Your Qigong Learning Experiences

A friend of my Facebook page made a very interesting comment to a post I made and it really stuck with me. I’ve been chewing it over ever since and it’s the reason for this Qigong blog post.

The comment that started all this was in response to the Q365 post: Frankensteins Qigong Monster

“If I had the opportunity and resources to learn face-to-face I would, however that isn’t the case for everyone.”

I believe that the very best way to learn Qigong, to learn anything for that matter, is directly from a great teacher. I think we can all agree on that.

Learning Qigong

But what happens if you can’t afford to invest £18,000 and 9 years of travelling 1000′s of miles (like I did) to learn Qigong directly from a Qigong master?

There are many Qigong teachers who will tell you that you can’t learn Qigong unless it is face-to-face with them. I used to be one of them. These teachers usually don’t have books, DVD’s, online Qigong courses etc. So I guess that if they didn’t promote this message they’d have no students.

I certainly used to think this, that the only way to learn Qigong was face-to-face with me. I used to think that books, DVD’s etc were valuable only as reference tools for those who had learned Qigong face-to-face or as a tool to inspire students to come and learn from me face-to-face.

But two years of promoting the Qigong Secrets Home Study Course, providing support, answering their questions and the feedback I’ve received from students, many of whom have had no face-to-face Qigong tuition in the past has made me question this: ‘face-to-face is the only way to learn Qigong’ – opinion.

Qigong secrets Testimonials

Sure, it is best to learn Qigong direct from a good teacher, but what do you do if:

  1. There are no good Qigong teachers near you? The truth is that due to Qigong being so overshadowed by Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation and Reiki you’re very unlikely to find a Qigong teacher of any calibre near you. Though I have noticed that an increasing number of Tai Chi teachers have started to offer Qigong classes as part of their repertoire.
  2. Family, work or financial commitments mean you can’t travel 1000′s of miles to learn Qigong direct? I realise now just how understanding my wife has been. “Hey honey, we’re not going on holiday this year because I’m spending £2000 on a week in Malaysia learning Qigong healing techniques.” That’s not a fun conversation to have.

Do these two factors mean you’re not able to learn Qigong? Do they mean that you’re not a worthy student if you’re not prepared to make sacrifices to learn face-to-face?

I certainly don’t think so.

I was fortunate enough to always be able to learn Qigong face-to-face and to increase my understanding of Qigong theory by reading books on Qigong. But I have met quite a number of Qigong practitioners who were able to achieve a relatively high standard of practice from book learning alone.

This is where I need your help, you see I know what I think about this subject, but as a Qigong teacher trying to get the gift of Qigong out to the world, I’m more interested in what you think about learning Qigong.

What has been your experience of learning Qigong? Whatever route you may have taken.

Whilst I encourage you to be as specific as possible, this is not a platform for building up, or putting down other teachers of Qigong. I’d love to know what worked for you, what didn’t work for you, what do you think about book, DVD, online, Skype learning? What are your experiences of face-to-face Qigong learning?

Please leave your comment in the box below. Normal rules apply: We’re all cool like the Fonz and we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Just a qigong instructor

 

 

 

 

Marcus James Santer

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Torgeir March 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I first came across Qigong on a meditation Resort in India about a year ago. I signed up for an intensive course and have practiced Qigong since then. I just love doing it and now it´s a routine twice a day. After a while I felt that I did not do my exercises quite right and found qigong15.com where I have got much help from Master Marcus teachings, both on web and his first book. He has also been so kind answering my questions. I now feel that I would like to enter a course or a workshop again, because nothing is better than being guided directly from a teacher face to face. It has also something to do with the teachers energy and I would also like doing the exercises with others once again.
Torgeir, Norway.

Karen March 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I live in a small city in Malaysia where not much happens. Four years ago when a friend told me about a Qigong meditation course that was to be held in town, I decided to join to see what it was all about. It was for good health and longevity. It was a nine day course, held at night in an air conditioned room that is far from what you expect a meditation center would be like, that is, no ambiance at all. Theory was briefly explained, which I didn’t really understand, then all we were told to do was sit on an uncomfortable plastic chair and breath normally focusing on the “out breath” going into the tan tien. We did that for about 2-3 sessions of 40 min each, told to go home , do the meditation a few more times the next day before coming to the class. By the second night I was already detoxing, many blocks were opening, physically and emotionally, and I wondered if I could continue because of the unpleasant effects it had on me. Body temperature was crazy, couldn’t sleep, and was very tearful. On the positive side I had a formed bowel movement for the first time in years and the pain that I had from an injury in my ribs disappeared. And I cried about sensitive issues.
What made me decide to continue was that I thought to myself that all I did was sit there and breathe and all this was happening; this must be a very powerful technique. And the unpleasant side effects quickly passed and I finished the course and by the end I had built up enough Qi to do the circulation and have been doing this same simple meditation almost every day, sometimes twice or more times for 40 min. depending on my time and how much I feel I need to increase Qi in my body.
Before learning Qigong I practiced yoga on and off and used Reiki daily, but neither can compare to the results I get with my present practice. And I appreciate the daily reminders that you give, they have improved my practice, many times a 40 min session is not required to get the Qi up and running. I’m a young 73, and don’t think I can ever stop this practice.
As for the benefits of face-to-face, that’s all I know so can’t compare, but I kind of think that if I started this on my own I wouldn’t have continued. The support from the teacher in those initial days was very comforting.

