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lungyuil
02-03-2001, 03:41 AM
An old Sifu used to get me to walk backwards after i was out of breath from practicing a Jow Ga form (long forms). He used to say that walking backwards helped regain my breath/energy quickly. Never understood that, i asked my sifu why that was and he couldn't understand the principle behind it either.

Anyone ever heard of it before, or what methods do you use to regain your breath/energy. :)

WongFeHung
02-03-2001, 05:34 AM
If you breathe correctly, you will not be out of breath after your forms. Different moves require different patterns of breathing, and different sounds associated with them. You wouldn't sink your horse and punch while emitting a tight 'hite!' sound, would you? Of course not, it would cause your body to contract too much at all the wrong places and it becomes driving with the parking brake on. The end result? Sucking wind. Rule of thumb; short sharp exhalations for short quick light movements, longer deeper exhalations/sounds (hah) for rooting, and power. This is only the skin and hair of hei gung faht for striking, you'll have to wait for my book;-)Try this and see what happens. From experience, my strikes are stronger, faster, I can jump easier,I develop much more intensity,and I don't get winded.

fiercest tiger
02-06-2001, 10:47 PM
i talk backwards and do things back to front, i also where my clothes the wrong way. i found that this helps your training. :D

peace

bakmeimonk@hotmail.com

denali
02-07-2001, 01:48 AM
Yes..learning to breathe properly will help you not to get out of breath so easily.

But, if you are out of breath at the end, take a few deep slow breaths..in through nose/out through mouth. Panting quickly will not give your body as much oxygen. This may help but the key is learning how to breathe properly in the first place and doing it all the time.

Goktimus Prime
02-07-2001, 09:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>An old Sifu used to get me to walk backwards after i was out of breath from practicing a Jow Ga form (long forms). He used to say that walking backwards helped regain my breath/energy quickly. Never understood that, i asked my sifu why that was and he couldn't understand the principle behind it either.
Anyone ever heard of it before, or what methods do you use to regain your breath/energy.[/quote]

This Shifu seems to have little clue about what he's doing.

Now, I do NOT recommend sucking wind (I will explain shortly). Rather, I'm more inclined to agree with what Denali's said - breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Performing martial arts can be a fairly aerobic activity, consequently, your breathing rate increases, as well as your heart beat etc.

Now, the important thing here is to learn how to use your lungs in a more efficient manner. Professional athletic training (including olympic level training) involves training the athlete to breathe more efficiently. Olympic athletes don't have larger lung capacity -- their lungs are the same most other people's. But the difference is that they know how to use their lungs in a more efficient manner. Runners train in high altitude and swimmers learn to time their inhale an exhale rates. They do not suck wind. Sucking wind would actually decrease the efficiency of your lungs. Why? Well, while you inhale sharply, although you're taking in oxygen, you're not exhaling carbon dioxide. And as soon as you finish a sharp inhale, it's automatically followed by a very sharp exhale, as your lungs try to empty out all the CO2 that's been building up while you've been sucking in oxygen. It's a very inefficient way to breathe.

You could train at high altitudes or take up olympic swimming, but Kung Fu offers another way of teaching people to use their lungs in a better manner -- Qigong. When you strip away all the magical nonsense that some people place around Qigong, it really is fundamentally just a way to control your metabolism through controlling your respiratory/circulatory systems.

Chinese scripts define Qigong as a life energy that flows through the meridians of your body. They are essentially correct, but their somewhat primitive and vague description (which actually is a pretty good description considering that Qigong techniques were developed before the science of microbiology) has led many people to attach many mythical images to what Qigong is.

