Mysterious and wondrous, Qigong is an outstanding legacy of Chinese culture as well as an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. As a form of traditional breathing exercise, Qigong has been practiced by the Chinese for thousand of years. Literally, qi means air or breath, in fact, it refers to the body’s physiology functions. Qingong experts call it the internal qi or datian qi which generate life. In ancient Chinese cosmology, qi is closely tied in with spirit as distinguished from physical substance. The Taoist philosophy regards man’s qi as part of the universal qi or man’s, life force. Gong refers to Kungfu. Therefore, Qigong is a kind of self-training method by which the practitioner use the initiative to train the body and mind, providing a holistic training for self-reliance, self-adjustment, body building, prophylaxis, curing disease and strengthening the constitution, resisting premature aging and prolonging life.
The history of Qigong can be dated back to Zhou Dynasty about 3,000 years ago. Qigong exercise was already recorded in the Jinwen text, incriptions on ancient bronze sacrifical objects. The oldest book recording Qigong is Master Lu’s Spring and Autumn A nnals written in 230 B.C.
Effects of Qigong Exercises
In prophylaxis and treating diseases, Qigong exerts effects on the body through its required movements, postures, regulation of respiration and control of thought, building up constitution and strengthening bodily resistance.
It has been proved to be effective in treating some chronic diseases, especially hypertension, coronary heart disease, ulcers, neurasthenia and bronchitis. Qigong can reduce severity of disease and promote earlier recovery without any special equipment. So it is highly desirable to employ Qigong clinically.
Qigong is also effective for bodybuilding. People who keep practicing Qigong usually enjoy the benefits of improved digestion and respiration, cardiovascular and nervous system. It improves sleep quality, relieves fatigue, strengthens physical and mental conditions, enhances stamina and thus improves working efficiency. It is also brings anti-aging and life-prolonging effects.
In ancient times, people believed that Qigong was a method for curing disease and prolonging life. Some even regarded is as the key to immortality. According to historical records, Hua Tuo, a famous doctor of the Three Kingdoms period (220 -280 A.D.), invented the Frolics of Five Animals exercise. He persisted in practicing it. As a result, he looked young at the age of 100. This youth-preserving effects are verified by the aged who have practiced long-term Qigong exercise. Most people who persist in Qigong exercise are spirited with normal blood pressure, have good vision and hearing, have ringing voices, and sound teeth, and can sleep well, walk with firm strides, withstand the heat or cold, and seldom suffer from diseases. They differ greatly from those taking little exercise. So Qigong contributes greatly to geriatrics.
Various Kinds of Qigong Exercises
There are numerous kinds of Qigong exercises, each with its own features and effects, differing according to posture, method, form, style and purpose. At present there are nearly four hundred kinds of Qigong in China. Generally, it can be divided into Quiescent Qigong, Dynamic Qigong and Emitting Qigong.
There are four main postures in Qigong exercises, namely, lying, sitting, standing and walking. Although there are various ways to practice Qigong, the following three are essential. For example, regulating the mind, regulating the body and regulating the breath. Regulating the mind into a state of tranquility, or calming the mind, is the most fundamental skill in Qigong practice. This method was also called heart-regulation in ancient China. Calm the mind and avoid worrying about worldly cares, and then Essential Qi will be able to travel smoothly along the channels and the body will not be invaded by diseases. In modern medical terms, this method can induce the activity of the cerebral cortex which control the brain and the rest of the body, relieves the cerebral cortex of pathological tension or excitation caused by certain illness, thus helping it to regain its power to regulate the function of the body. Regulation of the body is also an important skill in Qigong practice. According to scientific experiments, the oxygen consumption and metabolic rate during Qigong practice are even lower than during a sound sleep, which is beneficial for reducing consumption of vital energy, allowing it to reaccumulate. In this way, Qigong exercise helps cure some chronic disease and strengthen health. Regulating the breath, with the help of slow and smooth movements of the body, promotes circulation in the portal veins as well as in the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems. The net result of this exercise is an increase in the vital capacity of the lung, improved functioning of the heart and stimulation of metabolism, thus creating favorable conditions for recovery of the heath.
It is generally believed that through regulating the body, regulating the mind, and regulating the breath, Qigong can increase vitality and promote longevity.
Even though there is such a variety of Qigong, each with its own fentures and requirments, the general principles for them are the same, which including combination of relaxation, inward peace, natural movements, flow of Qi, integration of movements, quiescence, flexibility in the upper body ans stability in the lower body, a moderate amount of exercise, and exercising in an oederly way.
Zui Chuan, or Drunkard Chuan, is a kind of fist form style imitating drunkard’s movements. The movements of the fist looks like drunkard who can not walk straight and go swaying. To practice this fist does not need you drunk a lot. It is just the gesture and movement, the people is still sober.
The Origin of the Zui Chuan
Generally, it is considered as a fist style created in movies. The real origin of Zui Chuan is still remained to be proven. But there are many Chinese Kung Fu Schools has Zui Chuan. Now, the Zui Chuan which is well known to public is from the movies of Jacky Chen. Yuan He Ping, the director of movie Zui Chuan, said that Zui Chuan was existed before, but not like the Zui Chuan in the movie, and it may be already lost to the world.
In Black Taiger Men (Hei Long Men) and Hong Fo, there are still the patterns of Zui Chuan existed. Hei Hu Men even has the three patterns: Zui Chuan: fully drunken, drunken snack and drunken masters. Hong Fo have drunken masters and four big lames. It is said that, Su Chan, one of the ten tigers inGuangdong, used to practice Zui Chuan, but we could not find historical materials.
Schools of Zui Chuan
Zui Chuan can be divided into two main schools: the north school and the south school. The north schools was said to be created by Lu Zhisheng, a character of Water Margin. For the south school, it is said that Huang Fei Hong learned the true fist style, and Su Shi Zui Chuan was created by Su Chan.
Characteristics of Zui Chuan
The main characteristic of Zui Chuan is to hide the intention of fighting and the combative hits in drunken movements, and used the unsteady gestures and steps to confuse the opponent.
The secret of the Zui Chuan is to maintain a clear conscious while appear drunkenness.
People who practice Zui Chuan should better be responsive with good eyesight and acting skills. Their movements are unsteady and flexible but combine with power and suppleness. They pretend to be drunken is for better understanding of their opponents. According to the drunken degrees, the movements and appearance is different.