Whether you’re learning kungfu or qigong from myself, Grandmaster Wong, or any other instructor in Shaolin Wahnam, you’ve doubtless heard the instruction to keep your mouth gently open no less than 7 million times. Why are we constantly doing this? No, it’s not because we’re a bunch of slack-jawed yokels, but as it turns out, there are a few very important reasons.
In our kungfu class at Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities , our students are constantly training and learning different types of footwork, stances, and internal force training. One of the ways we differentiate internal force from muscular force is by it being more relaxed in its expression. This is how a small person can hold their own sparring against someone twice their size. But it really does require that relaxation. Without that, it is at best what we call water buffalo training. At worst, it can actually harm the exponent, causing them internal injury. By keeping the mouth open in our kungfu practice, it helps us to remain more relaxed and allow our Qi to flow smoothly, rather than block up. In this way, the kungfu exponent can use powerful strikes without using their muscles.
Actually, this principle is much the same for those who are just practicing qigong. Have you or someone you know ever caught yourself forgetting to breathe? That’s not an issue when we’re mindful of the mouth. Keeping the mouth open allows the Qi to flow freely, helps the practitioner avoid developing blockages, and helps them remain more relaxed. This in turn elevates the level of the practice because relaxation leads to better Qi flow leads to more relaxation leads to…well, you get the idea.
Finally, and this applies to kungfu and qigong students alike, we keep the mouth gently open simply to provide a route for negative energy out of the body. Both kungfu and qigong are both cleansing and building in nature. The net result is glowing health, zest for life, and joy. Part of how that happens is cleansing out our various blockages that stand between us and awesomeness. Of course, self-manifested Qi flow helps move those blockages out, but the simple act of keeping our mouth gently open in practice lets some of that negative energy escape on its own, so our Qi flow can work more efficiently for us.
While it may seem a bit strange at first blush, what we do with our mouths in practice matters. Indeed, it can make the difference between effective and ineffective practice. This is one of the reasons why learning with a qualified instructor is so important, as these subtle details can often be overlooked. Are you looking to learn life-changing skills in a supportive community with instruction that helps you get the most from your practice? Check out our classes here and sign up to find out when our next session starts.