But here's what it is from a scientific viewpoint. Every cell in your body contains an organelle known as the mitochondrion. Mitchondria produce energy but use oxygen as a fuel and produce carbon dioxide as a by product. This energy (which manifests as ATP - Adenine Triphosphate) is exactly what the "spiritual" Qi energy that the Chinese discovered (but without knowledge modern science, they perceived the energy as being spiritual). Qigong is supposed to improve the flow of this Qi energy around your body, or what is medically referred to as circulation - since gases are circulated through our bloodstream in the form of oxygenated blood (carried through our arteries) and deoxygenated blood (carried through our veins).
http://ntri.tamuk.edu/cell/cell.gif
Expending more energy is like driving an old steam engine faster. The train driver needs to shovel more fuel into the furnace to compensate for the excessive power and speed produced at higher speeds. Likewise, when you're expending more power in aerobic activities such as running, swimming or martial arts, you need to compensate your mitochondria by adding more fuel (ie: oxygen) -- as well as extracting the by product (CO2) at an equally faster rate.

This is what keeps people running under extreme conditions for extended periods of time. You will NOT see Olympic class athletes inhale or exhale sharply during their sports. For example, when the starting gun fires, you will not see Cathy Freeman try to expell all the air from her lungs as she takes her first step, and then suck in wind during her next step. If she did, she'd be out of breath in under 20m. Likewise, you won't see swimmers like Ian Thorpe turn his head to the side and suck in lots of air and stick his face into the water to blow it all out. If you look at the underwater shots of swimmers with their face in the water, you'll only notice a slender stream of bubbles coming out of their noses. If they were expelling all the air out, you'd see massive clouds of bubbles, much like how little kids like to go underwater and shout their lungs out.

Click here to learn more about respiration and circulation. (http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/5/0,5716,128775+1+117582,00.html?query=mitochondria)

So yeah, your Shifu ought to know Qigong techniques to improve the way you breathe. Otherwise, I'd seek a new teacher.

"Wit is educated insolence." - Aristotle (284-322 BC)

lungyuil
02-07-2001, 12:37 PM
Man, you really are a teacher.
I said an old Sifu of mine.

My current sifu & hopefully my last :) has taught me the proper way to breathe while practicing the forms from the beginning.

The old sifu never taught us any of that, he always held back. Don't know why? He just did.

My question simple meant were any of you taught ways to regain your breath after completing a form, not how to breath because every system is different.

Fu Manchu
02-07-2001, 03:02 PM
Goktimus Primal

You have given a down to earth concept of Qi that makes alot of sense! I would encourge others to read it!

joedoe
02-08-2001, 12:07 AM
I think Goktimus' explanation is pretty good, but I wouldn't take it as gospel. There is a lot of research going into Qi both by Chinese and Western scientists. I don't think anyone has come up with a reliable scientific explanation of Qi yet.

My other question is, if Qi is simply a metabolic process, and Qigong simply allows us to carry out that process more efficiently and to control it, then how does it allow Qigong masters to do what some of them can do? I understand that the energy produced can be used to do some things, but how does it, for example, allow a Qigong master to break a spear against their throat, or withstand blows that would knock most other people out?

And before you put down the ability of Qigong masters to do this, I have personally seen masters do it and verified the validity of the demonstration.

It may be a good explanation, but I don't think that's all there is to it.

02-08-2001, 02:50 PM
Abandit,

Yes I remember the examples you mentioned " breaking the spear with the throat etc". We must have watched the same Shaw Brothers movie when we were kids. Please grow up.

You're from Australia - the "Land Down-Under". That's hardly an inspiring description for a country. If you represent the average intellegence of the population, could the term Down-Under refer to the lowest quartile of human I.Q.?

Ego Maximize!

premier
02-08-2001, 06:45 PM
Placing an unsharpened spear between your collar bones and push forward doesn't have anything to do with chi. Just physics and tolerance of little pain.

joedoe
02-10-2001, 02:58 AM
Ego,

Your wit is so cutting! I don't know how I can live with myself after such a wonderful statement as your last pointing out my stupidity.

Well, as far as IQs go, I wouldn't say the IQ of a country that has regular office massacres must be that high, not to mention a country that gave birth to a section of their society known as RED NECKS.

