Qi Gong is a fundamental part of any serious martial artist’s practice. Many practitioners feel that once they have attained a black belt that there is no more to conquer but by reaching this level, one has just begun their studies. Regardless of the type of martial arts that one practices, qi gong will help to elevate one’s personal studies and inner strength. Qi gong is translated at the cultivation of energy through breathing and physical exercises.
There is energy in every element in the universe. Although energy cannot be seen or touched it does not mean that it cannot be experienced or felt. Humans are able to tap into universal energy through breathing. After all, a human being can live a few days without food and water but no more than a few minutes without oxygen. Qi enters into the body through breath control which is learned and dominated through qi gong exercises.
Preparing For Qi Gong Practice
However, the only way that you can effectually perform any qi gong exercise is with the correct qi gong preparations. These preparations will effectively facilitate the flow of energy throughout one’s body in any qi gong exercises that one wishes to perform. Practicing qi gong will not harness super powers and this should not be a focus for studying qi gong. These exercises will create balance within one’s body, increase physical strength and a positive mental attitude.
Qi Gong Breathing Techniques
Preparing for qi gong exercises is quite simple with conscience effort. After a steady practice, one’s efforts will become effortless, creating a higher intake of oxygen to the body, fewer key blockages and a larger level of qi stored in the dan tien. The first step to creating conscience contact with internal energy is choosing which type of breathing to perform. The types of qi gong breathing are:
- Buddhist or Normal Breathing – This is the natural pattern of breathing where the chest and stomach naturally expand as one inhales.
- Taoist or Reversed Breathing – This is an unnatural pattern of breathing where the chest and abdomen contract.
Both types of breathing patterns are used in Qi Gong. Since energy flows through natural processes, to enhance your martial arts practice, Buddhist breathing is the recommended process that you should use while performing these exercises.
Positioning of the Body
Qi gong can be practices either standing or in a sitting position. The exercises that are performed in a standing position are done in a stationary position. The focus is on your dan tien. Before practicing in the standing position one should always shake out the arms and legs gently, loosen up the neck and relax the body before commencing. In the seated position, one is able to lock in your energy from escaping through the legs. The sitting position is largely used for gentle yet powerful qi gong exercises and meditative practices.
Positioning of Facial Features
One’s facial features are a large part of preparing for practice. The tongue is able to activate the two polar energies found in the body and in the universe; yin and yang. By placing the tongue gently against the roof of the month behind, the front of the teeth, these two polar energies meet and form a powerful connection which will make any qi gong exercise and martial arts practice more effective.
The teeth should naturally and gently touch one another, not grind against one another. The eyes should remain soft and closed. For novices, it is suggested that the eyes remain open to understand and focus in on your body mind connection.
How Qi Gong Enhances Martial Arts Skills
At an advanced level, qi gong will help to breathe new life into one’s practice. Physical movements will become more relaxed and powerful with less effort. The conscience breathing exercises that are learned from qi gong will teach one how to breathe properly in martial arts. Regardless of how tough a training session is, a martial artist who practices qi gong will be able to control their breathing. The connection that is created between the mind and body will continue throughout one’s martial arts practice which can help to create more meditative states while practicing kata, a relaxed mind throughout kumite practice and an overall more balanced practice.
By preparing for practicing qi gong exercises, one is able to achieve the sensation of energy quicker and the dynamic cultivation of energy. Although these details may seem small and insignificant, they are the key to the perfect qi gong practice to enhance one’s martial arts skills.