Differences between hard styles and soft styles

Probably the main difference between the hard, or 'external' and soft or 'internal' systems is the use of Qi, pronounced, "chee" or sometimes spelled "ch'i" or 'Ki' in the Japanese system of Aikido. I will cover this topic in greater detail in its own chapter later in this volume. For now it is sufficient to say that 'Qi' literally means breath. But to a western mind, breath is breath and Qi means much more than its direct translation.

Unfortunately, many Chinese words have no particular direct translation into English so we must often use phrases and ideas to express these words, especially those inherent in the Chinese martial arts. More importantly when translating Chinese martial arts terminology, the translator must have not a small knowledge of the Chinese martial arts. I have had, for instance, whole books on the more esoteric aspects ofsome martial arts systems translated by very knowledgeable people, like heads of the Chinese/English language in Chinese Universities, and what I received back was almost unusable!

Qi means, energy other than pure physical force derived solely from the muscles using external tension. More correctly, this word could be translated as 'electricity'. It is electricity that causes our whole body to work, without it we die. Without Qi we also die. We are told that Qi circulates throughout the body via the meridians or channels, bathing every organ in life giving energy. When this 'flow' is impeded, disease is allowed to creep in. So all disease states can be linked to either an impeded Qi flow or an unbalanced flow of Qi. More 'yang' Qi then 'yin' Qi and we have a 'yang' disorder and visa-versa.

Qi is often called intrinsic energy. Intrinsic literally means. "Belonging to or arising from the true or fundamental nature of a thing". Or, "essential", "inherent". So this does not give a good explanation as to what Qi is, but everyone sprouts this phrase when asked what Qi is! 'Essential', well yes, without it we die, so it is definitely 'essential'. To me, the one word that explains Qi, is 'life force'. We need Qi to live, to protect us from disease, to move our body, to think, to make love, to make children, to protect ourselves physically. Every movement we make has to use Qi, it's what causes or muscles to move, directed by the brain, but the brain even, must rely upon Qi to operate. So, in effect, even the so-called 'hard styles' of martial art must use Qi, otherwise the practitioners would not be able to move! But the difference is, that the internal systems make better use of the body, moving is such a way as to promote the flow of and to build up Qi. If for instance, we were to allow a steam engine to run dry, without replacing its power source (water, Qi), then it would very soon run out of energy and stop working. It is the same with us, if we continually use Qi throughout the day and do not replace it naturally, then we run out of Qi, with the only recourse being to sleep. Sleep is where we re-charge our batteries, or

So, in the martial arts, if we are defending ourselves, we must be able to dispatch of the enemy very quickly if we are using an external system of self-defence as we use Qi but do not allow it to replace itself. In other words, the Qi is not being recycled through the attacker and back to you. In the internal systems, we learn to 'recycle' Qi. We begin with one 'lump' or Qi and continually recycle that same lump rather than keep dipping into the 'Qi pot' or kidneys for more Qi. So I like to think of the internal systems as being 'green'.

It's the same in healing. If we were to only massage someone using purely physical movements of the hands, we would become tired quickly. This is the complaint that I hear from many massage and healing people in general, that they are only able to treat a small number of patients in a day, as they feel drained. If a 'healer' learns to recycle his or her Qi, then the patient is healed quicker and at a higher level, and the 'doctor' is able to treat more people. In most cases, then a healing is completed; the practitioner feels energised and wants to treat more and more. It is exactly the same with the martial arts, a person who is able to recycle and transmit Qi, actually wants to carry on fighting, as it feels good to recycle Qi. In fact, I often have trouble in my classes, and must warn all of my advanced students of this phenomenon, as there is the chance of them actually hitting each other!

The simple explanation of Qi is that it is electricity, it is not occult, and it is as natural and necessary to life as is your heart of your kidneys. I receive so many letters from Christians, worry that if they begin an internal martial art, that they will be practising some form of evil occult! This has come about because many people link the internal martial arts to Lao Tse, a man who wrote the I ching, or "book of changes". Lao Tse can be likened to as Jesus is to Christianity. Jesus really does not have much at all to do with Christianity; He was not a Christian! By the same token, Lao Tse was Not a Taoist! Taoism was invented due to his writings in just the same way that Christianity was invented based upon what Jesus taught. Linking a wonderful philosophy oflife, to the martial arts seems incongruous to me, and it is my belief that no internal martial art is based upon Taoism. The Taoist priests who came after Lao Tse id not wish to fight anyone, they only wanted to live in peace and harmony. If we read what Lao Tse said, and then read what Jesus is reported to have said, we see that there is not much difference. In fact, some passages of the I ching are as if the same people who wrote the New Testament have written them! Nothing occult, nothing evil, just god living habits, caring for one-an-other with knowledge of God and family. Extremist Christian groups have written books about how evil the martial arts in general are, including such philosophies as Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga! I had whole passages in one book published here in Australia saying how evil I was, even plagiarising passages from my books and articles. Not once did the author bother to contact me to see if I was really as evil as he has written! Words like 'self esteem' and yoga and self-realisation were all listed in a list of evil words. However, at the back of this book in particular, there was a passage saying something like, "Mr, so and so and his wife have one of the most successful Christian teaching organizations in Australia". Now, isn't that 'self esteem'? But had these people bothered to read what Buddha, Lao Tse and Krishna have said, they would realise that they, along with Jesus Christ are one and the same! The life and times of Krishna parallels that of Jesus! He did the old 40 day fast and was tempted many times in just the same way that Jesus was.

