The role of qigong in the internal martial arts
   
     

classes     taijiquan     baguazhang     self defence     qigong     about us     reviews     a-z


Form

Taijiquan, baguazhang and xingyiquan use forms to practice combat movements, build strength and gain agility.
The forms are highly intricate, with many different levels of skill.


Standing

Yiquan (mind fist)/dachengquan (the great accomplishment) - an offshoot of xingyiquan - does not use forms.
Instead, it uses static standing qigong postures in lieu of form.


The difference

Xingyiquan uses form(s) for power development.
Dachengquan uses standing qigong.
See the difference?


Muddled up?

What should a tai chi school do?
The answer is somewhat self evident, isn't it?


Authenticity

Taijiquan is not dachengquan.
It uses forms, not standing qigong postures.
Read The Tai Chi Classics...
There is no mention of standing qigong but a whole lot of information about movement e.g.:
 

Taijiquan is like a great river rolling on unceasingly.

(Chang San-feng)

Cross-pollination of ideas and practices

Traditionally, some people studied more than one martial art.
For example, students of xingyiquan may have practiced baguazhang as well.
There are now styles of baguazhang where linear (xingyiquan-style) fighting sets have been incorporated into an otherwise non-linear art.
This is not right or wrong...
It is more a matter of individual preferences changing the nature/tone of the practice.
Read Chinese Boxing by Robert Smith for more examples.


How come so many tai chi people stand?

Clearly, standing qigong proved popular with some schools of taijiquan and was incorporated into their training.
This said, qigong is still qigong, and not taijiquan.


Qi

In terms of qi, taijiquan form replaces qigong.
Energetically, it performs the same role.
Form moves life energy around the body, invigorates and replenishes qi.


Sung

People often think that sung means 'to relax'.
Yes, it does, but that is not all it means.
Sung entails being so relaxed that you no longer actually feel your own body.


How is this possible?

When you pick up a glass of water, do you notice the muscles working?
To walk, do you struggle, strain or exert?
The focus is upon the movement itself, not upon experiencing the physicality of your own body.
If you can only feel the movement... this is sung.
Sung comes from form, not from standing qigong.


Combat

When fighting, a person must move swiftly and accurately.
They must change direction smoothly and efficiently, deliver power spontaneously and effectively.
Taijiquan is a martial art so most of the attention needs to be upon expedience in combat.
This is why form is paramount in taijiquan,
not standing still.


Sitting duck?

Standing in one place advertises your position: you are literally a 'sitting duck'.
You need to move spontaneously and freely, without any preparation or preamble.
Form trains the habit of movement...


Should you stand?

Only you can answer.
It depends how advanced you are.
If you know several taijiquan forms (within a single style), can move with neigong and apply those forms, what is standing qigong adding to your training?
You are clearly too skilled to require a conditioning exercise.
Maybe you gain greater mental clarity? Or other health benefits?
Standing qigong is qigong. It is not taijiquan.


Worth reading

Authenticity
Biomechanics
Fluid
Form is movement
Free the movement
The internal way of moving
Neijiaquan (internal martial arts)
Reeling silk
The role of qigong in a tai chi class


Page created 18 April 2005
Last updated 16 December 2016