With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Standing Qi Gong - Zhan Zhuang



I was introduced to Standing Qi Gong during my Tai Chi training.  I practiced the Classical Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan, under Rogers Bastick, who trained for a decade under Master Chu King Hung, the no. 3 disciple of the Yang family, in London (UK).  Standing Qi Gong forms the basis of the art's health and self-defence power.

There are many forms of Tai Chi, most practiced for health benefits only.  Tai Chi Chuan was originally developed as a sophisticated martial art aimed at overcoming advantages of size, strength and speed in combat.  In my opinion, possibly one of the most challenging martial arts to get involved in.

Although various forms of Tai Chi have been known and practiced in the West for many decades, the actual art of Standing Qi Gong was kept secret even in China until the mid 1940's and was taught for the first in the West in the 1980's.

Benefits of Standing Qi Gong:
  • exert the full capacity of muscle networks over long periods without exhausting the lungs.
  • breathing becomes deeper and slower, generating a generous supply of oxygen to the heart.
  • increase in pulse rate, enabling the hart to carry the high levels of oxygen to the muscles and internal organs.
  • extreme high level of exercise without gasping for air.
  • stimulate, cleanse and massage all the body's internal systems.
 
 In the West, exercise is associated with high activity, sweating and a lot of huffing and puffing.  Standing Qi Gong is an extremely demanding exercise, take it from somebody that has been involved in all sorts of extreme sports and training ... ranging from the martial arts, endurance sports and the Defense Force.  It is not as easy as it looks ...

Other benefits of Standing Qi Gong are meditation and breathing associated with the practice.  It is a full and complete training system that works directly on the energy systems in the body, controlled deep breathing, posture and the meditative state.

As it is impossible to maintain this posture for more than 20 minutes in the initial stages of training, it is recommended to practice Standing Qi Gong for at least 20 minutes a day ... that is if one is capable of managing the duration of practice.  Most  new students find it impossible to maintain the basic posture for more than five minutes.

It is difficult to master this art by yourself, as it is impossible to view your own posture from all angles.  I have to travel again to Roger Bastick in the near future to touch up on the basics ...

Sources: 
The Way of Energy ... (Master Lam Kam Chuen) 
Benefits of Classic Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan


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