Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

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Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by LG Elf Ftr/Wizard 7/17 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:32 pm

Is there anything out there (book, dvd) that can do for the Chinese IMA's what YRG did for yoga? Basically, to present the exercises/forms in a clear cut fashion, without the new age-type mysticism?
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:07 pm

http://shouyuliang.com/index.php/Wushu- ... tions.html

Don't be put off by "simplified"...the form is simplified, not the techniques.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Trip » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:16 pm

Forget taichi unless you want to go to the time and trouble of finding a good teacher. I would just stick with qigong, the healthful part of taichi is qigong IMO. I like JDC's Bliss Qigong and the set Cotter teaches on the Boys Are Back DVD is good as well.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:46 pm

Taiji is qigong.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Trip » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:03 pm

My point exactly.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:01 pm

I have experience in several types of qiqong. I primarily do bagua, which is qiqong as much as tai chi is qiqong.

I can say, however, that different types of qiqong affect me differently. I do bagua every single day, but I adjust my other qiqong based upon my needs.

This is a horribly simplistic example, but:

If I need energy, I do standing qiqong
If I need concentration, I do bagua circle walking
If I need relaxation, I do tai chi
If I have muscle tension or even a muscle spasm, I do tai chi

Start with something simple as others have suggested. If you like, and if you can find a qualified teacher, you can begin to learn which types of qiqong are most beneficial to your particular needs.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Trip » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:08 pm

On a side note I met Ken Cohen a few weeks ago, interesting fellow.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by stosh » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:27 pm

Tai chi is/is not qigong, learn tai chi, learn qi gong, learn bagua....AARRRGGGGHHHH!

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Trip » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:33 pm

Tai chi is/is not qigong, learn tai chi, learn qi gong, learn bagua....AARRRGGGGHHHH!
Embrace the Tao.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by stosh » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:38 pm

Trip wrote:
Tai chi is/is not qigong, learn tai chi, learn qi gong, learn bagua....AARRRGGGGHHHH!
Embrace the Tao.
I'm too busy cultivating my jing.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:24 pm

Keeping it simple is what I did.

Get this book and use a highligher to glean out information on basic qigong.

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing/books/qi ... ple_qigong

You could get the DVD for it. There is more theory on the DVD. The Eight Brocades are deadly dull in the beginning, though. That's how I started.

Any traditional wai dan (moving, nothing else) qigong is what you want to do if you want to keep it simple.

Ducanes Five animals is in the same category. There are other five animal videos if you don't want to deal with DD.

I like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Flexibil ... 592&sr=1-2

There are tons of others.

You are way better off if you get some lessons in standing and focus on that 5 minutes a day, too. It's a bitch in the beginning, though.

Search DD. There is a ton of info here and on DD.

Personally, I don't see the point of doing tai chi when other things are more accessible, unless you are serious about IMA. You are supposed to do a lot of onerous qigong anyway if you are really doing tai chi.

It's a long story but tai chi is more well-known than qigong because of a bunch of BS during the cultural revolution. Tai Chi looks cooler, too. And yes tai chi = qigong.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:10 pm

I agree that it is best to keep it simple. Taiji has become a catch all for everything from new age nonsense to relaxation to fighting applications or principles thereof. I feel it is best to define one’s end objective before trying to decide on a path to get there. If one is looking for an active recovery method taiji is pretty good. As a result of the activation of muscles through low stances and slow movement taiji can help improve the blood flow to taxed muscles. As cqc10 said, it helps with muscle tension and spasms. Additionally, exercises like the eight piece brocade can help for active recovery. It looks like the book that ultracool recommends contains the eight piece brocade, they are also (though probably in less detail in Tom Bisio’s book A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth (additionally lots of great stuff for healing up injuries in that book so you get a double whammy for your cash). I feel that one positive thing about using taiji/eight piece brocade for an active recovery is that one can get in some light exercise that isn’t harsh on the nervous system.

As far as many qigong systems I have witnessed go, I feel most of them are bloated wastes of time and money. More complexity means less money in your pocket book and more googley-eyed true believers to contend with. Save the cash and just read about Herbert Benson’s relaxation response. Calm mind = parasympathetic nervous system activated = increased blood flow = tissue waste is efficiently taken out of the body/tissues can repair. I don't think Benson's method incorporates movement so it may not be the best for active recovery but it is very good for calming down and getting centered in life.

