What is Chi - Ki - Qi?

Bob Hubbard

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From the MartialPedia:
The nature of qi is highly controversial, and the old controversy in Chinese philosophy as to the nature of qi still exists. Among some traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners, qi is merely a metaphor for biological processes similar to the Western concept of the soul, and there is no need to invoke new biology, much less new physics, to account for its effects. Others argue that qi involves some new physics or biology. Attempts to directly connect qi with some scientific phenonomena have been attempted since the mid-nineteenth century. The philosopher Kang Youwei believed that qi was synonymous with the later abandoned concept of lumeniferous ether. In the early 21st century, attempts have been made to link the concept of qi to biophotons or inner biological energy flow. As of yet, science considers these claims of qi as an independent force to be unconvincing. Claims that control of qi allows one to transcend normal physical and biological processes are widely regarded skeptically by the scientific establishment.


There is also controversy between different groups which claim to work with qi for various purposes. Views of qi as an esoteric force tend to be more prominent in the West, where it has sometimes been associated with New Age spiritualism. These views are less prominent in modern communist China, where traditional Chinese medicine is often practiced and considered effective, but in which esoteric notions of qi are considered to contradict Marxist notions of dialectic materialism; China's current government in fact formally embraces anti-spiritual atheism. Many traditional martial arts schools also eschew a supernatural approach to the issue, identifying "external qi" or "internal qi" as representative of the varying leverage principles used to improve the efficacy of a well-trained, healthier than normal body with a given work load.


Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches not only assume its existence but believe that the purported subtle energy running through and surrounding the body can be manipulated so as to cultivate increased physical, psychological and spiritual health. Acupuncture along with other practices of TCM, ayurveda and many other traditional disciplines worldwide provide examples of similar beliefs. Properly funded, conducted and repeated empirical research is necessary to determine if the success rate of these CAM approaches is due to:
  1. the existence of subtle energy,
  2. the placebo effect, and/or
  3. various other factors.
Skeptically minded followers of the scientific method usually state that the results claimed by martial arts students and patients of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can be explained without invoking esoteric or supernatural processes. In answer, most proponents of the effects of the cultivation of qi maintain that since modern scientific technologies have to this point been unable to create life out of organic chemicals in their laboratories, and that as qi is a metaphor for the energy of life itself, it is to be thereby demonstrated that the mechanisms of how the subject of such a metaphor would work so far elude the abilities of the scientific community to describe. Opponents argue that qi is merely a form of vitalism, a theory that was largely abandoned in the early 19th century.


The concept of qi appears often in Chinese fiction, in which a stock character is that of the kung fu master who has gained control of qi, to the point that he can alter the forces of nature. This character has entered Western consciousness through the martial arts film. Many have also remarked on the similarity between the concept of qi and that of the fictional Jedi's Force in the Star Wars movies, and have suggested that George Lucas may have borrowed the concept, given that the movie was inspired from Akira Kurosawa's 1958 masterpiece The Hidden Fortress. There are qigong masters who claim to be able to manipulate their students from a distance with qi.
 

shifu

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Bob,

Thanks for an intersting post. My style (Minghequan - Calling Crane) revolves around the concept and expression of Chi/Qi/Ki.
 

Calm Intention

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Life force circulating throughout our body.

In my opinion, all things interact within the 'geometry of space', and the 'energy patterns of the specific geometry that gravity has oriented us within'.

I wish I understood quantum physics, but as I see it, 'space'= 'energy',
and the fundamentals of all energy appear to be paticular to the electro-magnetic-spectrum/wave.
With that in mind(and my first comments), we are all interacting within the electro-magnetic-wave, are part of it, and we are all tied to one another at this fundamental level.

*I think when people develope to a sufficient degree thru constant practice, and gain a level of sensitity and understanding(of energy flow), they can literally tap into(or feel), the e.m. wave, feel their opponents energy, etc.
 

