Is qigong fading out in China?
My Qigong teacher has returned from Hong Kong last week after spending 3 weeks training with his Qigong Yiquan teacher. He’s been going this way to Hong Kong almost every year for many years now in order to improve his qigong skills. His teacher is now 70 years old and now for several years he’s been reducing the time he gives lessons in order to leave more time for his own training. He doesn’t have family and he dedicated his life to Qigong and Kung Fu training.
My teacher reports some very remarkable abilities that his teacher has. The abilities of course come from his lifelong training. He says that kung fu master become only better and stronger with the years and he looks forward to him being 80. From his story I can understand how far is our group of westerners from his abilities. The most sad part of my teacher’s story is that no one of his master’s students in China (Hong Kong) reaches even 30% of his ability. He was speaking about how the master should see and adapt the training for each student. It seems that after he passes away (which might take 30 or more years) there’ll be no follower who’ll come close to his abilities in this specific qigong variant.
I’ve also read about this in the book which I lately started to read: The Magus of Java: Teachings of an Authentic Taoist Immortal. In this book the author tells of John Chang who became famous after setting a newspaper on fire with his Chi energy in the Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey documentary movie. There he tells how the knowledge of kung fu was decreasing over the generations. The reason for this, as Kosta Danaos writes, is that some masters was leaving some 10% percent of their knowledge secret and so it would get lost until some great master later will rediscover it and start the process from the start. This book proves to a very interesting read and I would recommend reading it right now, even though I have not yet finished reading yet.
Another reason for the disappearance of real kung fu appears to be the communist regime in China. As the result of the decision brought into chinese life by this regime the various forms of martial arts become more of an external form without its real essence, the internal power of the martial art masters.
I wonder how many of the “real” masters of qigong remain today and what will be left a generation from now.