What is the best way to practice the Li Family Art of K’ai Men?

What is the best way to practice the Li Family Art of K’ai Men?

Since it’s conception K’ai Men has been poked, prodded, disassembled, reassembled, yin-ed, yang-ed, practiced and experienced by knowledgeable and unknowledgeable people alike.

Most Li Family schools tend to teach K’ai Men more like mainstream Yoga, which is fine and it will do the job, but it will only take you so far. There is a depth to the K’ai Men exercises that can only be reached by its original format, and that is a Taoist Nei Kung. It is also one of the earliest forms of Taoist Nei Kung.

Nei Kung means “internal work”, this is a typical Taoist description for a process that incorporates a lot of work. It doesn’t begin to sum up the work that is required to reach the depth of understanding and the depth of feeling that you will acquire during your journey through what is Kai Men.

The name K’ai Men means ‘Open Door’ these two simple words refer to the doorway to all the channels of the mind, body, energy, spirit and healing.

As the exercises are performed, we bring all five together in a wonderful harmony.

Before being called K’ai Men it was known as ‘Ho Ping’ (Unity) but when it was first put together it was called ‘Ho-Hsieh’ (Harmony). And harmony is what transpires as you progress in this art.

When performing K’ai Men:

  • The technique is done slowly and smoothly at the same pace.
  • When moving into a posture you would only move as far as is comfortable for the body as a whole.
  • For Nei Kung the movement follows the central core movement.
  • There is no stretching and holding a position, just relaxation and gentle movement.
  • Where relaxation and gentle movement are present, blood, fluids, Chi and Li energy flow in the body and meridians.
  • We use the natural movement of the body to extend muscle movement.
  • K’ai Men conforms to the principles of the Five Elements (Wu Hsing).

K’ai Men is the Taoist Harmony and has within it activation, control, utilization and storage of a combination of Sheng Ch’i ‘Internal energy’ and Ching Sheng Li ‘Macro-cosmic energy’ also known as external energy or energy of the universe.

For those who practice the T’ai Chi Ch’uan of the Li Family Taoist Arts of Shandong Province, one of the main components of it is K’ai Men, so your K’ai Men practice will help you understand your Tai Chi.

Feng Shou Chuan Shu People, K’ai Men will elevate your martial arts ability.

Join one of our Tai Chi – Health, Feng Shou – Self Defence – Martial Arts classes either in Bristol or Somerset or Devon to practice the concepts, principles, techniques of the Li Family Taoist Arts and experience the benefits discussed in this article for yourself.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to post them below or via Contact Us.
Peter Glenn

Published by Peter Glenn

Peter Glenn has been a student and teacher/coach of the Li Family Taoist Arts since 1974. He is also a lineage holder of the Li Family Taoist Arts and the Principal of the Harmony Arts Association.


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    Julie Stanton

    May 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm Reply

    Thank you for this clear explanation.


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    Nik Kerwin

    May 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm Reply

    Totally agree. Strangely I have just written an article for the TAO on the very subject emphasising the depth of Kai Men. Too many take the physical level and leave it at that and miss all the subtlety and power of the exercise when done with true intent and knowledge of what it is you are actually doing 🙂

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