Qi, it's physics!

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by ddwk21, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    Let me firstly clarify the intent of this thread - simply to provide my perspective on Qi/Chi and what basis in reality it may have, and hear a few of yours. A few simple facts should make even the harshest skeptic at least take a second glance towards the possibility of any merit in the concept.

    Qi, whether you believe it to be what traditional definitions claim it as or not, is simply a term for an energy in the body.

    Human beings have the most complex electrical structure yet found in the known universe resting inside their skulls.

    This electrical structure (brain) functions as a computer for further electrical structure that extends throughout the entirety of the body, multiplying this complexity exponentially if you view the entire nervous system as one entity.

    Atoms from an object never truly touch the atoms from another object, it's all an interaction of electrical fields.

    While none of this is by any means "hard evidence", we do know that there IS extraneous energy in the human body, and we only have one control center for it, which we barely understand, and can barely interface with. Meditation, and essentially every principle of IMA deals in an interaction with the brain's indirectly accessible regions. We have the power lines, and the power plant, but refuse to believe anybody who claims to have lit the bulb.

    Hell, if you want to bring in theoretical physics, from a quantum perspective the action your opponent has taken, is taking now, and is about to take all exist at once and eternally, as the energy has already been exchanged at a different point in time (which already exists as time is static, not linear). Who's to say your brain is limited in its perception? Maybe sometimes somebody really can feel the next move of an opponent (without a lot of chi sao experience, lol.)

    Quantum particles aren't bound by the laws of space or time, and with all the electrical energy firing around our brains, that means your thoughts aren't either. From an objective standpoint, the neurological impulse telling my body to throw a punch in my next fight already exists in space-time. Our perceptions of time are like our perceptions of light, taken in and then processed in a way we can understand. We simply know more about the lens of the eye than the "lens" through which our minds control time perception. To what degree we subconsciously probe into or are aware of the extraneous outside our own perceptions of time is completely unknown.

    **Note: Muscular coordination has a major part to play in strength, many forms of meditation that verge more on intense focus will recruit additional muscular tissue, and promote coordination.
  2. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Says who though?

    My instructor, who is under Master Wang Yanji tells me that when he's in China and the subject of chi is bought up as anything other than breathing control you are looked at like you are daft.

    I find it strange that we always bring up the subject of chi, but not the 4 main energies of Tai Chi.

    So let's try and rescue this done to death topic.

    What is your knowledge of the 4 main energies?

    This is nonsense, or at least poorly described.

    Please explain to me the following:

    When one part hits, all parts hit.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  3. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    Concerning The 4 Primary Energies of Tai Chi: The 4 energies are simply ways of condensing multi-layered kinetic concepts, although my familiarity with Taiji-Quan is admittedly low. I don't "buy in" to anything beyond the concept of having a more abstract, and interactive energy source within the body - namely, electricity. I think there have been many useful ways of visualizing or creating better interface, or even attuning the impulses in your nervous system to a different frequency. My personal opinion is that many people have created useful methods to bridge connection with said energy and manipulation of it.

    Concerning muscular coordination: I'm suggesting that meditation (especially standing meditation) , before it would allow any conscious control of any personal energy source, increases muscular coordination. My suggestion was that a meditative state can allow for a more synchronized and complete signal from the brain, allowing for recruitment of additional muscle groups and a more full activation of each.

    The undeniable point: A massive percentage of strength and speed come from the brain's ability to communicate with the body. (All of it, if you want to play semantics.) Obviously, we possess an ability to interface with our own brains, and can influence/improve them with meditation of various forms. These physical benefits alone are enough to merit internal training in any martial system, but when you factor in the added ability to analyze and think clearly when engaging an opponent and enhancements to perception it becomes a must.
  4. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    So you are activating additional muscle groups by way of standing meditation, but how are you doing that during movement, especially fast physical movement such as you'd find during combat.

    An understanding of the 4 main energies would answer that, but how would you do it.

    Maybe more importantly, how do you practice it?

    It's one thing telling us how we should be training, but quite another as to why.
  5. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    The initial meditation serves the purpose of building additional neural pathways, allowing the additional muscles to be recruited automatically. For example, performing a handstand requires activation of small stabilizer muscles, and parts of them I may not normally recruit for other activities. Mastering handstands however will improve my balance on a surfboard, because I'll be able to utilize muscles I hadn't previously. This is not only because I've strengthened these muscles in density and mass, but because I've forced my brain to communicate with them regularly, eventually evolving/devolving to a subconscious correction. (Similar to a form in TCMA "returning to formless")

    **Edit: Having begun meditation far younger than I ever began practicing martial arts, I know it is possible to condition yourself to such a state of mind where every breath is tied to "cultivating Qi" or just an awareness, and conscious encouragement of that energy. Simple awareness of the signal transferred to your diaphragm when you breathe is where it started for me. While this may seem strange, or almost annoying - consciousness of your own involuntary actions lends to consciousness of your opponent's. When something as simple as a breath has you handling your "Qi", then allowing it to move ahead of you when put to martial test becomes natural.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  6. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Science without evidence is not science. Please move your magic away from my physics. Thanks.
  7. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    The scientific method is based on what is observable and quantifiable. My statements about muscular coordination and meditation aren't conjecture. In this case, the observation was "Taoism, along with other belief systems have insisted on the presence of an invisible energy that flows through the body in pathways for centuries. We learned about electricity, and hey - what a coincidence, it flows through the body in pathways and is universally present where there is matter." The ability to manipulate the frequency of brain activity is one we all posses. If you're ever in northern Wisconsin, I'd be pleased to hook you up to my EEG and help you improve your meditation.

