Chi Gong 101: How to Feel Your Chi Energy

A Simple Guide In Plain English

Introduction

  • Chi (qi) is an ancient Chinese term, which can be translated as energy. Like energy, the word chi is used in both abstract and concrete terms, and applied to both general concepts and specific phenomena. In other words, chi is ambiguous. (People who use the term often have a specific meaning in mind.)
  • In the broadest sense of the word, chi is generally understood to be pervasive, present in everyone and everything, but it is not uniformly distributed.
  • Chi moves freely around the universe, assuming various forms along the way. Disciplines such as Chi Kung (Qigong) and Feng Shui purport to observe and manipulate chi, for the specific benefit of human life.

Continue reading Chi Gong 101: How to Feel Your Chi Energy

These Tough Guys Did Martial Arts…For Health

Do you know how martial artists spell irony? R-B-S-D.

RBSD, or reality-based self-defense, is a blanket term for martial arts training that purports to focus on practical applications. In truth, however, these applications—gross motor skills such as the straight punch and Thai-style knee strike—can only be deemed “practical” within a fiat-based reality.

Reality as measured by the CDC is strikingly different. Among the leading causes of death in 2005, assault ranks in 15th place—behind heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses. In the USA, death by suicide is 50% more common than homicide. Statistically speaking, influenza is far deadlier than any fatigue-clad RBSD play-warrior, or the threats they would prepare you to face.

Despite the indisputable fact that sickness is the greatest danger to the average person, martial arts for health have somehow earned a bad reputation. Continue reading These Tough Guys Did Martial Arts…For Health

Derren Brown Proves No-Touch Knockdowns are Real, and Fake

In the proceeding video, mentalist Darren Brown knocks a martial artist down from behind.
That proves his skill is real.
On the other hand, Darren Brown did not touch him.
That proves his skill is fake.
As for Darren Brown’s explanation, “It’s all in your mind,” that proves…what? Continue reading Derren Brown Proves No-Touch Knockdowns are Real, and Fake

How to Learn Zhan Zhuang From a Book

A recent entry in the suggestion box reads,

“What is the best book or DVD for learning zhan zhuang?”

My zhan zhuang background

My formal introduction to zhan zhuang (standing meditation) was provided by “Michael”, a master of Taoist self-cultivation methods. Continue reading How to Learn Zhan Zhuang From a Book

“Empty Force” and No-Touch Knockouts Real? Take Our Survey

Many martial arts bloggers (Striking Thoughts, Mokuren Dojo and Dojo Rat to name a few) have published their opinions on the veracity of chi projection, empty force (ling kong jing) and no-touch knockouts. Naturally, I have a few opinions of my own–but I do not intend to share them here and now. No, my purpose today is a humble and scientific one: to gather data.

The plural of anecdote is data, right? So, please take this multiple choice poll. Continue reading “Empty Force” and No-Touch Knockouts Real? Take Our Survey

Return of the Jedi: Five Questions with a Neigong Expert

內功 neigong (pronounced nay-gung): the science of observing, strengthening and directing bio-energy, or chi.

The Magus of Java

A repository of extraordinary skills such as telekinesis, pyrogenesis, telepathy, remote viewing and levitation, the esoteric Eastern school known as Mo-Pai has been described as a real-life order of Jedi Knights. Some have even speculated that its history inspired George Lucas’ script for Attack of the Clones.

Among the ancient neigong lineages still in existence today, the Mo-Pai is characterized by an unusual openness. The school and its headmaster, known by the alias “John Chang”, has been the subject of two recent books and a video documentary.

Jim McMillan, who identifies himself as a longtime disciple of John Chang, has graciously agreed to share a few of his experiences with Martial Development readers: Continue reading Return of the Jedi: Five Questions with a Neigong Expert

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum – July 2008

Welcome to the fourth edition of Qigong and Energy Arts Forum, a regularly updated collection of the best new articles on qigong (chi kung), reiki, ayurveda, kundalini yoga, and other related disciplines.

Why Energy Healing Is Often Considered “Woo-Woo” by Loolwa Khazzoom (Dancing with Pain)
The vast majority of people who would say that energy work or energy medicine is “woo woo” are also people who hold strong religious beliefs. For example, Christians believe that there was a man who lived in a whale…

The Key to Natural Healing by Anmol Mehta (Mastery of Meditation, Enlightenment and Kundalini Yoga)
The key to natural healing is to be positive, relaxed and at peace mentally. The concepts of you are not your body, and the body’s fantastic inbuilt healing capacities greatly help facilitate this state… Continue reading Qigong and Energy Arts Forum – July 2008

The Rise and Fall of Mesmerism

The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine

The following passage is excerpted from “The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine” by Anne Harringtona recent addition to my recommended reading list.

The End of Medical Exorcism in Europe

Appreciating the interweaving religious, philosophical and political stakes [in 18th century medicine] is important, because it can help us make sense of an episode whose significance we might otherwise misinterpret: the showdown between the German exorcist Father Johann Joseph Gassner and the Viennese physician Anton Mesmer.

Johann Joseph Gassner

Gassner was an exorcist whose ability to cast out devils was legendary. People came from all over to be healed, and in dramatic public performances—witnessed by crowds from all sectors of society—Gassner would oblige. Official records were made; competent witnesses testified to the extraordinary happenings. All agreed on the basic facts. On being presented with a supplicant, Gassner would typically wave a crucifix over his or her body and demand in Latin that, if the disease he was seeing had a “preternatural” source, this fact must be made manifest. The patient would then typically collapse into convulsions, and Gassner would proceed to exorcise the offending spirit.

Sometimes he added flourishes to this basic routine: in one dramatic instance, for example, he ordered the demon inside a woman to increase the poor woman’s heartbeat and then to slow it down. Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Mesmerism

Guo Lin’s Qigong Cure for Cancer

Qigong Fever

Excerpted from Qigong Fever: Body, Science, and Utopia in China by David A. Palmer

There were no officially sanctioned qigong activities in China until its rehabilitation in 1978, after the end of the Cultural Revolution. However, one woman, Guo Lin, an artist and cancer victim from Guangdong province who had cured herself by practicing qigong during the 1960s, was brave enough to teach other cancer patients in the parks of Beijing as early as 1970. Her ‘New Qigong Therapy’ inaugurated a new, collective form of qigong teaching and practice that would later be adopted by most qigong masters. Guo Lin can thus be said to have triggered the qigong wave of the 1980s.

Born near Zhongshan, Guangdong in 1909, Guo Lin was trained as a young girl in traditional body technologies by her paternal grandfather, a Taoist in Macau, where her family had fled following the 1911 revolution. Later, as a student of landscape painting, she visited several holy mountains; the breathing technique she used when climbing the steep slopes would become the basis for her future qigong method.

In 1949 Guo Lin was hit by uterine cancer, which was treated by hysterectomy. The cancer recurred in 1959 while she was teaching at the new Beijing Painting Academy. Guo Lin remembered the techniques that she had learned in her youth, and decided to practice them to treat her cancer. Continue reading Guo Lin’s Qigong Cure for Cancer

Who Wants to Learn Mo Pai Nei Kung?

John Chang
“John Chang”
a.k.a. “Dynamo Jack”

The Final Qigong Demonstration of John Chang remains one of my most popular posts. With the help of Youtube’s new viewer demographics feature, we can learn more about the people who find this video so fascinating. Continue reading Who Wants to Learn Mo Pai Nei Kung?