How To Learn Qigong
I can think of 7 ways to learn Qigong, actually I’ve just thought of another one, so make that 8. There are probably more, 7 of these are the most common though. With bonus ‘how to learn Qigong‘ number 8 being a recent development.
Let’s take a brief overview of each one, from best to worst…
1. Learn Qigong directly from a Qigong Master
Obviously this is the best way to learn Qigong. The keyword here is ‘directly‘ and ideally 1-2-1. It’s fair to say that you can still gain incredible results learning directly from a Qigong master in a large hall full of 70 other students, but there’re unlikely to be as incredible as 1-2-1.
The benefits to be gained from learning directly from a Qigong Master are many, but perhaps the most important are:
- Heart to heart transmission
- Transference of Qigong skills
- Instant correction
- The ability to ask questions and seek clarification
- Learning directly from the ‘source’
- Benefit of (usually) decades of personal experience
Bear in mind that the title of ‘Master’ is usually bestowed on the teacher by their students. There are many Qigong Masters out there who, being generous, are actually Qigong teachers.
Just because someone calls themselves a Qigong Master, doesn’t mean they are!
Qigong Masters are and have always been very rare. If you find one, they’re worth their weight in gold – literally.
At the end of this post, you’ll find a way to download a 4 page report I wrote titled ‘A Guide On How To Find A Great Qigong Teacher‘ – it lists 6 characteristics that you want to be on the look for when searching for a Qigong Master.
The next best option. Good Qigong teachers are easier to find than Qigong Masters and more likely to teach you as well. Just because you find a Qigong Master, don’t automatically think they ‘have’ to teach you!
A Qigong teacher teaches Qigong, not Qigong form. Remember Qigong is a composite of form, energy and mind. If you’re only being taught form, then you’re learning Qigong form and not Qigong.
We’re not that interested in forms, we’re interested in SKILLS, with Qigong skills you can learn any form quickly and get better results from it than someone who has been practicing it for years at the level of form only.
The 6 qualities to look out for in a Qigong Master also apply here. Make sure you verify their credentials. Again, just because some one tells you that Qigong Master X was their teacher, doesn’t mean that’s totally true.
They may have just attended one seminar, or watch a video!
How can you tell if you’re being taught Qigong form instead of Qigong? A useful rule of thumb is that if you have to practice many different patterns, for an hour per session, then there’s a good chance that’s Qigong form.
The 5 main benefits of Qigong are:
- Health & Vitality
- Internal Force
- Mind Expansion
- Spiritual Cultivation
… and they can be gained in a practice session that lasts just 15 minutes.
3. Learn Qigong from a good online Qigong course/DVD
A few years ago, I never would have believed that in at number 3 you’d find online courses or DVD’s!
But the bottom line is they’ve got to be GOOD ones. How can you tell? Well there are 5 boxes that must be ticked if a course is going to be any good:
1) Comprehensive – the material must be complete.
2) Correct level – the material must be taught at the right level.
3) Systematic – you shouldn’t have to make quantum leaps in your understanding in order to apply and use the material.
4) Beneficial – the material must deliver what is says on the box.
5) Enjoyable – it must be enjoyable to watch, listen and study the material.
Just because someone knows their ‘stuff’ doesn’t mean they’re a good teacher. I learned this whilst studying at University. I had 2 lecturers who were leaders in the industry, they were incredibly intelligent and knew the material at a level I could only dream of.
But they couldn’t teach for toffee! They had no ability to take complex subjects and make them simple. They were completely unsystematic and they were as inspirational as a block of wood.
Yes, a good online Qigong course or DVD is better than a Qigong form teacher.
4. Learn Qigong from a good Qigong book
Let’s cut to the chase. Learning anything from a book takes work. Learning anything from a book that includes moving the human body in a particular way takes A LOT of work.
Generally you work harder and you benefit less.
But books are cheap and you can learn at your own pace – just remember you’re going to have to work hard, and you’re likely to make mistakes.
Many of Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit’s students first learned Qigong from his books and gained good results (though not as good as the results they gained when they eventually learned directly from him).
This is why I believe a good Qigong book is better than a poor Qigong teacher who only teaches Qigong forms.
Trouble is there’re a lot of Qigong books out there. How do you tell the good ones from the poor ones?
Use the list of 5 above to assess a book, it should be comprehensive, at the right level, systematic, beneficial and enjoyable. Plus the author’s credentials should be bona fide.
5. Learn Qigong form from a Qigong form teacher
The good news is there are a lot of Qigong form teachers out there and they usually charge a really low fee. Though be careful, using money as a measuring stick of a teachers ability isn’t very reliable.
That gate swings both ways! There are some Qigong form teachers that charge a lot and there are some Qigong Masters and suitably qualified teachers who charge a little.
The ‘problem’ with Qigong is that there is no official governing body (and I’m not sure there ever could be), just because a teacher has learned from Master XYZ, doesn’t mean they’re any good. Becoming a Qigong teacher isn’t a qualification you can earn and be tested on like becoming a dentist, an accountant or a vet.
Again, the report at the end of this blog post on finding a good Qigong teacher will be of great benefit to you.
6. Learn Qigong from a poor online Qigong course/DVD
How do you tell? Use the rule of 5 above and look at what else the course/DVD creator is selling. If it’s the ‘authors’ website and not a shop (Amazon et al) what else do they sell?
If they’re also the authors/creators of lots of other materials from NLP to Angels and everything else in between then I personally would question the depth and quality of their Qigong material.
Because it takes a lot of time, energy, discipline and effort to ‘master’ Qigong. But it doesn’t take much time to regurgitate material learned from a few courses and claim to be a Qigong Master.
I recall a true Qigong Master joking, on looking at the list of skills a teacher claimed to have mastered, that maybe he should learn from them.
At least a poor Qigong online course/DVD is easier to learn from than a poor Qigong book, at least you can see how to get from one position to the next when learning qigong exercises/forms.
7. Learn Qigong from a poor Qigong book
This is the worst way to learn Qigong.
Our ’5 steps’ help us here. You can quickly tell a poor Qigong book, especially if you’re in a book store and can pick it up and look through it.
Any pictures in it are usually poor quality and leave you wondering: ‘How do they get from that picture to that one?‘
These books usually lean heavily on Qigong theory, that in itself is no bad thing, but it’s usually dry, boring and as confusing as a box of frogs (hey if you can think of a better metaphor please let me know).
The least a book should be is entertaining.
BONUS way to learn Qigong
I’m not sure where this ranks in the list above. There are too many variables to consider and I’ve no direct experience of it (yet). But I’ve certainly considered offering it and I know some Yoga and Pilates teachers that offer it.
So what is it?
Learning by Skype or some other form of video conferencing. Using the Internet and a web cam it is possible to be virtually face to face with a Qigong Master/Teacher/Form teacher.
I’ll be watching this technological development with great interest and if you’ve used this medium at all to learn Qigong please let me know by using the comments box below.
For me the bottom line is this – the further away you get from a living, breathing bona fide source of Qigong education the worse your results will be.
But the challenge is and always has been how to tell the real from the fake.
Qigong Skeptic – unfortunately you can’t take things at face value, especially in the Qigong world.
A Blueprint For Success With Qigong – 7 essential components to help you gain the benefits of Qigong quickly and easily.
Qigong Skills V Qigong Techniques – discover why Qigong skills are essential to your success with Qigong.
Report: A Guide On How To Find A Great Qigong Teacher
You can get your hands on ‘A Guide On How To Find A Great Qigong Teacher‘, 5 other Qigong reports and a free Qigong Exercise (including 19 minutes of video tuition) by clicking here.
Bye for now
Marcus James Santer