Lesson 2 – What is Qi Gong?
Qi Gong: 4000 years of evolution
After quickly a brief introduction to what Qi is (read Lesson 8.1), let’s move on to describe what Qi Gong is: the word literally means “energy work” and it represents the study and the application of everything is related to Qi.
Qi Gong’s goal is to balance, regulate, preserve, regenerate your Qi and (consequently) to allow you to:
- Live a better and longer life (health, wellness, etc.)
- Express high-level performances (in daily activities, in combat, etc.)
- Find the serenity (happiness, positive thinking, etc.)
- Better control your emotions (feelings, sensations, etc.)
A note by Master Kongling – The day I met grandmaster Yang Jwing Ming (a great Qi Gong expert, read Yang Jwing Ming: real master) I immediately felt that I was in front of a person who had achieved a high level of inner serenity and positivity. This first impression was then confirmed by his way of dealing with the difficulties of everyday life: during my stay, there have indeed been some rather unpleasant incidents in front of which I still can not understand how he (sincerely) could maintain such a calm, peaceful and constructive attitude. A rare man. This to say what? To say that beyond so many words and theories, this is the kind of result you have to aspire to.
Qi Gong and 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s approach
Reconnecting to what said in the past lesson, if you are not convinced, no one will ask you to forcibly believe in Qi: think at it as a view of calling an ensemble of things; with the time you will decide if its theory is trustworthy or not. In the meaning time, you can practice Qi Gong’s exercises even only for their secondary goals.
We have various kind of practices and in most cases, they are largely connected to other activities, like:
- Warm-up / temperature control (read How to correctly perform warm-up)
- Stretching / tendons transformation (read How to correctly perform stretching)
- Body health / wellness / control / perception (read Advanced body control)
- Basic / advanced body conditioning (read for example Conditioning check for the impact)
- Relaxation / pleasure / meditation / concentration
- Nutrition (read Qi and proper nutrition)
If it is true that, in 6 Dragons Kung Fu, Qi Gong can be included in a lot of practices, it is also true that we also have specific exercises; they can be:
- Mental – Based on pure “brain work” like concentration, detachment, control of emotions, etc. (read for example Become the absolute zero)
- Physical – Connected to a series of movements (eg. working directly or indirectly through breathing, muscle contractions / relaxation, etc.)
- Active – Directly acting on yourself (eg. self-massage, pain conditioning, chills, etc.)
- Passive – Undergoing the influence of external agents / tools (eg. weight, herbs, acupuncture needles, etc.)
- Static – Forcing you to stand still (eg. maintaining a stance, read The correct position of the rider (ma bu))
- Dynamic – Involving movements (eg. executing stretching, a Qi Gong form, vibrating, etc., read for example Speed: the vibration’s exercise)
A note by Master Kongling – It is important to stress that there are thousands of Qi Gong practices that have been developed in China and almost every style of Kung Fu has its specific practices (they have big / small differences like the type of exercises, theory details, etc.). In the most advanced chapters of this course, we will have a deeper look at this vast topic.
In the next lesson, we will see a few examples of how to feel your Qi.
- Meditation method 4 – A meditation method related to the practice of Qi Gong
- Physical conditioning: how it works – The various kinds of conditioning
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.