The Chi Challenge

Some people on rec.martial-arts recently posted Chris Guardian‘s “The Chi Challenge” video on youtube.

The “Chi Challenge” is this. Chris will pay anyone who can use their chi, without touching someone, to hurt them. The amounts are as follows:

1. US$1,000 to anyone who can hurt him with Chi, without touching him.
2. US$2,500 to anyone who can perform a no touch knockout using Chi.

Chris Guardian and I are much alike – we both believe that this is impossible. Even Wang Xiang-Zhai (xingyi master and founder of modern yiquan) is known to have said “The Emission of Qi is Preposterous”.

So when I saw Chris Guardian’s “Chi Challenge” video, I gave a sigh of dissapointment. I wasn’t disappointed with Chris Guardian (I admire his spirit and it’s a nice video). I was disappointed at being reminded of the massive amount of misinformation out there, which can be a formidable barrier to real understanding. How would you explain Chi to someone who insists that it’s only use is to knock people out from a distance? Of course, if you think that’s what Chi is, then Chi isn’t real!

Some people become very agitated when you insist that Chi is real. Rob Redmond wrote an excellent article titled “I do not believe in Ki“, and it’s sister article, “Kime: The Myth of Focus“. Both are fascinating and I wholeheartedly agree with what he says, even though I personally “believe” in Ki in ways which Rob does not. What really struck me about Rob’s article though is that he has logical reasons for his beliefs which are founded upon direct experience. Rob is different. Even he has a term for people who argue blindly from a platform of misinformation: Waterboys.

I don’t think Chris Guardian is a waterboy. No, what he has to say is interesting. I just hope that people don’t watch his video and come away thinking Chi is all about no touch knockouts, because nothing could be further from the truth.

The question to me is why some people believe these kinds of lies about Chi. If the people who do martial arts like Yi Quan or Taiji don’t believe in “Chi Bolts”, then why do people who have no real experience with chi-based martial arts? Simple. There is a LOT of misinformation out there about Chi! This is why I’ve put together a Chi FAQ.

It’s my hope that this document will cut through a lot of the preconceptions people have about Chi and allow them to understand it in a normal way. Of course, as with any FAQ, you are more than welcome to make submissions which can be included in future versions.

I am just the FAQ’s maintainer. I am not the only one who has made submissions. I’ve asked and received contributions from Al Gauthier and Chris Rickard of the Korean Martial Arts Research Association, among others. The point is, this is not a personal platform to force others to accept my beliefs – I am interested in creating a truly useful and informative document “for the people”.

In the end, no one can tell you what to believe. You can only know the truth yourself. Is Chi Real? What is Chi? Maybe there isn’t any answer after all?

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One Response

  1. Qi Jocks!
    “Weakness with a Twist” my blog on the subject: http://northstarmartialarts.com/blog1/2007/05/20/qi-jocks/

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