Is Qigong like Taichi?

This question gets asked a lot and the simple answer is yes…and no.



The two Chinese characters for Qigong mean ‘Energy’ and ‘Hard work’ meaning that Qigong is the practice of energy which is mastered over time. There are literally thousands of different kinds of Qigong and these can be broadly categorized into Martial Qigong for the martial arts, Health or medical Qigong, Daoist Qigong and Buddhist Qigong.

Qigong can be as simple as a sitting posture where one focuses on the breath or a complicated set of movements which takes many hours to complete. Some of these forms of Qigong may have similar characteristics to Tai Chi, for example the soft flowing techniques of Yang style Tai Chi is similar to the relaxed movements of the Qigong form Baduanjin (8 Brocades). However, Qigong forms may also appear very different to Tai Chi, for example in Ying Qigong or ‘hard Qigong’ from the martial arts, the movements are often very tense and explosive.

Even though the outward appearance of a Qigong form may be very different than Tai Chi, both Tai Chi and Qigong work on the energy of the body and so one could even say that Tai Chi is a type of Qigong.