Kwai 快 – Fast
In Qigong, when we practise movements slowly, this is called Man 慢 – slow. The opposite to Man (slow) is quick and this in Chinese is Kwai 快. Chinese philosophy, whether it is Buddhism, Daoism or Rujia 儒家 (Confucianism), teaches that everything must have an opposite side. We must balance both sides, if one side needs more, the other side might need less. Most of the time, in our Qigong movements we move slowly – Man, but sometimes we need to move quickly and this is Kwai. So we have Kwai and Man. Fast and slow relate together and we cannot have one without the other. To balance them requires a level of skill, too slow can be too weak, too fast can be exhausting. So we need a teacher to learn from and then we can gain the benefits of Qigong and the same is true for other Kung Fu skills like Wing Chun, Chun Yuen and Taijiquan.
The Chinese character for Kwai is made up of two parts. The left side is 忄which is 心 Xin and this means heart (exactly the same as Man the left of the Chinese character). So it means to make something quickly we need to put our heart or effort into it. For example running, to run fast we need to want to run fast. The right side is Guai 夬, which means separation, but in this case, we just use the sound, Guai and Kwai have almost the same sound.
For our Qigong to be balanced, we need Kwai and Man together.