The role of qigong in a tai chi class

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Common practice

It is quite common to find tai chi people practicing qigong exercises. Qigong is usually a prominent feature in a tai chi class.

The role of qigong

A tai chi beginner is not adept with tai chi so they need to do a lot of qigong. It provides the necessary fitness benefits by serving as a stopgap pending higher level tai chi skill.

Over-emphasising qigong?

Some kung fu (Chinese boxing) instructors appear to over-emphasise the role of qigong
. But are they wrong? Qigong is easy to learn. It provides fitness benefits fairly quickly.
A qigong teacher does not need to have a high level of skill with form, applications, combat, neigong or biomechanics.
So, yes, they may be covering up gaps in their knowledge, but more likely they are just wanting their students to get strong...

Higher grades

A higher graded student starts practicing the round form version of the Long Yang form. This increases the fitness benefits of form; allowing them the option of spending a bit less time training qigong.
Neigong replaces qigong as the primary source of power but qigong remains useful for its health benefits.

Time, energy & concentration

Tai chi is all about the conservation of energy. A high level practitioner needs to use their time wisely.
With only so many hours in the day, they should commit their efforts to the training that yields the highest benefits for the least amount of effort.
Too much time spent on
simplistic training e.g. prolonged standing qigong (full circle) - is pointless. It will needlessly tire the body, increase muscular tension and blunt the concentration.
Just do full circle once a week?

Do not do anything useless.

(Miyamoto Musashi)

Worth reading

How can you tell?
The role of qigong in the internal martial arts
Types of qigong

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Page created 15 April 2007
Last updated 16 June 2023