Qi Debate #861a

(Transferred from “Oh Please!!“).

I am taking issue with something Joanna said. But not about Qi. No, believe it or not, we’ve found something else to disagree on. Some of it has to do with stuff she has said in the past too, on “Taiji without the Qi”, and “100% Qi Free” as well as other articles too.

In “Oh Please!!” Joanna made several statements which finally made me upset enough to write this. First, what I am NOT upset about:

“There is no qigong, because there is no qi. There are no internal martial arts. ” -Joanna

Now, even though what Joanna is saying is directly contradicted by pretty much every major player in the Tai Chi world, what Chen Zhenglei might say (or in this article), or what Chen Xiaowang might say being great examples, this isn’t what I am worried about. I’m specifically prefacing this by saying I don’t take issue with Joanna’s opinions on Qi and Taijiquan. I’m not talking about her skills in Tai Chi, good or bad. I think it’s perfectly fine for her to have her own viewpoint. The problem is with something else she’s fond of saying.

Comment #11
On a serious note, people who DO subscribe to the so-called “internal arts” and “qigong” rationales will dismiss what other qigong people do while claiming that what THEY do is different – that somehow THEY have the Real Deal…Skills that few Westerners understand.

It’s a lie.

Point of Contention #1: Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Hong Junsheng, Wang Xi’an, Zhu Tiancai, many others, not to mention the major players in the Yang and Wu (i.e. Ma Yueliang is a great example) families, not to forget the others as well.. are all liars?

What? This is the kind of closed-minded attack I expect from Judo and MMA people. Not Tai Chi people. But wait. There’s more.

Comment #14
I don’t doubt that there will be differences between what Chen Xin’s book says and modern qigong becaus there is no consistency within the methodology anyway. It is all just superstition and whispers.

Wow Joanna, just wow. Not minding the fact that, actually, what the major players (examples above) say IS quite consistent, it is consistent to a degree where it would be logically impossible to assume it was a conspiracy.

Even if we assume what you say is plausible, you have not provided any evidence (in the form of quotes from interviews or books, for example) to support your opinion. I realize that it’s unfair to “accuse you” of this after the fact you made the postings, but you have also made similar quotes on your website and you haven’t provided any information there. I think a little backup is necessary for such an extreme viewpoint.

Comment #22 – Joanna
I don’t think renli appreciates that as far as me and the MTA goes, it isn’t just saying qi exists or is real that is essentially off limits – it is all talk of qi, qigong and so-called “internal arts”, “internal work”, “energies”, “energetics” and all the usual esoteric nonsense that plagues Chinese martial arts. That sort of talk dominates every other Tai Chi space in the world – the MTA is the alternative. Qi is not part of MTA Tai Chi training.

I have spent the last year having to fight tooth and claw on forum after forum and blog after blog defending this stance from qi-believers and the occasional qi-agnostic. I think Tai Chi blogs can be about other things – such as the quan / ch’uan component. In my opinion this blog is a space for discussing fighting training, bruises and making bad jokes.

I do appreciate it, thats why I am upset. Of course it’s not about Qi. It’s about mentioning Qi. That’s why Joanna said those things (and others which I didn’t quote). That’s ridiculous! I do Chen Style, and the main proponents of my style are “qi believers”, as is, frankly, every top master in the world. But apparently I am not allowed to say that. I am not even talking about if it’s real or not. I am mentioning the fact that, for example, Ma Yueliang will talk about qi, or that Hong JunSheng will talk about qi, and that Joanna will deny this and claim that those people actually support her viewpoint.

A great example of this are the comments at “100% Qi Free?“. Joanna says, “Tim Cartmell, Hong Junsheng and myself all reject the value of the concept of qi. Hong even refused to discuss the concept.”

However the truth is quite different. I have a copy of Hong’s life work in front of me, and there are a dozen or more references to Qi in the book. Including the following:

“Open the meridians for the blood and qi to flow” -pg. 28.

