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01-18-2006, 02:11 AM
I was thinking… having so many discussions on Ki/Qi/Chi theme, why wouldn't the main contributors, Mike, Rob, others, try to bring together a list of the available resources worth your recommendation, from books and DVDs to web resources, those that carry some meaningful information and explain at least some of "what"s and "how"s and not just general "about"s.
It's clear that subject like that cannot be learned "offline", but such a list may be a great assistance both for those who starts, and who's already on the path.
01-18-2006, 12:33 PM
I remember being really frustrated that "people who knew" weren't telling enough information for serious seekers (that was me) and I swore that if it was ME I'd at least give some information... that was back in the days when I was desperately looking for information sources and I'd pretty much given up on western Aikido and had just moved over to Taiji, as a start into the Chinese martial arts.
Problem is, there just aren't that many westerners that know much. There aren't any books that really tell you HOW to do things. There are bits and pieces in a lot of places, but it boils down to the fact that you won't recognize them if you don't already know what they're talking about.
I would suggest that you take a look at Yang Jwing Ming's book, "Qigong: The Secret of Youth" so that you get the fixed idea that "connective tissue" (fascia) has a prominant role in the qi/ki things. It will save you a lot of time to know that. (BTW, don't pay a lot of attention to Yang's commentaries on qi... just look at the translations of the old texts). Other than that, I can't think of a single source that puts it all together knowledgeably. ;^) Find someone who knows.
01-18-2006, 02:55 PM
Well, that's a good start. ;)
I remember there was at least one DVD, and a two or three books (on tai chi, but I might be mistaken) mentioned in those threads.
Even though they might contain just bits and pieces, it's good to know where to be looking for them, vs. lots of resources that contain no useful information.
02-03-2006, 08:02 AM
What would you say about The Way of Energy by Lam Kam-Chuen? He seems to concentrate pretty much on the "tree" standing exercise. Does this book withhold the essense of those "basic" exercises, as usual?
02-03-2006, 08:25 AM
It's a good enough book, but there's enough left out where it wouldn't stand alone. Standing postures can be used for health (in which case the body is just relaxed, mind blanked, etc.) or for martial training (in which case there is focused "intent" and a lot of "contradiction"). Standing is to make you powerful and it does so in an unusual way.
However, standing exercises won't give you jin/kokyu skills or the ability to "discharge" force or martial ability, etc. It's a good start, standing, but it's not the complete picture.
I have that book (actually, I have two copies because I got faked out by the fact that they put it out under 2 different names in the UK and the USA) and I recommend it as a good addition to the library, but I think you really need to get someone to show you how to get started.
The postures in Yiquan are, like the standing postures in other martial arts, focused around the 6-directions of contradictions (O-Sensei made a reference to the six directions, so he knew about it, too). The power being practiced and developed using the 6 directions is the basic power, the Hun Yuan qi (if you do a search even in English, you'll find a lot of people offering Hun Yuan Qigong courses from different styles, etc.) that is sought as a foundation for "internal" power.
Just to give you a brief feel for a slight contradiction, try this:
Stand in a relaxed hanmi (and that means relax your lower back, too!!!) with the hands/arms held slightly extended in front, but relaxed, fingers open, palms slightly down and not quite facing each other. Weight is on the front foot.
Pretend that all your body's molecules (just picture little round things about the size of BB's) have a strand of a spiderweb attached to them and the other ends of the spiderwebs are attached with no slack to an imaginary wall in front of you. Inhale (while slightly pulling your stomach in) while you pull backward against those zillion spiderwebs and put your weight on the back foot. You'll feel a sort of "tension" pulling you. Try to keep that tension isolated from any muscular tension in the body (the body should be as relaxed as possible). As you get used to the feeling, you can easily imagine that there are spiderwebs pulling you to the front and slightly stronger spiderwebs holding you to the back. That would be one visualization to give you an idea of a "contradiction" training which requires that you "relax" and not have any muscular tension. The standings in Lam's book have to do with various contradictions in various postures, thereby training different facets of the body.
02-03-2006, 12:30 PM
"Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body" by Bruce Kumar Frantzis.
I'm reading his book and doing his excercise to connect hands/arm to my spine, breath to my back and simple stuff. I think it's a good starting place. I like it better than "The Way of Energy" by Lam Kam-Chuen for beginners.
I think it's useful. I'm not an expert at all. Maybe Mike can take a look at the book and give his opinion.
The very first thing you can do is to learn how to do belly breath if you're not doing it now. Try to make it your "natrual" breath method. It'll take a while. After 3 month correction, now I breath "natrually". But Last week, I try to blow up a baloon, I just can't do it with my belly breath. So I have a long way to go.
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