Sifu Dennis Pounall

Sifu Dennis Pounall

Sifu Dennis Pounall lives and works in Elliot Lake, Northern Ontario as a Paramedic  and has been practicing martial arts for over 28 years. He has studies in Okinawa Karate, Pang GI Noon Gung Fu, Kali Jujitsu, Kook Sol Won , Korean martial arts and Traditional Yang combat style Taiji Quan.  He competes nationally and internationally, and is available for workshops and Seminars.

Subscrive to his youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/dpounall

He can be contacted at dennis_pounall@yahoo.ca

Monday, 13 January 2014 00:00

Bio of Sifu Dennis Pounall

Sifu Dennis Pounall has been practising the art of taijiboxing for about 17 years and has over 30 yrs experience in various martial Arts. He has competed both nationally and Internationally representing Canada. He has practical yet open approach to the benefits of all “Traditional Martial and Healing Arts”.

 

He believes that martial arts is a way for each person to express themselves in a unique way, that is not all about violence, but more about harmony and self discipline. The discipline of martial arts helps to develop the spirit of your inner self and each person has a unique capacity for growth in theirs unique daily lives which he believes is the art of living vitally!!

 

Each person has a “Dunamus” a inherent life force or Qi which can be invigorated through daily practise of “Qi kung” and “vital living”. The practice of the 24 Posture Therapeutic QiGong is a definite benefit to ensure the intimate unique method to ensure you are experiencing a vital full life.

 

The Wuyijeihe family style has a proven history of success and is geared to help each individual maximize their inherent potential.

 

Each person has their own “Journey” on this great path we call life!!

 

Taijiquan is natures gift a elixir for a vital life

 

life is breath use it wisely!

 

Sifu Dennis Pounall

Sigung and Kitchener Kicks have been asked to represent Canada at the upcoming International Bushi Martial Arts Championships, August 27th to 30th in New York City. This event will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your country in Martial Arts competition against other countries of the world.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:48

Stillness in Motion

Stillness in Motion and Motion in Stillness

The concept of Stillness in Motion and Motion in Stillness is an age old dichotomy that has a multitude of conceptual undertones. This is one of the fundamental truths in the Taijiquan subtle mysteries, both as a discipline of martial art and philosophy for life.

The Idea of Stillness is sometimes confused with the idea of being static or void of potential. However I have a belief that upon the introduction and exploration of Taoist concept, the masters must have understood the importance of this natural precursor to absolute motion. Absolute Stillness requires inherent motion and stability which forms a functional organizational structure or form. This process allows complete random harmony resulting in the potential for absolute change and progression expressed as motion.

In the Taiji form the initial salutation is often referred as “Commencement of Taiji “. This is clarified in the classic as the state of”Wuji.”  In the beginning and at the end of   most Taiji forms there is a state of what appears to be “Stillness”. In this position the Practitioner stands for a few seconds or minutes motionless in a state of meditative preparedness. This in fact is an attempt to attain a state of Wuji,  a state of being which is likened to formless form, or a posture that is a simple state of absolute awareness without any outward fixed attention, just to stand supple and straight, just like a oak tree or  mountain.

And, like a Mountain, a tree, or a cheetah when stalking prey, all of these natural forces have the appearance of stillness, when, in fact, the potential for growth and movement are all inherent and prepared for spontaneous revelation at any given time.

As Taijiquan is both a martial arts and a philosophy for living, the application of these acquired skills has many advantages. The first, from a martial perspective, is to provide the illusion of being a sitting target. This misconception may cause your enemy or opponent to attack unreservedly and guardedly.  This leaves no room for defense, providing the Taiji practitioner with unlimited potential for attack and defense when applying the thirteen powers.

As a philosophy, it allows you to be in a similar state of relaxed awareness. Likewise, in a situation of verbal or emotional conflict, the state of Wuji may produce a venue to resource your options…  a clear, relaxed, flexible mind and spirit for life varied opportunities.  In every day life, if you can attain a state of clarity through stillness, not marred by preconceptions, fears or ignorance,  this allows unlimited options for conflict resolutions.

The concept of motion often refers to time, space, movement and speed. Although all these factors are relevant, I believe the Taoist had a more subtle and simple observations. In Taiji, the minute your awareness initiates a concept or “Intention” your attention is already in motion and you become aware of this by physical movement. At this point, you have discovered “Taiji”. ‘Stillness’ becomes motion and motion is the stillness. This interaction between mutually dependent opposites is what makes up the yin and yang theory of the Tao in the Taiji.

The combination and interaction of these two fundamental concepts permeates the whole practice of Taijiquan, as both a martial art and a philosophy for living. It is also an integrated self-guided method of health longevity and well being. Practice “Slow to move fast,” and “Be still and know that there is a Tao”.

These basic ideas will help to improve your Taiji practice and enhance your quality of life and well being.  

Peace Sifu Dennis Pounall.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:48

Welcome To Taiji Boxer

 

Many people have in recent days been attracted to the glamor and bravado of the U.F.C. fever. Even to the point people whom have a legacy of traditional heritage of martial arts are now forced to jump on the bandwagon of so called mixed martial arts training. This is very sad to see.

Things have gotten so bad  the first original martial arts media giants, such as Black belt magazine, Inside Kungfu, and Taijikungfu Magazine are no longer visible on the shelves of Chapters book store under SPORTS. Instead, you have U.F.C. and Grappling Magazine.

There is nothing wrong with adding to what you already know, but to trade it in for a cheaper newer model is not always wise or prudent. New does not always mean better, just different for a time.  Remember the deception of this so called” mixed up martial arts” is exactly that!!

“User of many master of none” I think that every traditional system when taught in the context of it practical environment has for more depth than dabbling in Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai kicking style and American Kickboxing methods.