“…this posture makes qi naturally sink to the dantien.” -pg. 7

“The central qi (zhong qi) permeates” – pg. 66

And Tim Cartmell? You mean the guy with a Qi Gong / Internal Power training section on his forum? Oh please, some of what Joanna has said is so sour and false it’s unbelievable. So childish.

What is being said here ties in with what everyone else is saying. For example, Chen Xin’s “Taijiquan is a method of moving zhong qi (central qi)” (to tie in with the page 66 quote). The fact that Zhong Qi is mentioned is highly significant. Joanna apparently does not realise there are many different kinds of Qi. For example, Chen Zhenglei might talk about Xiantian ziran qi in one instance, Chen Xiaowang might mention yun qi in another. But the terms and context are totally being ignored. All of it is accused of being inconsistent. Being a lie. And it’s this I am debating. Not if Qi exists.

That’s right, It’s not about believing in qi. You can disbelieve in qi and still understand that there is a definite method which is passed down. A method which whose consistency is unimpeachable regardless of it’s truth or falsehood. So I don’t see that as being an issue and I do get upset when Joanna claim thingss like there is no consistency. Even cross family (Yang, Wu, etc) things are pretty consistent.

Joanna, if you’re reading this, I know it’s not about chi. I know that. It’s about you trying to eradicate the very mention of Chi. So this isn’t a discussion about Chi. It’s a discussion about how far you are willing to go. What you’re willing to say and do to get things done. I guess it has become about that for me anyways. Would you intentionally spread a mis-truth about what people say/do/believe? I wonder. So far the best thing I can say is that you’ve been spreading mis-truths un-intentionally. No, I’m not trying to get you to change your mind. I’m trying to get you to stop spreading misinformation about qi. You have in essence become the very kind of person you speak out against; someone who spreads an inconsistent viewpoint regarding qi.

Chen style is known for it’s relatively martial approach to tai chi. Everyone knows that. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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23 Responses

  1. You have access to information through reading and discussing IMA in Chinese that Joanna will never have. I think she’s just trying to make sense of stuff with the limited view of the puzzle that she has.

    She says this is all inconsistent, but she would have to have an open mind on the topic and access to the same types of info that you do to see the consistency. That ain’t gonna happen.

    I personally wouldn’t get too worked up about convincing her that she’s wrong.

  2. I have supported my articles and debates with many quotes in the past. I cannot help it if other people’s views on qi and its relevance are hazy and inconsistent. The quotes stand up in themselves. You have acknowledged that Hong may indeed have taught without referring to qi – that is how I understood the situation to be.

    Hong Junsheng states in his book “Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method” (translated by Chen Zhonghua):
    “I believe that in learning from ancient writings, we must take its essence and do away with its dregs. We must selectively accept and reject. In dealing with contemporary authors, we must regard their writing with respect, but only accept was is useful. Useless things must be amended. Only in this way can we adopt a scientific attitude.”

    In an interview by Yaron Seidman with Hong Junsheng’s student Chen Zhonghua, it is made clear that great importance should be attached to “Strengthening the practical applications of the movements, and not ’empty talk’ about things like Essence, Qi and Sprit. Things that there is no way to prove right or wrong.”

    Tim Cartmell makes his views on qi only too apparent in his chapter in the book Nei Jia Quan, edited by Jess O’Brien. I am not writing out all of the relevant sections of the chapter yet again. I will however quote a couple of crucial passages:
    “If I taught you internal martial arts, and I never mentioned the word “qi,” it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. I’d talk about mind-body intent and mind-body unity and moving with your centre. But no ideas of qi shooting out of your fingertips, or all that stuff about opening your meridians. You’d be just as good, if not better. … Do I think you have to think about your qi and all that stuff to get good at martial arts? No, as a matter of fact I think it will probably slow your training down. … If you want to talk about qi in the martial arts, I’d say that it doesn’t have anything to do with the martial arts.”

    Just to clarify Tim’s use of the word “internal,”The term Nei Jia Quan, “internal martial arts,” only came into vogue in the early 20th century. Before that it was all just martial arts. … I talk about it like that too because everybody else does, but it’s not strictly true. … I really don’t like those terms, but it’s unavoidable now, you have to use them because everybody does.”

