The Beijing Sport University Press has recently published the simplified Chinese character edition of Ba Duan Jin Exercise for Children (Shao Er Ba Duan Jin).
"With this book, the very first of its kind, we are trying to make ba duan jin, a typical Chinese fitness exercise, accessible to youngsters in China and abroad," said Hu Xiaofei, the chief compiler of the book and a professor in traditional Chinese sports studies with the Beijing Sport University.
Ba duan jin, literally meaning eight pieces of brocade, is a fitness exercise or form of qigong for health cherished by the ancient Chinese. Today, it is almost as popular as tai chi in China and other parts of the world, especially for seniors.
These days, the sports community, medical experts and public health officials have all been actively promoting health exercises to help fight against COVID-19. And ba duan jin is among the most frequently recommended Chinese qigong exercises.
Qigong, which combines qi, meaning energy, and gong, meaning practice, is a term used to describe a classical regimen of techniques or sports which Chinese people have found highly effective in improving their health or enhancing their martial arts capabilities, Hu explains in the book.
The ba duan jin qigong exercise, which doesn't require much space or time, uses special breathing and concentration techniques to improve both the body and mind, with eight well-designed sequences of movement.
To cater to the needs and tastes of young learners, the authors of Ba Duan Jin Exercise for Children have made certain changes to the traditional version of the century-old qigong exercise. They offered simplified instructions as well as information on the health benefits of performing the exercise, historical background, anecdotes and rhymes, coupled with color photos for each movement of the stances in ba duan jin.
By scanning QR codes in the pages, the readers can watch video clips which explain the key technical requirements for every move of the traditional fitness exercise.
A bilingual edition in English and traditional Chinese characters and a Russian edition of Ba Duan Jin Exercise for Children will be respectively published later this year in Hong Kong and in Moscow, according to Wang Yingfeng, the editor of the book with the Beijing Sport University Press.
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