By the way, thanks for sharing your observations on how different methods effect you cqc10. I appreciate solid, no bullshit, first hand experience like that.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:46 pm

Bedlam 1946 wrote:As far as many qigong systems I have witnessed go, I feel most of them are bloated wastes of time and money. More complexity means less money in your pocket book and more googley-eyed true believers to contend with. Save the cash and just read about Herbert Benson’s relaxation response. Calm mind = parasympathetic nervous system activated = increased blood flow = tissue waste is efficiently taken out of the body/tissues can repair. I don't think Benson's method incorporates movement so it may not be the best for active recovery but it is very good for calming down and getting centered in life.
I very much agree with this. Complexity is added by people wanting to sell products. The truth is that the 'power' of qiqong comes from putting in the necessary time every single day for a long period of time. People want something that sounds fancy, and they don't want to hear that basics done repeatedly is the answer.
Bedlam 1946 wrote:By the way, thanks for sharing your observations on how different methods effect you cqc10. I appreciate solid, no bullshit, first hand experience like that.
No problem at all. Qiqong is fascinating stuff. There are odd and interesting sensations that occur in the body as one deepens their practice. People take these sensations and treat them as if they are the goal, when they are simply sign post on the road of progression. Since they are sometimes odd sensations, they are spiritualized and turned into new-age nonsense. I don't pretend to understand everything that is going on during qiqong practice, but having found a good teacher, I was willing to just do it exactly as prescribed. I have a good sense about how these things affect my body now. The longer you do it, the more beneficial the practice becomes.

I can bring an powerful relaxation response to my body in minutes now. Many people live so long in such a keyed-up state that they forget what calmness in mind and body really is supposed to be. I often think that if anyone could feel what I feel after practice like this, they'd immediately begin training.

Am I some exalted Taoist sage tinkering with exotic qiqong sets for hours on end? Nope . . . I'm just some regular guy who was dumb enough to do the really basic stuff every damn day for years on end. Some good instruction can make these things better, but the 'secret' is just to do it.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:10 pm

cqc10 wrote: I can bring an powerful relaxation response to my body in minutes now.
Have you read the Relaxation Response or Three Minute Meditator? It shows a pretty easy path to developing a mental cue for relaxation; I've gotten it down to a one word code that gets a significant relaxation response...I use it in jiujitsu all the time when I feel myself straining, either on offense or defense. It's not qigong per se, but it works.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:26 pm

cqc10 wrote:Nope . . . I'm just some regular guy who was dumb enough to do the really basic stuff every damn day for years on end. Some good instruction can make these things better, but the 'secret' is just to do it.
I'm sure you've stated this before but what exactly was the basic stuff you did for years on end? Right now I'm standing for 15:00 and I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time. I do plan on getting a few sessions with someone when able. I do Wu Chi for 5:00, then Holding the Balloon for 5:00 then finish with 5:00 more of Wu Chi. It's in my log if you want to take a look. Like I said I just want to make sure I'm not wasting my time. I'm having a really hard time of clearing my mind. Seems like I am thinking about something the entire time.

I'm following The Way of Energy, btw.

Thanks!

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by GoDogGo! » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:27 pm

ultracool wrote:The Eight Brocades are deadly dull in the beginning, though. That's how I started.
So do they ever stop being deadly dull?
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by buckethead » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:39 pm

Mickey O'neil wrote: I'm having a really hard time of clearing my mind. Seems like I am thinking about something the entire time.
That's what the mind does.
Are you sure your goal is to clear the mind or just observe the mind and body dispassionately?

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:49 pm

Mickey O'neil wrote:
cqc10 wrote:Nope . . . I'm just some regular guy who was dumb enough to do the really basic stuff every damn day for years on end. Some good instruction can make these things better, but the 'secret' is just to do it.
I'm sure you've stated this before but what exactly was the basic stuff you did for years on end? Right now I'm standing for 15:00 and I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time. I do plan on getting a few sessions with someone when able. I do Wu Chi for 5:00, then Holding the Balloon for 5:00 then finish with 5:00 more of Wu Chi. It's in my log if you want to take a look. Like I said I just want to make sure I'm not wasting my time. I'm having a really hard time of clearing my mind. Seems like I am thinking about something the entire time.

I'm following The Way of Energy, btw.

Thanks!
Hey Mickey -

I could not explain it all easily. (If you'd like, PM me and I'll try to explain more) The foundation has been BGZ circle walking, but it has been mixed with standing practice (like Way of Energy) and some tai chi. There are certainly details and paths of advancement, but those don't mean much without daily practice. On a bad day I may be walking the circle 30 minutes, but usually more. I cannot stand for 30 minutes straight, but I can do moving qiqong that long. (even w/ bgz, there is movement in stillness, as the upper body is 'still' while the lower body moves. ) To quiet my mind I sometimes need more time. To relax my body I can get there in about 10 minutes of tai chi. Circle walking for 30-40 minutes has a powerful affect on my mind and body. Pain or severe tension can change the time I need to make it all help.

