An Introduction to Tai Chi and Chi Kung
by Grandmaster Chin
Western medicine has made a big impact on the world. It produces miracles every day and the best of treatments. However, in the Chinese culture prevention has always been the focus. Now Western Society is beginning to understand and use the valuable techniques that are centuries old. In fact, there are many hospitals in China that have Centers for Chi Kung healing.
“I don’t know where we come from or where we are going – we must try to find the inner peace to guide our way.”
The western world is now learning how the practice of T’ai Chi and Chi Kung can improve health and the quality of life, and how these disciplines can help us find our way. Tao means “the way.”
You may have noticed Chi as the common word here. Chi is a new concept for the people of the western hemisphere – the people in the east have cultivated chi for thousands of years. In fact, to many Chinese people Chi is the most important ingredient in human life.
The Mind & Body Connection
There is much excitement these days about the “mind & body connection.” Scientific research as well as casual observation are producing information that supports the theories and practices that have existed in China for centuries: The mind has an affect on the body – the body affects our quality of life.
Chi Kung practitioners believe that practicing Chi Kung one hour a day will add an hour to the life span. An old saying goes: “Practice every day, gain an hour. Miss one, lose ten days.” While T’ai Chi and Chi Kung can enhance other martial arts, they also stand on their own merit. Their practice can enhance strength, mobility and general good health. Chi is like the trunk of a tree – the other martial arts are like the limbs. If you have built the trunk you can expand in the branches to learn.. Unfortunately most people try to crawl in along one of the limbs. That is why they can never achieve full mastery of the art. It is much better to learn one system well and come to a deeper understanding than to know a little about a hundred systems but never truly understand them.
It may be possible to study Chi Kung independently. However, traditionally the knowledge is passed from teacher to student – one to one – which insures a more complete understanding of the form and philosophy. I was fortunate to have studied under several masters during a time when finding a true teacher was difficult. Their theories and techniques are a treasure to me. It is my desire to share my knowledge and experience and to help people lead longer and healthier lives.