Qigong or Tai Chi?

  • Enoch
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14 Feb 2018 14:08 #315573 by Enoch
Qigong or Tai Chi? was created by Enoch
I've decided to try a more active form of meditation. I haven't been able to find any locations near me where I can practice so I looked on udemy to find a course. I initially looked through the tai chi ones but ended up finding a qigong class that was best suited to my style of learning. However, I don't really know what the differences are between these disciplines. I assume either would be a decent way to practice active meditation, but what might be the pros or cons of each. I'd appreciate any suggestions or feedback my Jedi brothers and sisters have.

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14 Feb 2018 16:18 #315583 by Rosalyn J
Replied by Rosalyn J on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
I think the pros/cons would be primarily discovered individually. It'll depend on what you are looking for. Its been a while since I researched either of these. I would be happy to join you in the udemy course if you'd like

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  • Manami
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14 Feb 2018 16:33 #315585 by Manami
Replied by Manami on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
Hi, Enoch! Both are part of the family of internal styles in Taoist-based Chinese martial arts (this wiki has a good basic overview: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neigong ), so there's a lot of overlap. It's all going to depend on what the instructor's background, style, and focus are as to how similar/different they are and what they offer. In the most general sense, Tai Chi is going to have more movement, as Qigong is commonly taught from standing positions - but Qigong is a foundational practice for Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Hsing-I (the main related arts). Either would be good for the integration of breath, mind, and movement, which is one of the major goals of the internal arts, and as a moving meditation practice. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with!

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  • Rickie
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14 Feb 2018 17:22 #315593 by Rickie
Replied by Rickie on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
I'm a Qigong guy. I started informally with this book

www.amazon.com/Qigong-Health-Martial-Art...74#reader_1886969574

and puttered around for about a year then got committed to an almost daily practice following a 12 movement sequence from the book. It was static holding of two minutes for each form. Then I added some movement and did the 12 forms sequencelly. That felt much better though it stressed me differently, good but differently. Three weeks ago I did a private session with a Master that is/was a student of the books author.

It was well worth the money. After demonstrating my movements I got fine tuned. I now do the standing sequence coordinated with my breathing and a little mini squat and it is very powerful. I can not yet do the new stuff for 30 minutes like my previous static practice but my time will increases as I feel more in tuned with this sequence and my body feels stronger.

I also do coordinate breathing exercise, mostly belly breathing, while directing the flow of energy through my body. Along with this I do the blow out the candle exercise. I don't use a candle but do strong exhales as if I were. These are powerful abdominal stimulants and I've had to cut back on intensity and pace myself some since my abdominals were getting sore.

I don't do Tai Chi because it's too much of a distraction to learn the many movements. I prefer the rhythmic meditative feel of repeating a fewer movements over and over. There is also the martial arts aspect that derails me from directing the energy flow around my body.

Very cool stuff. I'd love to here how things work for you. Good luck.

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  • Halcyon
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14 Feb 2018 18:43 - 14 Feb 2018 18:44 #315602 by Halcyon
Replied by Halcyon on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
I practice Nei Kung, Zi Fa Dong Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, Micro and Macro Cosmic Meditative breathing, Shaolin Meditation, Schropper[spelling] meditation, and Zen Moving Meditation.

I would say that what type of meditation you go towards will greatly depend on what you are wanting to do. Single minded focus? Try Zen Moving Meditation. Removing distractions? Micro and Macro Cosmic Meditative breathing can do that. Contemplating a concept? Schropper meditation is a good way to go.

There are some inadvertent side effects to them all. I have a hard time thinking when sitting still, and need to move. Practice Shaolin breathing exercises in bed. Now as soon as my head hits the pillow I am out like a light. I habitually pull my stomach in while inhaling and push my gut out when exhaling. So instead of getting deep full breaths, I tend to fill top down.

All that said, anything works. You can really use anything to meditate so long as it is doing what you need it to do. Though, I suppose what I said doesn't really answer your question.