    Well the thing is, Renli, I don’t submit to peer pressure. I don’t care if I’m the only person in the world who takes such a hard line on these issues. I can quite justifiably quote from those who take almost as strong a view, because I think they are getting there and in my view they just need to take the final leap. I hope the future will produce other 100% Qi-Free practitioners. In the meantime, I’ll re-iterate Hong’s own words “We must selectively accept and reject. In dealing with contemporary authors, we must regard their writing with respect, but only accept was is useful. Useless things must be amended.”

    I do not spread an inconsistent viewpoint on qi. I reject it 100% and have always made that clear.

    That is it from me on this subject here. You can kick and scream all you want.

  3. Let me clarify again 🙂 I am not trying to convince anyone they are right or wrong.

    I am saying that I know you want to be seen as the alternative. So in a way, you need to be at odds with everyone else in the tai chi community, and that’s what I don’t like. That’s what I am complaining about. I’ve often said that we should focus on similarities and you have always rejected this kind of olive branch approach.

    Everyone has their own viewpoint but to go out and attack people and set yourself up like this just makes people upset and doesn’t accomplish anything.

    I noticed your comment on reelingsilk:

    I have posted a reply which is awaiting moderation. I have to spend a huge amount of time defending the MTA’s position on these matters from those who try to damage our reputation based on what? On our peformance? On the quan? No – on this stupid metaphysical fix that they’re all addicted to.

    I am not trying to damage your reputation or to accuse your school of not doing things right. I believe I made that perfectly clear in my blog post, Joanna. I am not even talking about if qi is real or not 🙂 I am only talking about the rabid nature with which you pursue the subject, the willingness with which you seem to attack people and selectively quote people wrt Qi. There are more socially acceptable ways to get things done.

  4. I knew this was going to happen! I don’t really have much to say on the issue, as a relitive newcomer to taichi I don’t have the knowlege that you guys have so I can’t compete in an intellectual argument about qi. But what I did want to say was with respect to the addition to your last comment Renli, surely in quoting anyone our quotes will be selective………… why else wouyld we bother to quote anyone?

  5. Renli, don’t get so excited, it’s not worth while.
    There is only one person making herself unhappy, so just forget it.
    Best wishes from southern Taiwan!

  6. “There is only one person making herself unhappy, so just forget it.”

    Ironically, our classes are heaps of fun. Joanna just makes it extremely clear what the training consists of so everyone knows what to expect and no one will be disappointed when they arrive. If people want knockabout martial training and don’t mind taking a bruising, they’ll fit in. If they’re looking for enlightenment or a qi buzz they won’t. If people know in advance what to expect it stops them wasting their time and ours.

    The only unhappiness that arises is when people get up in arms about the stance we take. We’re happy doing what we do, and everyone else does the mainstream stuff, so why should anyone care what we do anyway?

    Julie (MTA)

  7. I can’t agree stongly enough with what Julie has said here. I train with Julie and Joanna 3 nights a week and my only regret is that I can’t train with them more often.

    As I said before I am relitively new to taichi, although I have studied martial arts before. I can say quite catagorically that I have never had so much fun in my training, I have never laughed so much during training sessions, and most importantly of all I have never been taught such effective and practical fighting techniques. Sure I take a few knocks, I get a few bruises, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to get my body ready for real combat should the need ever arise.

    The MTA has no Grand Masters, no Masters, no Sifu’s and no airs or graces, just classmates, learning practical combat skills. I am getting exactly what I joined the MTA for, practiacal fighting skills which can be used on the street, where it really matters, nothing more nothing less. I am proud to be associated with the MTA.

  8. Ya, nobody cares for you anyway, but it was you who came out suddenly to teach everybody everywhere about the non-existence of qi.
    So why don’t you do your thing und let us have our qi?
    Nobody wants to convince you otherwise, we are no missionaries, but it seems that you want to bring the true knowledge to CMA world.

  9. I can only presume that you would rather delude yourself then? Someone gives himself the title of master in the world of martial arts and that makes all that he says the truth?

