Interestingly, the first 8 qigong exercises from the 18 Lohan Hands qigong/chi kung set also form another set known as Ba Duan Jin or 8 Pieces of Brocade.
There are many different versions of the Ba Duan Jin made up of different qigong exercises to the ones in this version (just do a quick search on Youtube and you’ll see what I mean). Is that a problem? I don’t think so, I think it makes sense. When you consider that qigong has a history of over 5000 years you’ve got to expect a bit of variety! Especially when you factor in things like different religious and political views, different needs of different people and groups.
So let’s not have any of that ‘my ba duan jin is better than your ba duan jin’ nonsense.
Recall that Qigong is a composite of Form, Energy and Mind. As long as the 8 qigong exercises of a ba duan jin set are practiced as qigong (and not just qigong form) and a practitioner gets the benefits of practicing qigong from them – then that’s brilliant.
The 8 qigong exercises that I was taught as making up the Ba Duan Jin are as follows:
- Lifting The Sky
- Shoot Arrows Left Right
- Plucking Stars Change Galaxies
- Rotating Winch
- Big Turn of the Cosmos
- Punching With Wide Eyes
- Look Back To Carry The Moon
- Reverse Hands Bend Waist
Yue Fei, a famous general in the Southern Sung Dynasty (AD1177 – 1279) is generally attributed as creator of the Ba Duan Jin qigong exercises. Yue Fei is also associated with Eagle Claw and Hsing I (xingyi) kung fu. Wikipedia has a very interesting section on him if youwish to read more.
Bye for now
Marcus James Santer