Chi Kung is…
Easier to learn than Tai Chi
A tai chi ‘set’ is usually made up of 104 patterns, connected together into one form. The smallest number of patterns in a tai chi set I’ve come across is 24. A chi kung ‘set’ is usually made up of 3 or 4 movements. A really complex qigong ‘set’ may have 6 or more, but most of these a repeated. I’ve put the chi kung ‘set’ in speech marks because it’s not really an appropriate term for a chi kung pattern. Look at the picture below:
Whilst you can see 8 images, there really are only two moves.
- Lifting the arms above the head
- Lowering the arms back down to the side of the body.
Compare this with complexities of learning 104 moves in a tai chi set and you can immediately see why chi kung is easier to learn than tai chi.
But, what many people practicing tai chi don’t know is that it is perhaps nigh on impossible to learn Tai Chi Chuan (or Taijiquan) because what is taught today is mostly tai chi dance. Tai Chi Chuan practiced correctly is a formidable martial art, but very, very few teachers these days teach it as such.
So, chi kung is easier to learn than tai chi, not just because it’s much shorter, but also because it is virtually impossible to learn ‘real’ Tai Chi Chaun any more. However, practiced correctly Tai Chi Chuan is also Chi Kung =)
Less Strenuous Than Yoga
Yoga is brilliant, let’s get that out in the open. But, it requires far more effort to practice than Chi Kung. Many of the postures are inappropriate for the less physically active amongst us. Not to mention that a typical Chi Kung session takes 10 – 15 mintues.
And whilst I believe that Yoga in it’s true form is an almost scientific, step by step approach to complete spiritual enlightenment. What passes for Yoga these days focuses mainly on only 2 of the eight limbs of Yoga, the asana or static postures and pranayama or breath control. This is such a shame. In fact this ‘loss of true essense’ applies not only to Yoga, but to Tai Chi Chuan, Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong. Must have something to do with the journey from East to West.
And You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It
Chi Kung is perhaps the worlds best kept health and energy secret. I once had the opportunity to ask over 100 entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds to raise their hands if they had heard of Yoga, every hand went up. Again for Tai Chi, for Chi Kung? Well for Chi Kung only 4 hands went up.
That’s crazy! As someone who has personally benefited from the practice of Chi Kung and who has been fortunate enough to watch his own students benefit from Chi Kung this situation genuienly surprises me. Maybe Chi Kung just isn’t sexy enough. Perhaps if I start insisting that everyone wears leggings and vests to my Chi Kung classes that might help.
Whatever the reason, I consider it my mission to inform and educate as many people as I can as to how brilliant Chi Kung is. Hence this blog =)
Bye for now
Marcus James Santer