Give me a good traditional 10 year veteran in Penjat Silat or Hwrangdo, Korean martial arts, or classical Chen style Taijiquan or Taijjitsu player, open up the ring throw in some good old fashion Capeorio, and see who would fare the best in a friendly tussle.

Peace and be well.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:45

Equilibrium and the Supreme Ultimate Fist

Equilibrium means:

A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced or unchanging system.

Mental and emotional balance; poise.

Physics : The state of a body or physical system at rest or in unaccelerated motion in which the resultant of all forces acting on it is zero and the sum of all torques about any axis is zero.

Chemistry : The state of a chemical reaction in which its forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates, so that the concentration of the reactants and product remain stable. Equilibrium is a concept that embodies some of the highest attributes of a effective martial arts discipline. It is uniquely embedded in the intricacies of Taijiboxing as it demonstrates the essence of the art form.

In many forms of Taijiquan they often refer to the theory of Yin and Yang, without any concrete example of it in the real world. There is often many references to conceptualized application for both, self defense and energy work or Qui kung training. I believe both are one in the same in the fact that both the idea of softness overcoming hardness can not fully be experience with out real life application.

With this new skill of equilibrium it is possible to be one step closer to the appreciation of simplicity of the supreme ultimate fist theory for health longevity and effective self defense. This can be utilized in the form as a discipline for life and an artful expression in daily Taijiquan practice. In the practice of Tui shui, most people learn push hands in the traditional way and start very gently with one hand, and eventually both. With time, patience and diligent practice, few venture into the competitive area of push hand competitions.

But what does this really teach us?

Most of the players are usually players with some martial arts background, are competitive and don’t mind a bit of contact. The more seasoned the player, the better off they tend to perform.

So, what are they really better at?

I believe that push hands is a skill that is a integral part of Taijiboxing art, a successful addition to practice self defense. When and only if practiced in the correct context, true benefits yield. If push hands is practiced in arena of fixed rules and stipulations, then it is not realistic. As in the natural environment, there are no fixed rules or stipulations. The real world is dynamic and variable just as the practice of push hands should be.

The interpretation of the classic always maintained this: the idea of soft overcoming hard, slow defeating fast, parables adopted by students, observing the masters. Over time, some of these popular statements became included as part of the chronicles of Taijiquan. The reality is if you move fast, I move faster. This claim has little to do with speed alone, but on perception and preemptive movement. This is where the soft skills of listening adhere, stick, follow lead and attack are most useful, through a developed sense of natural equilibrium. These principles were always developed through experience and real time application. Full force full speed, sometimes discomfort, pain or even injury.

Henceforth, the age old adage ‘invest in loss’ doesn’t necessarily mean that Taijiboxing or any martial arts should be become a Macho art with Gladiatorial writes of passage.

Realistic approach to training embodies personal protection, prevention of injury and enlightenment for a better quality of life.

This is what might’ve meant by the title of the Supreme ultimate fist and may have nothing to do with the idea of being the best as the only method designed to achieve longevity.

Maybe the practice of Taiji quan is one of the better ways to stave off disease and live in harmony with oneself, and the environment.

We must try to achieve a state of natural equilibrium that allows us to move with ease, thus balancing our emotions, attitudes and belief systems.

We should know when to be to be strong, when to be hard (if necessary) for self preservation. Soft but supple, compassionate, reasonable, intuitive . . .

The natural way for equilibrium to work is also known as harmony.

This may well have been what the ancients called enlightenment – the ability to utilize the theory of yin and yang

in everyday life . Through the practice of moving meditation the taijiform and the application of principles for

self development, preservation and protection. Equilibrium is the essence of stillness and motion and motion

in stillness, these traits embody the essential tenants of Taijiboxing and Taijiquan for a fuller, more vital lifestyle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and look forward to sharing and discovering of new wisdom from the

ancient teachers.

Dennis Pounall lives and works as a flight paramedic in Northern Ontario Elliot Lake, competes (inter)nationally

in Chinese Martial arts weapons and of course Taijiquan demonstrations and competitions. His wife of twenty years, Jana, is a yoga instructor and a novelist.

Peace Sifu Dennis Pounall.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:45

2008 Championships

My name is Dennis Pounall. I am a  50 year old traditional Chinese martial arts practitioner. I practice Yang style Taiji boxing and  Southern Style Pai Gi Noon gung Fu.

This year, I was fortunate enough to attend the 10th annual invitational Traditional Chinese Kung Fu Championships held in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. at the magnificent Gaylord Palms resort five- star complex on Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 25th.

I’m a member of the International Chinese Kung Fu Federation (I.C.K.F.),  and also the National Canadian Chinese Martial Art Fellowship (C.C.K.S.F.), founded by Grand Master Sigung Ron Williamson of Atado School of Kung Fu Taiji and Defensive Arts. I was both excited and honored to represent Canada at this auspicious international event.

I live and work in Northern Ontario as a full time Flight Paramedic and also part time Land Primary Care Paramedic. This keeps me quite busy but I find time to train, mostly on my own with a few students who study various Chinese and Korean Martial Arts.

In this year’s International Tournament, all aspects of Chinese martial arts were represented, from Taiji to San Shou, Internal Styles, Xing Yi ,Bagua, Lihue Bafa, Praying Mantis, Grappling Push Hands, and Whusu. To top it all, there was a Masters’ Demonstration with Kung Fu Masters from all over the world. Their demonstrations were amazing and breath-taking.

Approximately 1500 competitors were expected from 8 different international countries. The team selection was held in April in Kitchener, Ontario,  hosted by Sigung Ron Williamson in Waterloo, Ontario.

