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Medical Qigong Education Centre

Ba Duan Jin: Eight-Section Qigong Exercises compiled by the Chinese Health Qigong Association


Singing Dragon, London and Philadelphia, 2008

ISBN:  978 1 84819 005 4


The Chinese Health Qigong Association is an organization which promotes and researches health qigong and is a group member of the All-China Sports Federation. CHQA promotes four particular classical qigong practices, of which this is one, both in China and abroad. The Health Qigong Federation UK is the organisation recognised by CHQA in UK.  CHQA sends teams of health qigong masters to various countries to teach people. They also set standards for these forms.





I recommend ba duan jin as the best practice to start with out of the four that CHQA teaches. It is one of the classical qigong practices which is very popular as a health qigong exercise and also used by a lot of martial artists. Although it is a classical practice, there are many versions of the practice seen today.


The two main divisions of ba duan jin are the standing and sitting practices. This particular book covers the standing version which is the most popular form of ba duan jin.


The book includes a very comprehensive DVD which is complete in itself. This makes the book a bargain. Dr. Yang Jwing Ming’s Eight Simple Qigong Exercises For Health, for example, covers another version of ba duan jin, but you would have to buy his DVD separately.


The book covers the history of ba duan jin and includes an explanation of the principles to follow when practising the forms. For example, the movements of the form  should be gentle, slow, smooth and consistent. For each of the eight forms comprising ba duan jin, the book describes the sequence of movements, highlights the key points of the form, describes common mistakes and how to correct them and explains the functions and effects of the form, that is, what benefits it has.


One slight drawback to the book is that being produced by a Chinese team, its language doesn’t always sound natural to a Westerner. Examples are the terms “dynamism and inertia” and “practice and conservation”. While the terms make sense, I don’t recall reading a Western book using this kind of language.


The book is written like a textbook. Personally, I like to read books which give the personal background and experiences of the author and that are written in a more chatty style.  However, more or less the whole book is covered on the DVD and the script is actually better than the book.


The DVD is very professionally and beautifully done and is one of the best that I have seen. The practitioners demonstrating the forms are clearly very experienced and are excellent models to follow.


The DVD follows the same pattern as the book: demonstrating the forms, showing common mistakes and their corrections, and explaining the benefits. My recommendation would be to watch and learn each form from the DVD and to just use the book for reference once you’ve learned the forms.


I have practised several versions of ba duan jin and I particularly like this version. It’s simple , aesthetic and very effective.


This book and DVD are a reliable and thorough guide to the practice of ba duan jin. Although the book has a brief introduction to the principles of qigong, if you aren’t already familiar with the principles and methods of qigong, I would strongly recommend that you also get a good general book on qigong and I would have no hesitation in recommending Ken Cohen’s “The Way of Qigong”.


Read my web page about Ba Duan Jin, the Eight Brocades.