My students often ask me what the difference is between Taiji Qigong (Shibashi), Taijichuan (Shadowboxing) and Qigong and how the practices combine. Although Taiji Qigong, Taiji chuan and Qigong work all with QI-Energy, they have different benefits and point of focuses.
Qigong is a main part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is an Healing Art, combining Breathing, Movement, Meditation and Neidan Gong (Inner Alchemy Training). It dates back to about 5000 years and gained higher priority beginning of 1950 where the first paper was published „Practice on Qigong Therapy“ by Liu Gui-Zheng. There are a lot of different forms of QI-Trainings, one of the oldest is the Daoist Tradition with its Founder Laozi (Laotse). The Daoist Qigong is an holistic Selfcultivation Training including physical and spiritual practices to live a long fulfilled Life. Whereas most of the other Qigong Techniques put their focus on the health benefits, the Daoist QI-Training ensures not only the realization of the natural life expectancy but were found to often result in increased old age and vigor. The Daoist QI-Training was kept secret until around 2000 and mainly taught from Master to a chosen student; first only in China and nowadays the Principles of the DAO Culture are taught by some initiated Teachers in other parts of the world.
Qigong in general, focuses more on “the health benefits”, whereas Taiji chuan focuses more on building and increasing strength which is why it is often used as a basis to build the power necessary to make self-defense techniques effective. Even though the two practices may look similar to the untrained eye, because they both consist of flowing slow-motion movement sequences, there is a wide range of differences in movements and benefits of Taiji Qigong, Taiji chuan and Qigong. Taiji Chuan is a form of Chinese Energytraining which was used in earlier days as a self-defense (Martial art) technique. It is a series of continuous, circular, slow, relaxed and smooth movements that has a lot of health benefits for peoples of all ages. It is not only a physical exercise, because a lot of QI-Energy can be generated and circulates throughout the whole Body if practiced in the correct way. The focus on QI „Chi“, forming part of the practices of Taiji Training, helps to keep the mind focused and to release blockages within the Body.
TAIJI QIGONG / SHIBASHI
The Practice of Taiji Qigong is also built upon the fundamental principles of Qigong. The 18 movement Taiji Qigong –Shibashi- was created in 1982 in Shanghai and is a young form of QI Practice. The routine combines elements from the Yang form and more traditional breathing and movement exercises from Qigong. It has quickly become a very popular Training Method around the world, more used on the Physical Flexibility and balancing the right and left Brain and Bodysides.
Today, everybody wants a quick way, a shortcut, to become healthy and spiritual. That is why a lot of Qigong Techniques are taught in short forms to satisfy the student. In earlier days the Self cultivation was the main focus, not the health prevention. Students had to be very patient to be taught the secrets of the QI-Training, the Inner Alchemy techniques. Sometimes they had to wait more than 10 years to be initiated. If the student understands the Basic Principles of the Holistic System of QI-Training and follows the rules of the Training, they will find out that it is a very effective way of personal development and self cultivation.
There is no shortcut-it is a WAY (DAO) to become a healthier and more virtuous (DE) human being with a fulfilled long Life.