From Chi Kung Skeptic to Iron Shirt Master in 28 Days

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum welcomes any submissions related to chi, ki, prana, orgone, et cetera. For this edition, I would also like to extend a special invitation to skeptics, rationalists and disbelievers.

Do you know why chi kung doesn’t exist? Can you prove it is scientifically impossible? Have you personally encountered any frauds, mountebanks or charlatans? Educate us.

Iron Shirt
Iron Shirt

Provide your best evidence, clearest arguments and most entertaining stories. One participant will be randomly selected to win a prize from the new Martial Development Shop. Continue reading From Chi Kung Skeptic to Iron Shirt Master in 28 Days

Learn To Concentrate with Xzibit and Team Ryouko

zhu
zhu: concentrate; focus

What do you get when you combine Nichiren Buddhist chanting, Tae Kwon Do, four booty shakers in short cheongsam dresses, a muk yan jong and a pimped out Cadillac?

My New Year’s Eve plans? No, it’s an Xzibit music video. Continue reading Learn To Concentrate with Xzibit and Team Ryouko

The Best Martial Arts Movies of 2007

Edison Chen in Dog Bite Dog

Dog Bite Dog [Amazon.com] [Netflix] [IMDB]
After a Cambodian child slave turned assassin completes his assignment, he in turn becomes the target of a vengeful Hong Kong cop. There are no heroic figures in Dog Bite Dog, and no glorification of violence. This stunningly brutal film illustrates an unfortunate truth: the fight isn’t over until everyone is satisfied, and nobody is content with a loss. Continue reading The Best Martial Arts Movies of 2007

The Nondual Perspective on Subjective Reality

The principle of Subjective Reality—that the universe is consciousness and nothing more—has been employed by authentic spiritual traditions for millennia. Its intended function is not to reveal Universal Truth, but to prepare a seeker for the next stage in their development by dispelling their material illusions.

In other words, Subjective Reality is a spiritual colonic, which for best results must be followed by healthy wisdom food. New-age teachers who skip this critical lesson are like surgeons who excise a tumor, but neglect to close the incision afterwards. Continue reading The Nondual Perspective on Subjective Reality

Movement, Martial Arts, and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Since we practice movement every day of our lives, it is easy to overlook the complexity of this task.

ASIMO

Voluntary movement, by definition, begins as an act of will. Willpower directs the brain, to signal the muscles, to exert force, to reposition the body in space, adjusting these commands in a real-time response to ongoing sensory feedback. And an accidental failure at any point in the sequence can foul up the end result, causing us to move poorly, freeze in place or topple over.

If an attacker could somehow introduce malicious commands or false information into our system, they could lead us to self-destruction. Fortunately for our individual liberty, there is no way to breach these communication pathways from the outside…or is there? Continue reading Movement, Martial Arts, and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Sun Tzu: A Primer for Martial Artists

The same strategies used by a military commander to defend the nation can also be used to protect one’s self. Sun Tzu’s classic manual The Art of War is therefore required reading for all serious martial artists.

Here is a summary of Sun Tzu’s most important points (based on translations by Roger Ames):

On Assessments (計篇第一)
Warfare is the art of deceit. Therefore, when able, seem to be unable; when ready, seem unready; when nearby, seem far away; and when far away, seem near. If the enemy seeks some advantage, entice him with it. If he is in disorder, attack him and take him.

Attack where he is not prepared; go by way of places where it would never occur to him you should go. These are the military strategist’s calculations for victory—they cannot be settled in advance. Continue reading Sun Tzu: A Primer for Martial Artists

Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

Reader and contributor Rick Matz tagged me to participate in the 7 things pyramid scheme writing project.

The rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here we go… Continue reading Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

If It Doesn’t Look Fake, Then It Isn’t Real Taiji

The position of refinement of consciousness in the theory and practice of martial arts is utterly critical. It pervades the fundamentals of training in martial arts as well as the most advanced contents of their highest level. This is the technical and theoretical core and quintessence of martial arts.

To abandon this is tantamount to throwing away the living soul and fundamental work of the techniques and theories of martial arts, leaving only low level “external exercises” with their peculiarities of outward form…

Consciousness as we use it here does not mean consciousness in the ordinary sense, abstract logical thought, or abstract ideation; neither is it formal thinking in the ordinary sense…it is always a result of combined refinement of body and mind.

from Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts by Shi Ming

Master Shi Ming, from Bill Moyers’ Healing and the Mind

Shi Ming’s demonstration, and similar performances by other Taiji masters always draw criticism from the incredulous.

The most common objection is at the appearance of cooperation between teacher and student: the disciples appear to be throwing themselves. In many cases, that is exactly what they are doing. This fact alone does not, however, prove that the master is a fake. Continue reading If It Doesn’t Look Fake, Then It Isn’t Real Taiji

Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong: Book Review

Tsa lung trul khor

After reviewing the training methods of Qi Dao, Kumar Frantzis suggested that such material would be more precisely labeled as shen gong, or spiritual cultivation, rather than as qi gong (energy cultivation). While I cannot disagree with his observation, it seems to me that most English-speaking qigong enthusiasts are in fact seeking self-realization, harmony and peace of mind—not merely a vehicle for increased physical vitality—so some imprecision can be forgiven here.

Qi Dao - Tibetan Shamanic Qigong

Qi Dao: The Art of Being in the Flow is (to my knowledge) the first English book on the obscure Tibetan art of Shamanic Qigong, or trul khor. Written by Lama Somananda Tantrapa, an ordained Buddhist monk and longtime martial artist, Being in the Flow introduces the basics of this unique brand of Tibetan Yoga. Continue reading Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong: Book Review

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum: Volume 1

Ebb and flow – rise and fall by Patrick Parker (Mokuren Dojo)
One of the main philosophical and strategic principles of the ancient Kito school, from which both aikido and judo took root, was the idea that ki (energy) is always rising and falling, ebbing and flowing and changing forms. This article at Mokuren Dojo describes this concept and gives a couple of hints for harmonizing with the ebb and flow of someone’s energy.

Qigong Yiquan Review and Impressions by Jacob (Parapsychology Articles and Blog)
I’ve written before about my first qigong lesson. Nowadays, I still go the classes and am much more knowledgeable on this subject.

Feature articleNourishing the Liver by Joanne Hay (Nourished Magazine)
Cleansing the Liver looks very different when seen through the soft, clear eyes of Nourishment. How do we treat Liverish symptoms that pop up in Spring without falling for the old cleanse, purge, no pain no gain paradigm? Some of our Nourishing recommendations may surprise you. Continue reading Qigong and Energy Arts Forum: Volume 1