Fish of Fury
02-11-2001, 02:59 AM
ego
australia is one of the few countries in the world with an official 100% literacy rate.
from memory the USA is at about 94%
(you're obviously in the other 6%) :p

(apologies to any americans who aren't annoying little twits)

Shaolin Temple
02-11-2001, 03:30 AM
Ego all I can say about you is you schmuck...I believe even Buddha will forgive me for saying this.

Australians invented the refridgerator that we have nowadays. So much for IQs...check the national board of statistics and compare the university graduate rates, literacy rates and crime rates...big difference.

Americans...sometimes you believe that nothing occurs outside of your shores. Even in the military...remove the gun down to its bits and components...the US soldiers only strip the gun down to its components...not nuts and bolts. My friend is in the military and he has been in the USMC and is now currently in Oz.

No offence to other Americans but one of your citizens is an idiot.

Amitabha

joedoe
02-11-2001, 05:17 AM
Shaolin Master:

I think there is more than one :)

joedoe
02-11-2001, 05:19 AM
Sorry, I meant Shaolin Temple, not Shaolin Master. My apologies :)

lungyuil
02-11-2001, 06:21 AM
The name describes him best EGO with no brain. Does he understand that many inventions came from Australia.
Oh well, maybe we can invent a brain for EGO and say the Americans did it. :D

02-11-2001, 07:52 AM
Fellas,

As far as the discussion is concern, Premier made a valid point that breaking of the spear can be fully explained by the current laws of physics.
There is no need to resort to ju ju magic stuff. Put it another way, those tricks performed by Shaolin monks are just that - TRICKS. If David Copperfield the magician were to call himself a Shaolin monk, I wonder how many of you will attempt to walk through the great wall of China.

None of you followed up on Premier's post. Instead, you allowed me to lead you on to an irrelevant discussion of patrotism. From my stand point, its quite entertaining that some of you started quoting statisitcs and which nation invented what.

Remember fellas before you can tame the beast without, you must learn to tame the beast within.

Ego Maximize!

joedoe
02-11-2001, 08:27 AM
Ego,

You are the one who diverted the discussion by casting aspersions on a nation's intelligence.

But if you want me to respond to Premier's comment, then here it is:

Spear breaking is only one example of demonstrations of Qi - probably a bad example because a lot of people do it and manage to fake it. But I have seen it done properly.

I have also seen other manifestations of Qi that aren't so easily explained by physics, many with healing applications.

And Ego, if you got your head out of your butt for more than a moment you might see that there is the rest of the world around you. Mostly they are laughing at you.

Goktimus Prime
02-12-2001, 05:22 PM
Australians also invented the "black box" flight recorder on airplanes.

And hey, if you Yanks are so brilliant, how come you can't use METRIC SYSTEM?

It's not hard!! x10. /10. Great Buddha's bottom, it's too easy!! ;P

And at least Australia isn't perceived by the rest of the world as "the land that looks inward."

Okay, enough Ego Maximus bashing (sorry Ego, but you asked for it).

Anyway, back to the real issue at hand. The scientific viewpoint of Qigong is what I personally believe Qigong to be. Whether or not you want to accept this POV or reject it or incorporate it with what you already believe, is ultimately up to you.

That's why we have freedom of speech, so that people can present differing POVs in our quest for the truth. :)

I'm hoping that we will learn more about how Qigong works, with the information from the mapping of the human genome.

"Wit is educated insolence." - Aristotle (284-322 BC)

joedoe
02-13-2001, 12:25 AM
Goktimus,

I don't think that the lack of use of the metric system is evidence of a lack of intelligence :). However, I do agree that some (not all) Americans can be very blinkered.