    I doubt that you would belive the the illusions creatated by magicians, you just accept that it’s a clever trick…. a deciet, entertainment. So why is it different when a so-called master does his palour tricks? The truth is that it isn’t any different, it’s still just a trick. The real test of a martial artist is in combat not in trickery.

  10. “it seems that you want to bring the true knowledge to CMA world.”

    That’s not strictly true. Who started this conversation?

    We make our position clear on the website so that our customers and prospective students will know that we are different from the mainstream. We have strong reasons why we take the stance we do and we make them clear. Naturally we would be glad to see others sharing our views, but we won’t be holding our breath for that to happen.

    In terms of taking a message out to others, it is always done in response. A number of people on blogs and forums draw attention to Joanna’s articles and try to undermine their content or her and the MTA’s reputation. When this happens, she feels it is necessary to set things straight, but she doesn’t enjoy having to do it.

  11. Julie; It is about the other side of the coin; no, it is not strictly true, it’s loosely so.

    No one is trying to damage reputations. No one is putting on airs. And it certainly isn’t so that we wouldn’t understand martial applications, as Joanna has said (not insinuated, said).

    The point is that the claims you guys make are unreal WRT what OTHER people say, think and do. Example? Allow me to quote Joanna from her recent comment on “Oh Please!!”:

    “They wouldn’t understand it (Kenny’s blog) anyway – it’s all about fighting and martial training”

    Surely you see the arrogance that Joanna is presenting. I could do with an apology, actually. Go read my comments and the blog post Julie. I went out of my way to only complain about the attitude I’m seeing being presented here and nothing else. Do you really think that the MTA is the only school that trains “martial arts”? You couldn’t possibly be that ignorant. Joanna on the other hand – I don’t know if it’s ignorance or a marketing imperative. But I certainly wouldn’t tolerate that kind of avarice on my blog.

    That’s one of the reasons I stopped commenting on Kenny’s blog. I have respected Kenny’s wishes, even though Joanna didn’t and made snide remarks after I stopped commenting. I didn’t take the bait because I will not be goaded, Julie.

    So as I’ve respected Kenny’s wishes, please respect mine. From this point forward, no one should present an intellectually dishonest argument about another person, school or style, unless they don’t wish to have their comment approved. I will say this, you’ve been rather tame, Julie – so I will answer your question. The reason people care is because what’s been said is a little too childish and rude to ignore. It borders on being personal. Joanna doesn’t just respond and defend, she takes it a step beyond that. I am sure you don’t want to be seen as being part of something that has to put other people down to feel good. So I guess for you, the real question is if you feel “we chi believers” are the kind of dirt you want to be known to associate with. Joanna has said that she would rather cut off contact with “us chi believers”. So what’s the real point of posting here? Just rubbing in how we’re second class citizens in the martial tai chi world? Is this the truth or not? I wonder.

  12. Renli, I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to comment anymore on this thread, as I said I really did not want to get involved. However, when quotes are taken from my blog and reproduced out of context then I feel that I have a duty to put the record straight.

    The quote from Joanna that you reprocuded from my blog:

    “They wouldn’t understand it (Kenny’s blog) – it’s all about fighting and martial training”

    I feel that this quote has been taken out of context. When read in the proper context it can be seen as more of a tongue in cheek joke, not an attack or a slur on anybody as it would appear when taken away from the rest of the comments. The fact is that I asked both yourself AND Joanna to cease from what I saw as turning into a qi discussion to stop or comments would be deleted. I then went on to make a comment (again tongue in cheek) about who was going to read my blog now:

    “Oh no wait!! Am I being a bit hasty….who’s gonna read my blog now :-)”

    Joanna then responded by saying “They wouldn’t understand it anyway – it’s all about fighting and martial training ;-)”

    If anyone would care to read the comments for themselves and then make their own judgements as to how these comments were meant the whole discussion can be found here: http://reelingsilk.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/oh-please/#comments

    As for your reasons for stopping commenting on my blog, I want to take this oppertunity to say that I never asked you to stop commenting, I simply asked BOTH of you to stop the comments on qi. So just to make it clear, when you say at the begining of your last paragraph, that you have respected my wishes: My only wish was to have you both stop the qi comments, nothing more.

