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Thread: Qigong's effects on Athletic performance

  1. #11
    barrys's Avatar
    barrys is offline Sifu Barry Smale - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
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    Oct 2003
    Ashtead, Surrey, England
    Interesting and useful conversation.

    At the London, Surrey and Sussex classes we have been using the phrase "the absence of unnecessary tension". People seem to be "getting it" - relaxing without collapsing - which is the outcome we are looking for .

    I have been cycling for about 1.5 years now and all of the Chi Kung skills are really paying off - not surprising . It started off well and has got better.

    Do you have a definition of "relaxed" in terms of heart rate?
    In my experience, smiling from the heart and being relaxed about what my physical heart does has worked fine for me. If it wants to beat at 140 fine, if it wants to beat at 120 fine .

    With metta,

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  2. #12
    Mark Blohm's Avatar
    Mark Blohm is offline Sifu Mark Blohm - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    The Art of 1000 Steps

    After a lot of time swimming, I decided to focus more on freestyle(front crawl). That led me to Total Immersion Swimming. See here:

    The legs initiate the waist movement, which drives the forward hand while the other hand simultaneously moves back under the body. The movement is coordinated, relaxed and efficient. I have not mastered this yet, but already I can use the basic skill to swim freestyle in a relaxed way; this is possible because power is generated from the waist turn and not the arms. If you look at videos of Olympic swimmers, they all use their waist to power their movement. The turning of the waist is a limitless movement.

    So, what about running? Things get interesting. The most clear demonstration of power from waist is the 4-time British Olympic gold-medalist Mo Farah. All the top runners power their running from the waist, and I've found that his movement is the most pronounced:

    Notice the high leg kick backwards of all the runners. The mechanics of the leg movement have been described well by runner and author Danny Dreyer. This video explains well the slight forward leaning posture and movement of the legs:


    From what I've read and watched so far, the basis of this approach is to have your body cooperate with the force of gravity and the oncoming ground. The core of the body("core muscles") does most of the work. The legs become almost like wheels as they roll forward and carry the runner forward. I believe top athletic runners would also describe and train according to this concept. Still, I think there is more to it. I will explain below.

    The human being is an energy transformer. In our Chi Kung and Kung Fu practice we have direct experience of this. In a step-down process, unlimited energy from the Cosmos is converted into what Chinese Medical theory calls Shen, Chi and Jing. Shen controls Chi which controls Jing. By using fluid mechanics and relaxation, I believe that some of the top runners are able to carry on a perpetual energy motion. Do they realize this? I don't know. But it allows them to run very fast and very far.

    To approach the issue from the mind(shen) and (chi)energy side creates an opportunity to take things to another level. The key skill is using mind to direct energy to direct form. This is not just philosophy. Through my initial experiments I have found, amazingly, that you can run without using your legs to run. This sounds absurd but is true. The important thing for the legs is to keep them relaxed and in coordination with the waist. The waist rotates counterclockwise(left), which powers the right leg and vice versa. We know this basic movement well from the bow arrow stance: the waist rotates and the back leg becomes straight. When you do this in repetition, the legs don't have to do any work; however, they do need some time to adjust to the new pattern. Breathing also needs time to adjust to this new situation. Notice the bounce I get in the following two demonstrations. I'm bouncing, yet the movement is effortless. All I'm doing is turning my waist, which is effortless:

    Through Abdominal, Small Universe and Dantian Breathing, our Dantian is continuously supplied with energy. It is a reservoir of power. The power is delivered to the feet as well as the arms by a continuous flow of Chi around the body, which is in fact the Big Universal flow of energy through the 12 primary meridians. The movement is perpetual and effortless, though the physical body needs time to adjust through practice.

    One main issue? Over-training. After all, it is the Phenomenal Big Universe. Everything must be done to limit over-training, primarily through limiting practice time and lowering the level of practice. This, so far, is my biggest obstacle. I am working on it. Otherwise, this is amazing.
    少林華南台灣 Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan


    "Then how could chi kung overcome diseases where the cause is unknown or when there is no cure? The question is actually incorrect. The expressions "the cause is unknown" and "there is no cure" are applicable only in the Western medical paradigm. The expressions no longer hold true in the chi kung paradigm. In the chi kung paradigm the cause is known, and there is a cure."

    -Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

  3. #13
    Damian Kissey's Avatar
    Damian Kissey is offline Dr. Damian Kissey - Senior Disciple of Grandmaster Wong
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Kota Kinabalu,Sabah ,Malaysia.
    Congratulations Master Runner ...
    the so called 'bouncing" is actually qing kong, ie in this case , a slight levitation as the chi rises to the chest
    Damian Kissey
    Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .

  4. #14
    LeeWeiJoo's Avatar
    LeeWeiJoo is offline Sifu Lee Wei Joo - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Malaysia
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Dear Mark,

    It seems like you are having a lot of fun!

    With Shaolin Salute,
    Lee Wei Joo

  5. #15
    Mark A is offline Sifu Mark Appleford - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam UK
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Nice Thread

    Hey Mark,
    It is great to read your progress. I used to swim a lot as I was a lifeguard in my early years, and I taught swimming as well. As with our Kung Fu training I found it useful to isolate parts of the techniques to get them efficient and then put it back into the whole mix of the stroke.

    For me swimming became very medatitive and similiar to the Chi Kung state of mind when I had my technique down. I was able to really let all my thoughts go, let the body operate independently and fully immerse my self in the moment of swimming .

    I am sure you are going through that, but if you would want any more information and drills that could help then I would be happy to point you in the right direction


    Sifu Mark Appleford

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