Ninja/Shinobi

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I'm a ninja. I do much training everyday. I've come across this universal energy, I've also come across that it can be manipulated and brought out to form an acual ball of green energy, swirling between the palms of your hands, given the right amount of training an meditation, it will work. Me, I started this training, along with ninja training, since I was 9 years old.....6 years later and I'm making balls of energy and swiftly stealthing my way through my vigorous training grounds. It's a life I finally belong in. But I know this energy is real. No question about it.
 

NLMontana

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Very funny.

Ch'i is actually multi-colored --

Violet / Blue-White when focused on healing;
Indigo when focused on meditating;
Sky Blue when communicating;
Green / Pink (Watermelon) when touching the truth of one's soul;
Yellow when intuiting (also, when fearful, guilty or angry);
Orange when expressing the truth of one's emotions;
Red when fighting.

And all of the colors inbetween, as they blend and harmonize when one or more action is involved.

It is both internal and external. If you have ever experienced a blocked energy center (dis-ease), then you have physically experienced blocked ch'i, and have validated its existence. If you have ever experienced a raised kundalini, then you have physically experienced ch'i. If you have ever had a Reiki treatment or have been trained in Reiki, then you know, without a doubt, the power of vital life force. If you have studied Tai-Chi or any other internal martial art, then you have no doubt of its existence or power.

It is the energy of our soul.


 

SHINOBI SHUGENDO

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Don't think about it feel it. It matters not what terminology or scientific terms you use to describe it, just realize there are possibilities of unlimited power. Once you can start to feel your chi and recognize your different energies then you can focus it into creative or destructive forces.
 

DMartialArtist

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dude that's hard to beleive that you actually can do what you say. But if you honestly can give me some pointers. I mean i believe that it is possible to use your own ki or energy because its your life force and a martial artist knows nothing is impossible if you train hard enough and beleive in yourself i mean i plan on being one of the greatest martial artist of all time a legend even though i'm cut off from training and stuff i still train on my own i push myself past my limits and i also train my mind as well and try to unlock the truth about my own energy or ki. Because i think it is possible to use it no matter how crazy it sounds that's why i'm not saying you didn't master it i'm saying its hard to believe.
 

Blaze Dragon

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I know this is an old post, I still would like to add some comments. First I would like to say I work with ethric touch and various energy healing, which is considered to be magic. However, based upon my training, research and lessons, I've come to believe this energy that is worked with in metaphysics/magic/energy work is not Qi. If anything it's Shen.

The way I understand Qi is it's one of the three treasures. Jing, Qi and Shen. Jing energy is your physical body, the actual substance of your body. Qi is the energy of movement, will the driving force behind moving. Shen is the spiritual energy your spirit. One way I've heard it put which I like, is you think of a candle, jing is the wax and wick, qi is the flame, and shen is the light and heat. In order to produce Shen (which is very difficult) you must cultivate your Jing and Qi. Through meditation, martial arts and qigong.

Qi as far as I know is not something that leaves the body. Unlike Shen which radiates and can be projected. Qi can only be used inside your body or when your touching someone. This is my understanding of how pushing hands and sticking hands works. Sinking your weight, rooting this is all based upon Qi. When you get your opponent's energy up you can uproot them, because your qi follows your thoughts.

Of course though I've heard others say westerns will never understand Jing, Qi, and Shen. However this is my understanding of them, which is by no means universal among others that do the same styles as me.
 

Bobbycat

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Yes, this is very old thread. I only would like to share some idea (not mine) that the real “Qi channels“ are located in the brain not in the body. Acupuncture points and Qi channels in the body are only projections of these brain “channels” or connections between neuronal groups at different brain levels, including different somatosensory and motor areas. That is why scientists cannot find the substrate of Qi channels in the body. They are located in the brain. In turn, if we act on body acupuncture, we can excite or inhibit neuronal groups and change brain connections via feedback to the brain and these brain changes,in turn, can correct body functions.
When we train we create new brain connections (channels) that facilitate body driving, using our intention. These additional brain connections could increase our coordination, body unification/awareness, speed and power, as well feelings of internal “Qi movements” in the body. That why regular training is important to keep active these brain connections or “Qi body channels.”
 
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