In our courses we cover the Ba Duan Jin set, at three levels of performance.
The Ba Duan Jin is one of the oldest Qigong techniques recorded in ancient Chinese history; you will read this in almost every treatise on Qigong. What far fewer texts will reveal is that there are many versions, some seated, some standing, some very dynamic, some comparatively passive.
All of these forms are intended to act upon the energy circuits associated with the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which are concerned with regulating the flow of Qi (intrinsic energy). The major governing vessels (Ren and Du, or governing and Conception Vessels) primary circuits, and those associated with the organs are activated by this set, and as such benefit the whole body and psyche.
I was taught that the name is derived from the ability of this set to impart the quality of a fine silk brocade to the energy of the practitioner, that is soft, smooth, strong, rich and intricately interwoven, just as your energy circuits should be.
Perhaps the reason so much has been written about this set is partly because of its historical heritage, partly its adaptability to so many ranges of ability, but mostly its remarkable effectiveness, even when performed in the easiest forms. Of course when the most demanding, advanced versions are practised daily, the beneficial effects are even greater, it is for this reason that versions of these more demanding forms are often the basis for the secret Nei Gong training of many respected martial arts systems, the tough guys of the Qigong world.
In our courses we cover the Ba Duan Jin set, at three levels of performance. first we teach the root of each movement, the essence, then we move up the scale demonstrating how adding in pauses, spirals, weight shifts and different breathing increase the demands but also the benefits of each technique. This means our students are shown how to scale the versions up or down according to their ability. Teacher training of course goes even deeper into these aspects, so our teacher candidates have a thorough understanding of the way the system works from a traditional and physiological perspective
The easiest level we teach is less physically demanding, the levels increase in the amount of physical complexity, sinking, rising, twisting, compressing and expanding, as they progress. Also the difficulty of the breath components progress, therefore the easiest physical form, combined with the most advanced breathing can be a demanding and beneficial practice even for advanced practitioners. Always practice with sympathy for the body and mind, intention should be strong, even when the action, and breath are less.
The dvd below does not include 'Bouncing the heels' or 'Contemplating Dao' please see your teacher for details of the variations included in your regular class.
Aways seek the advice of your medical team before beginning any new exercise programme
Traditional Tai Chi
Golden Rooster School
Bawdeswell, NR20 4RX
Mobile 07946 397595
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