Kung Fu Wushu Norfolk Island was one of 15 associations created for the Oceania Kung Fu Wushu Federation.
by Peter Payne(1) and Mardi A. Crane-Godreau(1,2,*)
Frontiers in Psychiatry
This review focuses on Meditative Movement (MM) and its effects on anxiety, depression, and other affective states. MM is a term identifying forms of exercise that use movement in conjunction with meditative attention to body sensations, including proprioception, interoception, and kinesthesis. MM includes the traditional Chinese methods of Qigong (Chi Kung) and Taijiquan (Tai Chi), some forms of Yoga, and other Asian practices, as well as Western Somatic practices; however this review focuses primarily on Qigong and Taijiquan. We clarify the differences between MM and conventional exercise, present descriptions of several of the key methodologies of MM, and suggest how research into these practices may be approached in a systematic way. We also present evidence for possible mechanisms of the effects of MM on affective states, including the roles of posture, rhythm, coherent breathing, and the involvement of specific cortical and subcortical structures. We survey research outcomes summarized in reviews published since 2007. Results suggest that MM may be at least as effective as conventional exercise or other interventions in ameliorating anxiety and depression; however, study quality is generally poor and there are many confounding factors. This makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions at this time. We suggest, however, that more research is warranted, and we offer specific suggestions for ensuring high-quality and productive future studies.
Full Article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721087/
American Journal of Health Promotion
(July – August 2010)
Research examining psychological and physiological benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi is growing rapidly. The many practices described as Qigong or Tai Chi have similar theoretical roots, proposed mechanisms of action and expected benefits. Research trials and reviews, however, treat them as separate targets of examination. This review examines the evidence for achieving outcomes from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of both.
The key words tai chi, taiji, and qigong were entered into electronic search engines for the Cumulative Index for Allied Health and Nursing (CINAHL), Psychological Literature (PsychInfo), PubMed, Cochrane database, and Google Scholar.
RCTs reporting on the results of Qigong or Tai Chi interventions and published in peer reviewed journals published from 1993–2007
Country, type and duration of activity, number/type of subjects, control conditions, and reported outcomes were recorded for each study.
Outcomes related to Qigong and Tai Chi practice were identified and evaluated.
Seventy-seven articles met the inclusion criteria. The 9 outcome category groupings that emerged were: bone density (n=4), cardiopulmonary effects (n=19), physical function (n=16), falls and related risk factors (n=23), Quality of Life (n=17), self-efficacy (n=8), patient reported outcomes (n=13), psychological symptoms (n=27), and immune function (n=6).
Research has demonstrated consistent, significant results for a number of health benefits in RCTs, evidencing progress toward recognizing the similarity and equivalence of Qigong and Tai Chi.
A substantial body of published research has examined the health benefits of Tai Chi (also called Taiji) a traditional Chinese wellness practice. In addition, a strong body of research is also emerging for Qigong, an even more ancient traditional Chinese wellness practice that has similar characteristics to Tai Chi. Qigong and Tai Chi have been proposed, along with Yoga and Pranayama from India, to constitute a unique category or type of exercise referred to currently as meditative movement.1 These two forms of meditative movement, Qigong and Tai Chi, are close relatives having shared theoretical roots, common operational components, and similar links to the wellness and health promoting aspects of traditional Chinese medicine. They are nearly identical in practical application in the health enhancement context and share much overlap in what traditional Chinese medicine describes as the “three regulations”: body focus (posture and movement), breath focus, and mind focus (meditative components).1, 2
Due to the similarity of Qigong and Tai Chi, this review of the state of the science for these forms of meditative movement will investigate the benefits of both forms together. In presenting evidence for a variety of health benefits, many of which are attributable to both practices, we will point to the magnitude of the combined literature and suggest under what circumstances Qigong and Tai Chi may be considered as potentially equivalent interventions, with recommendations for standards and further research to clarify this potential.
Full Article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/
by Guo-Bin Dai & An Lu
Journal of the Philosophy of Sport
(published online 06 August 2019)
Wushu is widely misunderstood and its essentially combative nature is being challenged in public discussion. Understanding and recovering its essential nature has become a core issue. This paper first conducts a review of the history of the Chinese hieroglyphic 武 (Wu) which is the core of the phrase of Wushu, and explores the word’s two most widely-accepted interpretations: ‘to carry a dagger-axe to fight with’ and ‘to put away the dagger-axe and stop fighting’. Understanding these two interpretations of Wu is the key to understand Wushu which is an art about Wu. Second, this paper, referencing cultural history, analyzes different methods of Wushu practice: Gedou (free combat), Taolu (compiled routine) and Gongfa (basic prowess). Third, based on Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblance, this paper analyzes the different sorts of opponents, either real or imagined, in Taolu, Gedou, and Gongfa. Finally, this paper redefines Wushu as a culture of adversaries where such adversaries implicitly transfer the practitioner’s focus ‘from non-human to human’ and ‘from others to the self’.
From the article:
“… It is noteworthy that among those visible and invisible, microscopic and
macroscopic adversaries, the biggest adversary is the practitioner himself. As
Lao Tzu once stated, ‘He who is able to overcome himself is the winner’. In
order to improve their own ability of overcoming the self, Wushu masters
not only created Taolu, but also set a series of ethical norms to overcome
their own instinctive impulse. Taking self as an adversary demonstrates the
self-control and inward-inspection of Chinese culture. Thus, as the culture of
adversaries, Wushu has civilization on the outside and a warrior in the inside.”
The authors of this paper appreciate all the reviewers’ and editors’ suggestions on the revision. Special thanks should go to Professor Paul Gaffney for his warm encouragement in helping us improve the paper. We also thank Dr. Ben Judkins for his generous help and advice. Any errors are our own and we accept any and all criticism or correction.
by Gehao Zhang
This thesis takes the primary contemporary icons of Chinese tradition –the popular practice of Tai Chi‐and subjects its career in both China and the West, to a series of critical interrogations focusing on three main moments; the invention and (re)imagination of tradition, the practice’s migration from China to the West, and its translation by its English practitioners. During the Imperial period, when Tai Chi was defined primarily as a martial art, it was the focus of a sustained struggle between its official deployment as part of the military machine and its practice by clandestine societies and insurgent movement. It was simultaneously incorporated into the push to modernization and promoted as a part of an unbroken cultural legacy that defined the uniqueness of Chineseness in various forms during Republican China, Mao’s era and Post‐Mao era. The thesis also looks at the key figures and the process of institutionalization and indigenisation as the practice generated its own national professional associations and competitions in England since 1940s. Based on ethnographic research in the Midlands, the thesis explores the contending understandings of Tai Chi among its English practitioners. It explores the ways in which British instructors locate themselves within an ‘authentic’ tradition by way of a latent lineage system. This allows them to maintain their own personal commitment to Tai Chi as a martial art conflicts while working with the market drive for mass participation based on concepts of relaxation and alternative therapy and medicine. The ethnographic research also explores the ways that students in Tai Chi classes translate it into an indoors practices with an outdoors imagination, and as a bodily discipline with a spiritual basis, and how they construct their understanding of this spiritual dimension by drawing on polysemic interpretations of oriental conceptions such as Yin, Yang and Qi rather than the standardised references to Taoism in the public representations.
About the author:
Gehao Zhang, assistant professor in Macau University of Science and Technology. He got his PhD in Loughborough University with an ethnography on British Tai Chi Practitioners, his recent research includes martial arts studies, media archaeology, digital anthropology and qualitative data analysis.
Full text available: https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/ndownloader/files/17105312