What is Chi Kung?
Chi Kung and Qi Gong are one and the same. Qi (pronounced chi) means breath and Gong (or Kung, as in Kung Fu) translates into the words art, skill, or proficiency. Chi Kung is the art of coordinating breath with motion. A simple definition with a great deal of serious depth underneath the superficial layer of physical exercise. The subtleties of this form can only be appreciated through experience. In the same manner as Tai Chi, Chi Kung offers many excellent health, wellness and spiritual benefits. The key to mastery lies in consistent, dedicated practice over time.
The KarmaKick™ Dragon Pearl System consists of five different forms of Chi Kung. All beginners start with Dao Yin (an early, soft, or yin form of Chi Kung) and progress through onto more challenging levels (strong, yang forms). We do not cut any corners here either. We teach you the meticulous details within the context of a traditional fountain of knowledge. The rest is put to you. The only comfort zone we cultivate is the zone of Right Action!
How does Chi Kung differ from Tai Chi Chuan?
On a superficial level Chi Kung is generally done without moving across the practice space. In contrast, when practicing Tai Chi Chuan the practitioner moves across and back through the practice space. Both Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan are refined martial arts requiring the learning and mastering of control techniques for the breath, rooting, center and midline.
Despite suffering dilutions and aberrations in its transmission due to suppression, forgetfulness and/or misunderstanding of the subtleties of the practice over time, Chi Kung has become less recognizable as a martial art. Nevertheless, it remains a powerful practice that should be cultivated as an adjunct to the martial arts. Chi Kung is generally viewed as an exercise system that develops strength through the cultivation of our natural reservoir of energy (chi). Over time, the fast practice of Tai Chi Chuan were deliberately slowed down so that the form began to resemble and incorporate element of Chi Kung while retaining the synchronicity between breath and motion. Both Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan exploit the levels of energy and inertia in the body: whether standing still, or moving.
What is Tai Chi Chuan?
Officially referred to as Tai Chi Chuan (Tai = Great, Supreme Chi (also Ji) = Ultimate, Universal Energy, Chuan = Fist) this intricate system has its origins in the great family of ancient Chinese martial arts. Although still practiced as a highly effective martial art today, Tai Chi offers many excellent health, wellness and spiritual benefits.
Taoist philosophy begins with a general understanding of the integrated energies called Yin and Yan, symbolically represented by the black and white circle shown at the top right of this page. These seeming opposing energies share a bit of each other at their respective cores. When combined and balanced, Yin and Yang form a greater level of energy referred to as the Great Tao (or Dao). Along with consistent practice and discipline, the key to mastering Tai Chi is to cultivate knowledge, patience, discipline, consistency and a serious interest in self-development regardless of the effort and time it takes to evolve.
Tai Chi and its sister modalities of Chi Kung and Nei Kung symbolize strength, control and balance. Every aspect of life encompassing mind, body, spirit, skill, profession requires balance. Mastery requires building the foundations from the ground up with discipline. After performing a set of choreographed postures synchronized with breathing, the practitioner feels an immediate boost of energy, a feeling of relaxation, vitality and well-being. The stress and distress of daily life begins to disappear. Along with a change in lifestyle and a proper diet, the practitioner will experience improvement in overall health: better balance, increased stamina, regulated breathing, inner and outer strength, proper alignment, regulation of blood pressure, lower resting heart rate and a strong feeling of personal satisfaction. The rewards are numerous, but nothing is achieved without effort. Nothing is achieved without Action!
We teach a traditional approach to Tai Chi Chuan and the associated modalities without adding unnecessary frills, fantasies and metaphors. The KarmaKick™ Dragon Pearl System starts you off on the right foot with a strong, solid foundation and full understanding of the basics. Ultimately, we will lead you into higher levels of advancement towards mastery. These ancient practices require patience and dedication. They cultivate subtle energies, that promote long-lasting benefits to overall health, longevity and vitality. In keeping with the oral traditions that are still very much a part of these ancient disciplines, it pays to study them in depth without cutting corners under the instruction of a qualified and experienced instructor.
The KarmaKick™ Dragon Pearl System is an integrated set of traditional health and wellness modalities that include Tai Chi Chuan (Yang and Chen Family Styles), Chi Kung/Qi Gong, Nei Kung/Nei Gong and Reiki. Our approach is to build the practice step-by-step and from the ground up.
People from all walks of life are enjoying the benefits of these ancient health and wellness practices. Tai Chi Chuan has been endorsed by many geriatricians as a way of improving strength and balance among seniors suffering from deficiencies in these areas. Pediatricians as well as adult care physicians have also promoted these practices for reducing ADD/HD, stress and anxiety. The breathing techniques have even assisted patients with anxiety-induced asthmatic attacks.
When practiced consistently and diligently over time, everyone experiences some sort of benefit of mind, body and spirit. The common thread running through these disciplines is the cultivation of breath, balance and center.
What is Nei Kung?
Nei Kung and Nei Gong are one and the same. Nei (pronounced 'nay') means internal and Gong (or Kung, as in Kung Fu) translates into the words art, skill, or proficiency. Nei Kung is the martial form of Chi Kung and it is referred to as the art of harnessing and cultivating internal energy. Again, simplistic definitions mean absolutely nothing without the crucial element of experience and dedicated practice. In the same manner as Chi Kung, Nei Kung offers many excellent health, wellness and spiritual benefits. The key to all these practices is overcoming apathy, laziness, uninformed convictions, mental limitations and comfort zones. As a matter of fact, if that sounds harsh it may surprise you to know that Nei Kung exists for that very reason! Visually, Nei Kung resembles the explosive actions of traditional Western aerobic exercises. The difference is that there is also a philosophy associated with the practice. The overall system is designed to help the practitioner overcome unproductive mental and physical states of inertia! The road towards mastering this craft lies within the seeds of self-mastery!
The KarmaKick™ Dragon Pearl System consists of three different forms of Nei Kung. As in the Chi Kung syllabus, all beginners start with Dao Yin and build up towards more challenging forms of Nei Kung known as Nei Jia, including Fa Jing moves and martial applications. We do not cut any corners with Nei Kung either. We teach you from the traditional fountain of knowledge, assuming that your inner drive and wherewithal will push you through any mental and physical resistances. The only comfort zone we cultivate is the zone of Right Action!
How does Nei Kung differ from Tai Chi Chuan?
Like Chi Kung, Nei Kung is generally done without moving across the practice space. The difference is that we use space in a slightly differently way than from Chi Kung. In Nei Kung, we exploit space in all its dimensions: up, down, side-to-side and rotational. Nei Kung, Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan overlap on many levels, especially in their martial arts applications. The performance of these three distinct forms requires patience and discipline in order to learn and master their subtleties over time.
Eastern philosophies teach us about the importance of seeking balance in every aspect of our lives. Physical, mental, and spiritual balance is an outgrowth of a central core of stability and grounding. Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung and Nei Kung are martial arts skills that provide grounding through the interchange of soft and hard techniques. Known as internal martial arts, today these practices are cultivated for promoting the benefits to health, vitality and rejuvenation. Of course, it helps to drink enough water, sleep, eat well-balanced meals, stay warm and smile as often as you can. Nothing in life happens without Action! Take a step forward and begin your journey today. Stay healthy, my friends! KarmaKick™ your health into high gear!
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Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan