Qigong vs Tai Chi (Do you Know the Difference)?
Qigong vs Tai Chi.
Can you tell me do you know the difference?
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Many people have asked me this very question. The question proves that this subject is confusing to most people, since both Qigong vs Tai Chi share similar traits.
A great member of my internet community recently asked me to explain the differences between Qigong vs Tai Chi from a comment in one of my posts.
Here was his comment:
“Kaju, how does Qigong differ from Tai Chi? I ordered a DVD a few years ago that incorporated both, and I never started it so I don't know even if there IS a difference! Great Courses put them both onto one DVD: I desperately need both! Thanks for keeping up with this, Kaju.......
I promised this member I’d write a future post about this subject.
If you’ve read my posts over the summer, you will know this subject has great relevance with my current weekly Eastern medical treatments I am receiving by the eminent Dr. Lee for my sporadic bradycardia and separately for my focal hand dystonia which has plagued me for over 10 years.
Let me see if I can share some light on this subject in this article.
I am one of the very fortunate ones. With the eminent Dr. Lee who I remain in constant contact with, I have a wonderful authentic sensei who I can always rely for a consult.
During one of my recent visits with Dr. Lee, I asked him some of these most complex questions.
Here are some of the outstanding answers Dr. Lee provided me regarding the differences between Qigong vs Tai Chi.
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Dr. Lee Explains
The eminent Dr. Lee who is an octogenarian has studied with the great Chinese Masters in many disciplines, and is using a unique combination of all to treat my maladies.
However, there are actually 3 relevant components at play here:
He went on to explain the differences between Qigong vs Tai Chi, and also added the related Shaolin Martial Arts, although some of the differences are very subtle and quite convoluted.
The word Qigong's literal meaning is "the exercise of the energy (chi)". It is a non-martial art. Qigong is composed of both static meditation and moving meditation.
Qigong literally means "the exercise of the energy (chi)" and is a non-martial art. It can be composed of bothstatic meditation and moving meditation.
It is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, and spirituality.
In Qigong, the “chi” is emphasized and expressed, which is the exercise of a flow of energy through the body.
Qigong can be viewed several different ways: it can be viewed from the perspective of exercise, health, philosophy, with following several main principles emerging concerning its practice:
- · Intentional movement: careful, flowing balanced style
- · Rhythmic breathing: slow, deep, coordinated with fluid movement
- · Awareness: calm, focused meditative state
- · Visualization: of chi flow, philosophical tenets, aesthetics
- · Chanting/Sound: use of sound as a focal point
A soft gaze, expressionless face, firm footing, relaxed muscles, slightly bent joints, and motion over the center of gravity are Qigong's ideal physical components
The "Five Animal play" is a set of Qigong exercises developed during the Han Dynasty mimicking the movements of the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and crane
Qigong vs. Tai Chi: Tai Chi
Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is composed of a series of movements that are practiced as health exercises good for balance and to relieve stress.
However, with Tai Chi the "energy" component is not stressed.
Although Tai Chi is a series of movements practiced as a health exercise, while internal energy moves inside the body, that same internal energy (”chi”) is not stressed.
Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu is one of the oldest, largest, and most famous styles of kung fu. It is an external martial art that combines Zen Buddhism, and martial arts emphasizing combat skills and was originated and developed in the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China over a 1500-year history.
Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) is a series of movements that is considered an “internal martial art; it is practiced as a health and balance exercise for the relief of anxiety.
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Tai Chi is considered an internal martial art that is practiced independent of breathing; whereas Shaolin Kung Fu is considered an external martial art that highly stresses breathing and combat skills.
Yes, I agree the differences are very convoluted and confusing, so coming up is a my Summary of My Final Points.
Conclusion: Qigong vs Tai Chi
In Conclusion as to relating to "Qigong vs. Tai Chi, what are the differences?" I give you the Summary of My Final Points.
For good measure, I also will leave you a summary here of my final points on Shaolin Kung Fu, which is related to Qigong.
- Non-Martial Art
- Exercise of Internal Energy (“chi”)
- Breathing and Meditation
- Moving and Static meditation
- Internal Martial Art
- Health and Balance Exercise
- Independent of breathing
- Internal energy not stressed
Shaolin Kung Fu
- External Martial Art
- Zen Buddhism
- Highly Stressed breathing
- Combat skills
I hope this article has helped to clarify some of the differences between Qigong, Tai Chi, and Shaolin Martial Arts, and the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits each offer.
Please feel free to make your comments and ask any questions.