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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2412

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is alot of superstition and mythology mixed with ancient Chinese understanding.

What might look like a demon in the past, can be something easily explained away today.

Just try to explain how a mobile phone works to someone a hundred years ago from the past.

If Chi makes sense to you, then great; if not, nothing gained then nothing lost.

Just because one person understands algebra and another person doesn't, it doesn't mean that algebra doesn't exist.

If you feel ill due to being in a polluted environment, this would be consider as sha chi or negative chi.

Then perhaps while in a plant shop, you feel good, could call this aromatherapy or positive chi.

Could explain a million examples, but to understand the environment hundreds of years ago, to harmonize with it, for happiness and survival, it is easier to understand why chi comprehension answered many of the questions for them.

For a person to understand the meaning of chi from the past, is a gift; not all gifts come gift wrapped in a box with a pink bow.
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Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a potential source of skepticism with chi is in a misunderstanding of the term, which I believe is partly down to the lack of direct translation of the term, and partly politics.

For the first part, lack of direct translation, in the West we generally think of chi as some kind of magic that modern science can not prove. But while there is, as far as I know, no literal translation, I believe it is something close to 'air', 'breath' or life force. That latter one, life force, whatever it is, depends if course on breath, and the air it brings into us and the c2o we expell through it. Perhaps then if we think of chi energy as the energy (both mental and physical) that we cultivate when we give some attention to breathing, then suddenly it seems far less mystical and much more scientific.

On the other point, politics, tai chi is a Chinese art. And sadly, China has sold out. Classic example, the Shaolin temple. Once a secretive sacred site, now a major tourist attraction. Chi generates revenue. People marvel at the abilities of orange suited young men that were "encouraged" to train hard from a very early age, who will demonstrate seemingly superhuman abilities. They're tougher than me. No question. But they're not magic. So while 'chi' generates revenue, it is inevitably going to be over egged.
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: The Skeptics Tai Chi Reply with quote

Judodad_karateson wrote:
Hey guys! I don't often talk about this aspect of myself, but I am a hardcore atheist skeptic. I don't believe the chi, and I think anything useful chi offers can be explained via sports medicine and sports psychology.

I don't say this to start an argument or to offend anyone who does, I say this because to want to do Tai Chi. I've never done a Chinese Martial art, but I want to try, and Tai Chi is so far removed from the arts I'm use to (karate, judo, and boxing) that I really think I'd enjoy the change of pace in my training (plus it just look cool).

My question is, can I get the full enjoyment from such an art with my stubborn, skeptical world view? How vital is the belief in chi to mastering Tai Chi? I can visualize and I've got a great imagination, but I doubt I will ever fully believe it. Should I look into something else? Will Tai Chi be lost on a skeptic like me?

Extra info, the styles offered at my local Kung Fu school are Yang Empty Hand, Chen Style (cannon fist) Empty Hand and Traditional Yang Style Walking Stick Tai Chi Chu'an.

Like you I am a natural born skeptic when it comes to Chi/Ki/Qi and all things that are not easily explained.

I offer an example that was offered to me years ago that attempts to explain the un-explainable. A teacher asked me if a had a child. I said yes. He then asked me if I had ever tried to pick them up when they did not want to be picked up. I said yes again. Then he asked me if they felt heavier and conversely, if they wanted to be picked up, did they feel lighter. To this I had to say yes. He explained that they felt heavier because they were projecting their energy down and they felt lighter because they were projecting their energy up. He said that this was the easiest way that he could explain Chi/Ki/Qi.

Hope that helps. If not hope you had a good laugh.
The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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