I also accept that you can have your opinion on how something works. I'll agree to disagree on this particular topic. My point of view is that there is more to Qi than basic metabolism. But that is my point of view :).

dunbarj01
02-13-2001, 11:19 PM
Goktimus,

As a qualified biochemist I must agree with Abandit. The basic explanation of regaining one's breath after physical exertion is generally due to the following:

1. You perform a form or short but intense acivity (e.g. run 100 m). Your body mobilises blood glucose.

2. As you perform the activity at hand, your blood glucose level drops.

3. When you finish, your body realises that the blood glucose level is far too low to be considered safe. To raise the blood glucose level to what it should be in the resting state, the body must mobilise and hydrolyze fat. To do so, a lot of oxygen is required and this is why you breath heavily after doing sets or sprinting etc. Now you can suggest a way to minimise this. (P.S. It doesn't burn much fat - just enough to get you back to 5 mmol Glucose).

In regards to your hypothesis (it is NOT a "scientific" explanation), you may wish to consider a few points. The following conclusions I could draw from your explanation:

1. Mitochondria and ATP are the source of Qi, hence the Tan Tien is actually my liver (has 20% of bodies mitochondria and major source of metabolism). Red muscle contains alot also, hence my arse (glutus maximus) could theoretically generate a sunbstantial Qi field. Not something that I would use in a fight...

2. Young athletes are Qi masters and old Qi masters have the metabolic power of young athletes.

3. Qi is a directly measurable phenomena.

4. I could increase my Qi by ATP injection.

5. Etc

Anyway, please consider the following before labelling something scientific:

1. What aspect of Qi are you explaining. Healing, longevitity. Your explanation merely translates Qi as being Chinese for "energy" - It does not explain what Qi is. Define your hypothesis properly.

2. Consider the full implications of western science (structure, conclusions, is there any correlation? etc). Don't simply graft 1st year university biology with a general concept of Qi.

3. Review all details. Did you know that a cell can manufacture more mitochondria to cope with increases in exercise? These same organelles disappear as soon as the regular activity ceases. You even allude to genetic considerations in one message - what has this to do with metabolism?

4. Be polite - ancient Chinese texts were not "crude". On the contrary, the ancient Chinese show great intelligence - Their thinking is highly original and imaginative (insightful, not prone to fabrication). Remember, we all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us.

I think that if you were to do all of this, you'd probably have more text than anyone in this forum could read (I've already gone on for way too long).

Have a look at one of Dr Yang Jwing Ming's books on Qi theory and he lists a few areas where western science cannot offer theories for Qi. It's a good place to start.

Sorry to everyone else for the lengthy post.

dunbarj01
02-13-2001, 11:22 PM
Goktimus,

As a qualified biochemist I must agree with Abandit. The basic explanation of regaining one's breath after physical exertion is generally due to the following:

1. You perform a form or short but intense acivity (e.g. run 100 m). Your body mobilises blood glucose.

2. As you perform the activity at hand, your blood glucose level drops.

3. When you finish, your body realises that the blood glucose level is far too low to be considered safe. To raise the blood glucose level to what it should be in the resting state, the body must mobilise and hydrolyze fat. To do so, a lot of oxygen is required and this is why you breath heavily after doing sets or sprinting etc. Now you can suggest a way to minimise this. (P.S. It doesn't burn much fat - just enough to get you back to 5 mmol Glucose).

In regards to your hypothesis (it is NOT a "scientific" explanation), you may wish to consider a few points. The following conclusions I could draw from your explanation:

1. Mitochondria and ATP are the source of Qi, hence the Tan Tien is actually my liver (has 20% of bodies mitochondria and major source of metabolism). Red muscle contains alot also, hence my arse (glutus maximus) could theoretically generate a sunbstantial Qi field. Not something that I would use in a fight...

2. Young athletes are Qi masters and old Qi masters have the metabolic power of young athletes.

3. Qi is a directly measurable phenomena.

4. I could increase my Qi by ATP injection.

5. Etc

Anyway, please consider the following before labelling something scientific:

1. What aspect of Qi are you explaining. Healing, longevitity. Your explanation merely translates Qi as being Chinese for "energy" - It does not explain what Qi is. Define your hypothesis properly.

