World Tai Chi News for People Changing Their Lives and Their World w/ Tai Chi & Qigong ... Newsletter Question:
Is Tai Chi a Form of Qigong? Join in the discussion! Newsletter Comment:
You are part of a beautiful model for humanity! Medical Research:
Tai Chi treats osteoarthritis pain better than Glucosoamine!
Energy Flow    
Illustration excerpt from the 4th Edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide
to T'ai Chi & Qigong
, by WTCQD Founder, Bill Douglas.


New to T'ai Chi or Qigong? Find classes/teachers at's "Events/Classes" directory. It's free!


Are you a T'ai Chi or Qigong Teacher? List in our free directory!

Dear World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Supporters, 

This week's question:




When I began studying with Master Jennifer Booth, better known today as liminal artist Jais Booth, it was an accepted fact that when we did Tai Chi, we were doing Qigong.


However, over the 15 years of organizing World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, I came to learn that this wasn't necessarily a given truth with all teachers of all styles.


Here I don't presume to answer this question for everyone, but to rather start a discussion of this concept, and provide a link to the Online Community at World Healing Day's site where you can be a part of a larger discussion where all teachers and students of all styles can participate.


First let's consider that the word "Qigong," or "Chi Kung" literally translated from Chinese means "Breathing Exercise," or "Energy Exercise."


Therefore the more precise answer to whether Tai Chi is a form of Qigong, is not that it "is" or "is not," but rather that Tai Chi "could be" a form of Qigong IF breathing is incorporated into the process.


In my training, breath work was an integral part of our Tai Chi forms. However, over my 15 years of traveling the world and meeting Tai Chi teachers and attending Tai Chi schools around the planet, I've seen many approaches to Tai Chi, and not all of them focused on breathing the way my teacher did.


Now, understand, that I'm not saying my training was better or superior, or that theirs was lacking. In fact, I have learned a great deal from every single teacher I have had the pleasure and opportunity to practice with or communicate with.


So, no one should feel that their teaching is wrong if you don't focus as much on breathing, but rather look at this as an opportunity to see yet another angle of Tai Chi and Qigong. I think a bit of humor might set the mood here. Let me start with my favorite Tai Chi joke, followed by my favorite Tai Chi story.




How many Tai Chi teachers does it take to change a light bulb?


Answer: Only one, but it takes ninety-nine other ones to stand around shaking their heads, as they mumur, "That's not the way WE do it?"


Pretty good joke, heh? Now here's my favorite Tai Chi story.


A practiced student decided to travel to China to study Tai Chi with another master, to expand what his teacher back home had taught him. When the master was teaching him and the other students a form, the experienced student said, "That's not the way we do it?"


The master inquired, "How do you do it?" The student showed the master.


The master replied, "That is very good. But, today, this is the way we are doing it."



Now, let's get back to the question of Tai Chi as a Form of Qigong.


By incorporating breathing into our Tai Chi practice, we can make our Tai Chi a form of Qigong, weaving all the meditative, calming, and healing benefits of Qigong into our Tai Chi forms.


I was trained to breath with the tip of my tongue lightly touching the roof of my mouth. This changes the throat structure, causing the breaths to be become much longer and more gradual than normal open mouth, open throat breathing.


We were taught to think of breathing into the dan tien, thereby filling the lungs from their very bottom and up to the very top, fully filling the torso with air. Then on the exhale, the air naturally empties from the top of the lungs down out of the bottom of the lungs as the abdomen gently draws in on each exhale (see instructional video further down in article).


Post Birth Breathing  


As we exhaled, we allowed the body to deeply let go to facilitate the flow of energy or Qi. The Qi flowed in two ways: First, down through the Vertical axis (represented in the below image with the line going down through the head and out through the filled foot.) This allows the body to relax onto the Vertical Axis, giving that solid balanced feeling we experience when we "sink" into our forms, allowing all the body tissue to "let go" and relax into the "sinking into the form."


Energy Flow 
Illustration from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong fourth edition. 


