Kiai Jitsu (Chi Gong)

To understand the concept and practices of Kiai Jitsu (Chi Gong in Chinese) it is necessary to begin with the most important aspect of it’s practice and that is Chi. Without knowing something of what Chi is and what it does etc., Chi Gong would be nothing more then simplistic movements with no reason or design.

To quote Fritjof Capra author of “The Tao of Physics” who suggests Chi is neither a substance nor a force, but rather a useful concept to describe a system:

“The concept of Chi, which played an important role in almost every Chinese school of natural philosophy, implies a thoroughly dynamic conception of reality. The word means literally “gas” or “ether” and was used in ancient China to denote the vital breath or energy animating the cosmos. But, neither of these western terms describes the concept adequately. CHI is not a substance, nor does it have the purely quantitative meaning of our scientific concept of energy. It is used in chinese medicine in a very subtle way to describe the various patterns of flow and fluctuation in the human organism, as well as the continual exchanges between organism and environment. CHI does not refer to the flow of any particular substance but rather seems to represent the principle of flow as such, which, in the Chinese view, is always cyclical.”

Chi then is a way to describe relationships and their harmon­ies and disharmonies. It is a way to cognise the structure of movement as it pertains to natural laws of movement through­out the entire cosmos. Ill health can be said to be an imbalance of your Chi. Or said this way; your Chi and the natural Chi around you not being in perfect balance.Or, a break down in the inherent harmonies of all things, forces that interact daily in your life.

To further understand Chi one must understand how you and I function or use our Chi. Chi animates all aspects of life which is why many times Chi is translated as “Life force”. In other words the force that is life itself. So, we can take that to mean all movement, all transformation, all activities of our life is made possible by Chi.

Next, we need to understand what causes our Chi to be in balance and what causes it to be imbalanced. Simply said disharmony of your Chi comes from a break down between your body, mind and breath. Also, a separation in action from your environment. So to be in balance, we need to harmonize all four of these dynamic aspects of our daily lives:

This Chi Gong class is all about understanding the relationships between, CHI, MIND, BODY, BREATH, ENVIRONMENT. We will be discussing as well as practicing certain Chi Gong exercises that teach us how to put all these aspects together into a synchronized whole. What this does in the theory of Chi Gong is produce, great health, peace, contentment, and a certain simple satisfaction with life itself.

To understand how Chi Gong can offer so many wonderful results we need to understand the principles and mechanisms that make such results possible. Let me start with the term YI CHUAN. This translates literally as intention or energy practice YI CHUAN puts a special emphasis on the role of the mind in the development of CHI. So now we have CHI and MIND. Next, we add the third component and that is BODY.

We put these three into balance known as the “Three Harmonies”:

  1. Harmonize your body: put your body in a comfortable position
  2. Harmonize your breath(Chi) breathe normally without any effort to control or manipulate it.
  3. Harmonize your mind: be here now. Don’t think; don’t daydream; don’t wander. If you find yourself somewhere else bring yourself back to the here and now.

I used the term YI, this means intention. YI also has been translated to mean “mindfulness”; a special attention to the moment that involves body, mind, and spirit. It’s concentration but concentration without becoming so attached to the moment that you lose sight of what’s going on around you. This gets at the sort of mental state we mean when we talk about YI. YI unites body, mind and spirit in the moment as mentioned; it’s an arousal but relaxed. It can yield enormous power but it is gentle and sensitive. While it is consciousness, it isn’t dictatorial consciousness that is out to produce results, if it doesn’t get in the way. YI is both intent and letting go, direction and release.

So health, martial art skill, in fact any endeavor will be enhanced by the practice of Chi Gong precisely because it works at the most rudimentary level of our existence. That being; body, mind and spirit. By integrating these three we find a balance on all mentioned levels that can be sustained and over time improved.

In the classes we will cover not only some of the theory but basic practice as well. This will consist of the following;

  1. Sitting with intention
  2. Standing with intention
  3. Moving with intention

All this comes under the heading of “ZHAN ZHUANG” or standing foundation. This is thought to be the most effective CHI gong for the restoration, cultivation and flow of your Chi. ZHAN ZHUANG reveals where there’s tension. Where the flow is blocked, the breath constricted. As you relax, your Chi will flow naturally to points of weakness to begin the process of healing and rejuvenation.

Halau O Ho'omana offers training in Chi Gong as part of the curriculum. Private sessions are also available. Additionally Prof Hudson occassionally holds special seminars in Chi Gong and Internal Martial Arts. See the Events Calendar for upcoming seminars.

Enjoy your found flow of CHI!!

Professor Hudson's chop