We invited every registered traditional Kung Fu school across Canada to participate, and it was open to all styles of Kung Fu, Whusu, and Taiji,  giving every one a fair chance to be selected. Unfortunately, many people didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, not committing to this cause. So, once again, a few brave Canadians tightened their belts and their pockets and stood up to the challenge.We were hoping that some members from the Canadian Taiji Federation would be on hand to join us, but that wasn’t the case. Jill Heath did attend our Qualifier and participated in our tournament,  providing information on the Canadian Taiji Federation and demonstrating a wonderful Sun style Taiji form and Fan form. Also Jonathan Krehm did a beautiful sword form and Yang form. I’d also like to thank the others from the Federation who provided their loyal support. I am getting side-tracked. Now, back to the story!!

The event started with all the countries being paraded with their flags before the officials. The spectacular event resembled mini Olympics. Sigung Ron gave us all a speech about the legendary twelve Shaolin monks, who defeated the three thousand invaders, to instill confidence in us. His leadership had a great effect on all of us. Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy Cuba, Panama Russia, Jamaica, U.S.A. and a small contingency from China competed for world class recognition. The rest of the Chinese delegation were detained for some unknown reason at the U.S.A. customs office and never got to participate in representing their homeland.

The Tournament’s opening ceremony started with a good luck traditional Lion Dance and the events went ahead as scheduled. We all wore Canadian uniforms with the country’s flag theme and individual wrist bands with our registered event numbers. The event looked more like a logistical nightmare than well-planned spectacle. The most important task was to stay focused. “In the midst of  adversity all is clarity”. We all did our best and encouraged each other to do their best possible performance.

I had entered a grueling six events, ranging from Southern and Northern Weapons and Empty Hands to Taiji Hand Forms,  Weapons and Push Hands. Most participants appeared tired and overwhelmed by the sheer grandiosity of this event. Although the co-ordinators did their best, the chaotic pace resembled a busy day on Wall Street’s stock exchange.

Wherever I looked, there was action in progress… jumping kicks, slow Taiji forms, practitioners wielding giant Bague Broad swords and swishing Kwando weapons…. a veritable cornucopia of martial arts disciplines, but, to me, it was poetry in motion.

For my part, I was awarded a Gold medal for my Pang Gi Noon Southern Gung Fu form and Silver for my Northern Style Fanzi Quan Lightening Fan form, and a fourth position in Restricted Step Push Hands. I was proud of my accomplishments, even though the rules for Taiji forms and Push Hands were rather frustrating. Most of the Yang forms in the advanced division had very low stances and very high kicks… something between Chen Style and   Wudang style Taiji.

I found it interesting that in the Push Hand division, no grabbing with the thumbs was  allowed, and neither was soft Chi Na nor any percussive pressing or uprooting.  So, the only techniques that worked were short Jin, ward off with straight arm, slanting, flying, and Pluck with re-direction and press. I did a lot of  “investing in loss” and now, I’ve acquired a better understanding of what is meant by “four ounces can deflect one thousand pounds”. This was a tremendous opportunity to learn and be humbled. I hope to see more of all of you on the International stage, honing your skills and honoring your lineage to the wonderful, diversified, beautiful arts of Kung fu, Taiji Quan, Qigong, and Whusu.

Despite limited funding and minimal coaching, these twelve athletes of team Canada managed to bring home twenty seven medals and seven titles, through dedication and discipline. Each athlete gave 110% to make Canada proud!! I would like to thank my beautiful wife for being my judge and jury in perfecting my forms, and encouraging me with love and patience through the year to keep practicing!! Thanks to Christine Brunet, who allowed me to use the Dance Studio to practice at ungodly hours to perfect my forms.

Thanks for reading my story

Peace, Sifu Dennis Pounall.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:40

The Art of Combat Without Fighting - Tui Shiu

Taichi is a abridged name for the art and discipline of Taijiquan, which may be closely translated to mean the “Supreme Ultimate Fist” one of the three forms of high level internal martial arts. Is a discipline that has it’s focus on individual development and self protection. The aspect of Taijiquan aka Taijiboxing lies in the field of the application and development of close quarter self defense techniques and the implementation of the skill of Tui shou (push-hands technique).

This year I was fortunate to attend my inaugural Canadian Open Taijiquan Championships held in Toronto at the Chinese Cultural Center.

This event with a phenomenal turnout of Taijiquan enthusiasts was sponsored by the Canadian Taijiquan Federation and hosted by C.O.T.T.A. Pleasure to see so many people holding the art of Taijiquan in such a high regard cherishing the moment. I had the opportunity to compete in five various events and had the pleasure to acquaint myself with a number of interesting people. My successful placement had earned me a Gold Medal in

Taiji long weapons, two Silver Medals for Taijiquan in empty hand form and Taiji saber form. I wasn’t as triumphant in two other events -Taiji Tui shou fixed step and Taiji Tui shou moving step.

This personal disappointment was a rather humbling experience that prompted an insight into what the ancients meant by “ investing in loss”. I was duly defeated in both: fixed step push hands (Tui shou) and moving step, push hands. 

The fiasco descended partially because the rules were new to me but mostly because I had not invested in loss and had failed to properly practice the skill of “listening” and understand the concept of “stillness in motion.” This was a grave letdown yet an excellent lesson.

I went home to study, and realized that I had gone into the game equipped with the wrong attitude and insufficient tool box. I was taught the classical way of push hands and accustomed to this being a shared opportunity to acquire the skills of “listening, adhering, sticking, connecting, following and disengaging. The presentation at the competition was a mixture of loose judo, weak shou Jow (wrestling) with very little demonstration of eight trigrams in the arms and five phases in the legs (the thirteen powers or thirteen energies of Taijiquan).

