an article for Life Positive by Clifford Sawhney
In the days of yore before exercise systems became a form of combat as martial arts, they tapped the mysterious power of chi for self-healing, self-discovery, even self-realization. With the right attitude and techniques, they still can
All life in the cosmos is animated by chi, which is a 'life-force' or 'vital energy' that is said to be the power that governs the universal power. Says martial arts exponent Rashid Ansari: "Chi (pronounced 'qi') is the Chinese word for life-force or cosmic energy. The Japanese call it 'ki', we Indians call it 'prana' and 'kundalini', the Apache 'diyin' and the pygmies 'mana'. Chi is the animating power that flows through all living things. A living person is filled with it; a dead person has none. It is also the life energy one senses in nature, in the cosmos around us. It is this indwelling force that manifests as the feel of a direction or a pattern frozen within an instant. Hence, in the East and specifically in the martial arts, physical action and the indwelling life force cannot be disassociated."
Ansari claims that while all living beings have chi, it is the cultivation, expansion, harnessing and use of chi in martial arts that merits attention. In the past as also today, the development of chi is how martial artists have been able to perform physically impossible feats. These include breaking huge blocks of ice or stone, withstanding blows of tremendous power on their person without any injury, generating terrifying power and speed with no apparent effort, and much more!