QI – part 2
Qi as ”efficient biomechanics”
Defining Qi as a kind of biomechanical efficiency
is somewhat unique to the martial arts. In this way, Qi is viewed
as a quality possessed by a living system, a kind of biological efficiency.
When used in martial arts in this way, Qi refers to the result
of a certain alignement within the human body. Proper Qi results in efficient
movement and the optimal and maximal use of force.
Therefore ”proper Qi” is the optimal skeletal alignement and most coordinated
use of the muscular system for the purpose of generating
the maximum amount of force with the minimal amount of effort.
Put more simply, maximum force with minimum effort.
In a biomechanical model, proper body alignement focuses on three fundamental
elements: first, using the body as a complete and integrated unit
with the waist as center; second, correct interplay between relaxation
and contraction of the muscles; and third, alignement of the skeleton
to transfer or receive force. Oftentimes when Qi is used to mean
biomechanical efficiency, the term Qi is replaced with ”Jing” , a technical
term used to refer to specific manners of applying force.
It can be best defined as coordinated energy for a specific function.
The difference between the biomechanics model of Qi
and the ”life force” model lies in the fact that the latter model Qi is viewed
as a separate ”thing” that moves through the human body
like a current of electricity or some fluid. In contrast, the biomechanics model
of Qi as a quality like ”efficiency” or ”coordination” means that Qi
is not some separate ”mystery substance” but rather a ”state of being”.
– to be continued –