Chi?

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Chi?

Postby yat_chum » Sun May 17, 2009 7:49 am

What is Chi?
yijing zhidong

use stillness to overcome movement
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Postby Josh Young » Sun May 17, 2009 9:54 am

In what context? The term is versatile in it's definition of energy.
In fact, that is what it is, a term, a mere word, one that gets applied to many things.

Some will tell you it is one thing or another, I believe that it simply means energy and that the old works make perfect sense in terms of this. However I am not concerned with hocus pocus magic powers and thus chi for me is pragmatic and scientific, being a correlation of kinetic impact. Thus there is no magnetic jing, no way to coil the so called bioelectricity and release it, but there is indeed physical jing that can allow the transmission of energy, ergo chi, to be refined.

Then there is vitality chi, this is metabolic energy as opposed to kinetic, it plays a role in the release and use of kinetic energy but is not the same energy. Taijiquan refines both energies, increasing vitality and allowing very strong waves of energy to be transmitted and manipulated. This is my view.

I think that there is a new age view of chi that lacks aptitude in terms of the classics and well as scientific evidence. I think this related to the old laws in china, it was illegal to study anatomy in depth and detail, thus old chinese medical texts have no clue what the internal anatomy of the human actually looks like, it was illegal for them to do the work to learn this. The function relationships of different locations on the body were instead mapped out as points and then connected like a constellation, this series of function points and their mapped out linear relationship includes all major anatomic system circulatory, lymph, etc but has no clear evidence as an internal system but rather is evidenced as a system of functional relationships, no more no less.

This knowledge is not contrary to western anatomy studies, if anything it works perfectly with them, provided you don't commit the sin of thinking any culture is incapable of error. The knowledge of the so called meridian pathways, was explained in terms of the functionality of those pathways, thus in this explanation the active energy involved was like all energy in china, termed as chi, however this term can refer to most any type of energy and there is not much evidence in the classics that the chi they spoke of was the same as the chi of the meridian pathways.

this relates to history, if you believe the scholars lies then the chi of meridian paths and the chi of the classics is the same as that the scholars claim that the taiji classics are less than 200 years old, however the similar scholar consensus about the dao de jing was totally wrong and proven to be so by archaeological digs which found copies of the book that predate when scholars said it was amalgamated. The import of this is that the synergy between the meridian theory and the art of the 13 postures took place in Chen Villa, meaning that the classics were not written in the context of meridian theory.

My view is that chi is the most misunderstood and abused concept in all of martial arts and that this has done tremendous damage to the scientific credibility of martial arts due to the conflations involved.
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Postby joeblast » Mon May 18, 2009 2:08 pm

Josh Young wrote:*chop*
Some will tell you it is one thing or another, I believe that it simply means energy and that the old works make perfect sense in terms of this. However I am not concerned with hocus pocus magic powers and thus chi for me is pragmatic and scientific, being a correlation of kinetic impact. Thus there is no magnetic jing, no way to coil the so called bioelectricity and release it, but there is indeed physical jing that can allow the transmission of energy, ergo chi, to be refined.
*chopchopchop*
My view is that chi is the most misunderstood and abused concept in all of martial arts and that this has done tremendous damage to the scientific credibility of martial arts due to the conflations involved.
I used to think the same thing years ago...but experience is a funny thing, it tends to change your perception a bit. guy that taught me some of the stuff I practice feels like a giant magnet when he walks by (and not the hair standing on end electromagnetic feel either...tough to describe.)

outside of my experience, gotta love john chang...what's your hocus pocus view say about this? :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aos0hnwiHt8

I also studied briefly under another master's student and there were some meditation sessions where she 'pressed' on us with qi...and it was bar none the most painful sessions I have ever had, as if I hadnt stretched or moved much for an entire month or something ridiculous!

martial applications are...tough. usage in such situations, if achievement is genuine, is deadly serious...and most anyone that has such achievement wouldnt be just demonstrating for the hell of it.

there is a certain challenge in quantifying & measuring it, for sure.
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Postby Josh Young » Mon May 18, 2009 5:54 pm

I never rule out the power of autosuggestion in my own experiences.
What is a way to measure or test chi ?
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Postby joeblast » Tue May 19, 2009 6:52 am

:lol: of course, but just be sure not to rule out the power of your own objective reasoning, either.

fooked if I know how to measure qi. it doesnt show up on voltmeters or stuff because the quality of the energy isnt the same.
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Postby Josh Young » Tue May 19, 2009 11:04 am

joeblast wrote::lol: of course, but just be sure not to rule out the power of your own objective reasoning, either.

Good point! I won't!

Chi frustrates me in that it is like a religious experience, it seems highly analogous to feeling the "spirit" something that many claim to do and yet there is so much disagreement among those who claim to do it.

