Qigong is a blend of aerobic exercises and meditation practice that almost every other martial art trainer knows. This exercise system strengthens the flow of qi or energy and offers many benefits to practitioners. Be it calmness of mind or improvement in concentration levels, Qigong offers great results if practiced regularly.
Each of the Qigong techniques and exercises has its own advantages. If you aren’t familiar with them, this article lists a summary.
Breathing is one way to generate qi energy. There are two kinds of breathing techniques involved in Qigong:
- Buddha’s Breath: This breathing method requires you to spread your abdomen during inhaling. During the exhaling period, you need to eject the air out from your lungs and then from the abdomen. In this technique, you can keep inhaling short and exhaling long.
- Daoist’s Breath: This breathing technique is the opposite of Buddha’s Breath in which you contract your abdomen during inhaling.
Concentration is a result of the Qigong exercises of breathing and awareness of qi. It is basically an act of focusing on what’s ‘in’ as well as letting it go. By improving concentration, martial art students can have better control over their qi energy. This can, in turn, allow them to stay focused and discover the best defense opportunities during a fight.
Exercise #1: Lifting the Sky
- Exercise #1: Lifting the Sky
- Keep your feet 2-3 inches apart. They should equally take up your body weight.
- Relax your jaw and keep it slightly open. You can close your mouth during inhaling or swallowing.
- Keep the hands by your sides so that your palms point the floor and your fingers have a little space between them.
- Tilt your neck and look at your hands. Lift your arms and inhale as you gently lift your hands upward.
- Now close your eyes. At your hands reach to point the ceiling, lift up your body gently while keeping your heels on the floor. Gently press as if you are lifting the sky with the palms. Remember not to lift your shoulders.
Exercise #2: Gentle Sway
- Start swinging both your arms across your torso, initially side to side and then back to front.
- Bend your knees a little. Let your buttocks sway.
- Concentrate on the swaying motion as your arms move from one point to another. Feel every inch of the movement. The main purpose here is to focus and clear your mind of unwanted stress.
- Keep swaying for 5 minutes. This is an efficient way to warm up your body before your practice routine.
Exercise #3: Zhan Zhuang
- Stand with your feet firmly on the floor and pointing straight ahead. Keep them at shoulder width. Bend your knees slightly and lower your buttocks at the same time as though you are sitting on a high barstool.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Your palms should face toward your hips. There should be a circular shape in the thumbs and a little gap between your fingers.
- Keep your back straight.
- Sink your chest but make sure to keep it relaxed.
- Keep your eyes slightly open.
- Tuck your chin inward. Relax your jaw.
- This position should give you the feeling of a standing tree.