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Qigong  has been studied and developed in China for more than four thousand years.
Without Qigong training, a martial artist will have lost the origin of martial power.  What he or she uses will only be muscular power.  The martial artist learns how to build up internal energy and how to lead this energy throughout the physical body to boost its functioning to a higher level.  This higher level of functioning requires a good amount of knowlege and years of training.

The first step in practice is learning how to build an abundant supply of qi in the Lower Dan Tien.  Then the martial artist must learn how to circulate the qi to the extremities, this is called Grand Circulation.  In Grand Circulation the abdominal mucles are contracted when inhaling. At the same time the martial artist must also learn to be relaxed, the correct breathing  method, and concentration to lead the qi throught the body with the mind.

Qigong  training is divided into four catagories; moving hard, still hard, moving soft, and still soft.  This article focuses on still hard qigong training and how it is used to build strength and endurance of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Note that this training does not emphesize increasing the size of muscles, but rather, adds quality.

Since there is energy to some degree throughout the body, the energy found in any particular part is known as local qi.  Still hard qigong training begins with the use of local qi to perform an exercise. Instead of going through the complete movement of the exercise, the muscles are tensed with the exercise in a "hold position".  This makes the muscles, tendons, and ligaments more dense and durable. After the martial artist learns Grand Circulation, he or she can lead qi from the Lower Dan Tien area to the local area with his or her mind and then holds this position.  In short, the muscles of the local area are tensed, then the martial artist leads qi from the Lower Dan Tien area to the local area and then inhales while contracting the abdominal muscles and holds this poition. Then, when the muscles of the local area are relaxed, the martial artist exhales allowing the abdominal muscles to expand. With the mind, the martial artist leads the qi back to the Lower Dan Tien area. Typical areas for Still Hard Qigong training  ar the torso, wrists,  elbows, fingers, and knees.  


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