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Jibengong is a term used in Chinese martial arts that means ‘basic training’. This is an important and necessary process which should be carefully observed if any benefits are to be derived from tai chi practice.
All arts have this process. Music, dancing, painting, you name it, some basic training is essential for further study and tai chi is no exception to this rule.
The aim of jibengong, is to prepare the body in various ways. Physically, the body needs to be strong. The legs play a very important role as they are the foundation upon which all upper body motion springs from, and their strength facilitate slow, even and smooth movement. Basic training is what we in the West call “paying your dues”.
Jibengong helps the new student generate a sense of balance, develops root and centering. It is only through jibengong that one learns to relax, breathe properly and to move as one unit. Through this stage, the student needs to keep a vision in order to endure the training. It is easy to become discouraged and give up. However, with perseverance and a vision, basic training can be very invigorating and refreshing.
Basic Training is divided into two categories. 1)External training (Wai Gong), used in some Kung Fu and Karate systems. Often the training includes hardening the muscle/skeletal system in order to be able to receive high impact strikes. 2) Internal training. The latter is further divided into two categories: Qi Gong and Nei Gong. The jibengong taught at our school is of the second class.