November 2007 (Part 1)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I am writing to ask you several questions about the intensive Shaolin Kungfu courses in Malaysia. I have been practicing kungfu for several years. In my school, we practice kungfu patterns during sets, but are encouraged to spar with kickboxing. At times I feel as though I am the only one in our school to wonder why we spend so much time practicing one way of moving, and then use a different way of moving when sparring. I am very excited to see that is not the case in Shaolin Wahnam.
— Matt. Canada
What your school does is the norm. It is upsetting but true that even world known kungfu masters teach Kick-Boxing in their sparring classes. Some even go to the extent of saying that kungfu cannot be used for fighting!
Kungfu — of any style — can certainly be used for fighting. There is no doubt that kungfu practitioners in the past used kungfu in combat. All of us who practice Shaolin Kungfu or Wahnam Taijiquan use it in our sparring, and some of us used it in actual fighting. We have found from our direct experience that kungfu is combat effective.
Congratulations for questioning why one should spend so much time practicing kungfu but use another martial art when sparring. This indicates not only your mental clarity in seeing the ridiculous situation but your courage in stating it when so many other kungfu practitioners today do not have the honesty to admit it or the strength to get out of this absurdity
How familiar with the 16 combat sequences should I try to become before an intensive course? Should I try to learn the sequences as well as I can from the video, and practice them?
The more familiar you are with the 16 combat sequences , the more you will benefit from the course.
When you are familiar with the sequences, you will free yourself from worrying what patterns to move next so that you can focus on developing skills, like at what point of time would you apply an appropriate counter or what variations you would make when your sparring partner responds out of routine. It is the development of skills that is most valuable in my course.
Yes, learn the sequences as best as you can from my videos and practice them well.
I was also wondering if those with previous martial arts practice have an advantage over those with no experience when it comes to learning Shaolin Kungfu at an intensive course. On one hand, they may have experience with kungfu stances/patterns/strikes/etc, but on the other hand, they may also have bad habits due to incorrect practice.
It is very clear from teaching numerous intensive courses that those with previous martial art experience have a big advantage over those who have not, even when they have inherited bad habits due to previous incorrect practice.
The range of advantage from top to bottom is as follows;
- Those who have attended a similar course before.
- Those who have learnt Shaolin Kungfu from a Shaolin Wahnam instructor.
- Those who have learnt Shaolin Kungfu from other teachers.
- Those who have learnt Taiji dance.
- Those who have learnt other martial arts.
- Those with little or no martial art experience.
The ratio of benefit is as much as 10 to 1 between those who have attended a similar course before and those with little martial art experience. In other words, those who repeat an intensive course have about ten times more benefits than beginners.
Do you find it easier to teach total beginners or those with experience in non-Shaolin martial arts?
No, it is easier to teach those with experience, though I do not find it difficult to teach total beginners. I don't accept beginners to my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course; participants must have some prior martial art experience, preferably in Shaolin Kungfu. But sometimes I teach beginners in regional kungfu courses. Some of my senior disciples rightly commented that it was ridiculous for a grandmaster to teach beginners.
On the other hand it is a great pleasure to teach advanced practitioners, especially masters. I need only to mention a point, often without actually showing it, and they not only learn it easily but appreciate it sincerely because it is often a secret that opens up many benefits for them. For example, a master may have been practicing the Horse-Riding Stance for years without experiencing any internal force. I just tell him to relax his body, lean forward slightly, not to think of anything, and feel chi accumulating at his dan tian. His face glows, and he exclaims, “Wow, I have never felt like this before!”
I was also hoping you could tell me if you have an intensive Kungfu course planned for the end of this year? After reading several posts about the June intensive course on the discussion forum, I am even more excited about attending an intensive course.
Many people have asked me to conduct an Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course as well as an Intensive Chi Kung Course, but unfortunately my time-table is full until next year.
I am sure you will enjoy and benefit much from my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course. Not only your Shaolin Kungfu will be different after the course, life will also be very different. You will live life with confidence and joy.
Lastly, I wanted to say congratulations on your up-coming retirement! While I (and I'm sure many others) selfishly would like you to keep teaching forever, it gives me much happiness to think of you being able to spend your time with your family and at your home. Thank you so much for sharing these arts with me, and the whole world!
Thank you for your kind, sincere thoughts. I am very lucky to have a wonderful family who understands my mission in my travels to spread and preserve the genuine Shaolin arts worldwide. Even after my public retirement, I shall continue to teach selected disciples in private.
