2018-08-30 14:37:50 Wang Hanpeng
Qigong is considered to be a treasure of Chinese culture. As a unique set of physical and mental exercises, it plays an important role in maintaining health. Health Qigong is distinguished by its ability to reach inner balance, as pointed out by Fan Benhao, representative of the Shanghai Health Qigong Association of China, “Qigong is a practice which focuses on a combination of adjusting the body, breath and mind.” Health Qigong can be further classified into different forms, including Yi Jin Jing, Wu Qin Xi, Liu Zi Jue, Ba Duan Jin, Tai Ji Yang Sheng Zhang/Stick, Daoyin Yang Sheng Gong Twelve Methods, Shi Er Duan Jin, Ma Wang Dui Dao Yin Shu and Da Wu. These are all physical routines which induce a better state of mind and an increased sense of well-being.
The current popularization of Health Qigong in China has extended to both urban and rural areas, and more than 2 million people have been trained. Outside of China, more than 50 countries and regions have carried out Health Qigong activities worldwide, and the number of overseas practitioners has reached over 2 million. One of the reasons why Health Qigong is popular among Chinese and foreign fitness enthusiasts is its simple and easy-to-learn movements as well as the obvious beneficial effects and its profound cultural heritage. Its popularity also owes itself to the fact that people are not restricted by age, gender, time, venue and equipment needed.
Europe has a large number of Health Qigong fans. At present, the events held in Europe are carried out on a regular basis and have developed over time. As for the European Health Qigong Games, it was previously held in 2014 and 2016, then again this year, and will be held every two years.
In August of this year, Europe was about to usher in the long-awaited Health Qigong enthusiasts' event - the 3rd European Health Qigong Games and the 4th European Health Qigong Science Symposium.
Health Qigong Performance on Opening Ceremony
This year’s Games and Symposium were held at the University of Hertfordshire and hosted by the British Health Qigong Association. It was also strongly supported by the Chinese Embassy in the UK. The event included a tournament, exchanges, a scientific symposium, Health Qigong master lectures, physical training, performances and demonstrations as well as Duan examinations. The aim of the event was to create a European Health Qigong ‘Carnival’ for its practitioners. Nearly 300 people from 53 organizations coming from 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Russia, signed up to this event. The tournament and exchange held on August 28th and 29th attracted more than 150 athletes from 15 countries. Fans from Sri Lanka, Shanghai, Hubei, Anhui and other regions also attended and were willing to learn skills alongside European practitioners.
Health Qigong Performance on Opening Ceremony
The symposium on August 27th also invited Professor Li Deyin from Renmin University, China, Professor Shi Aiqiao from the Wuhan Institute of Physical Education in China, Professor Ke Songxuan from the Royal College of Medicine, and many other famous Chinese and foreign experts. They shared the latest research in the field of Health Qigong from different angles, such as the history of Health Qigong, the scientific fitness Principle, the origin of TCM theory, the positive impact on chronic diseases, and “Belt and Road” international communication.
In 2011, the Health Qigong project won the “International Olympic Committee Mass Sports Award” issued by the International Olympic Committee. In September 2012, the International Health Qigong Federation was established in Hangzhou. At present, there are 98 member units in 47 countries and regions. Among them, the British Health Qigong Association has devoted a lot of work to the development of Health Qigong in the UK. As of 2018, the British Health Qigong Association has organized ten training sessions and assessments of UK Health Qigong teachers, and trained a team of more than 150 Health Qigong teachers.
Distinguished Guests, Practitioners from different countries and Volunteers
Hertfordshire Honorary Minister Suzy Harvey said that this year’s European Health Qigong Games has promoted cultural exchanges and encouraged people of all ages to participate in the study and practice of Health Qigong in order to achieve better health and physical and personal well-being. Pytra Schmerlzer from Germany attended the games, and said “I came here for fun and for meeting other practitioners.” Nadine Brethes from the South of France talked about her experience and deep-rooted relationship with Health Qigong, “I went to Portugal the first time and the second time was held in France. I like the energy of Qigong, and the energy of this group of people. I have been practicing Qigong for a few years and it brings me happiness and inner peace. I have been teaching Qigong as well and feel happy to share it with other people.” Fan Benhao, representative of the Shanghai Health Qigong Association of China, added “coming to the UK to attend this event is a cultural exchange. We are here to see the development of Health Qigong among other practitioners from different countries. It’s our responsibility to research, inherit and develop it.”