Anyone who knows the fundamentals of Shaolin Gung Fu, or Tai Chi knows about Qi, that mysterious "life energy" that dwells within all living things. I've seen monks smash rocks, wood, bricks and various other materials with nothing but their body, slap a stack of bricks and watch the whole stack break like it was under a tremendous force, I've seen them stab themselves in the throat with a spear and watch it bend. I've seen them hang themselves from the neck and meditate. All this power and energy supposedly comes from Qi, but my question is: "What the fuck is this?" Physiologists have attributed it to a natural thermal physiological process, but I fail to see how thermal energies manage to block a spear going through your throat or allow you to slap breaks and shatter. I've been interested in qi and it's considerate abilities for a long time now, since I was 11, and never really pondered as to what is truly is until recently.
And so I ask the good people of the Forums, what do you think it is? I withhold my opinion for now, because I don't what to think. I haven't the slightest idea. China has a lot of weird beliefs about Gung Fu and martial arts, external and internal schools, I can't even begin to grasp how much material there is on it.
If your not familiar with qi, here's a few links to start you off; or at least give you a basic idea of it's supposed potency:
This one isn't so much about Qi, so much as it is about Master Ku Yu Cheung - Master of the Iron Palm.
Bod-eed-arma? So that's how it's pronounced.
And the Wikipedia link on Qi.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
To be honest even when I see something strange in person I don't believe it to be something mystical. I just see body mechanics, and when I can't see body mechanics I just assume my perception isn't fine enough to see how it's done yet.
I don't believe it's mystical - just an unknown process.
7th December 2003
I wouldn't regard the philosphy behind Chinese martial arts as mystical, but rather as simplification. It's easier for most people to teach martial arts if you don't have to explain everything in terms of biology and mechanics.
I'd say Qi is a combination of different abilities. If you watch Qi-exercises they usually look as if people are trying to get better control over their muscles (repeated slow movements), to calm themselves (breathing techniques) and to be able to tense muslces very quickly (sudden movements).
It's still a mystery as to me as to how a man can press a spear against his throat and have the wood bend.
And I wonder, say the mechanics of Qi are revealed, and it's displayed to the wider world, would practice increase by people who wish to have some sort of semblance of control and relaxation, what would the reaction be, if it was noticed at all.
I think Qi is akin to Indian Chakra, may even be the same thing.
I'm too cool to Post
17th July 2003
It is very similar.
Wont go into details but back when I was taking Karate I got very angry one time and punched the side of a steel cooler at a convenience store I worked at and left the imprint of four fingers and the knuckles in the steel. Did not hurt my hand at all.
The Three of Swords
12th August 2003
Qigong is 100% genuine and effective- dont believe anyone who tells you its a load of crap, which I get all the time for practicing it.
I don't think anyone has nailed down the specific reason it works so well, but I think it likely has something to do with your nervous system. You don't need to understand why it works, if you know how. I just leave science out of it and let it come naturally.
I practice Louhan martial arts, as well as Long Fist and basic One Finger Zen techniques. Nothing special, but its very enjoyable.
Sorry if this makes no sense. I'm applying to colleges now and my brain is shot from those damn essays.
I would die without GF
2nd May 2003
Bod-eed-arma? So that's how it's pronounced.
It's "Bodhidharma". He was a famous monk who was responsible for introducing Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism to China and Japan. His name is made up of the words "Bodhi" as in the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, and "Dharma" which means 'way of living or going about.'
I'm way cooler than n0e (who isn't though?)
11th February 2003
Qi is that thing from the Adventure of Jackie Chan cartoon...
and honestly Ive got no clue what it is as well.
My Sex is on Fire ;)
16th September 2006
It's just one of those things that you can only do if you don't think about. One explanation (I forget where I heard this): ...Think about a centipede. It can walk fine when it doesn't think about it, but when it thinks about the complexity of moving every individual leg, it will fall... That could have not made any sense at all, but oh well...