What is the relationship between Qigong and Taiji?
Taiji is qigong and martial art combined. A traditional proverb says: “Practice Taiji without practicing Qigong, practice to old age and your storehouse will be empty” (i.e., you still will have developed little skill.) To succeed at Taiji it is necessary to practice Qigong. Taiji develops upon the foundation of Qigong practice. It brings the skills of Qigong into practical application. Taiji is also called chang quan or continuous boxing. This quality of continuous circulation of the qi throughout the body for up to 40 minutes during Taiji form practice confers benefits different from Qigong sets, which involve more stillness.
Where to start?
Qigong (chi kung) 氣功: Any of the 3 primary qigong sets (Hunyuan gong, Chansi gong, Fangsong gong) are suitable for beginning students.
Taijiquan (tai chi chuan) 太極拳: The Simplified 24 Hunyuan Taiji form lays the foundation for the other sets in the system.
Bagua Zhang (pa kua chang) 八卦掌: Bagua is a challenging place to start. It is recommended that Qigong and/or Taiji be practiced for a period of time before beginning the study of Bagua zhang