chi flow

Genuine Chi Kung


Poland is very poor as regards to chi kung. There are some people who practice chi kung but there are no real masters. I am looking for some advice. Could you help me, please.?

-- Christopher, Poland


Real chi kung masters are rare not only in Poland but everywhere in the world, including China. In the past too, chi kung masters were rare, but then not many people had the chance to practice chi kung. Those who had the rare opportunity to practice chi kung in the past, or Shaolin Kungfu, Taijiquan and other styles of kungfu, practiced the real arts, even though some of these might not be of a high level. Even at a low level, at least what they practiced were real chi kung and real kungfu.

Today the situation is different. A lot of people practice and teach chi kung and kungfu, but what they practice and teach is not genuine chi kung and kungfu, not even at a low level. Most of these practitioners do not realize this pathetic situation. Some of them honestly but mistakenly think they practice the genuine arts. Others may realize what they have been practicing or teaching is not genuine, but due to various reasons, such as their ego and vested interest, they vehemently deny this.

A legitimate question is what constitutes genune chi kung and genuine kungfu. By definition, chi kung is an art of energy. Hence, any art or practice that does not involve energy, or chi, is not genuine chi kung. Kungfu is a martial art. Hence, any art or practice that cannot be used for fighting is not genuine kungfu.

As a rough estimate, more than 80% of those who practice or teach chi kung today have no experience of chi at all. Many of them still ask, “What is chi?” If they have any personal experience of chi, they would not ask that question; they would have known from direct experience. As an analogy, if you have eaten a mango or seen a tiger, you would not ask what a mango or a tiger is; you would know from direct experience. Worse, many of these chi kung instructors do not even believe in chi! They say that chi is some esoteric term referring to some physical or mechanical functions!

More than 80% of those who practice or teach kungfu today cannot use their kungfu for fighting. Some of these practitioners are actually good fighters, but what they use in their fighting is not kungfu but Kick-Boxing, Boxing, Taekwondo or other martial systems. Worse, some of them, including some world known masters, explicitly say that kungfu forms cannot be used for fighting!

If you search the internet you can readily find many of such practitioners. In our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum recently there have been some lively discussions on such topics. One Taijiquan instructor, for example, advocates using Boxing and Wrestling techniques for combat in his Taijiquan because Taijiquan techniques, he claims, is ineffective. Another instructor, who teaches Taijiquan and chi kung, says that chi does not exist!

We in Shaolin Wahnam have benefited tremendously from our chi kung and kungfu practice, where chi and combat application are essential aspects, and we are dedicated to preserve them for prosterity. We do not want these wonderful arts to be lost. We are very clear on two points. We would pass these arts only to deserving students. On the other hand, we respect the rights of others practicing their arts the way they like and have no interest to convert them to our way.

Reproduced from July 2006 Part 3 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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