Chi Discussions

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Chi Discussions

Postby Rick Wilson » Tue Jan 26, 1999 6:39 am

Jason started off a good thread on Chi and asked that, for the purpose of the thread, it be assumed that chi existed. I first assumed that he wanted some information on how one might begin to cultivate chi or use chi. Of course, it became a debate about whether or not anyone could prove that chi exists to the skeptics. From his later posts perhaps that was what he wanted, but I want to bring an issue to this new thread. The first post lead me down a different thought path and I appreciated the posts of John Thurton. However, the thread was, as always, diverted off down that old trail.

We have been there before. There are chi believers and chi disbeliever’s. There is nothing wrong with questioning anything. However, I think that it should be taken to a separate thread and the discussion allowed to continued.

The fact of the matter is I do not care if someone else believes in chi or not. I do not care if they demand that some one prove it to them before they do. I do not care what standards they set for that proof. I do not care because it is not my job, or duty, to prove it to them.

I believe in chi, and I believe in it due to my own personal experiences. Does this prove anything to anyone else? Absolutely not. My experiences have proved it to me. I do not expect anyone else to accept anything unless they are satisfied. However, based on my experiences I do expect to be allowed my own beliefs. I do expect to be able to discuss these beliefs with others. I do expect to be able to discuss how to learn more with others.

I think that a number martial arts work with the belief of chi and the use of chi, by derailing any and all discussion of chi to a discussion of whether or not we can satisfy someone’s own belief system does a disservice to those looking into this area of martial arts. Whether or not I can convince someone else that chi exists will not negate my own personal experiences. I think that those who do not believe in chi should always start a parallel thread to voice their dissenting opinions.

As I said it is not my purpose in life to convince anyone else that chi exists. Without a way to measure chi, beyond a person’s personal impressions (which are appropriately not accepted), there is no way to convince the skeptics. (Now before anyone incorrectly jumps on this like last time, I am NOT saying that because you CANNOT measure it then chi DOES exist.) I do not expect anyone to accept a belief until they are satisfied for themselves. However, I would like to hear from people who work to cultivate their chi. I would like to hear from those who practice chi kung. But, unfortunately, I doubt that this will happen.

What do I tell my students about chi? I don’t tell my kids’ classes anything. I never discuss it at all. In my adult classes I tell them that I believe that chi exists and is a life force that flows within the body. I make it very clear that they can believe it or not. They can think of it as a person’s spirit or an electrical force or whatever. They don’t have to believe it at all. I do not harp on it or focus on it. We do practice standing meditation and I will be introducing some chi kung practices as I learn more. I do tell them that the thought process of directing chi helps me strike harder and root better, so I really don’t care if it truly exists because this helps my martial arts, so I use it. Maybe it is true, maybe it is a crutch. Again I care not.

However, I am just beginning this path and starting some practices under my current teacher Sensei David Mott. I am very interested in hearing what others do, and really would have enjoyed this thread had it gone the path I thought was intended.

Some I am sure will feel that I am self deluded, I feel they are too stuck in the mere physical. Does this prove anything? Again no. Again I don’t care. I do care about travelling farther down a path I have chosen. Have your beliefs or disbelief’s. Post them boldly every time chi comes up under a thread called CHI IS BS! I care not. Skeptics do the world good. They keep people on guard.

Oh well, a toast to the thread that could have been.

Rick Wilson

Chi Discussions

Postby Evan Pantazi » Tue Jan 26, 1999 11:52 am

Rich San,

I have been working with Chi Gong for most of my Martial Arts history. I am certified in Tui Na and Chi Gong Therapy, where I enjoy treating minor ailments without touch for several years, just by moving the energy by connecting it with my own.

First and foremost I believe you should study how the energy flows through the body. This will give your personal practice more depth and direction and eliminate wasted time. There is an ancient stretching exercise that is excellent to start your program as it will open up the meridians (or break down blockages in the body), it is the "Ba Duan Jin". Next onto a standing meditation that will allow you to root, (feel the energy drop from the atmosphere and rise from the earth or breath through your feet so to say). As a side note when you are healing you do not use your own energy as you will fatigue easily so using this universal energy flow is essential. Once the root is developed (every individual will be different in time span needed to accomplish this goal), you may progress into a movement system, 2 choices could be Sanchin (a fantastic method of Yin and Yang energy direction, provide the dynamic tension and power are eliminated in lew of correct posture, breathing and direction), or one called Dao Yin. Dao Yin is a sationary foot position with the arms learning to feel, connect and direct energy in the upper body as the legs continue the rooting.

