View Full Version : Nei Gung & Taoist Immortals

11-24-2000, 10:49 AM
I became interested in learning more about "nei gung" after reading a book that I happen to come across titled "The Magus of Java: Teachings of an Authentic Taoist Immortal" by Kosta Danaos.

The book is a biographical in nature. However, many things that the author purports as true in the book...well...seems like more fiction than fact to me. It's about a taoist immortal named John Chang (also featured in a 1988 documentary film called "Ring of Fire", where he demonstrates his full mastery of ch'i and heals the filmmaker of an eye infection) whose discipline is "Mo-Pai", an art that is 2000 years old. The author, who is a former engineer and a martial arts instructor of jujutsu and tai chi chuan, claims that he has witnessed and experienced all kinds of phenomenas like telekinesis, levitation, telepathy, etc.

Has anyone read the book or seen the documentary?
Also, has anyone experienced or witnessed this phenomenon for themselves or have undergone training in nei gung?

I've witnessed some chi gung demonstrations and was not impressed. Seemed more like a scam to me than anything else. In the Magus book, I recall that chi gung is a very elementary level in internal training, sort of like kindergarten compared to nei gung.

Any thoughts or insights?


Kung Lek
11-25-2000, 06:27 PM

I have not read the book you speak of nor have I heard of the documentary.
Sounds like pretty interesting and fun stuff though.

I practice both Chi Kung and Nei Kung. The aim of both of these differs.
Chi Kung is breath work while Nei Kung is Internal energy work. Nei Kung is used to strengthen the internal energy and partly contributes to Iron Body skills (a big part).

There is some similarity to Chi Kung and Nei Kung but they are not the same in essence. Both work together as well as individually.

Chi Kung cannot be considered elementary by comparisson, it really is apples and oranges.


Kung Lek

11-26-2000, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the information Kung Lek, for helping me clear up some misconceptions regarding Chi Kung as compared to Nei Kung.

For me, I have found information/readings pertaining to Ch'i/Internal energy; cultivation of, martial applications of, to be often times confusing and conflicting. I have often wondered why the cultivation of nei kung is not standard practice in MA training. Curiously, in all the research Bruce Lee made about various forms of martial arts, I don't recall ever reading anything about his thoughts/opinions of the merits of internal strength development (chi/nei). I did read an article some time ago in a MA mag, where Toshiro Obata (aikido master - ninja turtles movie fame) had been interviewed and the question of "ki" came up. The impression I got from the article that was that in Mr. Obata's experience, he didn't think that, for lack of a better phrase (I'm paraphrasing here), "ki" was such a big deal.

Ahhh...well...these are my musings.

Thx again.


Kung Lek
11-26-2000, 10:04 PM
Hi Vertiggo-

I don't think a lot is mentioned about Nei Kung in contect to martial arts because in the shaolin methodology of systematic teaching, Nei kung does not become part of the training until you are past a certain point and ready to understand the processes involved with Nei Kung practice.
Chi Kung is often times introduced to the student fairly early in training to help them wth many fundaments of the training.
Bruce Lee may not have mentioned it (Nei Kung) due to the fact that he did not atain the higher levels of training from his Si Fu Yip Man.

it is said that Bruce received only 65% of the Wing Chuntraining that Yip man offered and was not allowed to be trained in the "formal" exercises of Yip Mans system of Wing Chun.

He may have never experienced the lessons of Nei Kung Training.
Nei Kung exercises or similar exercises are definitely not a part of most martial arts outside of those from the Shaolin Temple or based in Shaolin origin.

Also it is considered augmentation training to the whole system and there are likely many Kung fu teachers who have never learned the practice because the link to Shaolin in their system was not strong enough.

Hung Gar stylists for the most part will have Nei Kung in the system at some point , the link to Shaolin is strong with Hung Ga, the same is true for other systems based in Shaolin such as Shaolin Black Tiger, Sil Lum Kung Fu in general and also systems that borrowed methodologies from Shaolin over time (chan maditation -za zen (seated zen meditation)-Tai chi systems, Pa Kua systems, and Hsing I systems to name only a few.)

The Nei Kung method i have been taught is comprised of many different exercises that look like Chi Kung both Hard Chi Kung and Soft Chi Kung.
The combination of these exercises produces the internal strength development.
The method may differ from one master to another but the goal will be along the same lines.
Everything from protective Chi exercises which prevent invasive and pernicious external influences (colds, emotional triggers etc) to ability to recover from strikes in a rapid fashion.

Other exercises such as the Ba Duan Jin or 8 section brocade bear similarities in goals with Nei Kung training. But they are not the same.
Some Nei Kung focuses the mind and stills it to allow for new perception as some Nei Kung trains the eye, or the musculature or the tendons and sinews and also the internal organs.
All together, the exercises of Nei Kung give the Kung Fu practitioner more strength in their overall training and understanding of the art being trained.


Kung Lek

11-27-2000, 12:35 AM
There's an article discussing qigong and neigong at http://www.emptyflower.com/miller01/miller00.html .

I practice neigong everyday, and if you saw it, you wouldn't think it was particularly mystical. Put simply, it is really just a way of strengthening your body and training it's coordination.