You thought it was difficult to find a good tai chi teacher? Try finding a good qi gong teacher. Qi gong is an energy art that can dramatically improve health, concentration and well-being. It can be undertaken by people of any age and with any physical limitation. Learning qi gong on your own is possible and valuable because the benefits are huge.
Here is where the hard part comes in. Great progress usually demands 1) a great teacher and 2) an explanation of what progress looks and feels like so that we have a tangible sense of what changes are taking place. Here is a book that does that.
I found out about this book while researching ways to improve qi development without needing a trip to China. I attended two seminars this past year that were pretty good. However, the instruction bordered on mysticism and the suggested exercises were not practical. When I found this book, my first impression of the website and description was that it was a little bit odd and the description of the book was written in a weird way.
But ask yourself: if you wanted to learn qi gong, what would you need?
You would have to be taught by someone who speaks an Asian language. Someone who has had exposure to qi gong across the different periods of life because our energy is different at different ages, someone who has testimonials, someone who has taught at a high level, and has some sort of mathematical or scientific style to the writing so that we are not left off in esoteric lala-land when we are trying to understand why something works.
What that means is that if you get all of these things on your wish list, this person might not be that great at other things such as marketing himself.
So here we find the book The Real Chinese Chi-Gung. It is written by Tommy Cheng who has a math and physics background and has studied martial arts since age 12. He has experience in many martial arts, had won tournaments, and instructed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. All of which he has worked to condense in this book.
Let’s take a constructive look at the book
- The writing in English isn’t 100% polished but it is 95% the way there and transmits all of the ideas and activities he is trying to convey. For those of you that have read extensively in this area, you actually begin to question materials that are too polished by westerners. For example, in many western books the reading is clear but the message is cloudy and often the stances in pictures areincredibly flawed.
- The price is about $10 more than books in this genre but this is written more like a textbook with history, evidence, and exercises so it is not fluffy. Plus Cheng is self-published so we have the rare opportunity to give all of the money to the author and not the publisher or conglomerate. Increasingly rare nowadays.
- It is only in book format.
- The history of Qi Gong /Chi Kung is incredibly accurate and serves its purpose. It is not drenched with unpronounceable Asian predecessors but gives you enough history to increase your TRUST in the facts that there is some truth to this stuff.
- The book is actually a refined version of Cheng’s notes from having taught Chi Kung over several decades. I don’t know that something this large has been shared before. You see his distilling of his practice down to the very essential steps.
- Here is the best part and why he is not full of malarkey. He counsels us to progress through levels of difficulty only when we have had success at a certain level. We all have different bodies, ages, and experience and no one can say: “after X days you should feel Y so move on to this exercise.”
- It is great for beginners (basically all of us).
Who should buy this book?
If you want to seriously learn qi gong, interested in improving your health, or have a desire to develop the internal side of your tai chi, yoga, or meditation practice, then this is a great find.