Tai Chi Qi Gong! La...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Tai Chi Qi Gong! Labels, labels, labels.....


Indo
Posts: 348
 Indo
Topic starter
(@indo)
Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago

As some of you may have read from my previous posts that 'Tai Chi Qi Gong' is the new buzz word for Qi Gong, or the one that people recognise anyway!

To me Tai Chi Qi Gong is commonly attributed to the Shibashi Qigong form as originated to promote the movements of the tai chi forms.

I myself train the Ba Duan Jin for Taiji and know many other do too.

Like others it disturbs me that it is used to promote the health benefits of qigong by using the more recognised 'Tai Chi' label here in the west.

Tai Chi is a Martial form WITH health benefits...or is it??? :rolleyes:

I had a talk with one of my teachers today and we agreed that the main difference is just intent!

Practice Tai Chi...i intend to kill you ( a bity abrasive 😀 )

Practice Qi Gong....I intend to not kill myself ( self preservation )

So.....if you remove the intent from the Tai Chi Form does it not just become a form of qigong?

I practice moving forms in Qigong that are very similar to the martial form accept my intent is to clear obstructions and release fascial tissue that relates to the sinew channels.

The trouble is that using the 'Tai Chi Qi Gong' label is great for marketing but over and over again i have to explain the difference to students between martial forms and qigong forms, one for martial strength and the other for healing strength.

And correct me if i am wrong...originally Tai Chi was a hard martial form and qigong was incorperated to help recovery and rehabilitation due to the extent of this hard training? It also served as a smoke screen to enemies as they did not see it as a form of martial training due to its softness of movement, so it would go un-noticed when practised.

So.....:eek: in conclusion i have 'labeled' my training class 'Tai Chi Health' as it promotes the balance of yin and yang ( as depicted in the Tai Chi symbol) through physical movement and emotional awareness......

......or.....is this just another label and what it really is i'm teaching is just 'kung fu' :p

5 Replies
Reiki Pixie
Posts: 2380
(@reiki-pixie)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago

I've been through similar thoughts Chris. Unfortunately labels are important to people. Many people like to box and labels things, activities, other people etc.Qigong/Qi Gong/Chi Kung/Chi Gung has a identity crisis. I find it hard work for example trying to explain to people that "Q" is pinyin transliteration is pronounced "ch".

I had a phone call from a women once that wanted to learn Tai Chi. I told her that I only teach Qi Gong these days. She replied that was a shame as she recently attended a Tai Chi workshop which was the "Five Animal" movements. So I had to tell her that this wasn't Tai Chi (as in Taijiquan) but Qi Gong. But of course this wasn't unusual, many a Qi Gong class has been erononously called Tai Chi.

Then there are the more mature (in age) newage types that think Tai Chi is all sweetness and light, and are shocked to find out that all the movements are harmful to the opponent.

A few weeks ago I was asked to do an one off Tai Chi class for a group of adults with mental health issues. I told them that I don't teach Tai Chi but Qi Gong and taught them a few Taiji-Qigong Shibashi execises. They were quite happy about this. Then I demonstrated the 24-step Beijing short form to show them the difference. They all agreed that Qigong was a more useful exercise system due to it's here and now simplicity.

As you have said Tai Chi (Taiji) is Yin-Yang, and that ability to become more balanced. So changing the label of Qi Gong to Tai Chi makes logical sense. But, I think many people will feel short changed if you taught Qi Gong only and not the Tai Chi martial arts forms. I think at least students need a be told what the differences and similarities are.

Prehaps "Tai Chi Health Exercises" is a better promotional title and if someone wants to do Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) refer them on to a suitable internal martial arts teacher. Yet again if you call it Qi Gong (Chi Kung) and stand your ground. Personally I don't have an answer to it all. Bloody LABELS!

Cheers

Dave

Reply
Indo
Posts: 348
 Indo
Topic starter
(@indo)
Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago

Hi Dave, a perfect reply, you definately 'grasped the tail' on what i was trying to convey.

In addition, during another converstaion with one of my teachers we decided that it might be time for him to advertise as Taijiquan and not just Tai Chi. He also mentioned that the 'ji' in Taiji has a completely different meaning to Tai 'chi' anyway.

So i suppose the proper pin yin would be 'Tai Zhee' :p but this would take another 50 years for our people to understand.

Looking at Dr Paul Lam's work he uses 'Tai Chi Health' and as my linage is said to relate back to him i suppose it is befitting.

I do also use an umbrella of 'Energy Health' as i include Tui Na, Spinal Health and Nutrition in my teaching which is outside of the Qigong system i have been taught....but never the less still Qigong.....as is acupuncture, reiki, shiatsu....etc 😉

The business element to traditional practise is always a dilema but if we are to make a living then any 'label' will surfice as long as it is true to the teaching and practitioner.

Anyone else had the same thoughts?

P.S. Dave...i had this converstaion with Mr Packard the other week who hates the 'Thai Yoga' label, but he used it on some promotion and people recognised it which bought in some business.

Its better to be swimming with the others than deciding whether to jump in!

At least that way some of us more versed practitioners can pass on the correct teaching.

Reply
Energylz
Posts: 16599
Moderator
(@energylz)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago

Unfortunately labels are important to people.

I would perhaps simply say that labels are simply a part of recognition in society.

If you were to go out on the street and ask people what Tai Chi was, then you'll likely get a lot more recognition than asking people if they know what Qi Gong is (or Chi Kung depending on your spelling/pronunciation/origins of teaching). People recognise Tai Chi as 'that thing all the chinese people do first thing in the morning in the parks before going to work' or something similar, as that is how the media has put it about, but rarely will they have heard of Qi Gong, or know how Tai Chi is rooted in martial arts.

So, the importance isn't necessary what is important to the people, but what is important to those who wish to advertise something... and knowing that Tai Chi is more widely recognised, it makes sense that if you are advertising forms that have similar concepts or backgrounds, you use labels that will attract the customers.

So.....:eek: in conclusion i have 'labeled' my training class 'Tai Chi Health' as it promotes the balance of yin and yang ( as depicted in the Tai Chi symbol) through physical movement and emotional awareness......

......or.....is this just another label and what it really is i'm teaching is just 'kung fu'

Hehe! yes, you're just using the same technique... using Tai Chi as the most commonly known factor in your advertising.

Reply
Reiki Pixie
Posts: 2380
(@reiki-pixie)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago

Hi Chris

P.S. Dave...i had this converstaion with Mr Packard the other week who hates the 'Thai Yoga' label, but he used it on some promotion and people recognised it which bought in some business.

In that position as well, so know where Mr P is coming from. Problem is that the term Yoga put some people off, and turns some people on. I've even had people ask me, "Thai is Thai Yoga Massage that I do?", like is was really important. Also the TYM label is useful to seperate it from Thai Table, Thai Foot, Thai Oil, Thai Seated & Thai Herbal Compress forms of massage. At the moment I'm calling it Traditional Thai Massage, but in the descriptor I state that Yoga stretches are used.

I look forward to see how your Tai Chi Health goes on.

Cheers

RP

Reply
Mar56
Posts: 21
(@mar56)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Tai Chi Qi Gong

I always thought of these two as separate, though obviously related systems. Tai Chi has traditionally been known as a soft martial art. Qi Gong has been known as an internal healing art. Of course, both have the intent of channeling "Qi" energy.

Reply
Share: