INTRODUCTION I have to admit this book is way overdue, although it is not without good reason that I have delayed its configuration. If there is one thing I have learned it life, it is the merit of patience and contemplation under the careful looking glass of observation. The topic is a beast, and getting to the meat and potatoes of the serious issues, concerning Chi-Kung, is something akin to slaying the Loch Ness Monster with a butter knife. Some people prefer the spelling of ‘energy work’ as qi-gong. Regardless of how we encode the transliteration, the deep kernels of truth inside the art resonate with millions of people in the Occident-- trying to absorb this rare art of the Orient with some kind of objectivism. Ever since Doctor OZ endorsed the use of Chi-Gung (my own rendition of how to spell it) as a tool for prolonging life and staving off illness, (my wife calls it King-Kong, jokingly) droves of Westerners are gravitating towards this ancient art-form to enhance their health and well-being. Where does the layman begin? Most online-adepts of the art would suggest finding a teacher ASAP, and picking up a few books on how to employ some standing exercises and breathing techniques, until finding the time and money to track down a noteworthy teacher. In the East they call such a teacher Sifu. Many wholesome housewives and professionals may not be so enamored with the idea that Chi-Gung is so heavily linked to Internal Martial Arts. People may even feel shy to begin their practice in public or around family in fear that they may become the butt of copious jokes and hijinks. For others, who are more resolute and confident, the promised results and outcome of taking up the art out way the risk of chance smirks and taunting from brute bystanders at local gyms and parks. Most of us choose to practice in private and find solace in the early hours of exercise, while the more unfit and uncouth are fast asleep; hours away from waking up with headaches and hangovers. The problem arises in trying to find a qualified teacher, as the majority of Internal Martial Arts Sifus are masters only in their own little worlds; which they have created out of fantasy and fictitious role playing. I have seen teachers of Chi-Gung who didn’t even know the rudiments of ‘rooting,’ and after taking a weekend workshop by someone ‘supposedly qualified,’ they took the casing of the art-form, repackaged it to their own liking, and declared imprudently to their local peers of their ‘certified credentials.’ This brings us to the first rule of finding a qualified instructor, make sure they are at least adequate in one of the three Internal Martial Arts. They are: Tai Chi Chuan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan. If they don’t meet this prerequisite, then they should be at least a Black belt in some form of Japanese Martial Art. Now for the sake of posterity, there are exceptions to every rule, so there may be a handful of custom made teachers who have never practiced a Martial Art, but this case would be so rare and atypical you would have a better chance of waking up and finding a bald eagle on your porch; who would let you shine his head and take him in as a pet. In reality, it just doesn't happen. One would beg to question, ’Do you mean to say there aren't any benefits to practicing with an unqualified instructor?’ Of course, there is always a benefit to practicing at a reduced level (there is even the benefit of getting water from toxic-sugar dowsed Kool-Aid) but this doesn't mean one should keep drinking regardless of the food coloring, additives, and other obvious hazards. The first step prudent-people decide to take before practicing Chi-Gung is buying a good book on it, to educate oneself before undertaking the task at hand. Thanks again! Contact me at: Fightmonks@gmail.com for questions...
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