Rita March 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Marcus, you have been a wonderful teacher. Learning from you in person would be better but not possible. I have learned a lot of helpful things from you and hope to learn even more. Keep doing what you you are doing. Please.
Rita

Linda March 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm

This is only day 15 for me since I started practising Qigong so it is all very new. However I am really enjoying my practice and find the instructions and short videos most informative and helpful. My partner bought your book Shaolin Chi Kung for me last year but due to ill health I never started practising. I now realise that I should have started but maybe now is “my correct time”. I intend to continue and am most grateful for your help Marcus. Thank you.

Walter March 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hey Marcus…..Yes, for me it’s your course and Chifusion (it was Al who recommended your course)….the perfect combination! I tried the face to face approach locally, but, I’m afraid it just didn’t work out. Anyway, keep up the good work!

Dee March 14, 2012 at 1:57 am

Hi Marcus,
I find your instruction helpful and really there is really is no alternative as I live in Australia and there is very few teachers here, as a younger person I was a student of Judo, but time and tide goes on with life and I no longer wish to be thrown on the floor, so this has been a nice alternative.
Thanks and blessings.
Dee

John March 14, 2012 at 2:42 am

Greetings Marcus,
Thanks again for the Homestudy Course – it really kept me on track towards my goals and I’ve noticed a positive difference in my life already. Coming across this interesting post I felt inclined to add a comment.
The first time I learnt high-level chi kung was with a master whom I traveled to study wit which I now realize may have actually been unwise. The next time I had the time and the money to do so, was one year later. In that time, I got into some bad habits and it doesn’t help to package a two or three-day chi kung course while stressing the possible negative side effects of wrong-practice. That second time travelling was the last opportunity I had to study with that master which was almost 3 years ago.

It was great, and extremely beneficial for the few days I was there but after that I felt rather out in the cold so to speak. I persevered with practicing twice a day but noticed little difference to my life. I found it hard to gauge my progress and while I maintained a twice-daily practice, I was gradually losing confidence with no-one to refer to. While the master I had trained with was open to email, he has so many students internationally that the few times I emailed a question, it would take 3 weeks or up to a month to reply. By that time, I would often have another question. If I consulted some of his higher level students in my home-country, they would get irate, borderline angry, that I hadn’t been following his instructions properly and was therefore not practicing his art and it was only when talking to them that I started to realize the possible harmful effects of practicing wrongly. When I had trained with the Master originally, the language used was all about how great the benefits are; cleansing, purifying, increasing internal FORCE! vitality, longevity. Then, naturally at home in my back garden after a year, I forgot some of his word-for-word instructions without having him around and in the eyes of his higher-level students that made me a “bad” student. Yes, ultimately, I have to take responsibility for the benefits I get from Chi Kung but in hindsight, I believe I was going about it all wrong.
I wish I had done your Homestudy Course FIRST. I could have practiced away and gauged my practice slowly with the progress tracker or constantly referred back to the videos to refine my form.
Then, if I had had the time and money, after 6 months or a year of that, I believe it would have been better to train with a master at that time. At that stage, I would be in a better position to get the benefits of training with a master having an established practice and having got some definable measurable benefits BUT also, I would have been in a slightly better position, after a year or so of Chi Kung, to recognize a master or at least a genuine teacher – there are after all, a lot of charlatans out there. But I fell victim to two classic blunders – far away hills being supposedly greener and also that if you want to learn yoga, you have to go to an ashram in India/ if you want to learn Chi Kung/ Kung Fu, the best thing to do is to learn from a wisened, mysterious old guy in China or thereabouts. I just wish I had come across Marcus and his “No BS”, engaging and light-hearted approach four years ago. I’d be at a much higher level now but thanks to him, I’m getting the benefits.

RECAP: If anyone is thinking of studying Chi Kung or is already doing so and is worried that this homestudy course is the second best option to studying with a master directly – wrong. This is just my opinion but I believe this is the best way for any beginner to ease their way into chi kung and find their feet. Marcus is always there, the touch of a button away. When you no longer need to constantly refer back to him on the computer, then that’s the time to visit him in person or a master closer to your home. If you complete the 22 weeks, then you’ll find that you’re now doing Chi Kung and are in a much better position to assess your next step. If you don’t complete the 22 weeks, fine, that means you didn’t want to do it anyway and a master, nearby or further away would have made little difference to your life anyway.

