The Power of Chi (Qi)


This fascinating film has just come out and I’d say it’s worth every penny of the few pounds you need to pay to watch it. It mostly features tai chi teacher Adam Mizner whom I spent a weekend with in Brussels a few years back. Watch him effortlessly overcome the world’s strongest man, three mixed martial arts champions, an Olympic gold medal fencer and a basketball legend with the mysterious power generated through the dedicated practice of tai chi.


  1. Bart


    How would you compare tai chi to chi qong in the context of working with chi in order to be one with and thereby being able to manipulate the ‘force,’ as described in the movie? Either way, this is very motivational for me. Thanks for sharing it.


    • Peter Deadman

      Hi Bart. I don’t practise tai chi or pushing hands so have no direct experience of working with the ‘force’. My guess is that practising qigong is a good foundation for that work but you’d then need to train the tai chi way specifically. I think it’s fascinating (even mind-boggling) and cool that these feats can be performed in this way but it’s not something that pulls me enough to put in the years of work. We choose which direction to go in, and any one direction kind of precludes other directions. My interest is really about being as fully human as I can be. best, Peter

      • Bart


        Yes, I agree. It’s cool but there is likely much more to working with ‘the force’ than just manipulating it in the physical dimension (Indian practitioners that have dedicated their lives to learning levitation come to mind). Being ‘one’ with it–gaining understanding, insight, health and [as a Buddhist would say] freedom from suffering, seem like much more worthwhile aspirations to me. I wouldn’t say, from my limited experience, that tai chi doesn’t offer that–but it certainly wasn’t what the film was about.


  2. The chinese talk about “chi” both in connection with acupuncture, chi kung, tai chi, i chuan and more, but in my opinion / experience, it is not the same kind of “chi” that is utilized in each case, tough there are significant overlaps. I have not yet seen the movie, but as for the claims of fantastic feats made by tai chi masters “projecting their chi”, I am very skeptical. First, I have never seen a tai chi master being able to project chi against an opponent which knows how to fight, for example an MMA fighter. Invariably, such encounters result in the tai chi “master” being grounded within minutes, if not seconds. Second, to the extent that tai chi masters actually know how to fight, their abilities seem to be not so much a result of some mysterious internal chi as to proper training of the nervous system, particularly, perhaps, the responsiveness of tendons, which seems to be a main part of i chuan training (and most if not all tai chi masters employ zhan zhuang training, a central method of i chuan).

  3. I would like to express my appreciation for your thought-provoking blog post titled “The Power of Chi (Qi).” Your exploration of the concept of Chi, also known as Qi, is enlightening and captures the fascination surrounding this ancient energy force.

    • Peter Deadman

      Thanks Joseph. I’ve expanded it quite a bit in a section of. new book I’m writing on qigong. Best, Peter

  4. Gerald Geisler

    Does this film actually even exist. I’ve spent hours scouring the web trying to find a place to rent or buy it.

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