The eight forces of CAI, Peng, Ji, Kan, Li, Lieh, An, Zhou, and the five directions of the feet, central equilibrium, right step, left step, forward step, and backward step. These traits are not easily seen or achieved under the current standard rules of push hands. These martial art skills take a whole life time to acquire and eternity to master. Luckily for all Taoist taijiboxers, we believe in the concept of “immortality”. The idea of Taiji Push hands, as being a competition is a oxymoron. This game or skill be akin to soft style “free sparring” to be quite inappropriate, according to my beliefs.

The purpose of close quarter training is a necessary adjunct to a complete rounded system of self defense. The application of these “quiet skills” can prove to be essential in a real life situation for self defense and survival. If the rules of engagement were to be more suited to real life self defense, then the game of balance and push or (push hands) as it is so quaintly known, would need to be revised. With the application of such principles as, stillness and motion, and softness over coming hardness. And demonstrate how 4oz can deflecting 1 thousand pounds!

If the function of Tui shou is to be fully regained, then the application of all the push hand skills, of listening, adhering, sticking, connecting, following; disengagement must be allowed to be developed. With this in mind the ability to understand softness overcoming hardness, and the complexity of silk reeling may gradually unfold. Many instructors advocate these classical concepts, but find it difficult to demonstrate this in a practical manor. Maybe the skills of Tui shou and Nien shou, Tui Tui ( push legs and trapping feet) are the residing vestige of these skills.

Therefore the application of soft Chi Na , Shui Jiao, Tui Shou, and of course Fa Jin can only be truly developed and demonstrated if it becomes part of the universal Taiji curriculum. The standardization or cooperative agreement to introduce “real push hands” into the arena of Taijiquan demonstrations would greatly improve its mutual acceptance as a legitimate martial art with practical applications and proven benefits. This would mean adjusting the current standards of play and for a time categorizing the skill level of the players into beginner, intermediate and advanced. By adding this paradigm to the open public playground, we would honor the forefathers and grandmasters who have dedicated a lifetime to the transmission and preservation of the supreme ultimate fist. Taijiquan as a eloquent sophisticated martial art and philosophical discipline.

These additional skill would benefit both the recreational players and the Taijiboxers, because the practice of push hands helps each individual to deal with fear and anger, hardness and softness, internal and external connectivity. It also teaches benevolence, courage, patience, persistence, practice and calm intuition.

These traits are useful for everyday living and help to cultivate the spirit and allow us to be better human beings and acquire a natural zest for life with a zip of vitality. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:33

Taijiboxer Pearls of Wisdom

The way of Perfect Harmony!!

Books are what the world values as representing the Tao.

But books are only words, and the valuable part of words is the thought therein contained. That thought has a certain bias which cannot be conveyed in words, yet the world values words as being the essence of books.

But though the world values them, they are not of value:as in which the world values them is not the sense in which they are valuable. (Chuang Tsuz, 4th century b.c.e(1)

Chuang Tzu – From the Beauty category:

All existing things are really one. We regard those that are beautiful and rare as valuable, and those that are ugly as foul and rotten. The foul and rotten may come to be transformed into what is rare and valuable, and the rare and valuable into what is foul and rotten. (Chuang Tzu)

Han Dynasty jade ring of a chi ?

Easy is right. Begin right, and you will be easy. Continue easy and you are right… The right way to go easy is to forget the right way, and forget that the going is easy. (Chuang Tzu)

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. (Chuang Tzu)

Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. (Chuang Tzu )

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation. (Chuang Tzu)

Ancient Seal Script for chi ? “a dragon; a demon”

The Chinese character ? for chi “hornless dragon” combines the “bug radical” ? (typically signifying words for insect, reptiles, and dragons,

Those who do not interfere and leave nothing undone are in harmony with the Tao. those who know tranquility and are content,devoid of conceit, are in possession of harmony, even though they may live in the midst of diversities. all things are in accordance with their various natures.

The energy of Tao operates in the smallest thing and yet compels the mighty universe. Its power molds the universe and harmonizes the masculine and feminine, the light and the dark:it forms the four seasons and brings the elements of nature into accord. ( The Huai Nan Tzu,2nd century b.c.e(5)

The mind is the origin of all things

Bodhidarma.jpg? (180 × 417 pixels, file size: 20 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you van understand the mind,everything else is included. it is like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers,branches and leaves depend on it”s root. If you nourish it’s root,a tree multiplies.

If you cut its roots,it dies. Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort.Those who don’t understand the mind practice in vain. everything good and bad comes from your own mind. to find something beyond the mind is impossible. (Bodhidharma,5th century b.c.e.(9)

According to legends, Lao zi leaves China on his water buffalo.[11]

If you think things are done easily you may find them hard to do: if you face trouble sanely it cannot trouble you. (Lao Tzu,6th century b.c.e.)

because of desire and craving,stress and anxiety arise. because there is anxiety and stress, body and mind are afflicted by tensions.(Lao Tzu.6th century b.c.e.)

producing and developing,producing without possessing, doing without presuming,growing without domineering: this is called the mysterious power!! (Lao Tzu 6th century b.c.e.)

To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders. To know, yet to think that one does not know is best; not to know, yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty. 

original nature is the essence of all goodness.

be natural in your action and you will always be be pure and still!! (Lao Tzu 6th century b.c.e..)

The Hidden Presence 

The Tao is based on harmony between emptiness and abundance, it is the deep source of the myrad creatures, it softens their sharpness, it releases  their confusion,it lessens their lustre , it merges with their dust.

The Tao is so clear and so transparent that it is nearly invisible, nearly formless, no onecan know it”s origin,

for it came before all creation. This poem was taken from "The Tao Te Ching" translations by Chao-Hsiu chen.

Lao Tzu quote   

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.”

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still”

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.”

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”

Bruce Lee: Quotes!!

