Home Discussion Forum What is referred to when Chi is stated?

What is referred to when Chi is stated?

In Tai Chi, you must store your Chi in the Tan T’ien. Now, I don’t think they mean that Chi is some kind of spiritual ball of power or something, however, what IS Chi exactly? What do they mean? Is it just energy?
@Darb B
If you don’t know the answer, then you shouldn’t speak. Do you even know what I refer to? We don’t refer to some magical spirits or powers that can crush people.
Also, I don’t watch MMA and UFC, not because I think the fighters are horrible, however, I don’t wish to create a complex of stupidity believing that the only efficient arts are BJJ and Muay Thai. If you believe that Muay Thai can’t be defeated, I’ve seen an Aikido user defeat someone using Muay Thai. Though their blows are strong and distanced, it leaves their limbs open to grab and gives alot to work on if someone is going to Yield from what I can see. Anyhow, the point is this.
Every martial arts is efficient in it’s own way, the deficiency on the art lies within the practitioner.


  1. It’s believed to be a “life force” and this is what kung fu artists meditate on as a general rule. to focus and harness this energy.

  2. To understand the concept of Chi, you need to understand the nature of Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, they believe that our bodies all use a form of energy which we all absorb from our environment. This energy is transformed into a form of energy called Chi which is powered by our breathing and flows throughout our body through nerve channels and meridiens just like blood does through our veins and arteries. Through good exercise and diet, we can enhance our health by stimulating our internal organs, which in turn enhances our ability to channel Chi easily throughout our body. When the flow of Chi or energy is blocked either due to injury or otherwise, we start to feel ill, just like if the flow of blood in our veins is blocked, we feel the onset of high blood pressure which can result in a number of illnesses and if left untreated leads to either a heart attack or a stroke. The Chinese method of curing a Chi blockage is to rechannel the flow of Chi through the use of needles by acupuncture. Kinda like a heart bypass operation which bypasses a blocked artery, only in acupuncture, you do it to nerves not veins or arteries. Think of it this way, a Car has two systems running its engine, the mechanical and electrical system. Western medicinal practice addresses the mechanical problems, while Chinese medicinal practice addresses the electrical problems. Blood is like the fuel that flows through the fuel line, while Chi is like the electricity that flows through the electrical wiring. In Tai Chi and other form of internal martial arts, what you do is basically harness all the excess Chi in your body and divert it to power other special physical functions. Just like how you can rewire your car’s electrical system to divert power to your additional stereo system, power windows or whatever gadget you can think of to add to your car’s features.

  3. Chi means Breath.
    Now, when you look at the Chinese character for Qi, and separate the radicals that make it up, you will see that the term refers to a Pot of rice boiling and the steam is pushing up against the lid.
    This is demonstrating the effect that breathing in a certain way (qigong) affects you. It creates a magnetic field and you are able to direct the energy of the field anywhere in your body through mental visualization. Directing this energy to the Dantien places it in the center of ones life. This is the place where you are sustained while in your mother’s womb. You are connected to another human from this very place. The nutrients in the foods you eat are absorbed into the blood from this place. the “dan” part refers to red or vermillion. “tien” is a field like the fields we cultivate food in. It is part of the connection we have with the earth*, from which we were made – which incidently is translated Biblically as Clay, in the Hebrew tongue “Adama” (Adam) = Red, Clay.
    We are Red Clay that received the Breath Of Life And Became A Living Soul… Breath Of Life – Qi – Steam – we are 98.6 degrees fahrenheit when we are healthy.
    Qi = Life.
    I hope I didn’t confuse you.

  4. its a mystical super power that beats up mma fighters for the karate guys, but your not allowed to use it in the octagon or real life so don’t worry
    EDIT: are you telling me?

  5. Chi is internal energy. Everyone else pretty much covered it. Over time ur body will become sensetive enough for u to feel it flowing in ur body. Just stick with the simple eplantion for now otherwise u might get confused. Itll take months or maybe years to understand it. Tai Chi uses chi for its speed and power. In its highest levels Tai Chi is performed moving ur chi and ur body follows. If ure a Tai Chi practitioner u should discuss it with ur instructor. Good luck

  6. The definition of Chi is deliberately vague because it is both a concept, and idea, a feeling and a cop-out.
    Bear in mind that the written and spoken language has evolved to describe things external to ourselves. It is not very good at describing phenomena and feelings internal to ourselves. (Relevance of this point made clear in a sec)
    The concept of chi being flowing energy exists because the ancient masters felt sensations of flow and energy within their body as they practised. Its was the closest metaphor that they could find.
    Chi is an idea because the idea of energy flowing having some sort of healing power or intelligence is an ideal metaphor for describing what we in the west call “mind over matter” or the power of intent to bring about a certain outcome, healing or damage to the opponent in combat being the most common thoughts on this
    Chi is a cop-out because all too often, it is used as an answer to a question either because the teacher cannot explain it easily due to the student’s low level of understanding or because the teacher cannot find the words to explain it. Language has evolved to describe external phenomena, and describing how something feels within your own body and have the other person “get it” is nigh on impossible because human perception is so diverse.
    But the simplest explanation of what Chi is I can give you is that it is simply a feeling within your body. Whether that feeling is energy, or balls of spiritual power is immaterial. The way you would perceive it, would be by feeling so that at its essence is what chi will appear to be

  7. Hey there. According to my book on Chinese Medicine (Ted Kaptchuck) there are many different kinds of chi. The line of his that sticks in my brain is that chi is energy at the point of materializing, or matter at the point of becoming energy.
    But to refer to your original quote I would say that chi stored in the dan tian in Tai Chi does very much feel like a ball of energy in the abdomen. Not too mystical but to me it feels like a basketball when squeezed. It probably took me 10 years of solid training to get to a point where I felt this consistently rather than in flashes and could demonstrate it to others.
    If you want to see a really developed example of this have a look at Ma Yueh Liang on youtube. You can see from his body shape that his abdomen chi is very full indeed. According to him it took him 10 years to understand what chi was, and 30 years to learn how to use it.


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