As in anything hard work is needed (mostly in the form of patience) and a consistant practice. There are so very many systems of Chi development as each individual varies in their personal makeup, you will find you after long diligent practice.

Sifu Mooney has a couple of nice execises as well that I have incorporated into my studies that will definately help in some of those areas, make sure you talk with him at summer camp. And lastly hang in there past the critics as even ice cream has chocolate and vanilla flavors.

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Chi Discussions

Postby Jason Bernard » Tue Jan 26, 1999 2:29 pm

I believe in chi while simultaneously not believing in chi. It all depends on the definition.

One of the reasons I would like to see a chi test developed is to see if I have chi or not. I mean, I train very intensely in the martial arts. Through that training have I developed this thing call chi? Without a suitable and practical test who can say? Ultimately it doesn't really matter. I am content with my training, my progress, my journey, etc. But on the other hand chi is something that for most people must poke at the imagination a little. As somebody said, wouldn't it be great if we could all develop abilities like Rich Mooney... we could stand in grocery lines and knock out the person in front of us without moving a muscle ... or on a more serious and practical side self-defense would be a literal breeze. I am all for it, but the mysticism has to be removed, and replaced with understanding. That requires definition, experimentation and analysis.

I salute and respect your ability to accept chi, but please understand my attempt is not to debunk chi or to ridicule those who do believe in it, but to increase my and the martial community's understanding of it so that we all can use it. To that end I had a brief discussion with Rich Mooney on Evan's forum to discuss how he develops his ability and I am trying to use some of his methods to understand and monitor the effects. I have been doing this for a mere month, so not suprisingly I haven't noted anything yet, but I am in this test for the long haul.

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Chi Discussions

Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Jan 26, 1999 10:51 pm


If you wish to take a step on this side of the aisle, you might try consulting with Bob Campbell. Bob shows up at some of the summer camps, and has his own forum (although he takes a long time to respond to queries). But you probably know all that from Dave Mott.

I am in no way discouraging you from posting here. In fact I take it as a compliment that you would choose to do so in spite of my skepticism. I had my days of "chi training" with a sifu from Beijing who was an instructor at UVa for a short while. My personal experience was "interesting", but it gave me nothing of practical value. I chose to abandon that route for other paths that gave me better results.

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Chi Discussions

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Tue Jan 26, 1999 11:49 pm

Rick san:

I appreciate your kind words. I think my assumptions that in responding to "chi" I was also assuming that most on the forum believed in "it".

Well, after all, how would one identifty "Sanchin" with out Chi; "two something"?
Couldn't be three anything if you can't acknowledge the thirds existence.

Or Tai Ji; "Maybe OK Questionable Theoretical Life Force Pseudo Work"?

All kidding aside, Sensei Bill seems to have a handle on "it" better than I by not attempting to define it to precisely.

I was lost in the Volts, Ohms, Watts, Chemo Recptors ETC of the various posts, but would not have missed them.

I was put off by the Ae-chi-ists in the sense that if I sat down with a (pick a member of a relevant clergy here)for a theological discussion, and he said "There is no point in discussing this-because there's no God." I might be at least momentarily bewildered.

Well, I guess I figured out kinda quick like that it was an open forum.

So much the better for us.


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Chi Discussions

Postby Rick Wilson » Wed Jan 27, 1999 5:45 am


Many thanks for the comments I will look in to the exercises you mentioned. This is the kind of thing I was hoping for.


Hey my friend, it was your thread, take it any direction you want.


I always feel at home posting on your forum, or I certainly would not have posted this thread. I respect your openness and willingness to accept many into your house. This goes not only for this forum but your dojo. I believe Dave Austen is looking forward to another visit around March or so. You made him very welcome the last time.


Again thanks for joining in. Your knowledge and experiences are very welcome.

Rick Wilson

Chi Discussions

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Jan 27, 1999 4:05 pm


No Problem. Wish I knew more.

I worked on the "Ba Fa" set Monday. FYI it makes this TAi JI form look positively "linear". (Thus far)

I am told it will take 18 months to be able to get through it "mechanically', then I can start to study.


It's fun. Isn't Sanseirui Fun to do?



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