In ancient China, doctors were often looked down on mostly because to make a diagnosis they had to touch a patient’s body – something characteristic of the lower classes of society. Emperors and the upper classes instead looked to philosophers to ease their ailments, which was probably a terrible decision. However, this way of thinking gave way to the tradition of Qigong that covered both healing and martial arts.
Martial Qigong was most likely born out of a guide to help improve muscle and tendon strength that grew from the health side of the Qigong tradition during the Liang Dynasty of AD 502-557. Shaolin monks that adopted this Qigong tradition to help improve their health, quickly discovered that the practice also helped increase the power of their martial arts techniques.
From then, the world of martial Qigong emerged, with hundreds and thousands of masters and practitioners developing Qigong sets to their own martial arts to help improve their strength and power. As these hybrid traditions emerged, Qigong became more and more popular, and in time became a major role in Chinese society at the time…much to the annoyance of the medical doctors who probably were curing people left right and center while being totally ignored.
The theory was simple however, using the mind to guide you qi, muscles energize with this additional power which helps enrich and heal the body while also increasing muscle effectiveness and strength. With this boost to power, people’s fighting skills were said to have increased too.
During the development of Qigong, the world of acupuncture also emerged which influenced fighting styles further. As the traditions of acupuncture identified specific pressure points that could both cure and inflict pain on a person, martial artists became more targeted with their attacks, going for those sensitive spots more and more often.
Whether Qigong really cured people of illnesses is still debatable, but many Kung Fu practitioners believe there is some truth in it improving martial arts skills. Maybe it’s just placebo effect, but giving yourself that confidence boost to think you can achieve anything means you are bound to be better at fighting. Like drinking a good coffee or just getting shit done makes you feel better, Qigong martial artists are both powered up like Duracell bunnies and sure in the belief that their practices not only heal their bodies but make the invincible. We think Diaz maybe into this stuff the way he’s going this year in the UFC, what do you reckon?