2. Consider the full implications of western science (structure, conclusions, is there any correlation? etc). Don't simply graft 1st year university biology with a general concept of Qi.

3. Review all details. Did you know that a cell can manufacture more mitochondria to cope with increases in exercise? These same organelles disappear as soon as the regular activity ceases. You even allude to genetic considerations in one message - what has this to do with metabolism?

4. Be polite - ancient Chinese texts were not "crude". On the contrary, the ancient Chinese show great intelligence - Their thinking is highly original and imaginative (insightful, not prone to fabrication). Remember, we all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us.

I think that if you were to do all of this, you'd probably have more text than anyone in this forum could read (I've already gone on for way too long).

Have a look at one of Dr Yang Jwing Ming's books on Qi theory and he lists a few areas where western science cannot offer theories for Qi. It's a good place to start.

Sorry to everyone else for the lengthy post.

Cheers.

Goktimus Prime
02-14-2001, 05:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>In regards to your hypothesis (it is NOT a "scientific" explanation), [/quote]

I used the word "scientific" to separate it from the more traditional views of Qigong. Yes, I know I used the term very loosely, but that's why I put it in "inverted commas." Sorry if it came across as anything more than that.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>1. Mitochondria and ATP are the source of Qi, hence the Tan Tien is actually my liver (has 20% of bodies mitochondria and major source of metabolism). Red muscle contains alot also, hence my arse (glutus maximus) could theoretically generate a sunbstantial Qi field. Not something that I would use in a fight...[/quote]

I'm personally not convinced about the general notion of "Qi generation." IMHO, Qigong is a way to control one's metabolism through mitochondrian manipulation.

>2. Young athletes are Qi masters and old Qi masters have the metabolic power of young athletes.

Well, the human body does tend to wear out in old age. As far as physical vitality is concerned, a younger body is superior. Now, that's NOT saying that a young fighter is necessarily better than an older one. There are many other determining factors to consider other than just sheer physical stamina. Skill and experience is one of them. And the practise of Qigong certainly does tend to lead to extremely good health in later life.

I have seen documentary footage of an 80 year old Shaolin monk do a somersault. Now, for a person MY age, that's not a big deal. But I would love to be able to do that when I'm 80!! In Australia, you're lucky if you can see senior citizens jogging down a street -- but more often than not, they're hobbling /w canes and walking frames and driving really slowly on roads.

So I'm be NO means undervaluing older masters. After all, even if you're the most physically fit olympic athletes in the world, tend to be trained by older, seemingly less fit coaches. So who is the superior athlete?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>1. What aspect of Qi are you explaining. Healing, longevitity. Your explanation merely translates Qi as being Chinese for "energy" - It does not explain what Qi is. Define your hypothesis properly.[/quote]

I was (trying to) explaining what I see as being the fundamental nature of Qigong. Which promotes better fitness, which then leads onto enhanced healing and longevity.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You even allude to genetic considerations in one message - what has this to do with metabolism?[/quote]

I was speculating that perhaps data from the genome project may give us a better understanding of how respiration and circulation functions.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>4. Be polite - ancient Chinese texts were not "crude". On the contrary, the ancient Chinese show great intelligence - Their thinking is highly original and imaginative (insightful, not prone to fabrication). Remember, we all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us.[/quote]

I was saying that it's only relatively "crude" by modern standards, but considering the time that Qigong texts were written, I think they're BRILLIANT! Centuries before the Dutch invented the microscope, the Chinese were able to gain a basic understanding of energy production and circulation. It was described in a very poetic way of course, but if you read ancient Chinese literature, you'll realise that the Chinese described EVERYTHING in a poetic fashion.

It's similar to how many early astronomers thought that the Sun and Moon revolved around the Earth. By today's standards, it's an inaccurate description, but still, ancient peoples understood that the heavenly bodies did move and that it affected weather here on Earth (thus were able to time agricultural planting and harvesting seasons).

