Tai Chi and Qi Gong are both ancient Chinese traditions that relieve stress and increase energy. So what distinguishes t’ai chi from qigong? If you are considering learning one of these art forms, it’s important to know which one is right for you. A student asked me the other day to explain this which i will to the best of my ability.
Tai Chi is more dynamic.
Tai Chi involve a series of many moves. One t’ai chi form can take months to learn and a lifetime to master.It is more dynamic in general.
Qi Gong will focus on a single move repeated over and over, and sometimes does not involve movement at all, but will focus only on breathing. For this reason, t’ai chi may be effective for anti-aging, since it is a mental workout as well as a physical one.
T’ai chi requires much discipline. The position of your knees, feet and spine are all used . Qigong is more about just being present and relaxed so in a short time great benefits will be felt.
Some of the positions, stances and moves required by t’ai chi may be difficult for some to achieve. Athletes who have suffered serious injuries or participants with certain disabilities may find t’ai chi forms more challenging.
Because qigong is free-form, it is also very adaptive. Anyone in any condition may participate in its breathing exercises, and may adapt its simple moves to their own level of physical ability.
T’ai chi was developed more recently by Shaolin monks and Chinese military leaders. They originally intended their “T’ai chi Chuan,” or “Grand Ultimate Fist,” for self-defense and combat. The founders of t’ai chi were also well-versed in the practices of Qigong, and interwove elements of it throughout their system of self-defense. However, qigong is considered a health system, and t’ai chi is truly a martial art.