The British Health Qigong Association
For Qigong I learned you founded an association – what is the correct name again?
The full name is the British Health Qigong Association.
And this is “your” association?
Yes, we – me and Tary together, we founded it. The reasoning behind this is we used to practice Tai Chi and Qigong all in one school, all in our Deyin Taiji Institute and within the same syllabus. But from the turn of the millennium, in the early 2000s, Qigong and martial arts are in separate managements in China. And because we have a close working relationship with the Chinese Wushu Association with Tai Chi we sort of understand the reasoning behind the separation because Qigong is very health conscious, it does not have the focus on the martial side, although we cross over a bit. It is not clean cut, but it has more a focus on the health side. – The whole variety of Qigong, given the nature of the variety and the vast differences, the management of Qigong is setting slightly outside, operating outside the current framework, so from China they have a separate management. And because we have a close working relationship, and from the conversation with ourselves we have as working partners, if you like, we felt that perhaps it would be better to set up a separate Qigong organization, although the ultimate goal for our Taiji institute and our Qigong association is the same – just in terms of the management it will be probably better just to separate. Teaching-wise, in all of our principles, we do not teach them as separate. The separation is only for the management, for communication. It is easier for communication and sometimes the technique that we use as a vehicle is slightly different. We always highlight that, whenever necessary, but that was the background to the separate name.
And the British Health Qigong association is a non-profit organization?
It is a not-for-profit organization. When we set it up, it was our aim to promote Qigong for health and research in using Qigong as alternative therapy to improve physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, mental wellbeing – it is about the different levels of life. We dedicated it for good practice, good understanding and we have certain levels of academic input from professors in China, so we work very closely with all the teams in China. We cover for the costs by hosting events and inviting prominent masters and professors from China. If there is any left-over we put it into the pot for the next event. Also organizing promotional activities in the UK – for example we do demonstrations always for free for different groups: at older people’s rest-homes, for schools or in a football stadium (that was our largest one) – and also to hold presentations and introductory taster sessions, all of that needs little pots of money to cover for it. So it is not-for-profit, but we try to run self-sufficient, you see, because we are not supported by any government-funding. There is no funding we receive from there…
Images: Faye Yip and Taiji Forum