Chi (also referred to in Japanese and Korean as "Ki") means
"breath" and "air." By taking these concepts further
it also denotes "energy" and "vitality." Indeed, the
simple-sounding (yet truly difficult) skill of breath control has many
applications. In terms of martial skills, it gives true power to one's
strikes, can prevent harm to ones' body (Iron Shirt, for example), and
can, at high levels, actually be utilized to strike, or incapacitate,
an opponent without actual contact (Dragon Sand Palm and One Finger Kung
for example). It may sound like a fantastic dream-world ability, but is
most certainly real. If one is fortunate, you may be able to witness Chi
Gung (meaning "Energy Work") Masters demonstrate seemingly impossible
feats! Anything from bending an iron rod or spear with his or her throat
to paralyzing an opponent with but a flick of a finger can be demonstrated
by a true hard style Chi Gung Master.
Soft style Chi Gung has healing, health, and spiritual benefits. Stimulation
of the organs through slowly rhythmic and controlled breaths and movements
results in better health and well being. High level soft style Chi Gung
master have actually been known to "absorb" bad energies from
other individuals and "replace" it with their own "good"
energy. In this way, he or she can literally "take away" cancer,
for example, from a patient, and replace it with his or her healthy energy.
The patient is now fully without the cancer, and the master now has the
cancer that the patient formerly had. The master must now retreat to seclusion
to heal and replenish his/herself.
Whether one practices soft or hard Chi Gung, the subtle skills of breath
control and focus are the keys to cultivation control over the flow and
balance of energy in the body. It also harmonizes human energy with the
natural energies of nature and the cosmic powers.
Basically, Chi is the fundamental "stuff" in the universe, the
basic building block of all matter; the immaterial energy that comprises
all forms of every thing that exists. It appears that modern Quantum Physics
has recently verified a fact that Hundreds of Chi Gung masters have known
that the essential nature of even the most elemental atoms and molecules
is an array of various energies organized in particular patterns. Under
this observance, Chi is the basic energy that comprises all matter (organic
and inorganic), and drives all activities and transformation in nature
and the universe [from the macro-cosmic (the birth through death of stars)
to the microcosmic (the formation to the dissolution of cells in the human
body)]. Put in different terms; Chi is the basic energy and force that
forms the nature of the universe.
On a human level, as well as working on a physical level inside the body,
Chi Gung enhances cerebral functions and awakens latent talents and abilities
that might otherwise lay dormant forever. It also pacifies emotions, balances
moods, and stimulates the cultivation of the highest spiritual virtues
by opening the mind to the universal wisdom of enlightened awareness.
Cultivation of spiritual virtues such as wisdom, compassion, patience,
and tolerance is equally as important during practice as the cultivation
of physical strength, health, and power. Without these virtues of spirit,
Chi power can be easily manipulated by the egotistical human mind toward
selfish gains (such as prize fighting or profiteering). Any one who tries
to harness this power without respecting wisdom and compassion is truly
"playing with fire" and is extremely likely to get badly burned...
if not consumed.
Philosophy of style