    Finally, again in your last paragraph you say:

    “From this point forward, no one should present an intellectually dishonest argument about another person, school or style, unless they don’t wish to have their comment approved”

    I can only assume that you meant from the point that you (Renli) typed those particular words. Otherwise in quoting Joanna out of context, earlier in your response to Julie, it seems that you are the first to break your own rule.

    Response from Renli: You could say that – then again, I quoted the entire body of Joanna’s message, so I don’t think it was out of context. I guess you could still make the argument it was out of context, but keep in mind I provided many links to the comments in the “Oh please!!” post. At any rate it wasn’t my intention to quote someone out of context. If I did, I’m sorry. Now, beyond this – even as a joke, what Joanna said was not nice.

  13. […] However, the same reader seemed to think it OK to quote someone out of context on his own blog. https://renli.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/qi-debate-861a/ comment 11. Read the quotes then refer to http://reelingsilk.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/oh-please/#comments […]

  14. OK, well I’ve come back to post something here as Renli has requested an apology. For upsetting you, I am sorry – I never like hurting anyone.

    Renli responds: Yes, I also apologized – I’m glad we’re over this ^^

    That said, I’d also like to try to explain things from my perspective. Yes, the offending comment was meant to be a joke, albeit a cutting one, but I don’t think it is quite fair of you to make out that you are the sole injured party here.

    When you posted the sentence “What’s even worse is that people begin to believe this is the end-goal of qigong/internal martial arts…..” on the “Oh Please” thread on Kenny’s blog, that was the very first time those phrases (qigong/internal) had ever been uttered there. Seriously – such words are anathema to the MTA.

    With that in mind it is probably fairly clear that we are in somewhat different worlds to each other. We like to make our position clear – to distance ourselves as much as possible from the mainstream, so that people won’t say “what qigong do you do?” We do none. “But what about working with internal energies?” We don’t think that way. “But how does your practice differ from hard external styles?” We completely reject that dichotomy.

    Renli Responds: I don’t know about you, but I’ve done Hung Gar, Longfist, and a few other arts which (at least) start out on the external side. For me it is not a dichotomy but a different approach to basic training. So while “dichotomy” might not be the best word, I have a feeling it applies on some level here. I don’t think it’s about rejecting it, but about focusing on the goals you feel you need to accomplish. Right?

    As we have made our position so very clear, and you have been involved in qi debates with me before, you must know that to go on an MTA member’s blog and mention qigong and internal arts is in itself a provocative act, particularly as the blog sports a “100% Qi-Free banner,” and as you did so in such a nudging and winking manner.

    Renli Responds: I don’t think it is provocative to mention Qi (also see response to comments below)

    You went on to say:
    “Oh. I didn’t mean to imply it was real or anything (when in rome..) I was just saying that out of the people who are very well known and can deal with the qi paradigm (i.e. top level family people), you get a lot of antagonism towards no-touch skills.”

    By this comment it is pretty clear that your agenda does include trying to undermine our rejection of qi:
    “Well, not that qi works or anything 😉 but to comment on what Joanna said, within the confines of the qi-paradigm, there is information which comes from the source/the lineage, and information which does not. [snip -renli]”

    Renli responds: No, my agenda does not include trying to undermine that rejection, Joanna. I have said so many times, do not accuse me of this again. I prefaced everything I said with “not to say qi is real but”, etc. and I have also stated many times that I am not trying to undermine anything you say or do with respect to your position on qi. My problem with you is that you repeatedly make false statements about what other people say, do, and practice. Claiming that I have an agenda to undermine your position on qi, after I have gone to the length I have to disclaim that, is proof positive. For the record, my agenda is getting you to stop making such ridiculous claims as the above.

    After being told off, you then played hurt with this comment:

    “I’m upset that you’re taking such a hardnosed approach – since no one said qi existed.
    I was just trying to make a point about people like chen xiao wang, ma yue liang, etc. and how they agreed with what you were saying.
    No touch is BS. It isn’t about Qi. Not everything has to be made into a discussion about qi.”