    **Edit: As a random point of note, Humans have a much greater interface with the subconscious than we may think. For example, there's many people capable of holding perfect homeostasis in extreme temperatures through meditation. There have been multiple Shaolin practitioners able to maintain exact internal temperature for hours standing nearly naked in snow. Because I cannot cite a source on those in particular, check out the episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans with the QiGong practitioner that sits in scalding water without suffering burns or a rise in internal temperature.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    You sound like you wear a fedora.
  9. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    There's no need to sink that low. Ever :(
  10. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    All Im saying is that whenever you so much as think - you're manipulating electricity in the brain. Obviously that means our brains all have the ability in some sense to direct electricity and that we have some semblance of control over it.
  11. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    If you want a cup of tea, you have to boil a kettle. Electricity may power the kettle, but you still need the kettle for the electricity to operate through.

    The four primary energies are your kettlle, toaster, fridge, and microwave - they are all powered by the same mains but each does adifferent task.

    Its no good talking about a mains outlet, because by its self it can never give you a cup of tea. That‘s why qi discussions are pointless.
  12. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    To use the toaster as an example, it's heat is only determined by the amount of electricity allowed to pass through the coils, just as your strength is only as great as your brain will allow it to be. Overweight housewives operating with an adrenaline boost have lifted cars to save their children. (which doesn't give your muscles any special ability, simply allows access to your natural strength)

    **Note on modern Chinese attitude towards Qi: Despite many modernized philosophies, all ancient writings, including the earliest known Taoist QiGong inscription on a jade pendant, all clearly describe Qi to have a concrete existence and most certainly didn't consider it an array of simple breathing exercises. Modern views have evolved IMHO from a combination of practitioners fearing judgement and skewing their own beliefs out of weakness, or practitioners failing to succeed in understanding their interface with Qi, therefore writing it off out of ego.
  13. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    So all theory then.
  14. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    I spoke of my martial arts experience, not my experience in meditation. Every assertion or suggestion I've made here however is based in Biology or Physics. I began my training in biology at the tender age of 8 under the wing of Sifu Mrs Waskowitz, and began teaching myself physics at 1 year old when I first fell on my ass. I have many years of training in these schools. Dare you doubt? Lol.

    In all seriousness though, I am a novice, this is true. I only practiced under Sensei Mehdi Mohammadian for < 2 years before I relocated, but he was an incredible instructor that gave me the interest I have now. (I saw him fall backwards in an icy parking lot in his late 60s, wearing leg braces, and he was back to his feet before I could even make a noise of suprise.) While I understand I have many years of hard earned mediocrity ahead of me, I'm looking forward to them.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  15. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award


    Try your theories in the gym. Good luck.
  16. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

  17. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Ancient Norse writings clearly refer to powerful deities controlling the elements and riding around on goat-pulled chariots.
    Amazing, that belief is no longer majorly accepted, as scientific investigation has demonstrated how weather systems develop, and that horses are much more suited to pulling chariots.

    Similarly, in ancient times, it was widely accepted and taught that the world was flat, and if you sailed too far, you'd fall off the edge. Again, investigation has proven this to be false.

    Just because an ancient guy in a cave carved something onto a piece of stone, doesn't mean it's instantly correct or infallible.

    No, your strength is only as great as you have trained your muscles to be.

    Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but adrenalin is a chemical release, not an electrical discharge. To much adrenalin can also kill you, so not sure you want to train your body to release adrenalin whenever you want (not that I think that is possible??)
    Better to train the muscles, and use the mind to gain awareness of the body, rather that try and train the electrical impulses of the brain..
  18. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    ddwk21, the problem for me is that you originally posted this in the Kung Fu forum and fro what I can see you have no Kung Fu experience.

    Your theories may well be correct, but you've not tested them martially, so they remain theories when it comes to combat.

    You make no mention of how you have tested your theories and how you've adapted both your martial and science beliefs based on what you've found from training.
  19. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    A meditative state definitely makes oxygen usage more efficient *off topic* Lol.

    I've tried it free diving and hit a 2:30 bottom time in 130', unfortunately for the sea turtle I rode.
  20. ddwk21

    ddwk21 Valued Member

    1: The analogies you gave were incorrect explanations OF observations. Qi has both observations and explanations attached, but the hypothesees in this thread originate from its observations, whilst attempting to back such observations with scientific phenomena. The point about the tablet was in rebuttal to a statement about the Chinese cultural perception of Qi.

    2: The brain limits your use of strength based on what is healthy for your body. Lifting a car as a middle aged housewife is bad for your body, they aren't trained to handle it and therefore their body won't let them do it unless in a situation where the self preservation instinct is either extremely heightened or extremely GONE.

    3: All chemical releases in the brain require an electrical signal first. Controlling adrenal glands in the way you're describing sounds impossible, but many things stimulate a release of adrenaline. The state of mind you'd need to put yourself in to produce those chemicals would probably not be beneficial in a fight, if you're a very technical fighter. You'd be shaky/jittery, I feel.

    **Edit: Relatively recently we've found Gamma wave activity in the brain, which we previously thought didn't exist. This level of brain activity has only been associated with profound moments of stress/adrenaline, realization, inspiration, and meditation. Practically this means we know there's a "place" the brain goes at the breaking point, tipping point and birthing point. We also know we can take it there DECISIVELY. If you've ever had a moment where time literally seemed to slow down around you - you were probably in gamma state.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015

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