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

  “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

                                                                                  “Simplicity is the key to brilliance”

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:31

Qi Kung Theory and Philosophy

The Origins of Qi Gung

Many people have many theories and methods on the origins and theory of the practice and usage of Qi kung. I was taught and believe that it is simply a mindful integration of” breath work” and” spiritual clarity”: This however is not as easy as it may sound, and requires effort, and practice and lots of patient  persistence. One of the key factors which is required is a clear sense of ” Focus” “Intention “and” Attention” to the mind ,body, and spiritual aspect of ones self awareness.

This requires continuous effort and mindful practice this can only be attained through “passive detachment from ones Ego, and one self perception of our  “emotional shackles” this is very difficult as most of us are not aware of this “clutter” that we call our personalities, opinions, ideas, or thoughts..although all of us are aware of and accept breathing as a natural extension of life. Qi and breathing are integrally connected but are not one and the same.

Generally most of us do not breath efficiently, or actively: unless under duress, or in competitive sports, or a fearful situation;  Hence the development of ill health, dis-ease and of course finally death  through expiration( out of all breath and qi ). some people believe “Breath is life” and it may be possible to achieve all  your sustenance through the balance and control of your breathing ie, yogi masters, Qi gung Master, etc.  after all if you look at the christian faith it states,

New International Version (©1984)

the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

New Living Translation (©2007)

Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

So who really knows the truth!!!

Here are a few popular theories and interpretation form other sources. on it usage and application. enjoy!!!.

The history of Qigong can be grouped into four periods of growth. It has a rich past with contributions included from Buddhism, Taoism, martial arts and medical scholars. Qigong’s history developed from observation of chi to cultivation of chi for health purposes and enlightenment. It has influenced martial arts and is one of the foundation stones for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It continues to evolve and enhance the life of millions of practitioners every day. Qigong is an ancient healing practice with its cultural roots in China. It is likened to certain practices from Indian yoga that can be found in pranayama,dhyana and asana.

Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming translates Qigong as the “kung fu of internal energy circulation” in his book Chi Kung Health and Martial Arts. Kung Fu is the study of excellence of any activity that requires time, energy and discipline.

How Old is Qigong?

Although Qigong is sure to have been practiced before texts documented its existence, history can only speculate for just how long Qigong has been practiced in China. Bill Douglas, author of The Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi and QiGong suggests Qigong is 2000 years old, whereas the website of Shen-Nong suggests that its 5000 years old.

Dr. Yang, one of the great Qigong scholars who have shared their learning and experience with the Western world in the past thirty years divides the history of Chinese Qigong into roughly four periods.

The First Period of Qigong

The first era documenting Qigong begins with the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) written sometime before 1122 B.C. Dr Yang in Qigong The Secret Of Youth writes that Qigong can be “traced back before the Shang dynasty (1766-1154 B.C.). However, documents that explain training practices are hard to come by.”

The first period also includes information recorded in the Nei Jing that during the reign of the Yellow Emperor (2690-2590 B.C.) pebbles were used to adjust chi circulation. Lao Tzu wrote about cultivating chi in the Tao Te Ching and later in 300 B.C., Chuang-Tzu wrote a famous sentence “the men of old breathed clear down to their heals.”

The Second Period of Qigong

The second period of Qigong heralds the merging of original Qigong methods with Buddhism and different meditation techniques. It could also be called “the religious qigong era.”

Dr. Ying writes in A Brief History of Qigong, “It was during the Eastern Han dynasty (c. 58 A.D.) that Buddhism was imported to China from India. […]The Buddhist temples taught many Qigong practices, especially the still meditation of Chan (Zen), which marked a new era of Chinese Qigong.”

Ying explains that while Buddhism kept the secrets of qigong training within the walls of their monasteries, there were other streams of qigong being taught and learned, including the meditation techniques of Dao Jiao, different schools of thought from Tibetan Buddhism, and the awareness that Qigong could be used for more than just health benefits, but to “escape from the cycle of reincarnation.”

It was during this period that the famous Daoist Jun Qian observed and incorporated the movements of animals to create the Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Sports), “which taught people how to increase their Qi circulation through specific movements.”

The Third Period of Qigong

The third period of Qigong is initiated by a famous Indian called Da Mo who is credited with kick starting a fusion of Qigong with martial arts, “martial qigong.”

It is also a effluent time for the growth of Qigong in literature, with Chao Yuan-Fang gathering together 260 ways of enhancing chi flow in the Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun (Thesis on the Origins and Symptoms of Various Diseases), Sun Si-Mao writing the Qian Jin Fang (Thousand Gold Prescriptions) and Wang Tao compiling the Wai Tai Mi Yao (The Extra Important Secret) wherein he discusses the use of breathing and herbal remedies for maintenance of health by enhanced chi circulation.

It was also during this third period that the famous brass man was designed and built by Dr. Wang Wei-Yi who also wrote and accompanying text entitled Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu (Illustration of the Brass Man Acupuncture and Moxibustion). Dr. Yang writes, “he explained the relationship of the 12 organs and the 12 Qi channels, clarified many of the points of confusion, and, for the first time, systematically organized acupuncture theory and principles.”

The Fourth Period of Qigong

The current era of Qigong began in 1911 when the Qing dynasty came to an end. This heralded a moment in history when China was forced to open its doors to the world and it resulted in Chinese Qigong becoming enriched with practices from all across the world.

Shamanism and Qigong

In many countries the Church condemned and irradiated many traditional beliefs about energy, whether it be of the spirit, or the body, or the after world. However, there has been a revival of traditional shamanic practitioners who have benefited from implementing the newly released information about Qigong.

At a time when China opened its doors to the West, the Church was losing its authority in many countries across the world. The combination of increased information with open minded seekers has resulted in hybrid creations such as a North American shamanic qigong healer for animals, or a native of the former Soviet Union who became a Tibetan Qi Dao Lineage holder living in North America.

