Qigong, Energy Movement
Qi or Ki (pronounced Chi) translates to inner energy. Martial artists use the art of Qigong to move their internal energy around their body, this is used for both health purposes and for actual physical training.
Your Ki is stored and delivered from your abdomen, hence you wear the knot of your belt over this point, this helps you to ensure you are breathing correctly and practising your Ki control. Moving your Ki around your body via breathing control is a skill in itself and takes years of practise.
Moving your energy around your body is extremely good for your health and your internal organs. Like blood in veins, energy moves around via a network of invisible lines called meridians. Asian culture believes that illness is caused by a blockage in energy somewhere in the body. Once this blockage is released then the illness will pass.
Martial artist also use Ki energy to make their techniques powerful and also to protect their body from harm. The skill taken to build up your internal energy and then move it to the weapon of your choice takes a lifetime to perfect and practise. The ultimate for martial artists is to incorporate energy movement into their physical training.
Students can practise their breathing control into their abdomen, hence exercise their Ki, by using different techniques. Taking a static position and concentrating on breathing control is the best way to begin to learn the art of Ki, and thereafter synchronising slow movements with your breathing is the next step.
Qigong is an art in itself but combined with martial arts is extremely good for your health and state of mind.
Health and Qigong
Qigong is now recognised as an alternative form of medicine and is extensively used in Asia as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been included in Chinese universities curriculums.
It is considered effective in helping a number of chronic conditions such as depression, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, back pain and anxiety to name a few.