“QIGONG CANNOT POSSIBLY BE LEARNED ONLINE!!!” he wrote.
As I’m sure you already know, writing in all caps on the internet is the equivalent of screaming. But this person added 3 exclamation points, just in case I didn’t get his point.
This comment came from a qigong teacher — one who doesn’t teach online, of course.
Let’s call him Ken.
After he screamed all over Facebook, I decided to message him privately rather than try to engage him in a public discussion.
“Hey man, have you tried teaching online?” I asked.
“I don’t need to try,” he said. “I already KNOW that it can’t POSSIBLY be done!!”
“So you haven’t tried?” I asked.
“Qigong is an energy art that requires LIVE transmission,” he said, ignoring my question.
At this point, the conversation degenerated.
I tried to explain that you can teach live online, but it quickly became clear that Ken was not interested in having a discussion. Let’s just say that there were a lot of ALL CAPS in his messages.
I Was Wrong
The truth is that I was like Ken at one point, minus the ALL CAPS.
I thought, and even publicly stated, that qigong could only be reviewed via online teaching, not learned.
I was wrong. Dead wrong. And I’m not afraid to admit it.
I know I was wrong because I tested my theory.
I tested it for years, using the latest online learning technology and methods.
I experimented with live teleconferences, meditations that were recorded during a live event, live webinars, recorded videos, Facebook groups, guided meditations, and more.
With each new experiment, it became clearer and clearer that teaching qigong online not only worked — it worked GREAT.
In retrospect, I feel like an idiot for saying that qigong can’t be learned online.
It’s simply not true.
Qigong absolutely can be learned online — safely and effectively.
Click here to read a related article: 9 Reasons Qigong Can Totally Be Learned Online
That’s not to say that learning online is necessarily better than learning in person. They both have advantages and disadvantages.
As of this writing, I’ve taught thousands of students online, and many of them have later come to learn from me in person where I was able to confirm their progress.
With others, I’ve done live Skype calls or live webinars where I could see and hear them.
And most importantly, I’ve gotten feedback from hundreds and hundreds of students from all over the world. Their message is clear: Online learning works.[Edit: now there’s even scientific evidence to support my argument. Here’s the conclusion from the study: “This study has shown that it is feasible to follow complex instructions over the internet, in this instance using Tai Chi as the model. It can be successfully taught over the internet with no safety or tolerability issues when compared with Tai Chi taught face-to-face.”]
What Students Have to Say About Online Learning
These days, when people say that online learning doesn’t work, I don’t bother to argue.
Instead, I respond by sharing some of the comments I’ve received from students. I let their words settle the matter.
[Note: If you’re interested in learning qigong online, click here to look at my current programs.]
Here are a just few comments from students who learned from me online:
“Learning qigong online is certainly possible! I have made more qi-related progress in the first six weeks of your Qigong 101 course than in 18 months of training at the local brick-and-mortar studio where I also take classes.” — Laura Kandziolka
“I credit not just qigong, but YOUR qigong for the turnaround in my health, and getting my stubborn body healing. Your method is actually enjoyable (unlike all other qigong or meditation I’ve tried) and shows results quickly. I noticed a difference in five weeks.” — Khela Baskett
“I’m 22 days into the 30-day fatigue and exhaustion challenge, as well as doing the 5 Phase Routine every 2-3 days, and I think I can say it’s boosted my energy levels more than any other treatment –medical or alternative — that I’ve tried in the last two decades.” — Larry Pass
“All of Sifu Anthony’s online courses are great! I’ve done live in-person classes (with another instructor) and Sifu’s online classes.” – Marla Beggs Nargundkar
“Having your voice to guide the meditation was a wonderful addition. Your knowledge, skill, and wisdom are greatly appreciated. I look forward to each lesson. This was definitely your calling and the years you spent teaching in your brick-and-mortar studio prepared you for this. It is an honor having this opportunity to study with you. Thank you, Sifu Anthony.” — Cindy Cortez, qigong instructor
“I have probably seen at least 50 different qigong teachers, mostly on DVD, some on Skype and a few in person. From those that I have seen teach, I would say you would be the best for anyone who is a beginner.” – Steven Mehl
“I really find your teaching method easy to follow and understand. It is simple yet detailed.” –– Sharon Nepe, qigong instructor
“Thanks Sifu Anthony. My husband and I love your videos. I have had severe nerve pain in my left wrist and forearm for more than a year and since doing Lifting The Sky every day, I have noticed a reduction in pain. I cannot wait to heal other pain areas in my body as we move through the course.” — Dr. Linda Allen
“Thank you, Anthony. I was initially concerned about the challenges of following a course online, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised. So thank you for that. A great boost for my confidence!” — Susan Jenkins
“Face to face qigong instruction (good instruction) seems difficult to find in my area. Enter Qigong 101! After much thought, I decided to enroll. Now, after about 5 months, I can truthfully say, ‘I’m glad I did!’ The lessons are nice bite-sized chunks with good explanation of what we’re doing and why. Difficulty/complexity of material and exercises is nicely graduated, at least for my taste. I find myself eagerly awaiting each new lesson. Complements to the chef!” — John Bulharowski
“I wasn’t so sure that doing qigong online was going to work for me, but you have made it so easy and you are such an inspiration. You have helped me make so many changes. I thank you with the fullness of my heart!” — Carol Burton
“I found Flowing Zen about 4 years ago and kept coming back because Sifu Anthony not only is charismatic, but also passionate about this art. Many instructors teach the art, but I feel that Sifu Anthony lives it and that transfers to me, the student, also making me passionate about wanting to learn more. Here, I have realized that the true benefit of Qigong isn’t in the movement, it is in the heart and for that I am grateful and have not hesitated to recommend Flowing Zen to others.” — Salvador Garcia