    Renli responds: That’s right, because as stated my point was not about mentioning qi. If I can’t make a rational argument to you because it happens to include the word qi, then you have a problem. How do you say you’re 100% Qi free anyways, without mentioning the word Qi?

    If you are going to be fair, you must agree that it was you who turned the discussion into a discussion on qi. Seriously, if you want to avoid hurt feelings, I would suggest that the best thing to do not to cross verbal swords with us in the first place. I have no interest in the cut and thrust of debate and if you do not wish to fight, you should not taunt.

    Now I really think it is time we agreed to differ and called a truce, but obviously if you do not wish to, that is up to you.

    Renli responds: Using the word qi in the manner I did was not a verbal sword, nor any form of affront to you or kenny or what you do or the policies of the MTA. As far as I’m concerned, there is no truce because there is no war..

  15. Sorry Renli but we’ll have to agree to differ. Saying things like “not to say qi is real but” don’t cut it with me – they just show that qi-believers never fight a fair or honorable fight.

    Now this could go on indefinitely and I really do have other things to worry about – there is a war on, you know. I’ll say goodbye now.

    Renli’s response: A war? I see… o_O

  16. I look forward to seeing on youtube, video of some MTA people demonstrating their “effective. practical…on the street where it matters” (thanks Kenny) taichi against someone who can hold their hands up.

    Otherwise I might be persuaded to offer $5K to anyone from MTA who can punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

    Only joking

    Response from Renli: I sincerely hope so, “Flagon”… if that is your real name. There are in fact videos available on youtube of Joanna and Julie. Look up the user “martialtaichi“. Here are some examples:
    Martial Rotation Assorted Clips
    Tai Chi Boxing
    Tai Chi Eight Methods Clip Compilation
    So yes, I do believe they can punch and no, I don’t think you would want to be on the receiving end 😉
    That being said, Joanna –> MORE VIDEOS!! Come on, show us some sparring or at least some push hands or something.

  17. Yes thanks I’ve checked it out, but looks like the Thunderbirds puppets to me.

    Renli’s response: I’m not surprised – Among “us insiders” there’s a generally accepted paradigm that “it has to be shown” and/or “it has to be felt” (IHTBS/IHTBF). This is verified by Chen Xin’s ‘new’ book, where he says internal power is done by volition and does not necessarily require moving the body. It therefore comes as no surprise to me that you cannot “see” the martial power in Joanna’s movements. It takes a highly trained eye and even then you are only looking for clues, and they can elude you.

    That being said, Joanna doesn’t recognize “internal power”, she denies it. The irony that her movements have some qualities of internal power (although granted, some qualities are also missing) has not been lost to me.

  18. Hi flagon, it’s a shame that you were joking about the the “wet paper bag” challenge, I could always use the extra cash 😉

    Renli is 100% right as to not wanting to be on the reciving end of a punch from Joanna, I know I have recived a few! Almost 3 weeks ago I practiced a hitting hands drill with Joanna and although my ribs are healing nicely now, they do still give me a little trouble occasionally. Belive me the lady can hit!

    Renli’s response: Cool, Kenny 🙂 Well, I must admit you’ve piqied my interest by mentioning a hitting hands drill. If it’s not a school secret, can you write a blog article describing it? I’ve done several kinds of hitting hands drills in other arts but I am curious to know how you are integrating it into the martial aspect of tai chi. Or have I misunderstood, is it just push hands? If you have anything to liken it to (sticky hands, three, five or seven star blocking exercises, etc) I would love to hear more. Thanks!

  19. I also took a look, saw also some more than with most IMA girls in the west, but that wouldn’t scare anywhere. The poor puppet who got punched and kicked totally without any need. That was only demos, the victim standing totally still, but still…
    Spedup and with a resisting partner, who knows..?

    Renli introspects: I agree, it was only a demo, it was what it was. It remains to be seen if they will release a video demonstrating sparring, or even some of their resistance drills (i.e. hitting hands, pushing hands), etc. In the end, while I agree with you a demo is not really indicative of an ability to apply in a high-pressure situation, I am forced to concede that it is also not an indication that they can’t.

