice are also available. However, the best way to acquire Qi-Power is to sign-up for lessons at your local Kung Fu Club as Qigong is a vital, indispensable part of authentic Kung-Fu training and you will frequently find it included in the training programme ‘free’ as a regular feature of Shaolin training in particular.

Notes and References

(1) See ‘Chinese Health Qigong Association Wu Qin Qi/5 Animals Play– A Review’, by Allsop, P (2010) EzineArticles
(2) See ‘ Improve Your Power-to- Weight Ratio Via 5 Elements Breathing’, by Allsop, P (2010) EzineArticles

Peter Allsop M.Ed., Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong Teacher in Sheffield U.K. is a Senior Student of Grandmaster Yap Leong and Area Coach for his HYL (Health, Youth and Longevity) Energiser Qigong Programme.

Iron Shirt and Longevity Training, 5 Elements Qigong are amongst the many Chinese Health and Fitness strategies that really work. Explore the free resources at [http://sheffieldkungfu.com] or http://www.hylenergiser.com

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