August 2007 (Part 3)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I have known and adopted as a way of living the Art of Chi Kung through yourbook. I will thank you to please adopt me as your pupil. I started to practice one year ago and your advice guides me in this art. I shall in the future travel to you country to learn in your institute.
— Francisco, Chile
I am glad you have adopted chi kung as a way of life. You will certainly derive a lot of benefits, some of which you may not have thought possible before.
Some people think that there is only one type of chi kung. Hence, they believe that the chi kung practiced by different people is all the same. This is not true. They are many, many different types of chi kung — just like there are many, many different types of languages and many, many different types of buildings.
These different types of chi kung range from elementary to very advanced. Naturally, elementary chi kung gives elementary benefits like keeping you relaxed and giving you general well-being, whereas very advanced chi kung gives you advanced benefits like abundant energy to enjoy work and play, and glimpses into Cosmic Reality. Advanced chi kung should be learnt personally from a competent teacher.
Realizing this vast difference in benefits between different types of chi kung is very useful. A person not realizing this difference may practice elementary chi kung for many years, yet his benefits are little.
It is significant that you said you wanted to adopt chi kung as a way of life. In our school, Shaolin Wahnam, adopting our chi kung as a way of life means that, amongst other benefits, we are always peaceful and happy, and are relaxed even when facing challenging situations.. We believe that there are two ways of looking at things and events — the negative way and the Shaolin Wahnam way. If a friend is late for an appointment, for example, the negative way is to be anxious or angry, but the Shaolin Wahnam way is to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have some time not to do anything but just to watch the world go passing bye.
While I was training in martial arts previously, I had large strong hands but since I stopped training and indulged in unfulfilling frequent sexual relations, as well as drinking excessively, they have returned to how they were when I was a teenager - quite small and delicate. I find this incredibly frustrating and am desperately seeking to increase my hand and arm size (and in fact my whole body).
— Chris, Australia
Large hands are not necessary strong, nor do they guarantee combat efficiency or sexual prowess.
Some great kungfu masters in the past had fine, delicate hands, yet they were extremely powerful and combat efficient due to their internal force. Having internal force enhances all apects of life, including having vitality to enjoy work and play as well as sexual performance.
However, if you wish to have bigger hands, an effective method is to prepare a bag filled with green and red beans. Place the bag on a firm table, and strike it with your palm about 300 times a sessions, two sessions a day. You should strike only with the inside of your palm, and not the outside for doing so may damage some meridian systems there. (When you hold a fist, your fingers cover the inside of your palm.)
You should strike without using muscular tension. Just gently drop your open palm on the bean bag. Practice this daily for six months, and you will not only have bigger hands but also powerful palm strikes.
Body building would increase your body size. Personally I would not recomend this, but if you wish to do so, you have to train with a good instructor.
I understand this statement may appear very superficial, as in contrast there are people in the world who are without hands and without enough food even, but having a relatively strong “manly” body in the past, it greatly affects me to the point that I am even scared sometimes just to talk to girls! In any case, it is clear that all I can do is not worry and continue to train, because as you have said, real strength lies within and not in the size of your bones or muscles. It is just that I am incredibly impatient to return to the level of strength and confidence that I once had, especially as I have now aged a little since then.
You are being over-concerned. Some girls may like men with big hands and bodies, some may not. But all girls like men who are kind and gentle, not rude and rough, and who care enough to talk to them respectfully, not shy away because of the size of their hands. It is easy to find out whether what I have said is true or false. Here is the method.
Write on a piece of clean paper the names of 30 girls whom you would like to talk to. Along their names make three columns for the following particulars — (1) date of conversation, (2) like my company, (3) doesn't like my company. Give yourself two months to talk to every one of these girls at least once.
Be kind, gentle and respectful when talking to them. Also make sure that your hands are clearly visible to them. After the conversation, mark on the paper the date and whether they like your company. If there are more girls who like your company than those who don't, then my statement is correct.
Even in the very unlikelihood that there are more girls who dislike you than like you, but those few girls who happen to like you despite your tiny hands are also the same girls you want to spend time with, then you should spend time with them rather than with bean bags and weights. But if you do not like spending time with those girls who like you, then you can start hitting a some bean bag and consulting a good body building instructor for training.
I do not expect you to remember me, but I have e-mailed you before about 5 months ago concerning my practice of Yang Style Taijiquan. I continue to make progress in my cultivation of internal energy, however it is slow-going considering I learn from books, as well as when compared to what I could obtain from your Intensive Course.
— Jeffrey, USA
I am glad you are making progress. Congratulations.
I can't remember what I wrote to you in my reply, but I would like to give you the following advice, and I am sure it will be very helpful in your continued progress.
Firstly, find out what genuine, traditional Taijiquan is. Many Taiji practitioners, including many instructors, have wasted a lot of time because they failed to do this first step. My concise answer is that genuine, traditional Taijiquan is an internal, martial art. If you accept this definition, then you will realize that more than 90% of those who practice Taiji today do not practice genuine, traditional Taijiquan, because there is nothing internal or martial in what they practice.
Nevertheless, if you are contented with practicing dancelike Taiji forms for recreation, that is fine. In fact, for many people, like the elderly, practicing Taiji dance is relatively more beneficial to them than practicing genuine, traditional Taijiquan.
