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Chi Kung – otherwise spelt Qigong. The name relates to vital energy/life force (Chi/Qi) and ‘Work/Effort/Skill’ (Kung) and is a broad Chinese description of various movements which emphasises the learning of control and influence over the movement of ‘Vital Energy’ or ‘Life Force’ (the Chi or Qi) around the body. Improved Chi circulation can create ease of movement, strong limbs, alleviate disease states, improve all biological functions and foster improved mental faculties.

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There are literally thousands of Chi Kung sets available in China. Practicing Chi Kung can deeply affect general health, prolong life, prevent disease and alleviate symptoms of illness, all aspects of life the Chinese have sought for millennia. It can also develop aspects of the consciousness as well as empower techniques in sports and martial arts. Physical balance and poise as well as circulation can be improved.

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In scientific studies Chi Kung has been shown to be particularly effective for

Stress reduction and relaxation
Prevention/alleviation of disease, ill health, and allergies
Emotional balance
Mental clarity
Increase in concentration, vitality and stamina
Relief of joint pain

The basis of the three internal arts of China Tai Chi {Tai Ji}, Pa Gua {Ba Gua} and Hsing I {Xing i} are sophisticated Chi Kung and Nei Kung component’s and practices. As such they are sophisticated Chi Kungs themselves and often have practices particular to their training and style John Teaches aspects of the 16 Part Nei Kung system that Taoists systematised the procedures. Please see Bruce Frantzis’s website and publications for more information on the 16 Part Nei Kung.

Chi Kung Classes – what to expect

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John runs a multilayered approach to Chi Kung and Nei Kung.

Classes currently involve Chi Kung and Nei Kung as an adjunct to Tai Chi, with and Chi Kung and Nei Kung acting as ‘warm ups’ and ‘cool downs’ for Tai Chi practice. However if you wish to specialise particularly in Chi Kung and Nei Kung without Tai Chi, individual, small group sessions or workshops can be arranged. John periodically runs workshop intensives. Please contact John for to discuss your requirements.

Chi Kung – further information:

John has learned, researched, practiced and taught various Chi Kung and Nei Kung {also spelt Neigong} Sets since the 1980’s. Neigong methods and styles are often older than Chi Kung and seen as ‘the parent’, while Chi Kung is usually easier to learn and practice and contains one or more Nei kung components.

The Chi Kung and Nei Kung sets taught by John fall under five categories:

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1. Health Chi Kung

A general term for styles of Chi Kung used for maintaining and improving health in general terms. The most popular and available styles.

2. Medical Chi Kung

More fully utilises the Chinese Acupuncture model of well-being, specialising in the approach to prevention, alleviation and sometimes cure of particular disease states. Used in Chinese Hospitals and Clinics for a range of health disorders.

3. Martial Chi Kung/Nei Kung

For maintaining and improving martial power and abilities. These can also make one very healthy if practised correctly, unhealthy if not.

4. Spiritual Chi Kung/Nei Kung

The traditional practises that were incorporated into many Buddhist, Daoist and Confucianist Religious groups. Some of these practises survived the Cultural Revolution in China, others didn’t. Practices here are similar to those also taught by John in his Yoga classes {please see separate section}.WOLF P MED USA 07 1 MIST TX

5. Scholarly (Academic) Chi Kung/Nei Kung

Particular methods used in ancient China for people who had for instance to undergo the extreme exam conditions of the imperial examination system. Has similar practises to medical and health Qigong. Very relevant to modern computer and office workers and their strained nervous systems.

Chi Kung and Nei Kung Sets presently offered by John

Each of these sets is a complete method in itself, or can be used as an equivalent of a ‘warm up’ or ‘cool down’ before doing Tai Chi, or more strenuous Chi Kung or Nei Kung sets.

Definitions: Suitability of Chi Kung and Nei Kung Sets is defined in the following two ways.

1. All Ages & Abilities (AAA)

Generally practice for healthy 16-80 years, dependent on experience or aptitude. Younger or older participants are welcome after evaluation.

2. Age/Health Fitness Restrictions (AHR)

Material of these sets or at these levels may be unsuitable for some individuals. Dependent on experience, aptitude and abilities of particular individuals

1. Six Words Chi Kung – Liu Ci Fa Yin Qigong (AAA / Medical / Health)

The use of six simple sounds pronounced softly to relieve stress, promote relaxation, improve the flow of Qi, harmonise the internal organs and thus enhance the sense of well-being. This is very useful used in conjunction with other therapies in the recovery from illness.

2. Harmonising Heaven and Earth Chi Kung – Tian Di Xie Qigong (AAA /Health)

Two versions. First also called ‘Crane and Tortoise Play’ from the Chi Kung system ‘Five Animal Frolic’s/Play’. A simple, continuous movement to relieve stress and promote relaxation. It gently stretches the tendons and muscles and brings improved flexibility and circulation to the spine. It promotes improved Qi flow to the body and internal organs (collectively known as ‘earth’) and the brain (‘heaven’). It contains techniques used in China to heal back, neck and joint problems. This is taught from the very first class from beginners upwards. It is a complete method in itself and can also be used as an equivalent of a ‘warm up’ before Tai Chi or more strenuous sets. The second set contains more emphasis.