Qi is a natural thing essential to live, it is not supernatural, and cannot be used for show in demonstrations of so-called Qi power. I will include a whole chapter on exposing the 'Qi charlatans', one of my life-long quests. Qi is a wonderful natural thing which when used correctly can SEEM supernatural in the healing area only. It cannot be used to move people without touching them. It cannot be used to move inanimate objects, In fact, Yang Lu-ch'an, the founder of the greatest system of Taijiquan, once said when asked if there were any men that he could not defeat; "I cannot defeat men of stone, men of bronze or men of wood". Meaning that he could not use internal energy against objects. It can only be used against human beings ofthe flesh and blood variety. And even then, Qi cannot be used to knock people down without touching them! It can only be used to affect the attacker's or the patient's Qi, thus either defeating him or healing him. Qi power cannot be used to show off, as some people are now doing in demonstrations all around the world. Notice that these people will

NEVER do it to anyone from the audience (those who are not 'plants'!) They will only ever use their own students, those who play the game and who do not wish to make a complete idiot of their teacher. But they should, as that teacher has absolutely no respect for their students, expecting them to make idiots of themselves. Any intelligent person is able to see right through these ridiculous demonstrations.

Books have been written about the so-called 'empty force' and include photos of so-called masters knocking people down from a distance. In one such the authors state that it is impossible to actually prove 'empty force'. Sorry chaps, it is possible. All you have to do is to move me even one inch and it will be proven scientifically. In fact, I have a standing challenge to anyone who is able to move me so much as one inch. I will publicly acknowledge he or she as the ultimate master of the internal arts. Thankfully, after 30 years of looking and disproving, I have not come across one person who was able to move me, or even have me feel anything coming from them! They do it to their students of course, but never to someone who simply does not play the game, and it is a game!

My 'Qi disruption methods have been proven scientifically simply by myself doing them on people that I have not met before. In one such experiment, I blindfolded a scientist and did not tell him what I was about to do. I then simply blew air across his face causing him to believe that I had done something with my hands. The 'Qi disruption' did not work because I had not done it! He thought that he had made a fool of me and apologised. I then did the Qi disruption to him for real this time and he was completely drained of power to his amazement. However, please do not go around saying that Erle Montaigue can do miraculous things as it is not miraculous it is only natural and scientific.

Qi disruption uses the natural magnetic fields around the body and anyone is able to do them provided they have some small amount of training. Some of the more difficult ones require more training than normal though. Experiments have been done involving scientists using minute electrical currents flowing adversely to the natural flow of current for instance over the head. This works in exactly the same way that Qi disruption does and actually puts people to sleep.

Another aspect of these ridiculous claims is that anyone with any intelligence at all and some small amount of knowledge of physics, is able to see that it would take an enormous amount of force to actually knock someone down or send them flying some 30 feet away, or in some cases lift them off their feet! The person receiving such force would be killed! It amounts to the same kind of force generated by a shotgun blast! So it is obvious that the recipients of such so-called empty force are simply doing it themselves. And when one films the whole charade, one is able to play it back in slow motion to see that in all instances, they are pushing themselves backwards using their own leg power.