Secondly, define your aims and objectives in your practice. Again, many people have wasted their time because they have no aims and objectives in what they do. If your aim is to have good health and mental freshness, in principle practicing genuine, traditional Taijiquan is certainly more effective in helping you to realize your aim than practicing Taiji dance.
But in practice, as masters of genuine, traditional Taijiquan are very rare today, practicing Taiji dance from a good teacher may be a better choice. Nevertheless, make sure that you have a good teacher (even teaching Taiji dance). A good teacher would not, for example, teach you faulty forms that cause knee injuries, which unfortunately are common amongst many Taiji practitioners who learn from bad teachers.
Next, within your resorces, search for a teacher who can best help you realize your aims and objectives. If you are unable to get a good teacher in person, good books and even good websites may be alternatives.
Then practice diligently according to what the good teacher teaches. This will form the main part of your training.
Finally, access how well or badly your training is helping you to achieve your aims and objectives.
I am considering attending one of your Taijiquan Intensive Courses if you are still offering them,
Although I have not ruled out not offering any more intensive Taijiquan courses, it is not likely I shall do so. I honestly believe that I offered Taiji practitioners a golden opportunity. I offered them at a reasonable price and with a money-back guarantee a chance to acquire in just 5 days what many would be very glad to acquire in 5 years, but in reality may never acquire in 20 years or their whole lifetime.
Many Taiji practitioners would be contented with their Taiji dance, but amongst those who wish to practice genuine, traditional Taijiquan, wouldn't they be very glad if they could develop internal force and be able to use Taijiquan for combat in 5 years? But I can enable them to do so in just 5 days!
Most probably these Taiji practitioners do not believe in my claim, despite my money-back guarantee. This is understandable. As recent as 15 years ago I myself would not believe it. Secondly, many Taiji practitioners are provincial in their attitude. They just do not want to learn from another teacher other than the one they started with. Whatever the reasons, as not many Taiji practitioners appreciate my intensive Taijiquan courses, I am not going to offer them.
This is a matter of better time-management. In fact I feel relieved that I don't have to sacrifice courses where attendance is usually large (like my intensive Shaolin Kungfu courses and intensice chi kung courses) with those like intensive Taijiquan courses where attendance is usually small. I have more courses than time to offer them.
However I am wary as to how your participants obtain such progress within a short amount of time. Do not take what I have said the wrong way and I mean no disrespect, however I would like to know what your role is, and how important your role is in their progress.
I actually like your questions. You are honest and you ask respectfully.
The success or otherwise of any course depends on three factors — the teacher, the material and the students. Participants to my courses make incredable progress because we have the best in all the three factors.
Without false modesty, I am a good teacher. I do not merely instruct, I transmit and inspire. My teaching is systematic, generous and enjoyable. I do not just give, but bring out the best in my students. My studdnts do not just come to learn Shaolin Kungfu, chi kung or Taijiquan, but return home a better person in all their physical, emotioanl, mental and spiritual dimensions.
I have a clear idea of the needs and aspirations of my students, and I choose the best available teaching methods and material to help them realize their needs and aspirations. For example, we do not merely talk about internal force, but actually experience it. First I help the students to lay the foundation. I teach them how to relax, enter a heightened state of mind, and generate an energy flow. Then we use the most effective method employed by past internal art masters, i.e. stance training, to develop internal force. Students experience internal force on the very first day of the course.
Of the three factors, the students are the most important. I have the best students. They are all deserving, appreciative of my teaching, and are ready to work hard to realize their aspirations. Some of them have borrowed money to pay the course fees, others have saved up over many months. Some of them are masters in their own right, having attained very high levels in their arts before they learn from me.
I would like to attend your Intensive Course and know that many years afterwards, my progress was due to my hard work as well as your instruction, instead of simply being given internal power without any work done by me. In short, I want the reassurance that my progress after the Intensive Course is due to my subsequent practice as well as your aid.
If you are referring to my Intensive Taijiquan Course, I am sorry I am not offering them in the near future. But you can learn Taijiquan from our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors. They have produced very good students and very good results. Please refer to our List of Certified Instructors .
I have made it very clear that students who attend my courses must continue to train diligently after the courses, otherwise they will only have novelty but not lasting benefits. They may learn wonderful skills and techniques from me in a few days, but they must spent a lot of time and effort to practice them. Anyone who is not ready to work hard, both during the course and after, should not even think of applying.
Also, I would like to say thank you for responding to my previous letter, and your willingness to answer questions from people you've never met amidst your busy schedule. Even though I have yet to study with you or with another Shaolin Wahnam instructor, I appreciate all your hard work in preserving the teachings of Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan.
Thank you for your kind words.
We in Shaolin Wahnam have benefited very much from genuine, traditional Shaolin Kungfu and genuine, traditional Taijiquan. Not only they have given us good health and vitality to enjoy our work and play, they have made our lives and the lives of other people beautiful and rewarding.
But due to their rapid adulteration over the last century, when even world known masters doubt whether Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan can be used for fighting, and whether internal force is real, there is a danger that these wonderful arts may be lost in future. We do our best in dissiminating authentic knowledge and teaching deserving students in our effort to preserve these arts.
- What is Genuine, Traditional Taijiquan
- A Precious Gift which Brings Joys in Many Ways Every Day
- The Twelve Sequences of Shaolin Tantui
- Objectives of Form Training in Solo
- Chinese Martial Arts and Spiritual Cultivation