With chi it seems there is not any less tendency for people who claim to have, use and understand it to disagree than for any other spiritual, mystical or even mythological discipline. Finding the truth of chi seems like finding the truth about god, without a test I cannot bother myself with it. This is my own nature and I am not typical in the way i think or function, I believe i have asperger syndrome.
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Postby joeblast » Tue May 19, 2009 12:40 pm

Is there such thing as an objective truth, especially when attempting to describe such things? If qi manifests 10,000 different ways, that naturally will lead to different interpretations and certain individuals will manifest in certain ways. Tough not to speak ambiguously of stuff like this. Conversations wind up being cyclical and unresolvable when discussing what can only be experienced and not conveyed accurately with words.

Find great stillness, therein you will find the subtle movement. I wouldnt worry about finding the 'truth' about qi, because...what will that really get you? Qi is a resource to be cultivated and utilized, it wont enlighten you of its own accord :)
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Postby Dvivid » Tue May 19, 2009 1:21 pm

What year is it?

This conversation is so familiar.

In 2009, we have verified that
1. You CAN measure the body's bioelectric field. It is agreed upon by many scientific disciplines that the body is a living bioelectromagnetic field. In fact, the only time our human eyeballs would see MATTER instead of ENERGY is at the temperature Absolute Zero, about -460º. What you are seeing is reflected light. ;)

2. Skin conductivity IS higher at the acupuncture points. Read research from the 80's:
http://www.amazon.com/Body-Electric-Electromagnetism-Foundation-Life/dp/0688069711

3. The meridians and vessels mapped by the Chinese relate to the real physiology of the body. Energy pools where intersections of muscle/fascia/tendon cause resistance.

4. Experiences of Qi and Jing are subjective, and unless one invests the time and effort (gongfu) into personal study of the internal arts, it is impossible to have a valid opinion, especially one capable of ultimately denouncing 4,000 years of Chinese experience, research, and documentation regarding Qi.

5. When the Chinese say Shen / spirit, its relates to the concept of willpower or morale. Not to the soul.

6. Looking for God and/or searching for the true nature of reality is either eternally empty, or infinitely fascinating, depending on how you look at it.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby joeblast » Tue May 19, 2009 2:05 pm

My interpretation of Josh's remarks was more along the lines of how would one measure either the built up qi or projection of such of one adept vs another? Perhaps most centered around #4 there :)
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Postby Josh Young » Wed May 20, 2009 12:42 am

You are both right as far as I am concerned.

However due to my nature I must remain uncertain until such time as that changes.

I am in my third year of internal art study so I am still a beginner.
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Postby Dvivid » Wed May 20, 2009 8:07 am

I can COMPLETELY relate to being skeptical, as I think anyone should be in such study, and in general.

In my own personal experience, I was skeptical, but open to the idea because of some experiences I had already. And all my research with the things Im interested in pointed to an energetic view of the body that seemed to be well documented. (Tibetan Buddhism, qigong, yoga)

And then, after practicing all the time the subtle feeling I kinda had sometimes when I practiced, developed into something that I felt every time, within a minute of practicing. That day that you have a very strong physical sensation of your energy is so great! It allows you invest more completely into your practice, and make regular progress.

So, I say practice, practice, practice.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Josh Young » Wed May 20, 2009 9:50 am

I am not a skeptic
I have no need for doubt
I simply do not know
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Postby Dvivid » Thu May 21, 2009 9:28 am

I think Dr. Yang's discussion of the Chinese understanding of energy is pretty clear:


http://www.ymaa.com/articles/basic-concepts-qi-and-qigong
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Josh Young » Thu May 21, 2009 9:40 am

I have read the article, as well as the white crane Qigong book. the Qigong for heath and martial power book, and the advanced taiji volume 2 book, all by Yang Jwing Ming.

I wish I found it as clear as you do. However there appears to be 2 types of chi involved, both of which can be called chi correctly in mandarin. The classics make no mention of bioelectrical type chi, nor issuing or transmitting chi without contact. There is no evidence that I have seen that correlates the term chi in the classics and the term chi in meridian theory.

When I posted genuine and to me important questions previously in the forum I was not able to have Yang Jwing Ming answer. His articles and books, which are very scholarly, fall short of the explanation I require.

I understand chi and jing in a way that works very well and is coherent with taijichuan, and mastery is indeed gained through qigong and practice of many types, however it is not the chi of the meridian or grand circulation that this deals with. I believe that type of chi could easily be real, however I cannot grant something faith without justification and testimony has never sufficed for me.

I believe that Yang Jwing Ming may inadvertantly reffer to and discuss two types of chi, one more kinetic physical, the same as is dealt with in the classics, and the other more metaphysical field based, which is not in the classics but meridian theory.

