Just so that we have a point of reference with regard to what I am going to talk about I want us all to understand how I perceive qi energy in martial arts training.
A person with a healthy qi flow is that person whose body seems unaffected by your blows. It could also be that person whose wrists feel like "iron bars wrapped in paper" when you grab them. Unwavering focus and even an infectious joi de vivre are singns of an abundance of qi.
For those of us who have developed a sensitivity for these things the amazing aspect of some people's qi flow is that with some you can feel the tingling sensation of their energy from about 2 metres away. With some you need to be closer. In two cases I have felt a warm pleasant sensation emanating from the persons in question. In other cases a paralyzing sense of being drained of energy.
Now comes the ironic part- Only one of the people I have met was a martial artist. And he was also the only person consciously focussing on using his qi to demonstrate a concept relevant thereto.
Yes- there are people with really strong qi flow that do not even know what qigong is and there are also people that train in qigong daily and do not have such a strong energy flow.
If you practice karate, taekwondo, kungfu, judo, Aikido, Japanese jujutsu or any such related martial art you can be assured that the techniques of your styles have been designed to use your qi in the most efficient manner for attack and defense.
While many teachers will tell you that meditation is ideal for gathering qi and that qigong exercises are ideal for cultivating healthy qi circulation lifestyle plays a huge part in the strength of your qi.
The following practices help a lot:
1. Chastity- Some people may say that sex has no influence on it, but I assure you that especially men expend huge amounts of qi during ejaculation. So- keeping sex to a minimum saves a lot of qi. You know of course what the Shaolin monks do...
2. Healthy diet- A good basic guideline is to stick to natural foods and to avoid processed or manufactured foods. Enough water helps a lot. Staying off acohol and cigarettes is ideal.
3. Not holding grudges- In fact: all negative emotions like anger, fear and sorrow create blockages. Qi in itself is pure joy. So if you wish to build up tremendous internal strength you will have to learn to dispose of negative emotions. That means forgiveness, acceptance and compassion shall become part of your life.
4. Balance between exercise and rest. Exercise is as important as rest. A deficiency in either shall negatively influence your qi flow.
Qigong plays a huge part in Wenhsiuquan. How big a part it plays in your style is up to you. At least you now know that you don't need to know any complex "Silk Reeling Exercises" or to decipher some obscure text to boost your own power level.
Stay well and train hard! Just rest enough as well, okay? :)