TQJ 3/2020, issue 81
August – October 2020

Fair, neutral and combative
– The flexible power-response principles in Qigong, Taijiquan and martial arts
By Dieter Mayer
In both Qigong and Taijiquan we take guidance from the terms and concepts contained in the Chinese tradition, especially yin and yang. Dieter Mayer translates the yin/yang dynamic into neutral terms and on this basis has created »Power Response Training«. This offers a type of basic training that transcends styles and disciplines, and which aims to facilitate access to movement arts of both Chinese and other origins.

Late Summer – Living a caring attitude
By Katrin Blumenberg
In Chinese cosmology, the transformation phase of Earth is assigned to late summer – the time in which the major activities gradually come to a close and priority is given to proper retention of harvest and memories. The earth is the fertile ground that enables growth and development. In the last part of Katrin Blumenberg’s article series in which she takes a psychosomatic-based view of the organ function spheres, she describes how we nurture the Earth phase by allowing ourselves phases of rest and finding a relaxed balance between responsibility and care, and also through the act of letting go. Qigong exercises can help us to strengthen our centre, to dissolve inner tensions and to promote our sense of when it’s time to take on or hand over responsibility, and also a feel for how broadly we wish to extend our caring activities.

Taijiquan and Fascia Training
By Filip Gutknecht-Stöhr
Insights gained in fascia research show that the fascia are a tissue type that connects everything, which transmits tensile, supporting and movement forces through the body, and which in turn enables us to perceive ourselves and to coordinate our movements. Moreover, the fascia enable essential elements of the communication within our organism. Thanks to its specific training methods, Taijiquan can also have a positive influence on fascia tissues. Deep body perception combined with sophisticated inner movement control in a specific body orientation creates the basis for activating the fascia in all their complexity. Taking Chen style Taijiquan in the lineage of Chen Zhaokui and Chen Yu as his point of departure, Filip Gutknecht-Stöhr describes which aspects of training have a particular effect on the fascia tissues.

Róu – an essential principle
By Fu Dechao
We frequently hear in Qigong and Taijiquan that we should be gentle and soft. Fu Dechao explains the various levels of meaning of the underlying Chinese term Róu, the opposite of Gāng, the hard. This becomes more comprehensible through analogies with nature, in particular with water, which overcomes obstacles by flowing softly. In order to become Róu oneself, useful aspects include not only heat and movement but also openness, tolerance as well as positive thoughts and actions.

Master, schmaster!
By Markus Maria Wagner
In Taijiquan and in Qigong the descriptions of »master« or »grandmaster« are increasingly being used for teachers with long experience. Markus Maria Wagner points out that these terms are definitely not – as is sometimes assumed – translations of corresponding Chinese »titles«. With reference to a text by John Kang he shows that the appellations customary in the Chinese martial arts are intended to emphasise the teacher status and also one’s position in the »martial arts family«, which is heavily influenced by Confucian ideals. Here it becomes clear that, in particular, the act of describing oneself as »master« runs counter to the Chinese martial arts tradition and to the corresponding protocol.

Practice and experimentation as complementary approaches
Practicing Qigong in a way appropriate for Western people
By Wilfried Belschner
When we practice Qigong, we generally follow the instructions learned from a teacher and in the process recognise these as »Qigong authorities«. By practicing in a way corresponding to the teacher’s instructions we gain confidence and familiarity. On the basis of his experience with Provokativer Leibarbeit (›provocative bodywork«), Wilfried Belschner has developed a new method in which the individual movement patterns recognisable in Qigong practice are consciously referenced. Through an experimental approach the origins of such patterns can be researched and can also be altered in a gentle manner if it becomes clear that they form a hindrance in one’s current life situation. This opens up space for new life possibilities.