September 20, 2009: Santa Cruz, California:
The Academy of Martial Arts
A wide range of people and training came together to spend a few hours learning a very special approach to the practice of Qigong. Acupuncturists, nurses, Qigong teachers and people completely new to the art all convened on the Academy of Martial Arts to spend time together and to learn what seems a simple art of breathing.
Attempting to pack the four hour, CEU accredited course, with as much useful information as possible teacher Ted Mancuso took everyone on the world tour of Qigong discussing styles, methods, goals and prescriptive techniques.
At the same time the class started with the most traditional of methods the student not even using their hands for the first hour, concentrating only on legs and the technical requirements for standing and stepping.
Standing (stillness) and Stepping (movement) were a particular emphasis in this series which took simple body action but continued to “build up” more and more sophisticated movements while adding more and more mobility. Mancuso even went so far as to use the idea of movement and stillness as a Yin Yang structure which could allow individual practitioners to custom fit their Qigong exercise to their own needs.
Topics of discussion ranged from the many sources for Qigong in Chinese culture to the issue of “medical” Qigong and its validity. Puncutated by tea-breaks, there was also a lot of discussion among the participants.
One of the special features of this presentation was the time spent among the practitioners acting in the role of “teacher” and checking one another’s form and movement. According to Mancuso this exercise was meant to “improve every one’s eyes” when reading tension in the body and checking the movement of the human body against Qigong’s strict requirements for movement. People paired up stood as student and demonstrated then reversed roles and became instant teachers. Laughter bounced off the Kung Fu weapons racks as people make comments and self-criticiasm of their own performances.
Legs to arms to body to breath to idea: the course of the seminar advanced progressively just as the course of the Qi moves through the stages of training.
The next seminar is in about two weeks will concentrate on the famous Taoist regimen, the Wu Dang Qigong.
Here’s a link to the presentation of information at this first seminar sponsored by the Moongate Qigong Institute.