Saturday, 29 May 2010

Jin Gang Li Gong, Iron Strength Qigong

The style of Qigong I practice is called Jin Gang Li. It is a martial art Qigong, which means there is a large focus on building up and developing internal power.

The main method of practice is standing posture, where you hold your hands in front of your chest as if holding a ball and a bent knee stance with the toes turned in slightly. This strengthens the leg muscles and after years of practice condenses the bones. While standing, we focus on building and strengthening the Dan Tian, which is the area of the lower belly, beneath the navel. There are actually three Dan Tians, but the lower one is the foundation, the part of your body where Qi is stored. The lower Dan Tian is strengthened through concentration on that area and deep breathing. You must breathe all the way down into your lower belly, expanding it. After a while of dedicated practice, you will begin to feel warm, numb or inflated feelings in your lower belly. This means Qi is beginning to accumulate here. It is recommended you stand for a bare minimum of 30 minutes, but 1-2 hours will give you greater benefits. It also requires long term persistence, you wont get any benefit just doing it on and off, it must be done daily.

There are also supplementary moving forms and sitting meditation. The sitting meditation focuses on using the mind to guide the Qi through different channels in the body. The moving forms help to strengthen the body, open meridians and release power. The first moving form is a collection of six basic movements which do all of the above. Then, there is the Sun form, which opens the meridians between the hands and the lower Dan Tian and increases the Qi flow there. The next form is the Moon form, which is taught once the middle Dan Tian, located at the solar plexus is opened. The middle Dan Tian acts as a kind of pump, it helps send your Qi from your lower Dan Tian to different arts of your body. The Moon form helps to open and strengthen the middle Dan Tian and the chest. The next step is the Heaven form, which focusses on releasing power. A a higher level, once your lower and middle Dan Tians are both full, you can work on the upper Dan Tian, orthird eye. This is located between the eyes, and is said to be the gateway into developing more esoteric powers, such as being able to send you Qi out of your body and other skills. I have been fortunate enough to feel this, when I had lower back trouble, while standing in Qigong, Master Guo would come over and press his thumbs into my back every day for a week. I got a feeling of intense heat coming from his thumbs into my back and my whole got a hot flush and I started sweating intensely.

Another important part of Jin Gang Li is Iron Shirt training, which is conditioning the body to withstand blows. Any part of the body can be conditioned, such as the back, ribs, stomach, arms, palm, fingers, even the head. Advanced practitioners can take full power kicks to the stomach or ribs, have sticks broken over their back, break metal bars over their heads and more.

Jin Gang Li is an art which is being practiced less and less. Master Guo told me that nowadays, young martial artists want to do acrobatics and kickboxing, nobody wants to stand on one spot for long periods of time, so the art is not spreading. There are many westerners who come to our academy and they learn Qigong from Master Guo, but few will be around long enough to get a high level in the system. In 8 months I have got to focussing on the middle Dan Tian and the Moon form, but with my main focus being Mantis Kung Fu, I dont have the time to really focus on Qigong. Perhaps in the future, when my Kung Fu is much better, I can spend some time to focus more on this interesting art.


Daniel said...

hey man, its Daniel L (from York)

I am going to Yantai on the 18th for about five days or so...

If you are still around we should really meet and catch up!

my number is 13621024831, please send me a text

Richie1cash said...

Hello, I just came across your blog. Are you speaking of the Kunyu Shoalin Academy in the mountains in which you study amongst? If so I was hoping to recieve some feedback on the Academy as I am very interested and have been my whole entire life in attending a Kun Fu Academy in China. I hope you get this as I would trully appreciate your responce, and I thank you for your time.

曾潇垚 said...

hi richie

sorry for the late response. if you want some feedback on the academy, feel free to find my email address on my profile and send me an email through that. il be happy to answer any questions you may have