Secondly, the exhale also triggers a letting go, and a breeze blowing through a hollow reed feeling (I expand on this in my 4th editiion The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong in the Unbendable Arm instruction.). This feeling of empty flow pouring through the upper body and out through the shoulders, arms and hands, also facilitates the deep "letting go" that enables the Qi or energy to flow through you and out through the push, punch, or whatever you are doing. The above image excerpt from my new book shows both the flow down through the Vertical Axis rooting us into the earth, and also the Qi flowing through the extending arms in the Push. The "wavy images" represent the Qi or life energy that flows through us.


I find that incorporating the breathing into my Tai Chi forms helps:

1) Enable me to sink deeper into the meditative aspect of Tai Chi
2) Allows me to physically sink deeper into the filled leg

3) Enables me to let go more deeply, to allow the movements to flow through me, almost massaging me as they do

4) Allows that effortless power so effectively illustrated by the Unbendable Arm exercise to flow through my body as I flow through the motions.


Below is a video instructional on Qigong Breathing and how Tai Chi can be a Qigong Breathing Exercise, you may enjoy, an excerpt of one of the nearly 150 Web-Video-Support videos from the new 4th edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong.


Tai Chi & Chi Kung Breathing Tutorial - from World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Breathing Tutorial: One of the nearly 150 Web-Video-Support Videos provided in the new 4th Edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong, by WTCQD Founder, Bill DouglasIf you are a Tai Chi or Qigong teacher, Bill's new book refers readers to the Events/Classes Directory at so be sure to list your classes there.




After 20 years of teaching, I've seen many students look at me accusingly if they learned something new from some other teacher, as if I had not taught them properly.


If you are new to T'ai Chi, please read this part VERY carefully. No one teacher can possibly know or focus on every aspect of Tai Chi. Its just like no Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator expert can know every single trick in those vast programs. The programs are too huge and vast for any one person to know everything about it. But, that doesn't mean that your teacher doesn't have a great deal to teach you that I or any other teacher may not know about.


I have yet to meet a bad Tai Chi teacher in all my travels around the world, and I am sure that if you are with a teacher and have enjoyed his or her classes that you have a wonderful teacher. This discussion is an opportunity for all of us to learn more from one another, not to dictate THE CORRECT way to do things.


If you or your teacher would like to be part of this worldwide discussion on the concept of Is Tai Chi a Form of Qigong? you can, at World Healing Day's Online Community Forum link below:


World Healing Day Community




Yours in Qi,


Bill Douglas and Angela Wong-Douglas

Founders of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day


p.s. If you teach Tai Chi but haven't incorporated Qigong breathing, the general principle, in case you'd like to incorporate it, is to inhale when arms and legs are moving in preperation, and then exhale as you "sink" into the leg you are filling.


Please take a second to:

If You are a Tai Chi or Qigong Player or Teacher, You Are Part of a Beautiful Tapestry Providing a Model for All of Humanity ...



If you play Tai Chi or Qigong, or teach these ancient arts, you are part of an unfolding tapestry of human evolution.



Dr. Shin Lin




Some psychologists have noted that Tai Chi is a model for our larger lives. For example if we feel self-conscious about our grace or balance those issues will rise to a roiling boil in our mind and heart when we start Tai Chi. Or if we grip tightly in our lives we will feel that tension and constriction when we start Tai Chi. This is what often makes it hard for people who are very uncoordinated and tight to stay with Tai Chi or Qigong because the first stage of learning is awareness. I know, because I was one of them :-)

Then after we become aware of how tight we are, then we can use the breathing, loosening, and flowing techniques of Tai Chi and Qigong to begin to loosen our grip on ourselves. In the golf movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, the character played by Will Smith, told the struggling golfer, "The way you hold your club is the way you hold your life." The same is true of Tai Chi. The way we flow through, or grip tightly, around our Tai Chi forms is the way we live our life.



