Sunday, July 22, 2007
100% QI Free?
From "Martial Tai Chi"
Joanna Zorya from the excellent website "Martial Tai Chi" has been in somewhat of a disagreement with Scott and his readers at "Weakness With A Twist".
Joanna's "Martial Tai Chi" site is dedicated to de-bunking the concept of Qi (Chi) as a necessity to the combat aspects of Tai Chi Chuan. Scott Phillips leans more to the Chi side of the argument, and Ol' Dojo Rat here falls somewhere in the middle.
Joanna's site offers a number of very well thought out articles such as "A Practical Guide To Qi", "The Trouble With Qi" and "The Rise And Fall Of A Martial Art". She also has short video clips of fighting techniques That are not only practical but follow all principles of the Internal Arts without emphasising Chi flow and other esoteric methodology. As she states in her writing, as maximum Yin (soft) will turn to Yang (hard), the Tai Chi Chuan community at large is seeking to recover the lost applications of their art, which has been absorbed into the "New Age" movement.
Readers of The Dojo Rat Blog know that I too am extremely frustrated with Tai Chi practitioners that have absolutely no clue with what they are doing in the forms. It drives me crazy that I know twenty-year practitioners that can't even demonstrate push hands let alone self defense techniques. My Tai Chi Chuan class includes both.
But here's where I split with Joanna; I can not completely reject the notion of Chi.
Even if thinking in terms of Chi is just some kind of meta-programming, or self hypnosis, I believe it is a useful process. Much of Chi Kung is visualization, and even professional atheletes have proven how visualization improves performance.
While I realize that the "Chi Freaks" can spin into a zone of impracticality, There are things I have experianced that suggest evidence of the unknown. We all experiance premonitions, hints of psychic flashes, dreams that provide insight. Neither modern science or myself can tell you just how my dowsing rods allow me to find buried water and electrical lines (a subject I may do an entire post on later).
To reject the concept of Chi (Qi) completely is to also reject the essence of the magical and beautifully interconnected world we live in.
Joanna's "Martial Tai Chi" site has some of the most thought provoking articles I have read on this subject, and the thread at Scott's "Weakness With A Twist" is a great discourse between various knowledgeable practitioners. Check 'em out at the links above.