I don't think you are wasting your time, but there is nothing wrong with trying some of ultracool's suggestions for moving qiqong. Mix it in, play with it, observe your reactions, and do what seems to help the most. (some instruction w/ the standing IS helpful .. . . .BTW)

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:09 pm

GoDogGo! wrote:
ultracool wrote:The Eight Brocades are deadly dull in the beginning, though. That's how I started.
So do they ever stop being deadly dull?
I did it 20 minutes twice a week and 40 minutes once a week. After six months I stopped hating it.

After two years, the toe raises ceased being a bitch. ( I seriously think that IGX training knowledges would be helpful for this, among other sicking points in qigong. )

Some time after that 40 minutes seemed like two minutes.

My brain got trained. That's all I can say. The boring standing and moving worked for me. I sure as hell wasn't going to sit in a chair and meditate.

I think the eight brocades is a good place to start because it palpably hammers on the kidney points on the feet and the back. The kidneys make the whole thing go in qigong.

It's qigong for dummies. It's the most basic thing you can learn and it's dependable.

I can meditate in a chair now and a QI VORTEX vortexes my lower dantien and I am happy to SIT there and do it.

It must be said that straight sitting stuff misses out on the very clever and different Chinese view of moving, athleticism, and joint mobility.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:12 pm

BucketHead wrote:
Mickey O'neil wrote: I'm having a really hard time of clearing my mind. Seems like I am thinking about something the entire time.
That's what the mind does.
Are you sure your goal is to clear the mind or just observe the mind and body dispassionately?
Micky:

Don't worry about it. The people I read say don't worry about it. The "no mind" takes care of it's self after a while.

Make sure you read Cohen's book and Cartmel's book. Hell, Lam Kam Chuen says you can watch non-violent TV while you do it.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:17 pm

Jack wrote:
Fat Cat wrote:Taiji is qigong.
Qigong is a facet of Taiji - no?
Tai chi is technically a subset of qigong.

Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's books have venn diagrams that explain this.

A school of tai chi will have it's own unique qigong practices to support the form or martial aspects. The tai chi form is a qigong practice, too.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:18 pm

ultracool wrote:Make sure you read Cohen's book and Cartmel's book. Hell, Lam Kam Chuen says you can watch non-violent TV while you do it.
For the basics, yes. Not a bad way to start . . . . with time you want to wean yourself off of such things though.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:21 pm

cqc10 wrote:
ultracool wrote:Make sure you read Cohen's book and Cartmel's book. Hell, Lam Kam Chuen says you can watch non-violent TV while you do it.
For the basics, yes. Not a bad way to start . . . . with time you want to wean yourself off of such things though.
I never used the TV, myself. I just suffered. I was motivated by health problems and meeting a very powerful Xingy acupuncture guy.

Cohen gives the hard sell on standing. It's worth reading.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:04 pm

ultracool wrote:I never used the TV, myself. I just suffered. I was motivated by health problems and meeting a very powerful Xingy acupuncture guy.

Cohen gives the hard sell on standing. It's worth reading.
Me neither. I was told to go do certain exercises a certain way and I just did it. (and I think that was better for my mind)

Hey Mickey -

This might be a good read for you.
http://www.qi-journal.com/Qigong.asp?-T ... aguaQigong

Park Bok Nam teaches breathing, qiqong movement, and concentration separately and then combines them once you get them each down. This isn't how I learned, but there is something to be said for the exercises. Play around with it and PM me if you have questions.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:17 pm

ultracool wrote:
BucketHead wrote:
Mickey O'neil wrote: I'm having a really hard time of clearing my mind. Seems like I am thinking about something the entire time.
That's what the mind does.
Are you sure your goal is to clear the mind or just observe the mind and body dispassionately?
Micky:

Don't worry about it. The people I read say don't worry about it. The "no mind" takes care of it's self after a while.

Make sure you read Cohen's book and Cartmel's book. Hell, Lam Kam Chuen says you can watch non-violent TV while you do it.
Well Bux I thought that I was supposed to try to clear my mind but now that ultra mentions it Lam Cam does say that "no mind" takes care of itself after a while. That may be part of the problem, I'm trying too hard. Lam does also say to observe the thought and then let it go.

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