Having studies the vedic systems I am aware that nearly all of the same concepts of chi can be found in yoga of india, the only difference in reality between the systems is the language they are presented in, and that in india the system goes back over 2000 years while Bodhidharma's visit to shaolin was not so long ago.
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Postby joeblast » Thu May 21, 2009 10:21 am

Most of what's referenced as far as qi goes is painted with a broad brush - any sort of qi, regardless of its qualitative peculiarities, can be generally defined as 'qi' without going into great depth.
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Postby dmattwads » Thu May 21, 2009 4:45 pm

one interesting experiment that I do with chi is to hang something from a thread like a pencil, chopstick, strip of aluminum foil, ect... Then if you are familiar with the Macrocomic orbit or the Large Circulation where you project chi beyond your palm or finger, you can project your chi at an end of your little mobile and spin it. Its pretty interesting as results depend on your amount of concentration, but are consistent. Give it a try, see what happens ;)
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Postby Dvivid » Mon May 25, 2009 7:57 am

Thanks Josh.

I think you are starting to answer your own question.

You are looking at the concept of qi correctly, but right now, you're dividing it into two "types": kinetic and metaphysical.

As Dr Yang would say "Is it one? No, its two. Is it two? No, its one."

Its both. And you can't have one without the other.

Correct alignment in the bones and joints makes kinetic energy more efficient for the transmission of power into an opponent. What then is the power behind the power? Muscular energy. Or, qi/li. Muscles supported by increased qi.

But your muscles, without qi, are dead meat.

Great discussion,
D
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Postby ErikMcBride » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:02 am

The problem with the word "qi" (or chi) is the multitude of uses ascribed to it. Qi can mean breath, or the range of kinetic forces, or the mystical field that surrounds and penetrates everything. Ascribing to it the meaning of kinetic forces (of which I include electromagnetics) or breath is easy to prove. Proving an all-pervasive mystical substance field is a bit more challenging.

For purposes of definition, I prefer to term this field aether. Aether is a substance through which all forces transmit, which is affected by forces as well as by thought. It is the means by which a force would be conducted across a vacuum.

Gravity is a direct result of this field. Atoms and above exert a gravitational field by the way the "suck" aether through themselves. If you look at the properties of electrons, protons, and neutrons in reference to the aetheric field, they all move aether through themselves. Electrons are spinning lines of force which pull in aether at the point of origin and exert a repulsive force on the field and on other lines of force. Protons exert an attractive line of force across the field and spew aether out of the point of origin. Neutrons are a kind of eddy in the field which do not last long if they are not "bound" between protonic forces. When you combine these three together and form an atom, it exerts a force on the aetheric field that causes a greater localized density of aether than in other areas of the field. If you throw two single atoms into an aetheric field with nothing else in the field, these atoms will find one another because the straightest path across the aether between the two will become more stretched, resulting in the atoms moving towards one another.

As I previously stated, thought also has an affect on this field, as does emotion. Thoughts tend to cause ripples through the field, the precise formation of which is dictated by how the thought was formed. Emotions affect the localized density of the field. If you combine these two factors with the vision of how atoms and sub-atomic particles are actually a function of aether, you can see how "mind over matter" becomes a possibility.

And for a final thought - even if you don't believe in hokey religions, it is scientifically proven that the body produces an electromagnetic field and electrical pulses. It's also been proven that animals and plants are sensitive to electromagnetic fields. Even without considering aether, isn't it logical to conclude that it is possible via much effort to learn to modify your own biomagnetism to the point that it can affect others, and they can sense it?
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Postby Josh Young » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:14 am

All of the physics jargon bears not the least resemblance to the chi of the classics. I want to see someone take them on in their own terms.

Even without considering aether, isn't it logical to conclude that it is possible via much effort to learn to modify your own biomagnetism to the point that it can affect others, and they can sense it?

Not really.

If we employ logic there are some steps missing before we can make any conclusions as to what is and is not possible.

I believe that people are bioelectric beings, I believe that mind affects matter. But it does not follow that this is what the classics are talking about in terms of taiji.

Chi can be used to refer to the electricity in the wall, why then is it not claimed that when the taiji people wrote the classics they were talking about alternating current?

Your aether theory sounds pretty interesting.
Did you know that in a wire electricity flows from + to -?

If you are right then of course the neutron is not combined with electron and proton, rather it is formed from their interaction. But what of the positron?
There are some parts of the theory that strike me as odd, it has to do with what space/time is and how that relates to the physical state.

However to affirm some of it:
At any temp above 0K there is heat, heat is light, all things above 0K give off constant light, not in a visible spectrum and some more than others, but we are according to physics glowing constantly all the time as is all and every thing in the universe. One might say that we are radiant beings, and indeed this radiant energy could be referred to by the term chi, which is a very loose term.

However that still does not invoke the taiji classics.

I believe in mind affecting matter and telepathic/connected experiences and such. However that does not address the classics nor does it make sense of the chi they talk about. Thus even to prove without a doubt that there is bioelectric energy, and to even prove that the mind directs it, does not necessarily entail the concepts of the taiji classics.

Great post though!
I really dig it.
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Postby joeblast » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:04 am

Josh, I have limited experience with the classics, are you referring to anything in particular? Just looking for a couple examples. I'm decently well versed in modern physics jargon...
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