Tai Chi and QiGong – what’s the difference?

Tai Chi means the Supreme Ultimate.  Its full name, Tai Chi Ch’uan, means Supreme Ultimate Fighting.  QiGong, or Chi Kung in the old spelling, means the Way of Power.

Can you imagine the Fight without the Way?

In simple terms, you can define Tai Chi as a set of QiGong movements.  Simple, but not entirely accurate: the first movement of Tai Chi involves a step out to the side, using one foot, but the first movement of QiGong means staying in your centre and moving both feet simultaneously outward.

Then there is a sequence in Tai Chi, but in QiGong there is none, or you can make up your own.  Yes, you can learn a sequence but often it is based on the teacher’s ideas, or adapted from animal movements.

The rest of the story, the Where, When, Who, How, and Why are easily solved:

Where is anywhere!  Although some Tai Chi forms do require a lot of space, the QiGong can be done in smaller spaces.
When is any time!

Who: well, Tai Chi does require months or years of practice, but the thrill of learning starts with the first step.  QiGong is easier and can be done whenever the moment strikes.

How?  This depends on yourself: right down to practice to setting up as a Master.

And then, Why?  We have so many exercises in the west, why do we need QiGong or Tai Chi?  Well, there are so many forms and styles of both that it is a matter of choice.
Taoists consider Tai Chi as one of the highest forms of Moving Meditation, harmonising Yang and Yin, and Qigong as Standing Meditation, for grounding and rooting. Together they combine fitness, flexibility, and effective ways to manage stress, combined with a fantastic energy boost.

Does this interest you?  Well, you can find out more by going to the website.  Scroll down past the registration info.  You can learn what I have to say about it, but, better, look at the top right-hand corner.  Read what Harvard, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal have to say.  Then go down to see the pictures of me and Master Lim doing some push-hands!
Here’s the web site.

About Kris Deva North

Author, Meditation Coach, Teacher of the Taoist Arts.
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