Historically, the term Qi did not have a single definition, but for our purposes it means “life energy”.
Ba Gua Zhang Qi Gong focuses on improving one’s overall health through movements designed to stimulate increased circulation of Qi within the body. The movements focus on engaging the entire body, with particular attention paid to working the joints (strengthening the corresponding muscles, ligaments, and tendons), stimulating the body’s meridians and manipulating the fascia surrounding the organs. It improves the ability to acquire Qi from external sources (food and air) and to preserve the Qi and use it efficiently. By more effectively using and preserving our acquired Qi, we are less likely to dip into our Original Qi, which is the Qi given to us by our parents, and which is no longer developed after puberty. Preserving our Original Qi allows for better overall quality of life.
Our system of Qi Gong, like the rest of our art, follows the concept of the Natural Trinity. The Qi Gong trinity is derived from this concept as well, and consists of:
- Continuous Movement
- Proper Breath
- Purposeful Focus
In the beginning, each of these three concepts are trained separately. These principles and very in-depth and take time to become proficient in, and hence the separate study of each is required in the beginning so as to not overwhelm the student. As the practitioner becomes more experienced, they are combined.
Our system of Qi Gong is tightly integrated with the martial side of the art. One cannot fully understand and progress in one without studying the other. The studying of the martial side of the art improves coordination and flexibility, allowing the student to more effectively move through the postures of the Qi Gong. The Qi Gong practice improves the ligament, tendon, and small muscle strength, increases Qi circulation, and adds a depth of fluidity and power to the martial application. At advanced levels, the distinction between the martial and the Qi Gong sides disappears.