Understanding the Relationship Between Taijiquan and Qigong

Many people who have heard the words taichi and qigong are aware that the two are related somehow, but not everyone has a clear idea how they are related. Here are some definitions that may help provide some clarity.

Qigong (气功)

Qigong literally means “energy work,” and is commonly used to refer to the category of Chinese mind-body exercises that emphasize increasing one’s internal energy, opening energy pathways or any other kind of benefiting the body’s internal energy systems. The purposes of practicing qigong include benefiting one’s health, reducing stress, developing qualities beneficial to martial arts and facilitating spiritual awakening.

Taijiquan (太极拳)

Taijiquan literally means “supreme ultimate fist” and refers to a group of martial art forms descended from the form practiced by the Chen family in during the Ming Dynasty, and according to modern legend, from the  12th Century Daoist monk Zhang Sanfeng. Different schools of taiji vary significantly, but are united by the following qualities:

  • All schools of taiji involve practicing a set of techniques that flow from one to another.
  • Most (if not all) taiji forms involve variations of common techniques like “Single Whip” or “Hands Like Clouds.”
  • All forms of taiji intend to develop the body’s internal energies, commonly referred to as qi.

Because taiji practice intends to work the qi, it can be said that taiji is one of the many examples of qigong. It can also be said that qigong is an element of taiji practice.

For further discussion on taijiquan and qigong, or for information about taiji instruction in Austin, please click here or call Michael at 512-791-3296.

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