“I appreciate your systematic way of teaching. I have tried learning qigong from two other instructors in the past without great results. With your method, I feel I am making real progress and things are starting to make so much more sense to me!” — Holly Blackburn
“Before finding Flowing Zen I had practiced qigong regularly for 8 years using DVD’s from various well known teachers. I have learned and benefited more from six months in the 101 class than I learned the entire combined time I practiced those 8 years. But the best thing is that through learning the 5 phase routine that Sifu Anthony teaches, I actually enjoy my practice now. My practice is deeper, richer, and more relaxed. I highly recommend both Flowing Zen and the 101 Qigong class that is offered.” — Marie Paullin
“Sifu Anthony has helped me overcome chronic pain, anxiety and depression. I thought I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life. After working with Sifu Anthony for just over 7 months, this belief has completely turned around. I am amazed at how not only my physical condition has improved, but my mental and emotional states as well. I am calmer, happier, have more energy, not to mention I’m not in constant pain anymore. I can’t say enough about qigong in general, and Sifu Anthony in particular.” — Lisa Halladay Billing
“Your teaching style and the weekly videos kept my motivation to do the practice. Around Oct 2017 I started getting some real results. My body became very flexible. My digestion improved. All aches and pains started subsiding. My anxiety really improved. My kidney stones dissolved. Uric acid levels became normal. I am not claiming that I am 100% cured but Qigong has really helped me improve my health and I think in a year I would be completely free from all health disorders and would be enjoying peak health. Flowing Zen and especially Qigong 101 is a miracle for me.” — Fazle Rabbi
After reading this post and these comments, I’m sure you can see that qigong absolutely can be learned online. And in fact, for some people, it’s the best option!
What do you think? Have you tried to learn (or teach) qigong online? Let me know in the comments below! Best regards, Sifu Anthony I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong (pronounced "chee gung") to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. Today, I'm the director of Flowing Zen, an international organization with students in 48 counties. I've been teaching qigong since 2005, I've served on the board for the National Qigong Association, and I’ve helped thousands of people to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges. If you're ready to get started with qigong, there's no better way than my best selling book, which comes with free videos and meditations. The sooner you read my book, the sooner you can start healing! Click here to see my book on Amazon.
I have been learning and teaching online for some years now and it works wonderful.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I could bring the ‘message’ through through virtual media. But when I saw the reaction and effects on people I have dropped all doubts.
Very practical since neither the student nor the teacher loose time driving to the class, it takes place home after all. I am more available to any questions or doubts and the student doesn’t have to wait until next class.
It is useful for busy people, or sick people who can’t get out so much, and you can reach the whole world.
Hm….what you teach is some Qigong…..um….and actually a very small part of a very large and deep practice. What you teach online is what can be taught online. However certain concepts and practices have an absolute requirement for long in depth person to person exchanges. Um…like the kind you have experienced. You would not be who you are without those personal in depth teachings. I will paraphrase one of the teachings i learned. Sometimes teaching online is like explaining the moon as you point at it and everyone is looking at your finger. Keep up the good work.
Sifu Anthony Korahais says
I notice that you posted this comment anonymously.
Do you know what I do or don’t teach online? Have you taken all of my courses?
Anyway, whether I teach advanced skills online or not is irrelevant. The point is that I can teach beginner and intermediate skills.
Remember — I still teach in person too!
peter levine (Ishan das) says
I don’t know about the advanced skills. I may never become “advanced”. But I can say that by following and trying to apply what you are imparting, my life is changing in a wonderful way. I don’t know where my practice is going, but because of what I am learning and experiencing, I am determined to keep following and see where it takes me. Lead on!
Perhaps some people get disturbed because they want to think of qigong as some kind of mysterious esoteric thing for the very few, who are in a closed insulated circle, and think of themselves as very special people. And then you come along and bust that wide open, and that really upsets their concept of being special. That is a sad psychological trait. They should be so happy that people are getting so much from your classes, and they should be grateful to you for the work you are doing. I know I am.
Sifu Anthony Korahais says
I think you nailed it on the head, Ishan. I’ve seen the same phenomenon in the karate world, the yoga world, and the kung fu world.
Keith Robinson says
Interesting that no one mentions the benefits of online training for those who would have no possibility of in person training. I would class myself as a novice and have been very happy learning on line. You have a choice of who you go to and a much better chance of choosing a good effective teacher than if you have to choose one locally. Interestingly, I have just searched for Qigong training in my home town and couldn’t find a single one within reasonable travelling distance.
Qigong is one of the disciplines/arts that deserves to be available to more people. Both you and the other online teachers should keep up the good work
Sifu Anthony Korahais says
I’ve mentioned this factor a few times on my blog. The longer I teach qigong online, the more students I discover like you. Happy to be of service.