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14-Oct-2017 00:47

It is recorded that these exercises appeared at the end of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

In the early Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) an anonymous person began to edit the materials describing the Eight-section Brocade, which later developed into two schools―the northern school and the southern school.

A gentle sweat will exude, the complexion will become rosy; the body will feel light and you will want to eat." - From: Drawing Silk: A Training Manual for T'ai Chi, p. One tradition is that the Buddhist teacher, Bodhidharma (448-527 CE), a famous Grand Master of Chan (Zen), introduced a set of 18 exercises to the Buddhist monks at the Shaolin Temple.

These are known as the "Eighteen Hands of the Lohan." This Shaolin Lohan Qigong (i.e., the art of the breath of the enlightened ones) "is an internal set of exercises for cultivating the "three treasures" of qi (vital energy), jing (essence), and shen (spirit)," according to Howard Choy.

"Breathing in and out in various manners, spitting out the old and taking in the new, walking like a bear and stretching their neck like a bird to achieve longevity - this is what such practitioners of Daoyin, cultivators of the body and all those searching for long life like Ancestor Peng, enjoy." - Chuang Tzu, Chapter 15, circa 300 BCE (Actually, Chuang Tzu seems to be mocking these exercises as unnecessary.) There was a wealthy King Ma who lived sometime around 160 BCE during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 24 CE).

When King Ma died they placed many documents in his tomb.

Artwork, medical manuals, folklore, treatises, scriptures and reports on the subject go back over 2,500 years.

Likewise, military physical conditioning techniques, and training with military weapons (bow, sword, staff, saber, knife, spear, etc.) are of comparable antiquity.

This type of physical activity has a long documented history in both India and China.Taoism emphasizes the underlying unity of the individual and the cosmos, living in harmony with the true Way or Dao (Tao), giving up petty viewpoints, simplicity, solitary retreats, avoiding violent interference with others, a simple natural diet, natural and compassionate living, sharing with others, seeking insight into "emptiness", seeking a higher understanding or enlightenment, living a healthy lifestyle, storing and circulating energy (Qi, Chi, Prana), practicing meditation, studying and working diligently, and seeking mystical insights.