Marcus – grateful thanks. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Rodrigo March 14, 2012 at 7:30 am

hello Marcus;
I tried qigong before, face to face, and online, and always was difficult for me to practiced the days I hadn’t classes with the teacher in front of me;
I tried your 22 weeks course ( one year has passed from the day I started the course), and from that date I am doing qigong daily two times a day (99% of the days); I have more energy, I am not so tired as before, when I get home after working I am quite well, before your course I always arrived home tired;
And something more, I know that I have a tool that comes with me whereever I go or stay and this give me great confidence or support;
Well, all this from your 22 weeks course and your weekly @mails;
Thank you very much Marcus

Ernest March 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I first learned a simple form in person from my spiritual teacher, Swami Anand Nisarg. But I couldn’t remember it well enough to continue (I rarely see him in person). Later I worked from a simple book called “A Morning Cup of Qigong”. These forms were very simple and I found myself happier and “lighter” from the practice. Not long after that I found Marcus’ online course, and have been practicing it regularly ever since. This is beyond what I had done before by leaps and bounds. I feel that I know so much about what Qigong is and why it works, and have the experience of the energy moving within me and working on and changing me. The energy is real to me and I experience it more deeply as time goes on. I’ve also have not had any significant illness since starting the practice. I have 8 people in my family, and illness makes the rounds through here a few times per year. But for the past year I’ve not caught what was going around.

As to needing a teacher or not, I think it depends on the person trying to learn. It’s worked for me, and I don’t feel any need to meet personally with Marcus, though I would love to. But I have other practices that complement the Qigong, and deal with energy work, and so perhaps that helped me.

I also want to add (a bit off topic) that the Qigong State of Mind that we start with has helped me in ALL of my other practices. They all go noticeably better if I start by entering a Qigong State of Mind.

Marcus, I’m so grateful to you for the online course. Thank you!

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thanks Ernest I really appreciate your kind words =)

Keep up the good work and enjoy your practice.

Kindest regards

Marcus

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I hear you Dee. I looked at my son’s giant world map the other day and I’m always staggered at how huge Australia is. I’m glad you find my work helpful =)

Kindest regards

Marcus

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hi Walter,
Thanks for your comment. I’m hearing this type of thing more and more and I find it very interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

kindest regards

Marcus

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

You got it Rita!

Thank you for your kind words =)

Marcus

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Dear Karen,

Thank you for sharing your experience here with us. I’m very grateful. It’s always a pleasure to read someone else’s account of how they have learned.

Thanks again Karen and enjoy your practice, it’s clearly working for you =)

Kindest regards

Marcus

Marcus March 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Hey Torgeir,

Good to hear from you and thanks for your interesting comment. I know what you mean, practicing in a room with a Master and a group of fellow students is one of my favourite experiences =)

Keep up your good work!

Kindest regards

Marcus

roger whatley March 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

i have studied tthe 22 weekcourse and i cosider excellent. iam firmly of the belief that with application and attention one can learn much from a wellpresented course but there is no doubt that face to face a good teacher is best since they can apply any necessary corrections. the only problem is where to find one close enough to meet.

Lucky Kruse March 19, 2012 at 12:03 am

Marcus,
I found Qigong a few years ago from some friends and they taught me what they knew but it wasn’t great. However, it did get me started then I seached the web and learned a little more but that didn’t do it either. Then one day I stumbled onto your course and what a god send. You saved me from so much bad training and I really took to it. The best part is that I have been able to help my wife with what I learned from you. There are no teachers close to me and I can’t leave my wife to train elsewhere. However to be totally truthful your course gave me so much and I like so many others use the tracker to keep me on track and getting better all the time. I practice twice a day and feel simply fantastic. Each and every time I practice it helps me to stay younger than my 67 yrs. I owe you so very much and as soon as I can I want your book so much. Again thanks for making so big of a difference in mine and my wifes life.
Respectfully,
Lucky and Marsha

Francesca March 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Hi Marcus,
I tend to be kinesthetic in my mode of learning so face to face with a teacher who is willing to make little adjustments – hands on, is really helpful to me. However, I think to spread Qi Gong via the internet and books is very valuable. People may end up not doing it quite “right” but I think they can probably still benefit tremendously… especially if they do run into problems they can simply ask you.. without seeing what they are doing I think you can nevertheless give some useful advice… mostly around the 70% rule probably!
So keep up the good work!
Francesca

Marcus March 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Hello Francesca,

I completely agree with you. Great comment well made =)

Thanks for sharing.

Marcus

Gordon May 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm

I learned Qigong from DVDs and having been doing two styles for 6 or 7 years. Over that time as I’ve periodically studied the DVDs after practicing without them for awhile I’ve continued to pick up nuances I didn’t initially see so that my Qigong has–hopefully–become more like that of the teacher over time. I was aware of Qi before I was aware of Qigong (I’ve felt it when I began meditating 40+ years ago, plus I studied Reiki and other healing methods 30 or so years ago) but as I practice Qigong I’ve noticed greater intensity to the Qi I feel–often the second or third time I practice during a day (a cumulative effect?, greater opening?).

It would be nice to interact with either of the teachers of the two styles I do–to learn more about their subtleties but I settle for what I can get.

Marcus May 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your Qigong learning experience Gordon. I think many people are aware of Qi before they are aware of Qigong. I believe that is why there are so many different types of energy art out there and so many different names given to Qi, Chi, Ki, Prana, life-force etc. I don’t think it’s the exclusive territory of the East, though they do seem to have made an art of it and raised it to a very high level.

Kindest regards

Marcus

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