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What Is The Primary Difference
Between Tai Chi & Qi Gong?

Generally, Qi Gong (气功) is a system that consists of a variety of breathing exercises which is based on our life force, meditation, and movements.  Qi Gong is practiced as a way to improve health, spirituality, and it is also essential in martial arts training.  Literally, Qi means the primordial life force that is believed to be part of every living thing and Chi is the western way to pronounce Qi.  Qi Gong was created by the early Chinese Taoist to refine the body and mind.  The term Qi Gong frequently occurs both in classical Taoism and the religion's early Taoist manuscripts. Qi Gong methods were mentioned in the books “Lao Tzu” and “Chuang Tzu”.  Qi Gong has been adapted by many martial art schools and styles beyond the Taoists.


The Taoist Practice of Qi Gong Predates The Martial Art Of Tai Chi

In Chinese mandarin, Tai Chi is pronounced as tài jí.  Ji (极)literally means polarity.  Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese philosophical concept which emphasizes that the universe is governed by two forces.  In a number of practices, such as Feng Shui, and traditional Chinese medicine, a Tai Chi diagram is often used to interpret how we or events are changed or influenced.  Yin and Yang stand for opposite forces in a Tai Chi diagram.  To interpret any phenomenon in the universe, a Tai Chi diagram is often consulted.

While Chinese traditional medicine, Feng Shui, and some other disciplines have integrated the theory of Tai Chi into their fields, Tai Chi was created as a martial art, it has gradually evolved into Martial Art Tai Chi, Performance Tai Chi, and Maintaining Wellness Tai Chi. In an integrated Tai Chi training system, the fundamentals, bare hand solo form, bare hand two person form, Qi Gong, meditation, and weapon forms are all included. 

Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind.

The more you understand about the various aspects of Tai Chi, the more benefits you can derive from your practice.  Whether your goal is to practice Martial Art Tai Chi or Maintaining Wellness Tai Chi, Qi Gong training is an essential component in your training.  

- Jing Shuai 

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