»Do the best you can within your ability«
Interview with Faye Li Yip
Faye Li Yip is one of the most outstanding personalities within the European Taiji and Qigong community. She grew up in a family with a long martial arts tradition, she has trained since her childhood and for the last twenty years she has been teaching Taiji hand and weapon forms, Xingyiquan and Qigong in the United Kingdom and in many other countries. In an interview with Ronnie Robinson she talks about her apprenticeship with her father and other major masters, the influence of her grandfather Li Tianchi who used Qigong and Taijiquan for therapeutic purposes, and her experiences with competitions. She also discusses the similarities and differences between Qigong and Taijiquan, which complement each other in her training, as well as training with weapons.
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Journey to the Middle Kingdom
Hui Chun Gong from the perspective of a physiotherapist and osteopath
By Franz Probst
Hui Chun Gong draws on a centuries-old tradition and at the same time is in line with the latest physiotherapeutic insights. From his perspective as a physiotherapist and osteopath, Franz Probst describes various relevant factors and effects of Hui Chun Gong that make it a unique, multi-layered movement therapy. Essential features of this method include coordination training, prevention of spinal problems, training the pelvic muscles and influencing inner organs and hormone production – factors that also differentiate it from other Qigong systems.
The ability to relax during Qigong
An insight into our autonomic nervous system through measurement of the heart rate variability (HRV)
By Norbert Genser
Measuring the heart rate variability provides information about one’s level of physical, mental and emotional tension or relaxation. This measurement is conducted by means of frequency spectral analysis which reflects the interaction of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems in the sense of tension and relaxation. Norbert Genser has collaborated with Peter Hauschild of the Academy for Chronopsychology and Chronomedicine in Vienna and Zuzana Sebkova-Thaller of the Qigong and Chan Mi Gong Training Centre in Augsburg to carry out a study in which the heart rate variability of various test persons was recorded during the practice of Qigong. This revealed a strong correlation of relaxation phases as well as individual differences in the level of mental tension and physical relaxation. The measurement method showed itself to be significant for scientific representation of the effect of Qigong on the autonomic nervous system.
The meaning of upright and centred
Taiji tradition and breathing types
By Frieder Anders
One of the essential instructions in Taijiquan is to adopt an upright and centred posture. However, if we study photos of various old masters it becomes clear that there were, and are, various interpretations of what an upright posture means. Frieder Anders explains the differences from the perspective of breathing types, because “exhalers” and “inhalers” need to align their bodies in different ways in order to develop their internal power. Working on the basis of photos and statements by various masters, he shows the practical realization of the method for both exhalers and inhalers. In his view, internal power can only be developed in Taijiquan when the posture and manner of movement correspond to one’s own breathing type.
“The movement of the Dao” in the Taiji principles
By Henrik Jäger
“Returning” – or also polarity, resistance – is described in Chapter 40 of the Daodejing as “the movement of the Dao”. Henrik Jäger explains this statement from the perspective of the emergence of the Daodejing from shamanistic roots and relates it to the process of practicing Taijiquan, which involves a constant return to one’s own centre while dealing with constant change. At a deeper level this relates to the return to connection with the flow of life, the Dao. This confronts the practitioners with their deeper character aspects, their primal fear – aspects that should if possible be transformed.
Humility overcomes cultural boundaries
Tradition as an alternative to cultural transfer
By Daniel Schaup
Most people in Europe who learn Qigong, Taijiquan or other arts such as Yoga hope to gain health benefits from their practice. Consequently Daniel Schaup describes these disciplines as primarily “immunological practices” because as such they are learned without a cultural context. They help at a transcultural level because people are people all over the world. However, those who study Eastern movement methods in more depth, learn these for themselves and wish to become a link in the chain of transmission will then be confronted with the cultural differences. Daniel Schaup believes that the roots of the problems that occur here are located not in the differences themselves, but in our inability to listen to and follow the instructions of others. Taking the terms ‘tradition’ and ‘learning’ as his point of departure, he shows that trust and humility are required to absorb a tradition before it can, through one’s own experience and critical examination, then be “internalised” by the practitioner.