Qi Magazine: Free To Download Today

Qi Magazine covers

For almost twenty years, Qi Magazine featured original articles on kung fu, qigong, and other facets of Chinese culture, many written specifically by and for martial artists. (Qi Magazine is not to be confused with Qi Journal, which seems more targeted to the Goji berry set.)

Qi Magazine ceased production in early 2009, and publisher Michael Tse has since opened the archives. Continue reading Qi Magazine: Free To Download Today

The Secret of The Talking Sword

When learning the art of the sword, we are often told that we should wield it as an extension of our own body. The sword’s edge and tip should exhibit all the speed, power and grace of the hand that holds it, for instance. That is a fine objective—but what if the hand has no speed, power or grace to start with? Continue reading The Secret of The Talking Sword

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

The Single Most Important Lesson in Martial Arts

Please answer the following question, in forty words or less (preferably in one sentence):

What is the single most important lesson you have learned in martial arts?

On June 30, I will randomly select one respondent to receive a prize, courtesy of contest sponsor Shambhala Publications.

If your complete answer exceeds forty words, you are welcome to publish it on your own blog or forum; just give us the summary, and drop a link to your full post below.

Your Answers

Continue reading The Single Most Important Lesson in Martial Arts

The Best of Tui Shou, The Worst of Tui Shou

In theory, the Seattle Martial Arts Club has no teacher. Members meet to practice martial arts drills and exercises of their choosing, under their own direction, for the benefit of all involved.

In practice, no two practice partners are ever equal, and the partner in control usually sets the pace and the tone of a practice session—if not intentionally, then haphazardly.

As I am often the senior Taiji practitioner in attendance—or in other words, the unpaid and under-appreciated Taiji instructor in attendance—it seems appropriate to briefly discuss my personal guidelines and preferences for tui shou (pushing hands) practice. Continue reading The Best of Tui Shou, The Worst of Tui Shou

Why Natural Breathing is Smart Breathing

When I hear a professional martial arts instructor advising their students to be more natural, I cannot help but feel contempt. Could any help be less helpful?

What is the most natural method for safely evading a knife thrust, while simultaneously positioning oneself for an effortless disarm and throw? How does one naturally reverse a guillotine choke? People who know the answer to these questions don’t need an instructor or a class; for the rest of us, more detailed guidance is appropriate.

With that said, I am a strong advocate of “natural breathing” for martial applications, in contrast to the more exotic approaches advanced in some dojos. Continue reading Why Natural Breathing is Smart Breathing

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