When I practiced martial arts in a kwoon or Dojang the instructors would talk about ki, breath, meditation, focus, visualisation and peacefulness. .
Here is post quoted from another discussion board, posted by my friend who I know, who teaches TCM.-
" Qi has been subjected to this kind of cross cultural parsing error to the point of obscurity. No-one who understood what is implied by Qi would say they don't beleive in it. Saying you don't beleive in Qi is like saying you don't beleive in 'relationship' or "influence".
Qi is an old idea. The model I will try to explain is at least 2300 years old as it is clearly laid out in the Huangdi Neijing, the seminal work of chinese medicine. While essentially a medical text it also lays out a metaphysical model that is basic to chinese philosophy. The oldest character for Qi represented vapours rising. In time the radical for grain was placed below to show the steam that rises from cooking millet. What happens when you smell food cooking? Your body responds; stomach gurgles, mouth waters, etc. So something about cooking food exerted influence on you. Qi.
What is the nature of this influence? It requires that we introduce two other philosophical concepts that have been subject to ideational mutilation, Yin and Yang. We often see the simplistic folk models of Yin and Yang that are lists of things associated with the two concepts. ( Yin is feminine, cool, dark, receptive/ Yang is masculine, warm, light, creative). These lists are not strictly wrong, yet they obscure the reason the lists were made in the first place.
' Between heaven and earth are qi and it's laws' ; between Yin and Yang are Qi and it's laws'. This classic statement points to the most important aspect of Qi, it's context. So qi is the interplay of Yin and Yang. This brings us back to the nature of Yin and Yang.
Yin is the tendency of things in the universe to coalesce and slow down. Yin is the tendency to crystalization and struction. Yin is the tendacy of matter to fall down and shadows to form in opposition to light.
Yang is the tendency for things to change and become other things. The tendency to dissolve and tendency to grow. The tendency for clouds to boil and skin to tan.
All objects of sense experience are an interplay of Yin and Yang. This includes individual things as well as systems. This is why the concept of Taiji is the great terminus or the grand ultimate, because it includes all things in the universe. Yin and Yang are linked and one cannot be discussed without invoking the other. Structure cannot be divorced from function.
They stand in mutual opposition.
They are rooted in each other.
They define each others limit.
They transform into one another.
When we discuss the balance of Yin and Yang at any given moment or in any given state we are talking about Qi. It is important to understand that Yin and Yang are not absolute states of being, rather they are part of a moving frame that can applied in a variety of ways to any situation. There are many situations where the place of Yin and Yang is considered to be understood and relatively predictable so they are left out of the discussion. One of these places is in the context of the relationship between body and mind.
When we look at the basic idea of body and mind in Chinese philosophy we are talking about Jing(essense), and Shen( spirit, or summation of mental-emotional aspects of the individual). The relative interaction of Jing and Shen is the normal context for the discussion of Qi in martial arts. When someone says 'lead qi to your fingertips" the implication is to focus the mind on the fingertips to perceive the interaction between Jing and Shen at that point, hence qi. However, you could also say, ' absorb the opponents force to use their strength against them.' In this case Yin is found in the reception and relaxed connection of the defender ( song) , and the Yang is found in the aggresor's force( Li). The resulting Qi is how the interaction plays out. If the defender is subtle and skilled the qi will be the qi of a throw perhaps. If the aggressor is more subtle or skilled the result may be the qi of a successful hit.. If the aggressor is very subtle they may be able to become more Yin that the defender and so invert the frame of Yin and Yang.
So to come back to the idea 'Do you beleive in qi?' may be more usefully phrased, ' Do you beleive in the interplay of structure and fuction? Do you beleive in the interaction of order and chaos?"
Anyways, that's one post I found interesting. So it sounds like one of the first classifications of Yin and Yang, supposedly had to do with sunlight vs. a shadow, or light vs, dark. This is because through history, teachers would teach mankind through oracles such as the I ching, and possibly used prisms to teach about oneness. Such as how everything is vibration , and octaves. Galaxies, stars, planets, moons, humans, light, matter, vapour, sound. The emperors had no problem with this as long as they could become immortal, lead be turned to gold, or if their futures could be predicted.
Qigong is cultivation of the mind's place in the universe, to be open to all power all creation, flowing. Buddhas, and cultivators of buddhahood do a meditation posture in which the first finger bends down to connect to the thumb, symbolising the ego's will bowing to the will of heaven. The Tao has the way of wu wei, action through non action, doing things in accordance with the eternal Tao and nature, and not through self, or the human mind's will. Jesus said you reap what you sow, but that it would be full, pressed down and overflowing. In a Path that became religous over time, there was a saying( in reference to the universal spirit), " your will be done, not mine, in me and through me", and goes on to say, " show me what I must do this day to be a channel of your blessing to all." The more consciouss of the eternal manifestiation of the great priciple, that which creates, consitutes, governs, sustains and contains all, the more in accordance to it's way and flow someone can be, in my understanding. Which can use both physical and mental activities.
I think the Taoist cultivation is quite concerned with pre natal qi- http://www.kheper.net/topics/I_Ching/IChing_and_dna.htm
These clips show that Taiji is related to opening and closing the chest and internal body. Creating Yin and Yang( up and down) from Taiji. And also related to breathing, as well as opening and closing, microcosmic circular energy flow. http://vc4.hit.bg/taiji_cinna_1.avi http://vc4.hit.bg/taiji_cinna_2.avi
Do you read well?
The first published study, to ever show behavour can have a positive effect on immunity to viruses, studied Tai Chi. http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/A/20036202.html
I have no clue what Tai Chi Chih is though. All that means is that really good taijiquan, would most likey do even more for health.
From a site called PubMed, National Library of medicine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query...3&dopt=Abstract
Articles about energy development technology http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/14/3/149 http://www.diamondhead.net/sbtm.htm http://www.somatics.de/Oshman.htm
Heat and electricity seem part of the spectrum of qi. It is why hot will go to cold and vice versa, and not something else. Energy expresses itself according to qi balance. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/04.18/09-tummo.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query...st_uids=8070042
Here's a interesting article. It really seems to be on the right track for future development. The future is in energy and fields of energy- http://www.yorkkarate.com/Articles/Q%20i&%20Bioelectromagetic%20Energy.pdf http://www.amasci.com/freenrg/abhor.html
[This message has been edited by serious pain (edited 12-23-2004).]