3. Three Swings Chi Kung – San Shuai Shou Qigong (AAA /AHR /Health)

Two versions. The first has three simple swinging movements that relive stress and promote relaxation. They also stretch the tendons and muscles, bringing flexibility to the spine and waist and teach correct body alignments of the skeleton and major joints to alleviate or prevent injury. Movements within this set include more twisting actions that Heaven & Earth Qigong and promote increased and improved Qi flow to the body, internal organs and brain. Second version is more complex, requires more hip flexibility, and contains a spine stretch. Taught from beginners upwards.

4. Massage Chi Kung – Anmo Qigong (AAA /AHR /Medical/Health)

Simple self massage methods along the acupuncture meridians of the body to relieve stress, promote relaxation and improve all round Qi flow to body, internal organs and brain. Massage Qigong involves gentle slapping and tapping using fingers, palms or fists , and is practised before or after previous Chi Kungs in class to balance the circulation of blood, lymph and Chi/Qi. Taught from beginners upwards.

5. Eight Pieces of Brocade Chi Kung – Ba Tuan Gin {Ba Duan Jin} Qigong* (AAA / AHR / Medical)

There are various levels to this set, and are a little more difficult to learn than previous Chi Kungs . These fluid eight movements gently stretch and twist the tendons and muscles, bring flexibility to the spine and waist, strengthen the legs and bring improved all round Chi flow. Each of the eight postures is attributed with positively affecting one or two internal organs according to Chinese Medical Theory. Taught from beginners upwards.

*There are two DVD titles available on Eight Pieces of Brocade Chi kung by John, available from the Vital Arts Shop

6. Standing Post Chi Kung – Zhan Zhuang Qigong** (AAA / AHR)

Mostly stationary postures for beginners through to advanced. Poses are from single postures held for increasing periods of time, through to a series of postures held one after another. At advanced levels the emphasis is on sensing and feeling the flow of Chi inside the body while remaining motionless, rather than expressing or feeling Chi through utilisation of body movements.

** A DVD on Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung by John is available from the Vital Arts Shop. In this title John teaches a Five Posture Set.

7. Dragon & Tiger Chi Kung – Long Hu Chi Kung

Over 1500 years old, this is an energising and relaxing Buddhist set of seven movements {and a final rest phase eight posture not usually counted as a ‘movement’} and is the fore bearer of many Chi Kungs. This includes styles of Eight Pieces of Brocade, which it builds upon and advances. With this set, hands distinctly follow and trace the Meridian lines of the body. It too gently stretches and twists the tendons and muscles, bringing flexibility to the spine and waist, strengthens the legs and promotes all round Chi flow. It is excellent for learning to feel ones Chi, as well as relieving fatigue, aches and pains. It is known for its ability to alleviate serious illnesses such as cancer. For those already practicing Eight Pieces of Brocade Chi Kung this can really help them understand what the movements are really doing.

A DVD and book on Dragon & Tiger Qigong is available from Bruce Frantzis’ web site, www.energyarts.com. John learnt this directly at Instructor Training with Mr Frantzis.

8. Yang Family Style Tai Chi Nei Kung/Chi Kung – Yang Shia Tai Chi Neigong/Qigong (Health / Martial / AHR)

A practice particular to Yang Style Tai Chi. There are five levels and sets in various styles, and is ideally taught to students already familiar with training in some Chi Kung and Neigong. This is a strenuous and difficult to learn and practise set. Originally developed by the Yang Family in China, it was used to develop martial power and internal strength with a soft body, for practising the fighting methods of Tai Chi Chuan. This style has methods from the previous Chi Kung’s listed as well as practices particular to itself.

9. Tai Chi Twenty Four Posture Internal Strength Set – Tai Chi Ershi Si Nei Kung (AHR / Martial)

Both stationary and moving postures in, various styles, taught to students already familiar with training in Chi Kung and/or Nei Kung. Also known as the ‘Chang Style Boxing 24 Posture Internal Strength Set’, this is a strenuous and difficult to learn, and was used to build martial power and ‘Internal Strength’ for practicing the fighting methods of Tai Chi Chuan. This set appears only to have been practiced then and now by some Wu Stylists. This set is based on the original fighting practices of the 18th century martial artist Chang Naizhou who many believe influenced the theory and development of Tai Chi Chuan. This style has methods common with previous Chi Kungs listed as well as practices particular to itself.

This is the Chi Kung that influenced Mantak Chia’s development of his ‘Iron Shirt’ and ‘Tendon Chi Kung’ systems. John has also studied this since 1986 and in 2011 received an Instructors Certificate in Thailand from Master Chia, in this approach.