Uuuh, am I still making sense here? :P

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Have a look at one of Dr Yang Jwing Ming's books on Qi theory and he lists a few areas where western science cannot offer theories for Qi. It's a good place to start. [/quote]

What's the name of the book? I'll look up his name next time I'm at the library. :)

"Wit is educated insolence." - Aristotle (284-322 BC)

dunbarj01
02-14-2001, 07:53 AM
Goktimus,

I think it could be a lengthy and dry discussion to relate Qigong and metabolism.

I cannot relate the two. What I believe is that the topic is very complex. What I did try to point out, is that your explanation has too many exceptions and simplifies both aspects (Qi and Metabolism). I offer as food for thought:

1. Certain individuals (usually male, good apetites, never put on weight, scrawny as) have something like ATP shunting. What you might refer to as efficient metabolism. How is this explained in terms of Qi.

2. What is the role of hormones?

3. How are the control of systemic functions influenced by metabolism?

4. Qi is about life. Do other forces, such as those that hold an atom together have a place in relating Qi to scientific knowledge.

These I don't expect you to answer, but please do look at a broader picture.

BTW, to give the anology of early astromomers is misleading. I wouldn't compare observing the seasons to describe the Chinese who developed the theory of Qi. I would say it was more akin to Galileo percieving the concept of friction (before him nobody could have imagined the posibility). It had nothing to do microscopes or technology - Science is not technology or a physical sophistication, it's a way of thinking.

Cheers,

TigerFork
02-14-2001, 01:16 PM
in "chinese medicine: the web that has no weaver" by Ted J. Kaptchuk, he describes Qi as energy that follows the body fluids ( blood, lymph, sperm etc) and the breath...sort of a "life force" that goes along with the physical substance, and is at the same time something more.(apologies to Ted, i'm writing from memory and may have stuffed it up a bit)
from this viewpoint it's my opinion that a lot of the physiological happenings described above may occur "with" qi, but still not really explain what it is.
agree with above, a different paradigm of thought is not necessarily wrong just because it isn't scientific.

also, Goktimus from my experience (limited i'll admit) there's a lot of value in the general/traditional notion of Qi. practise it more with an open mind...you may be very surprised.( not bagging you...a genuine suggestion)

dunbarj01
02-15-2001, 08:16 AM
Goktimus,

I think the title of the book was "Qigong for health and martial arts". There the site for Dr Yang's books:
Dr Yang's Martial Arts Association (http://www.ymaa.com/pubbooks.html)

Tigerfork,

No beef with thought paragidm that chooses not to be scientific. Anything labelled as scientific should be open to question though. :)

Fu Manchu
02-16-2001, 12:51 AM
I've seen amazing things with Chi. When I was in Tibet last year, the monks could still crush stones with their bare hands.

However, much of this art is sadly lost as people like "Ego" are less open to Eastern ideas.

Monks that we call masters today would be considered as young apprantice in the times of old. That was the extent of the power possessed by the ancient monks who had thousands of generations to develop their art.

Even now, the Shaolin Temple in Northern Tibet where my father grew up is mostly deserted. Most of the monks have left for the city to do office work - it pays better. After all, it takes 3 years to get a degree from university but a life time of dedicated training to become a master in Chi Kung.

However, there are still a hand fullof devoted practitioners at the temple. They have no choice but to find new ways of raising money - as the Chinese government don't give us much support at all.

A few young musicians have formed a rock band - "Chi Power" that mixes traditional chinese instruments with techno. The aim is to raise money for the up keep and restoration of the temple. Even then, their good deeds are met with critism from some of the old masters (whome the musicians are trying to help).

I have meditated on this and it is my believe that the old must adopt some of the ways of the young. But the young should resperct the knowledge of the old. That achieved, we will be in harmony. But sadly, we are a long way off from the ideal.

I am donating a large portion of my income from the Chi Realingment Clinic in New Orleans to this cause. In time I hope to set a Franchise where great masters of Kung Fu and Medicine can practice under the banner of Dr. Fu Manchu.

Do you share my vision?