In this short article, I shall try to illuminate a few issues concerning qi, what it is, how to recognize it and how to manipulate qi for attack and defense.
I base most of this article on my own personal experiences, and challenge you to seek out knowledge from as many sources as possible. Maybe you honored reader can find another article or source that will make this, complicated theme more understandable to you than I am able to in this article.
Disclaimer: Do not experiment with qi and qi-manipulation without trained and qualified supervision, as it can be dangerous.
What is Qi?
To answer this question in full would require an entire book all by itself, and I shall not pretend to hold the best answer either.
As an oversimplification we can translate qi as energy, and it is in this understanding I will use the term Qi in this article. However in reality it is not quite so easy to accurately translate an eastern term as qi to something similar in the western philosophies. In eastern theory, Qi is the basis of all matter, and everything around us is just qi in different manifestations. Qi is also understood as vital force, life force, vital essence act. Since in this article we understand qi as energy, and all matter has energy, we can easily understand that everything is qi.
In the human body, qi flows in the meridian systems. I use pleural, as there are more than the 10 standard organ-meridians we know from traditional Chinese medical theory, but several other channels linked to these meridians.
How to recognize Qi
To recognize qi for the first time, it is often useful to have a guide to help you. For me, when I feel my qi, the sensation is like a small electrical buzz in the area I am focusing on… it is alive, and it sometimes have a pulsing feel to it. Even if this is how it usually feels, the first time I recognized my qi, was at a Qi Gong seminar, and it manifested itself between my hands like a hard, light ball.
I found that studying taiji or qigong are the easiest way to get in touch with your qi, and ultimately learning to manipulate it, as I will explain in the next section of this article.
How to use your qi in a fight
In order to use your qi as effectively as possible, you need to train yourself to manipulate it so you can accomplish what you aim for. I find it useful to use a combination of breathing techniques and movement to focus my qi to where I want it to go.
To use your qi defensively, you need to focus your qi to the area you wish to protect. Defensive usage of qi for me includes both pain suppression and removing pain. Clear examples of this you can find in Iron Shirt Kung Fu act.
You can also use your qi to combat sickness, and defend against temperature extremes. An example of this is when I have stomach ache; I try to channel my qi to my rioting gut, and trying to settle it.
To use your qi offensively, you need to train yourself to project your qi. In the martial arts, we find examples of this in Dimmak, Acudo Ryu, Taichi, Qigong act.
You can see an example in this video
I find it to be quite effective to combine breathing technique, movements and visualizations when I want to use qi in an attack.
To maximize the efficacy of using qi for fighting, you need to use the correct breathing technique; and I am sure you have heard it before, somewhere. You breathe inn through the nose and out from the mouth.
As you breathe in, let it fill your lungs completely, expanding your stomach. This is called “breathing with your stomach”. When you exhale, start from the stomach and force the air out through the mouth, you should hear the air exiting your throat and mouth as it exits.
In the inhale, you absorb qi from the air and the environment around you. This qi expands to your own internal qi, and is usually what you would use as a “qi-weapon”
In the exhale, you move the qi where you want it to go, whether it is for defense or for offence, and as I explained earlier in this article; it is easier to accurately accomplish this using movement as a guide for your qi.
I hope you have found this little article illuminating, and inspire you to dig deeper in the more intricate theories and practices.
- 5.dan Acudo Ryu
- Founder; Mizudo & Combat Acudo
- 2.dan Judo