I once asked a so-called master who was throwing his students all over the place without touching them, and then controlling their Qi causing them to become paralyzed etc, if he would do it to me. He declined saying that his Qi would kill me! I then asked why it didn't kill his students and he replied that one has to train for five years with him in his methods before it would even work! So I then said that if someone came to his class, he could not affect their Qi, but after 5 years he could! You mean that the five-year student was weaker than when he first began? I have also asked these people to do what they do again to their students after I would place a blind-fold over the student's eyes, every one declined to do this saying that it would 'upset the Qi', whatever that meant! Others do so-called miraculous feats by sticking swords into their necks and pushing on them. (Photo No. A). When I perform this trick, and it is a trick of physics, even after I have told onlookers how it is done, they still do not believe me. I can stick a sharp sword into anyone's neck and push on it causing it to bend under the pressure. It is not supernatural it is pure physics. I am also able to burn cotton wool at ten paces and break river stones with two fingers. All tricks! You can buy 'tricks' from Taiwan where you have a piece of treated wood. It has been treated with a wax that has a low melting point. Under the wax is a phosphorous coating which when exposed to air will burn! All the charlatan has to do is to rub the wood with his hands pretending that it is his Qi that is doing the burning. The wax slowly melts and the phosphorous burns the wood. There are even more sophisticated tricks available.

Qi can be transmitted, but only in a healing way. God made us thus that we were not able to use such powers for destruction, only for healing. Some people have 'magnetic' personalities such that when they even enter a room or when their students arrive, they all feel well and happy. This is the ultimate Qi transference. There is an old Chinese saying: "If your patient is not healed from the time it takes to walk from your door to your desk, then you are not a healer". I have been practising Qigong now for around 30 years (1997) and have only ever been able to use it to heal from a distance. Sure one is able to put adverse Qi into certain dim-mak points to cause energy imbalances and even death, but the point must be actually touched or struck. Or as in the Qi disruptive katas, the hand must come as close to the body as to not actually touch the skin.

The student respects the teacher, but the reciprocal is not happening with these charlatans. And notice that these 'teachers' almost always use 'gwa-laws' or western people, hardly ever make idiots of their own race! I have spent the best part of my life debunking these charlatans, travelling the world to do so. I am still open-minded and hoping that some day, I will find that one person who is able to demonstrate some super-natural power, but thus far, after 30 years I have not come across anyone, and I have seen the very best. It is a lifetime job of ever vigilance, and as soon as I debunk some charlatan, another one moves into his place. I am unable to travel worldwide nowadays, so I depend upon my senior students to get up there, even though they do not wish to be impolite, and expose these harmful charlatans. Recently at a demonstration in Newcastle in the North of England a demonstration was held. Some God-like Chinese 'master' was going to show his Qi power by knocking people down from a distance. They would run at him, and about 3 feet from him would throw themselves down as if he had some kind of protective barrier of Qi around him etc. So two of my senior students got up at the end ad very respectively (something that I would not have been), asked this person to do the same to them. So the 'master' said that he would. Peter stood there waiting for the 'master's' Qi to throw him several metres backwards, so the 'master' punched my student, Peter in the stomach! This had only a slight effect upon Peter as he is trained in 'iron shirt'. He then said that that was not what the 'master' was doing to his students, and that he wanted him to do exactly that. So the 'master' literally waved his arms around and said, "do you feel the Qi"? "No" said both Peter and Carl and walked out. My advice is, always ask them to do it to you! And never mind about making an idiot of the 'master' as he has already made an idiot out of himself and has tried to make one out of you.

The internal martial arts are incredible enough without having to resort to trickery. People who do these circus tricks only denigrate the internal martial arts, causing other martial artists of the 'hard' styles to deride once great fighting systems such as Taijiquan. It has been my quest also, to show Taijiquan and the internal martial arts in general for what they really are, great fighting and self defence systems and self-healing and medical systems. Qi can be used to cause someone to become weak prior to a major dim-mak strike, it can be used to heal others, and it can be used magnetically to affect another's electrical system. But it cannot be used to knock people down without touching them.

I will include a whole chapter on 'Qi disruption'. This area could be mistaken for something supernatural, but it isn't. This area makes use of totally natural body and electrical physics using magnetic and electrical phenomenon to upset the patient's or the attacker's energy. When I demonstrate this phenomenon, I always preface by saying that nothing that I am doing is super-natural and that anyone, given the correct training is able to also do the same. Even then, onlookers who witness these Qi disruptive demonstrations on complete and strong, strangers, have a difficult time believing that it is not some kind of super-natural force. Many think that I am using my own students, so I always ask them to come up and have me do it to them. As I have already stated, I have even blindfolded people so that people cannot say that it is autosuggestion, or that they sim ply do not wish to make a fool of me. So I make as if I have done the Qi disruption by literally blowing air across their face for instance, causing them to think that I have used my hand across their face. Then, when I try to do the test they are still strong, it hasn't worked! Then I do the real Qi disruption and it works. Nothing special about myself here as it is pure physics that does the disruption, only a lot of internal training is involved.

In the next chapter I will introduce briefly the three internal systems of Taijiquan, Baguazhang and H'sin-I ch'uan.

Chapter One

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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