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What is Qi Energy? – Understanding Qi

The concepts of science and energy vary from place to place. During the history of humanity, we have had various understandings of energy, leading up to the modern definitions which are often challenged and adapted due to new discoveries.

However, in ancient times, energy, especially vital energy, played a vital role in how health was understood. Some of these concepts migrated to other disciplines, like martial arts. The concept of Qi energy is still one of the more prominent ideas being talked about in the world of martial arts. Let us examine it in detail, to better understand Qi.

What is Qi Energy? – The Origins of Qi

Qi energy was first spotted in ancient China, around the 5th century BCE. At the time, the Chinese philosopher Mencius (4th century BCE), was the first to record the word qi. Qi is similar to the western humours or the hindu prana. 

In ancient China, qi is equated with our modern thought of energy. Qi is used whenever there are no other means of describing energy. Qi is also considered to be the life force, the link between everything. Qi can be thought of in many things, but is often considered to be energy, life force and plays a large role in Eastern philosophy, and has played a role in medicine and other areas of study.

Qi in Practice – Where is It Most Common

Qi or ki, or c’hi, with its many names, depending on the language and country, has been used in many practices, be it medicine, martial arts or philosophy. The most common areas where you will find qi mentioned is Feng Shui, medicine and martial arts.

Qi in Feng Shui

Feng shui is an example of geomancy, where qi is very important. It is the central force that balances one’s health, luck, relationships and energy level, and more. In feng shui, practitioners arrange their household or other indoor spaces, according to the five elements, yin and yang, and many other factors, in order to accelerate, slow down or redirect qi energy. Qi can also be positive and negative, flowing either curved or in straight lines.

Qi in Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine where the body is punctured by small needles. The places where the needles are inserted are considered to be very important because they are connected to qi. Acupuncture is often followed by moxibustion, where mugwort is burned near the acupuncture points, as another way of treatment.

Qi in Martial Arts

Qi is a relatively standard concept in most eastern martial arts, namely aikido, hapkido, snake kung fu, kendo, and many, many more. Qi can be internal or external in these martial arts, and often, someone with strong qi has a good stance and cannot be moved or otherwise disrupted. 

Qi is considered to be energy or life force and is a part of a system of beliefs that is typically found in traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and even some religions.