Chi Kung Systems

At present there are various systems of Chi Kung. Often, each style of Tai Chi Chuan has associated a specific Chi Kung system, designed to prepare the body and energy for that kind of Tai Chi. Basically we can reduce all Qigong systems into two groups: internal and external. 

The external Chi Kung practices aim to unlock joints, strengthen the tendons, to open path to energy, stretching meridians and working with the internal organs to strengthen them. Within this type of Chi Kung we can find the following systems:

  • The 8 jewels. This system consists of 8 simple but extremely effective exercises. Li Zhong  is the character that this system is attributed. Practiced regularly these 8 exercises strengthen our physical body, stretch and unlock the 12 main meridians and make an inside job with the 5 major organs pointing by Traditional Chinese Medicine .

  • The five animals. This system of Qigong was created by a doctor named Hua To, it consists of 5 simple exercises that mimic movements and attitudes of 5 honorable animals. So this Chi Kung practice we can find ourselves transforming into a tiger, a bear, a monkey, a deer and a crane. These exercises are very medically oriented, especially at the preventive level, and to the increase of internal energy.

  • Luohan or The 18 Buddhas change tendons. This is one fuller form of Chi Kung that exists. It's the way that Bodhidharma transmitted to the Shaolin monks to they regain their health and strength. Later, a monk named Gok Yuen and two others called Lee Sau and Bak Shaolin expanded the system to a total of 172 movements. We could say that this Chi Kung system works everything from unlock and open meridians, strengthen the entire physical structure: muscles, tendons, joints, etc. . Internal Chi cultivation, etc. . It is a complete system that can take you a lifetime to learn it and practice it well.

  • Chan Ssu Ching. This is a specific system of the Chen school that prepares us precisely to practice Chen Taichi style. Because of the special characteristics of this type of Taichi, you need to make good previous training using this Qigong system if you really want to progress. This system is designed to unlock the 9 main joints and tendons and muscles. It works rooting and circle in its every movements.

In the case of internal Qigong, the goal is to work with the internal energy that surrounds us and to increase our vibrational and energetic level. This involves strengthening the entire energy system, ie, increase the energy and unlocking Chakras, Tantiens, the different layers of the aura, the Central Canal, etc. . Also it do work with the organs to remove low vibration emotions that may have been engaging in them. And finally fill our energy deposits or Tantiens at maximum, so that, when we make practices like Taichi and move energy, it benefits our whole body. Within this type of Chi Kung we can find the following systems:

  • Hun Yuan Qigong or the principle of the matter. This Qigong is a real gem, especially works to capture energy from heaven and earth, the stimulus of Tantiens, Taoist internal alchemy, to recover the energy of the internal organs, transforming negative emotions into vital energy or Chi, etc . This style of Chi Kung is associated with a particular Chen school Chen branch Chen Hun Yuan.

  • I Chuan or Fist of mind. Very closely related to the martial arts, this Chi Kung aims to strengthen the body in general and to cultivate Chi. There are different practices within this system. The static I Chuan, where we work static positions that allow an increase the internal energy and strengthening the willpower. And the dynamic I Chuan, which are exercises with motion that unlock and strengthen the body and also mobilize energy.

This type of Chi Kung is based on the Taoist alchemical principles, ie, in working the lower vibrational energies to transform them into high frequency energy. Within this type of Qigong we can find jobs like The merging elements or The Iron Shirt. 

In summary, there are many tipes of Chi Kung. It is not that there ones that are better than others, it all depends on the aim that we pursue. There will be types of Chi Kung that we will better than others depending for example on the type of Tai chi we practice. And if you do not practice Tai Chi, depend on the type of result that we need to get with Chi Kung. For example, if you are interested an outcome more physically or if we work with Reiki, also we can be interested more with a result at energetic level.

Article written by Miquel Vidal.