Qi Gong (Chi Kung/Chi Gong) is more an internal art that focuses on proper breath control and simplistic movements to disengage your mind by concentrating on the movements. The slower you do it, and the more control you exert, the more you'll get out of your Qi Gong practice.

Tai Chi Chuan is a martial arts, not a meditative practice. It means Grand Ultimate Fist. It was first established by a group of Shaolin Monks that broke off and founded a new clan that you may have heard of. The Wu Tang Clan. It was meant to be the ultimate fighting style with every movement being a strike, block, stance, grapple, or take down. Because of the Shaolin background the Wu Tang had, they incorporated the philosophy of Qi Gong into it. The slower you do your movements, the more your body will remember. If you do a strike slowly, your muscles and eyes remember what it looks like. So then when you get into a fight you can respond quickly and from instinct. Tai Chi Chuan in its core doesn't emphasis meditation or Qi Gong, but later adopted those practices. Thus becoming more of a moving meditation. Tai Chi Chuan doesn't necessarily have the same breathing practices Qi Gong has.

In essence I would say neither of them will do the full of what I assume you want to do. Both are paramount to each other. Qi Gong will have the internal meditative qualities you might be looking for, while Tai Chi Chuan will have the active mental focus you might want.

No one system will have all of what you will look for. The journey never ends, Enoch.

May The Force be with you, always.
Last edit: 14 Feb 2018 18:44 by Halcyon.

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14 Feb 2018 20:52 #315614 by Tellahane
Replied by Tellahane on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
Honestly, and not to be rude or to say anything bad about Tai Chi or Qigong, it's what you make of it. I went and did a short intro class(9 weeks or some such) at a local place near me that covered both Qigong and Tai Chi, and learned a smaller set of tai chi moves as a modified routine designed for like daily/morning exercise/stretch and so on.

Me personally I have a lot of issues with doing meditation that requires me to sit still, even standing or laying down meditations have been rough, I've gotten better at them over the last year but they are not my preferred meditative choices.

What I found is I do better meditating WHILE doing Tai Chi, despite it being a martial art and its original intent I found it actually works best and goes well with my up and coming article about meditation in transitions but to long story short it, just like with any meditation practice it requires practice and training. But you have to get to a point where your motions and movements are muscle memory, you don't have to think about them you just do them, and your focus much like with a sitting meditation where you are focused on your breathing and the air moving in and out and so on, you focus on the senses from the movement, the air, or the visualized water/energy or what have you depending on what practice you do etc. It's not something you pick up right away I didn't really get to triggering it until like my 7th or 8th class out of that and it was a night and day difference when I figured it out.

Just need to try them out and see what works for you, most importantly you need to give each one some time and effort not just a day or a few days or a couple weeks but really try it out daily/weekly for a few months before you can really decide if it works for you or not.
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14 Feb 2018 21:04 #315616 by Halcyon
Replied by Halcyon on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?

Tellahane wrote: Honestly, and not to be rude or to say anything bad about Tai Chi or Qigong, it's what you make of it. I went and did a short intro class(9 weeks or some such) at a local place near me that covered both Qigong and Tai Chi, and learned a smaller set of tai chi moves as a modified routine designed for like daily/morning exercise/stretch and so on.

Me personally I have a lot of issues with doing meditation that requires me to sit still, even standing or laying down meditations have been rough, I've gotten better at them over the last year but they are not my preferred meditative choices.

What I found is I do better meditating WHILE doing Tai Chi, despite it being a martial art and its original intent I found it actually works best and goes well with my up and coming article about meditation in transitions but to long story short it, just like with any meditation practice it requires practice and training. But you have to get to a point where your motions and movements are muscle memory, you don't have to think about them you just do them, and your focus much like with a sitting meditation where you are focused on your breathing and the air moving in and out and so on, you focus on the senses from the movement, the air, or the visualized water/energy or what have you depending on what practice you do etc. It's not something you pick up right away I didn't really get to triggering it until like my 7th or 8th class out of that and it was a night and day difference when I figured it out.