Qigong has its roots in awareness. New forms, new hybrids, new ideas are being created from a combination of different systems from many back grounds. Qigong’s history is in the making.

For more information about Qigong, read Origins of Lohan Qigong.

Sources:

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming Qigong The Secret of Youth YMAA Publication Center, Boston, 2000

Chia, Mantak Chi Self-Massage Healing Tao Books1986 USA

Chia, Mantak Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality 1985 USA

Kaptchuk, Ted J. Chinese Medicine Rider, London, (1983) 1997, London

Douglas, Bill The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi and Qigong 2002, USA

Mechanism of Action According To Its Own Theory

What is Qi? It is the Life Force (bio-force, or matrix of primal energy) that underlies all existence, from subatomic particles to galaxies to empty space itself. Within humans it is the very substance of our aliveness that pulsates at varying rates within our vital organs and cells. Different qualities of qi define and regulate different biological functions, just as a stem cell differentiates into specialized functions.Qi is NOT mechanical energy, it is the intelligent mind substance that crystallizes into our thoughts, feelings, sensations, desires, and cells. It’s the motive force of DNA replication and immune system function. Qi is the functional level of the body’s innate intelligence.

Qigong shares the same philosophical foundation as Traditional Chinese Medicine (which is actually modern) with its theories of Qi and Blood, Yin/Yang, Meridians & Zang-Fu Organs, Five Elements, and the pathogenesis of disease. It also embodies the older Classical Chinese Medicine which focuses on the alchemical transformations between Shen (mind), Qi (energy), and Jing (body essence) and the shamanic concept of the Five Jing Shen (“vital organ souls”) that govern one’s health. Beyond the overlap of theory, the methods of Qigong differ from those of acupuncture, herbology, and massage.

When Qi becomes deficient or excessive, stagnant or blocked in different parts of the body, or unable to ward off pathogenic factors, a pattern of imbalance is set up that can lead to disease. Imbalances in Qi can occur as a result of improper diet, over strain, stress, lack of physical exercise, traumatic injury, toxins, environmental factors (wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness), or the seven emotions (anger, worry, sadness, grief, fear, fright, joy). When the bodyÕs natural equilibrium is overcome by any of these factors, disease can occur.

One type of qigong therapy employs “external qi emission”. The qigong healer may tap into either his personal or universal energy which is then focused and radiated into the patient’s body lying on a table or while sitting. This alters the energetic matrix of the patient’s meridians, and causes their physical body to be regenerated. The patient may feel a gentle warmth or tingling begin to flow in different parts of the body. Depending on the skill of the healer, it can be used with great success on anything from mild headache to broken bones to sexual dysfunction as well as chronic illnesses such as cancer and aids. Some healers can work at a distance, even hundreds of miles away.

The second type is for a patient to self-practice qigong. The patient is taught how to do qigong movements and meditations that will benefit their particular condition. Some are specifically designed for different illnesses, i.e. asthma, a special anti-cancer walk or for joint disease, and others are meant to balance the qi of summer, winter, or the heart or lung meridian, etc. All are easily performed even by the elderly or by people in a weak condition. The patient usually feels improvement immediately and a general sense of well-being.

The powerful Qi meditation methods known as “neigong” create “internal qi movements” using the mind to flow qi in the meridians. Most famous is the “microcosmic orbit”, which circulates qi up the spine and down the front of the body. Others might use sub-vocal sound frequencies focused on the vital organs (the “six healing sounds”), or by evoking positive feeling states (the “inner smile”). There is even a sexual qigong for redirecting sexual qi to alleviate impotence, PMS, and stimulate the production of hormonal per-cursors in the bone marrow.

The self-practice approach requires self-discipline on the part of the patient, but because the patient is taught how to take responsibility for their own healing it generally produces the most effective and lasting results. Once the patient learns to generate “qi” within themselves, the results are not limited to self-healing. You may continue to practice the qigong to achieve ever higher levels of wellness and spiritual awareness. Qigong is so simple yet powerful that many healers use qigong to repair themselves from “healer burnout”.

Biologic Mechanism of Action

The physiological effects of Qigong have been extensively scientifically studied in the past twenty years. The Computerized Qigong Database (Qigong Institute) has over 1300 studies. Qigong has been shown to decrease blood pressure, decrease oxygen consumption, increase respiratory efficiency, improve cardiovascular functioning, alter and integrate brain wave patterns, decrease stress hormone levels, and improve cellular and humoral immunity . These changes are characteristic of effects on central and autonomic nervous systems, hormones, and neurotransmitters. The overall relaxation response is believed to play a significant role in the mitigation of the devastating effects of stress, and the prevention and treatment of illness.There are seven aspects of emitted qi that have been quantified scientifically. Qi emission resulted in significant changes in infra sound, electromagnetic, static electricity, infrared radiation, gamma rays, particle and wave flows , organic ion flows, and light. Most dramatic were human infrasonic frequencies that leaped from 60 MHz to 400,000. MHz during qi emission.

In experiments on externally emitted qi from Qigong masters on various biological substrates and chemical compounds, emitted Qi was found to affect DNA synthesis and structure, protein synthesis, artificial cell membranes, chemical reactions, and polarized light beams. In similar experiments involving long-distance Qi emission and its effects on molecular structures, evidence was found to suggest the existence of such a phenomenon.

Research into emitted Qi is still in its infancy, but it is rapidly expanding our knowledge of human bio-magnetic energy. Study of emitted Qi on biological systems has the potential to unsettle the foundation of modern science and thinking. Qigong does not appear to behave entirely according to the laws of linear physics, but rather to the advanced concepts of quantum and chaos theories.