We, the global Tai Chi and Qigong family are part of a long lineage of many generations of Tai Chi and Qigong players and creators. Some think that the level of Tai Chi and Qigong practiced today is a mere shadow of what the original creators did. However, it has actually been a long exploratory and evolutionary process contributed to by every single Tai Chi and Qigong player in this long line of these arts ... and that includes you ... you are evolving these arts, and those in the future will feel an imprint of you in their art.


What a beautiful vision we are part of. So many generations pouring their hearts and minds and good Qi into these arts, that now flow like a river of goodwill through us each time we practice. 


We are all part of the river of life, benefitting all those around and who will come after us. Tai Chi and Qigong and the Internal Arts are the highest arts, nurturing everything and everyone they touch.


In the same way that Tai Chi is a perfect model of how someone lives, or "holds their life," the global Tai Chi and Qigong family provides a model of global cooperation, each of us part of a flow of evolutionary health and healing images that will become part of the fabric of the future of humanity.




 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day






The True Person does not have an individual heart
but uses the heart of the people.
- Lao Tzu, The Tao te Ching


The best of man is like water.

Water is good: it benefits all things and does not compete with them.

-- Lao Tzu. The Tao te Ching








Below Enjoy Video of the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2012 Family of Events





Shaolin of Lomita on Channel 7 World Tai Chi Day
Shaolin of Lomita on Channel 7 World Tai Chi Day







What a beautiful art and family we are part of! 













World T'ai Chi and Qigong Day 2012 Celebration
Jerusalem, Israel



World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Celebrated in Israel
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Celebrated in Israel



Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter


Find us on Google+


View our videos on YouTube








Havana, Cuba's 2012 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Event


Día Mundial del Taiji y Qigong - Escuela Cubana de Wushu - abril 2011

D­a Mundial del Taiji y Qigong - Escuela Cubana de Wushu - abril 2011

World T'ai Chi and Qigong Day 2012 Celebration
Cairo, Egypt


World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day - Egypt News - 2011
World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day - Egypt News - 2011






Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter


Find us on Google+


View our videos on YouTube



World Tai Chi & Qi Gong Day in Saint Augustine, Florida
World Tai Chi & Qi Gong Day in Saint Augustine, Florida





Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter


Find us on Google+


View our videos on YouTube





World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Organizers:
Asian Tai Chi Academy just updated their website to feature their Official Membership status as an Official World Tai Chi & Qigong Day participant! 

 Asian Academy of Tai Chi, Mumbai, India

India's Asian Academy of Tai Chi


 Your Tai Chi or Qigong website can show that you are an Official Member of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's global family of events by placing the above image on your website.


Official Member   

When posting your official member status on your website BE SURE to link it to

Breaking Medical Research:
Tai Chi Treats Osteoarthritis Pain BETTER Than Glucosamine!

Medical Research Library



Health Magazine, Natural Knee Healing, June 2012

... a 2009 review of research found that the supplement glucosamiine--a buzzed-about building block of cartilage--may not help reduce osetoarthritis-related pain by much more than a placebo ...

A 2009 Tufts University School of Medicine study found that people with knee osteoarthritis who did two 60-minute sessions of Tai Chi a week had significant decreases in pain compared to a control group




You can search nearly 100 common health challenges, and learn how they can benefit from Tai Chi or Qigong practice by visiting the "Medical Research Link" at   Share this with loved ones so they'll know about it. Unlike Pharmaceuticals, no one is making billions of collars off of spreading Tai Chi and Qigong.




"The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and Qigong"
NOW in 4th Edition

 CIG 4th Edition



"Visionary! If you only buy one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the book. This book is all you ever needed to know to change your life. I have taught T'ai Chi for several decades myself, yet I have now read Bill's book from cover to cover seven times, and still get something new from it each time."
-Dr. Michael Steward Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee of the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame

This new 4th edition links to the "Events/Classes" directory at . Make sure that your Tai Chi or Qigong group or school's info is there and updated.  




NIH Poll
You can participate in this poll at
found on the right side of top of homepage.