This piece was inspired by a short video of improvised qigong:
A good description of Tai Chi, Akido, Chi Gung is “restorative movement exercises.”
I’m beginning to think in martial arts, Akido, Tai Chi and qigong, China and the Asian East, still cling to ‘doing it right according to some authority figure.’ They are attached to always all doing the same form the same way, lock-step, imitating the motions of some leader.
Q: What about the hundreds of different Schools for each of Tai Chi, Akido, Chi Gung?
A: I’m coming to think different schools, each one authoritative in their own realm, may be the extent Chinese culture will permit individuality to express in martial arts and restorative movement exercises.
In the West, especially for individuals with a dance or improv background, improvising according to what your own body needs, seems a more likely, popular and beneficial endgame.
BUT a danger exists in this freedom…
The Trance Dance error
The danger for Western improvisers in restorative movement is falling into the narcissistic, eccentric, isolated, self-centered, errors of Trance Dancing.
Dancing by yourself and with yourself to music, really is for your bedroom, alone, in your underwear and perhaps with a full length mirror. That’s a method of self-expression, I get it.
Healthy, sustainable improvised qigong movement is always going to contrast with ego-centered Trance Dance. Restorative movement exercises, even when improvised, are going to retain a strong therapeutic quality. Improvised qigong is likely to address what this body wants and needs at this time–not what the ego thinks looks good to self or to others. This therapeutic and self-healing aspect of healthy improvised qigong will help it remain a healthy method of self-connection.
Waldorf stage-model of Thinking development
A larger pattern exists here. The above follows the larger pattern of how East Asian culture in many ways remains primarily at the stage of ‘Taking truth on the authority of Others” (truth is external to the individual, truth only comes from authority).
Western culture, thru higher education, middle school and higher, continually invites individuals to experiment with and exercise Independent-critical thinking. Here we have freedom of choice. Here truth is INternal to the individual–AND–personal responsibility for errors made–you can be in error–AND–you can correct your errors, if you are willing to check your work and find them. Good examples are essay writing and pre-algebra computation.
Improv expression in any field especially arises from and celebrates free individual choices.
FYI Waldorf stage-model of Thinking development:
Imitative thinking (external authority is imitated)
Taking truth on the authority of Others (external authority is accepted and listened to)
Independent-critical thinking and freedom of individual choice (authority is finally internalized)
= = = =
Author, Health Intuitive, Bruce Dickson online:
Spiritual Geography PACME 101 In your hands, handy version