Demographics

Qigong exercises and meditations are practiced on a daily basis by an estimated 100 million people in China and in growing numbers throughout the world. The profile of those utilizing Qi healing outside of China is not well known. In the authors’ experience, the typical profile of a client seeking Qi healing is: woman, professional, higher education, between age of 30 and 50.

Qigong teachers and self-practitioners are now relatively easy to find in North America, especially in large cities with Asian communities. Contact national Qigong associations, Qigong (Chi Kung) or Tai Chi Schools, acupuncture schools, Chinese associations, herbal pharmacies, health food and martial arts stores, alternative health publications.

Forms of Therapy

internal (self-practice) and external (qi emission) qigong are the two broad divisions. Internal Qigong consists of meditation and movement exercises which are practiced by individuals to regulate their own Qi. External Qigong is performed by a trained Qigong practitioner to detect and correct imbalances in the circulation of Qi in another person.

Indications and Reasons for Referral

Most older children and adults can learn to practice simple Qigong to increase their sense of well being, decrease stress, improve health, prevent illness, and especially to treat chronic and difficult conditions. Qigong is a valuable adjunct to Western medicine in that it supports a pro-active, preventative approach to health.Qigong therapy alone is not appropriate for acute or emergency situations unless the Qigong therapist is highly skilled and experienced.

Common reasons for referring someone to Qigong instruction or therapy:

  • Management of chronic illness
  • Wellness promotion/preventative medicine
  • Stress management
  • Inability of Western medicine to clearly diagnose an illness or condition i.e. strange or bizarre symptoms that donÕt conform to any known Western pattern of disease.
  • Patient requests Holistic or natural treatment options
  • Unacceptable risk (to patient or physician) of proposed medical interventions
  • Terminal illness: palliative or therapeutic stages

Research Base

Most of the research on Qigong in the past 30 years are in abstracts in proceedings from international scientific meetings or published in Chinese. Many are now available through the Qigong Institute research database.

Evidence Based

Several studies suggest Qigong can reduce both systolic and diastolic high blood pressure, decrease the amount of medication required to stabilize hypertension. It reduces excessive responses to stress and improves the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.In an impressive twenty-two year controlled study of 244 hypertensive patients, Qigong practice was shown to decrease overall mortality (19.3% Qigong vs. 41.7% controls), decrease the incidence (18 % Qigong vs. 41 % control) and mortality for stroke (13.9 % Qigong vs. 24.7 % controls), improve control of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and help reduce anti hypertensive medication dosages (47.7 % of the Qigong group in contrast with an increased dosage requirement in 30.85 % of the control group). Qigong also helps offset cardiovascular lesions such as progressive retinopathy and abnormal ECG findings.

Studies suggest Qigong affects hormonal balance, decreasing estradiol levels in hypertensive men and increasing estradiol and testosterone levels in post-menopausal women. It improves left ventricular function, increases cardiac output, and decreases peripheral vascular resistance in patients with essential hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Hemodialysis patients reported subjective improvements in appetite, increased frequency of bowel movements, increase in general well-being and physical strength, improved sexual activity, and sleep quality.

Basic Science

The existence and measurement of Qi has been the object of many studies. Seto et al. measured an extraordinarily large magnetic field (10-3 gauss) emanating from the palms of three individuals emitting Qi. This is one thousand times stronger than the known, naturally occurring human bio-magnetic field (10-6 gauss). The frequency of this unusual magnetic wave was 4 to 10 Hz (29).Chien et al. documented the effects of emitted Qi on human fibroblast cell growth, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and boar sperm respiration.

Studies suggest several possible mechanisms for the physiological effects of Qigong. Emitted Qi is able to affect RNA and DNA UV absorption , change artificial phospholipid membranes , and alter molecular compositions of non-living substances similar to those found in the body. Similar results at long distances defy our current understanding of physical laws.

The effects of Qigong on the nervous system have been well studied. The Qigong state is different from the waking state, resting with eyes closed, drowsiness, sleep, or any state in between. EEG studies show slowing of alpha peak frequency and increase in alpha-1 (8-10 Hz) components in the anterior-frontal regions (7, 12) .

Qigong meditation with active abdominal breathing is a method common to many schools. In one study, this was found to improve ventilatory efficiency for O2 and CO2 by about 20%.

Risk and Safety

Qigong enjoys an enviable and remarkable safety profile, but is not without possible side effects. Side effects are infrequent and are usually not due to the techniques themselves, but rather to incorrect practice. Patients with acute infections should avoid vigorous types of qigong which may circulate the infected blood. Some White Crane styles with rapid fluttering of limbs have been reported to overstimulate frail individuals, causing nervous breakdown.Qigong “deviation syndrome” — dizziness, headache, nausea, palpitation, feeling hot or cold, dissociative feeling — is easily corrected by the practitioner with relaxation and correct mind set, body posture, or breathing. Qigong induced psychosis has been described in rare cases with auditory hallucinations and delusions. This is usually self-limited and resolves soon after stopping Qigong. When this fails, an experienced Qigong practitioner or master can help.

Efficacy

The percentage of patients who respond to Qigong vary according to the level of experience and skill of the practitioner. Common estimates of benefits run from 80 to 90 %. With greater length of practice and experience, the benefits appear to increase.Efficacy is enhanced if people fully commit to practice on a daily basis. In a study of hypertensive patients, the overall mortality rate of people who practiced>3/4 of the timewas 11.2 % compared with 29.3 % in the inconsistent group.

Future Research Opportunities and Priorities

Further research will likely be directed toward demonstrating effectiveness rather than understanding why and how Qigong works.

