Use of qi Energy in Japanese body technique --a comparative study to Western body technique

Author: Yatabe Hidemasa
Musashino Physical Research Institute
Conference/Journal: Japanese Mind-Body Science
Date published: 1998
Other: Volume ID: 7 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 103 , Word Count: 316

This paper is intended as an investigation of the use of 'qi' energy, as found in Japanese art form of body technique. In contrast, the Western approach to sports training is based on muscle development. The Japanese differs in that the quality of power, which refrains muscle energy, is referred to as 'the use of power'. This can be found in relaxing power of 'qi.'

As long as muscle is considered to be the principle of power, the human capacity of movement will decline with the physiological muscle deterioration. When using 'qi' energy, ones ability is not affected by muscle weakening. Which suggests the body can developed throughout one's life span. Western body aesthetics and muscle movement can be seen in the work of Greek sculptors, who modeled their works on young athletes, which are considered to be representation of ideal beauty in the Western world. In contrast to the Japanese ideal image displayed by Buddhist statues, in which beautiful silence and peaceful impressions are captured, these qualities are often modeled on aging men.

Japanese sensibility which values natural harmony can be seen in the Japanese body technique of 'qi'. All four limbs of muscles are under controlled of voluntary nervous system which is intentionally controlled by one's self. Therefore the body technique which is based on muscle power, when the world appears conquered under man's intention, and the relationship of the world and the individual appear to be 'conquer' and 'conquered.' On the other hand, when using the 'qi' method of respiration, entrusting oneself to the natural flow within the body which cannot be controlled intentionally. This demonstrates the use of 'qi' where the inner nature within the body and outer nature of the world become synchronized. The two worlds of the individual and his environment become one. Consequently, this principal of body technique distinguishes the characteristics of Western culture and Japanese culture.