The roots of Traditional Qi-Gong:

Qi (Chi) is the Chinese character for air, breath, life-force, or essence. Gong (Kung) is the character for effort, work, or labor. Thus, Qi Gong (or Chi-Kung) essentially translates into "the work of harvesting one's own life energy."

Traditional Chinese medicine theorizes that when a person's qi is strong and flows freely in the body, good health is maintained; when a person's qi, or their qi is blocked, this person will experience disease or illness.  Qi Gong helps build strong qi and keeps it flowing freely in the body for increased health and vitality.  As a person's internal power grows, so does his/her ability to gain positive control over personal health, and at higher levels, to use internal power for the healing of others.

There are numerous styles of Qi-Gong being practiced today, and there exist effectively three traditional reasons for the practice: health, martial arts and spirituality.

Health: Proper Qi Gong exercise will greatly improve the overall health of the practitioner.  Some elementary Qi Gong styles have been invented to address specific health problems, such as indigestion, insomnia, migraines, etc.

Martial Arts: Martial artists have used Qi Gong to harness their "internal power" in complementing their pugilistic arts.

Spirituality: Chinese Buddhists and Taoists have Qi Gong methods designed for the purpose of experiencing religious enlightenment, or the Tao.

Once shrouded in a veil of mystery and secrecy, Qi Gong practice is currently experiencing a change from traditional attitudes. Expert Qi Gong instruction was formerly accessible only within small portions of the Chinese community.  The individual masters carefully guarded their particular style and passed their arts to the few devoted students of their school.  These traditional attitudes have changed in the modern era, as China experienced a boom in Qi Gong practice in the early part of the 1980's.  Qi Gong practice became open and popular as people began to practice Qi Gong en masse at local parks.

Centers of traditional Chinese medicine also began experimenting with Qi Gong clinics.  The surge of Qi Gong popularity is the result of an interest in Qi Gong's ability to not only act as a form of preventive health care, but also to cure people of certain ailments.  

Those interested in further reading about Qi Gong in China may wish to read Encounters with Qi by David Eisenberg, MD and Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers.  

However, we caution our students to consult with a Qi Gong instructor before attempting to learn any Qi Gong techniques from books or videotapes.  

Master Shuren Ma's style is taught in the Capitol Qi Gong:  

The history of Capital Qi Gong has its roots in the Chinese martial arts. The "external" styles of the Chinese martial arts have recognized for centuries that a high level of qi development

"empty force" exercise with master Ma and student
is the means for vast internal and external power. However, few practitioners achieved the desired level of development even after years of effort.
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