All traditional Chinese Gongfu styles incorporate some form of Qigong practice into their Gongfu practice. This can be for both health, wellbeing and self defence usage, the way Qigong is practiced for health & wellbeing is different for martial arts. Usually when practicing Qigong the aim is to co-ordinate the breathing and the movements together, this is done slowly so that the mind and body can connect, plus the body and mind can relax which greatly helps in stimulating the blood (xue) and energy (qi) to increase their circulation throughout the whole body, this method of Qigong practice can also involve both passive or vigorous actions that can also stretch the bodies joints, tendons and ligaments releasing muscle tension , joint stiffness and negative energy. This particular type of Qigong practice is often used for the maintenance of health and wellbeing. And is also used in various Gongfu styles to promote strong movement of energy storing and circulation.
As for the practice of Qigong for martial arts then the foundational practice is the same as explained above. It is important that your body has good blood and energy flow into the extremities and that you also concentrate on cultivating and storing your energy. But you must now incorporate fast, explosive actions that involve the whole body, the legs, torso, arms, breathing and concentration. In Chinese this particular practice is called “Issuing Energy” ( Fajing) and the aim is to combine both your external strength ( Li) with your internal strength ( qi) to issue a kind of combined strength or force into your hands or feet.
In Feng Shou-Gongfu a Chinese internal martial art when we practice our martial arts qigong practice we firstly perform them slowly. As mentioned above this is to allow the body and mind to relax and to develop accuracy within your whole body movement. Then after a few months of training and once you can sense or feel the energy and blood increase into your extremities you then are taught to move to Issuing energy. This is done mainly on the outward breath and the extremities increase their speed in releasing a great force, this produces a strong sensation of energy movement and must be practiced after several months of practicing the martial qigong slowly.
The development and cultivation of internal energy within various other associations that teach the Feng Shou-Gongfu system is usually down to just practicing one Qigong exercise in a weekly class. This is really inadequate as it will take an individual a very long time to even to begin and feel there energy, never mind be able to produce enough power into their martial art techniques. It is important that more martial qigong exercises are connected together in a form like sequence to give the practitioner of the Feng Shou-Gongfu a method that they can also practice outside of their class training. As it will only improve their ability to produce powerful striking, kicking, wrestling and throwing techniques, plus improve their health and wellbeing.