Ever been curious about why some practitioners use the word Qigong, while others use Chi Kung? Or maybe you’ve stumbled upon variations like Qui Gong, Chi Gung, or Chi Kong and wondered if these all refer to the same discipline? This informative blog post is dedicated to providing clarity around these terms.
Even if you haven’t asked these questions yet, you’ll undoubtedly find something intriguing here. Let’s explore this fascinating topic together.
Looking back to my first book, “Shaolin Chi Kung,” penned in 2008, you’ll notice that I used the Wade-Giles rendering ‘Chi Kung’ rather than the Romanized ‘Qigong.’ But these days, I primarily use Qigong.
The reason? Simply put, the term “Qigong” is more frequently searched online than “Chi Kung.” As a professional Qigong instructor, it’s practical to position my ‘virtual stall’ where the majority of traffic lies.
Sure, I could write Qigong/Chi Kung all the time, but that’d grow old real quick.
So, is Qigong the same as Chi Kung?
Indeed, they are.
In fact, Qigong is a contemporary term for the ancient Chinese energy arts, previously known as Nei Gong.
Yet, Nei Gong is only half of the story. The other half is Wei Gong.
Wei Gong and Nei Gong are the two groups that the legion of Kung Fu force training arts are usually divided into. Where:
- Wei Gong is used to refer to External Force Training arts. Wei Gong trains Jin, Gu and Bi or muscles, bones and flesh. It utilizes techniques such as stretching, hitting objects or using weights.
- Nei Gong is used to refer to Internal Force Training arts. Nei Gong trains Jing, Qi and Shen or essence, energy and spirit. These arts utilise techniques like: Zhan Zhuang, meditation, Dynamic Qigong exercises.
The style of Qigong I teach falls under the Nei Gong category.
Considering the different Chinese dialects, such as Mandarin and Cantonese (widely spoken by Chinese communities in the West), and the scope for human error, it’s understandable why there are so many ways to refer to these Chinese energy arts.
Regardless of the spelling you choose for your Qigong practice—whether it’s Qigong, Chi Kung, Nei Gong, Qui Gong, Chi Gong, Chi Kong, or something else entirely—it’s not worth stressing over. The primary focus should be on whether your practice yields the results you seek.
If you’re not seeing the outcomes you desire, you might be practicing Qigong form only. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it may not be the most effective use of your time, energy, and resources.
If you’re interested in learning Qigong the way I teach, your next destination awaits:
Enjoy your practice!