Office Applications

Qigong can infuse Qi into everything that acupuncture needles can, and reach even deeper into the mind-body relationship. This makes it a premier treatment choice for most chronic conditions:Hypertension: benefits include improved blood pressure control (systolic and diastolic), decreased medication use, decreased mortality, decreased incidence and mortality of stroke, offset of the progression of cardiovascular lesions and retinopathy .

Asthma: disorders which are affected by emotional components or stress are very amenable to Qigong,which improves respiratory efficiency.

Allergies: Studies show Qigong can affect the immune system and stabilize the effects of stress and emotions.

Stress and stress-related disorders: (e.g. fatigue, tension headaches, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, problems with appetite, vague aches and pains, etc.) Sitting and moving Qigong are excellent tools to mitigate the devastating effects of stress on the mind, body and spirit.

Cancer: with experimental data about the effects of Qi on DNA, protein synthesis , chemical reactions, cell growth, the immune system, emotional well-being, and improved quality of life, Qigong should be an integral part of all programs dealing with cancer. Many studies have been presented at scientific meetings about the beneficial effects of Qigong on cancer cells and tumors.

AIDS: Same reasons as for cancer.

Gastro-intestinal: Irritable bowel, peptic ulcer disease, poor appetite, constipation, hemorrhoids, etc. The effects of Qigong on the functional aspects of digestion are well recognized by research.

Chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia: These syndromes can be frustrating to treat with Western medicine. Qigong can help these patients rebuild their stores of Qi and balance their energy circulation.

Diabetes: There is evidence that Qigong can alter hormonal levels in the body. Specific Qigong techniques exist for diabetes mellitus.

Arthritis: Qigong is often used for arthritis. It appears to benefit rheumatoid as well as osteoarthritis. The exercises are gentle and generally easy to learn.

Musculoskeletal pains and sports injuries: Acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries. Best used under the guidance of a trained Qigong practitioner to avoid further injury.

Low energy states: If Western medical investigations reveal no clear cause for fatigue or low energy states, it is likely due to Qi deficiency.

Hepatitis: Anecdotal reports of benefits. Some schools have specific Qigong techniques for hepatitis/liver problems.

Practical Applications

Most Qigong schools or instructors in the United States teach Qigong self-practice, which include meditation and/or gentle, movement exercises. For patients who practical methods to promote well being, deal with stress, Òrecharge their batteriesÓ, balance their mind-body-spirit, or handle functional complaints or disorders, Qigong is a great tool.As for Qigong therapy (external Qi emission), most physician initiated referrals (authorÕs personal practice) tend to be for conditions that do not respond to standard medical treatment, for strange symptoms that do not fit into the Western model, or because of requests from patients for more Ònatural or holisticÓ approaches. A Qigong practitioner should be used as any other consultant when a physician needs a fresh look from a different theoretical healing model, and his/her patient is open to it.

Drug-Like Information

Qigong works very well with Western medicine and does not interfere with medications. Numerous studies in China show patients on chemotherapy and radiation recover faster and survive longer when qigong is practiced.

Self-Help vs. Professional

Basic Qigong meditation or movement exercises can be learned through books or videos, but it is preferrable to learn from a trained instructor. External Qi healing requires a therapist with experience.

Visiting a Professional

l If a patient is passively receiving “qi” from the therapist, the key requirement is that they simply relax, keep an open receptive attitude, and do not interfere with the process. Qigong therapists will ask the client some questions to determine what is going on and then go on to their form of assessment and treatment. This varies significantly from tradition to tradition. Clients remain clothed during the session, and may be sitting or lying down.The healer may read the pulses on the wrist or neck, to diagnose the condition of all the meridians and internal organs. They will look at the appearance and demeanor of the patient. The healer may be able to feel inside their own body the exact problem in the patient’s body. The healer can do this by resonating the qi in his body like a tuning fork that is ringing at the same frequency as the patient. The healer often scans for Qi imbalances by passing their hands over different meridians, points, or vital organs at a distance of 3 to 12 inches from the body. They may or may not touch the body during treatment.

Some healers may utter certain sounds to vibrate the internal organs or expel the “sick” or “perverse” qi that is causing the illness or psychosomatic symptoms. Some may stamp their foot to activate earth chi or move their hands over the client’s body to stimulate or sedate the flow of qi.

Other healers utilize “spontaneous” qigong. They emit a certain frequency of qi that helps activate the qi of the patient to begin moving. The patient’s body, usually in a relaxed standing position with eyes closed, may begin to undulate or begin to dance or sing, rhythmically releasing physical, mental, or emotional tension that has been locked in the body for years. This is not hypnotic suggestion, as the client may choose to stop the releasing movement at any time.

Group lessons may be given in an office, school, home, or e park, or customized for a specific condition privately. Some Qigong movements use the walking, sitting, or lying positions, but most are performed standing. All share the same underlying principles. The visible physical movements of the arms and waist are usually very gentle and circular in nature, and are often accompanied by rhythmic breathing methods and subtle shifts in body weight between the left and right foot or between the toe and heel.

Most clients report a wonderful sense of relaxation, warmth, and lightness after a session. Chronic onditions, severe or life threatening illness require more work. The interval between visits is usually lengthened as Qi imbalances improve and the system remains balanced.

Many people experience significant changes after one session. Clients with significant challenges may feel some kind of shift in their symptoms or improvement in their quality of life within 10 visits. Others may take months or years to heal. It may depend on whether they practice at home or make lifestyle changes to support their Qi cultivation process.

As with any other healing modality, Qigong may not work all the time. It is not meant as a Òquick fixÓ. However, it can lead to long-term healing, greater insight, self-discovery, and improvement in quality of life.

Suggested Reading

The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing.

Kenneth S.  Cohen. Ballantine Books, NY. 1997. Scholarly, yet readable book on Qigong. Great overview of the subject and introduces  basic theories, meditations, and exercises.

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