Just need to try them out and see what works for you, most importantly you need to give each one some time and effort not just a day or a few days or a couple weeks but really try it out daily/weekly for a few months before you can really decide if it works for you or not.


I am of the philosophy that meditation is a tool and that what style of meditation you do should work for the purpose you are trying to, which is meditate. If Tai Chi Chuan isn't your cup of tea, then there's nothing wrong with that. Find what works for you and do that.

So I very much agree with your assessment, Master Tellahane.

May The Force be with us all.

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  • Enoch
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15 Feb 2018 14:50 #315676 by Enoch
Replied by Enoch on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
Well, rats. I had a long reply written out and then clicked on the wrong area and lost it all. :(

Rosalyn J: I think you summed up the rest of the comments extremely well, even though your reply was the first! : The udemy course I’m taking is ‘Connecting Heaven & Earth Qigong’ by Des Lawton. He has a heavy Scottish accent, which I like but I did have to use closed captioning at first to figure out what he was saying at times. I’ve watched the first 8 parts so far, which is all the background info. I’m about to start on the actual practice parts.

Manami: thanks for the link to the wiki article. I’ll read through that later today. I would prefer a practice with more movement, but I do like the Qigong course I found and I think starting with it wouldn’t be a bad choice even if it’s not as physically active as tai chi.

Rickie: thanks for the book recommendation! I had not considered books as a possible way to learn how to practice tai chi or qigong. I’ll look into that possibility some more. Thanks for the insight too. After I’ve been practicing for a couple of weeks I’ll come back to reread what you wrote – I think it’ll be more meaningful after I’ve gone through some of what you talk about. The martial arts aspect of tai chi is more of a negative for me as well.

Halcyon: Thanks for insight. I have not seen tai chi and qigong contrasted from a meditation point of view before, and that’s helpful. It sounds like if I do move on to tai chi I should look for an instructor who emphasized the meditation aspects a little more than usual.

Tellahane: while I don’t have a problem meditating while sitting or lying down, I expect to find, like you, that I have an easier time with it when I’m moving. Following your recommendation, I’ll give the practice a try for a while before I decide whether it’s working for me or not.

Overall it sounds like either tai chi or qigong could be what I’m looking for and that neither is a bad starting point. I will try qigong for now, since I’ve already started on that course and I like it. Thanks again for your wisdom and advice!

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  • Manami
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15 Feb 2018 19:08 #315704 by Manami
Replied by Manami on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?
If this helps, should you look for a Tai Chi program: One of the the things I've noticed (at least in my part of the US) is that stand-alone Tai Chi courses (such as ones offered by health centers, yoga schools, or exercise programs) tend to lean toward the meditative movement aspects. They've become very popular as a low impact exercise, stress-relief, or wellness program, and those kind of courses usually don't focus much on the martial aspect, if at all. The more martial-oriented programs (or at least the good ones!) are harder to find and often part of a curriculum or development sequence with other martial styles.

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  • Halcyon
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15 Feb 2018 20:56 #315717 by Halcyon
Replied by Halcyon on topic Qigong or Tai Chi?

Manami wrote: If this helps, should you look for a Tai Chi program: One of the the things I've noticed (at least in my part of the US) is that stand-alone Tai Chi courses (such as ones offered by health centers, yoga schools, or exercise programs) tend to lean toward the meditative movement aspects. They've become very popular as a low impact exercise, stress-relief, or wellness program, and those kind of courses usually don't focus much on the martial aspect, if at all. The more martial-oriented programs (or at least the good ones!) are harder to find and often part of a curriculum or development sequence with other martial styles.


Thanks, Manami. I was part of the Shaolin School ,so my perspective on Tai Chi is a little skewed. I think most any course on Tai Chi you take State side is going to emphasize moving mediation.

Enoch, I'd say complete your Qi Gong course. If it's what you're after then follow that road. If it wasn't your cup of tea then you might try Tai Chi. I would even recommend some Aikido courses. They have a pretty deep meditative philosophy backing their practices last I heard. Then again, I believe anything, with the right mindset, will perform the way you want it to with enough dedication.

May The Force be with you.

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