If you are just digging into the ancient movement practices of Chi Kung and Tai Chi, you may be wondering “Hmmm, what’s the difference between the two?”

Here at Just Breathe Tai Chi, we offer a variety of virtual online and video classes that teach Tai Chi, Chi Kung and a mixture of both. Our on-demand courses are all recorded live, providing the unscripted, real-world experience of practitioner and student interactions.

To answer one of the most common questions we hear from prospective students, here are a few ways in which these two practices differ from one another.

What Is Chi Kung?

Chi Kung, often referred to as Qigong or Chi Gung, is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an ancient Chinese healing art involving meditation, controlled breathing, and movement exercises.

The first difference is that the “chi” (pronounced “chee”) in Chi Kung translates literally to “life energy,” while the “chi” of Tai Chi means “what is on top” or “ultimate.” The word “kung” refers to a skill that is acquired and developed over time through regular repetition and practice.

The practice of Chi Kung involves a moving form of meditation that incorporates slow, flowing movement with a calm, meditative state and a deep, rhythmic type of breathing.  Chi Kung is sometimes referred to as the internal component of Tai Chi.

Chi Kung is widely practiced in China for a variety of reasons, including recreation, exercise, healing, meditation and martial arts training. Just Breathe offers online virtual classes as well as video Chi Kung classes for all levels of students.

What Is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi, while also usually approached from the perspective of health and wellness, is rooted in Chinese martial arts, and the typical movements are often more complicated in nature than those of Chi Kung. As developed for martial arts, Tai Chi (short for T’ai Chi Ch’uan) is practiced worldwide for reasons such as competitive demonstrations, wrestling, and health and longevity.

Tai Chi training involves five key elements:

  • Taolu, or solo hand and weapons routines,
  • Neigong and Chi Kung/Qigong, which are breathing, movement and awareness exercises,
  • Tuishou, or Push Hands drills, and
  • Sanshou, which are striking techniques.

Just Breathe offers a multitude of virtual (live online) as well as video (pre-recorded) Tai Chi classes for beginners through advanced students.

Should You Take Online Tai Chi or Chi Kung Classes?

As with most health and wellness systems and disciplines, such as yoga or even aerobics, there are many different styles and variations of Chi Kung and Tai Chi. Our online and video classes are just what you need to get started and will set you well on your way forward to better health and wellness.

With our easy and approachable on-demand virtual Tai Chi class format, why not try both and see how you like them?

Contact us today to learn more, check out our free sample class, or sign up now for any of our online and on-demand tai chi and chi kung classes.