  20. Hi guys,

    At the MTA our push hands type drills are dived into push hands, sticky hands and hitting hands. Each of which focuses on a different skill.

    As for writing a blog on it, maybe I will sometime in the future, but at the moment hitting hands is quite new to me. I don’t feel that I have the knowledge or experience to be able to discuss it in any detail.

  21. That is a nice and frank statement from a MTA member, thanks!

  22. Joanna is right so the tongue in cheek stuff “100% qi free” is just that. The bottom line is that those masters with big titles (the ‘some’) who know nothing about real taijiquan are great for their pajama like performances to the extent that that is mastery for many! People are mesmerized by that low level of parroting a form but those same masters cannot show any martial resolve when inside a paper bag!

    All hail to that level of skill! (no skill). They are clever indeed (not clever) but it works for them.
    Next week I shall get my taiji pajamas, talk in tongues, do my performance to warrant my big fees without doing anything that is real taijiquan!

  23. I’ll say it.

    Qi is real. Joanna, your caustic, negative, sarcastic, arrogant, and ignorant statements will not stand.

    Reading your misinformed angry posts yesterday and today on various websites has compelled me to disregard my usual position of not arguing online. Having glanced at your obnoxious website, I see very clearly your position. I am not fooled.

    You are attempting to Christianize Taijiquan, and in a way that I find particularly offensive. Your approach is rude and your posts are deeply disrespectful to the masters who brought the internal arts to the West for you to enjoy, and to the hundreds of masters before them.

    You have misunderstood Taiji, Qigong, and the Internal Arts comprehensively, and you are speaking from a place of fear regarding the Spirit, and the Essence, and these intangible words that relate to very real, very specific things, that clearly do not jibe with your religious worldview.

    I wont bother debating if Qi is real. You’re welcome to your opinion, and your website, and your teaching approach.

    I am a fan of martial arts, but I have no interest in fighting. I know there are many ‘false masters’ in fancy clothes who can’t fight, and who go on and on about qi. That’s not what this is about.

    Im a pacifist. And I wish you no harm. But, I think perhaps you don’t realize exactly how intensely offensive your posts are for those of us who do approach the internal arts from a western scientific perspective. We ‘qi-bunnies’ who spend our time with students who have serious health issues that they need to deal with right now, every day, and who use their minds and their qigong practice to stay well, or to heal themselves.

    I appreciate a skeptical mind, and a scientific, logical approach based in reality. But, were you to do the research, you might be surprised to find that when medical professionals today research meditation, the relaxation response, the placebo effect, and the body’s natural healing abilities, all roads lead to the same place that qigong and the Internal arts have been talking about for thousands of years. Yes, we now know about hormones, and DNA, and such, but those components rely on a base medium of energy. The Chinese word for energy is…

    I can go into specifics at length if needed, but Im just so annoyed right now by your words. Suffice to say, the clinical studies at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts, and Harvard medical Schools, the NIH, and many other western scientific medical facilities deal with using the mind to lead qi through the various circulatory systems to allow the body to naturally heal itself. Without qi, the body is dead meat.

    Qi = the conscious metabolic energy in every one of the 100 trillion living cells your body is comprised of.

    You mentioned that there is no consistency in the discipline of qigong. This is entirely incorrect. There are thousands of documents written by hundreds of masters over the last 4,000 years that all say basically exactly the same thing. They lay out a very clear and concise path of how to use the mind to lead the qi throughout the body, to develop it to a higher capacity, etc. There is, in fact, nothing vague about it. And that view of the body is also corroborated by other cultures that did not interact with the Chinese. Yes, you can can find 10,000 contradicting theories online, but thats true of everything.

    But it is clear to me that you are not listening. You have made your decision. With your brain. Which is made of cells. Which are made of molecules. Which are made of atoms. Which are made of…

    The only real reason I am compelled to write I guess is that beginners could read your mean-spirited posts and get a very wrong idea of what Taiji is about.

    David Silver, qigong teacher

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