The Shaolin arts have given my Shaolin Wahnam Family, my biological family and me great benefits and joy. We are fullfilling our tenth Shaolin Law to share the arts with deserving students.
I am a teenage boy who needs to wear glasses, and I fear that my eyesight is progressively getting worse from studying. I have tried the exercises you have posted on your website for about a year, but I don't feel any improvement. Are there any other exercises you would recommend to me, or shall I keep up with the current exercises? And if I should continue with the current exercises, when will I start to notice an improvement in my eyesight?
— Harrison, USA
The Shaolin Eight Eye Exercises that I have posted on my website are amongst the best eye exercises you can find anywhere.
Interestingly, all my five children were told to wear glasses by eye specialists who visited their schools to test the eye-sight of school children. (But personally I suspected that self interest might have played a part in their decisions.) I told my children to practice the Shaolin Eight Eye Exercises instead, and their eye-sight has remained good all these years. Others who had bad eye-sight and had to wear thick glasses, improved so much that they no longer have to wear glases.
If you are referring to the same Shaolin Eight Eye Exercises and have no improvement despite having practiced them for a year, most probably it is because either you have practiced the exercises wrongly or the harmful effects you are continuously exposed to negate the benefits of the exercises.
The Shaolin Eight Eye Exercises are chi kung exercises, but they are so good that even if some people practice them as gentle physical exercises, they still get benefits. Improvement is noticeable after a few months of daily practice.
Any chi kung exercises, when properly practiced as chi kung, will improve eye-sight. Many of my students wore glasses before, but after practicing chi kung for some time, but not the Shaolin Eight Eye Exercises specifically, some of them threw away their glasses.
I would recommend that you seek a certified Shaolin Wahnam instructor and start practicing chi kung earnestly. Not only your eye-sight will improve, you will have many other wonderful benefits. You can view a list of certified instructors at /general/instructors-list.html .
I was recently reading a book about the power of intention where scientists did experiments on all types of people to see if it was possible to send healing energy. The scientists found out that Qigong masters have the very powerful ability to send healing energy while in a meditative state. You see I am a quadriplegic and have been trying every method possible to heal my body. This injury has destroyed not only my life but the lives of everyone in my family and I just want to get better so we can all move on. I wanted to try to find a bunch of Qigong masters to send me healing energy on a regular basis while in a meditative state and that is why I'm contacting you.
Can you please help me to get in touch with a large number of Qigong masters so that I can try to get better? The scientists found that while even one person can send a strong intention, the larger the number of people sending healing energy, the better it works. There are also many other elements that they found to make healing more successful if you would like to know them. I think that when I get better that it will be an awesome example for you guys to show the true power of Qi and it will definitely help you to promote your beliefs.
— Wyatt, country unstated
I am sorry to hear of your condition.
You seem to think that qigong masters spent much time to master qigong just to sit around waiting for you to ask them send you qi. I am sorry you are much mistaken.
Masters who can transmit qi over a great distance are very rare. It demands great skills and is is draining on the masters. Besides a few of my senior disciples and me I only know of only one other masters who can transmit qi over great distances. He is the great master Sifu Yan Xin from China. I am sure there are many more, but I don't know them.
But even if I knew of a group of such masters, I would not ask them on your behalf, nor provide you their names. I consider your request not only selfish but also insulting. You implied you were of great importance and announcing that these “guys” could cure you with distant qi transmission would make them well-known.
Great masters do not really care whether you are national presidents or billionaires, and they do not want to be well-known. Transmitting qi to you is not “the true power of Qi”, and not the way to promote their beliefs as you arrogantly claimed. Actually most of them do not care whether you or other people believe in the power of qi; they know it is true from direct experience.
But there is good news for you. Your problems can be overcome. First of all you have to be humble in seeking help. You have to find out where the genuine qigong masters are and personally go to see them, not just sending out improperly addressed e-mails to them asking them to transmit qi to you for free. You should address them politely as “Masters” and not “you guys”.
You must be prepared that they reject you. They have no obligation to help you, and you have no right to bother them. If they agree to help you, you must be ready to pay a high fee. Qigong masters are professionals; they are not charity workers though in their personal lives they may be vary charitable. In fact, you should be wary of qigong “masters” who offer to teach or treat you free, just as you should be wary of healers who do not charge any fees because they claim to save the world.
But don't come to see me or any of our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors. We do not want you to be our student. You don't have the right mind-set to learn from us.
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- An Exclusive Set Fit for Kings and Generals
- Sharing Secrets for Combat Efficiency
- Important Questions regarding Practice after Intensive Chi Kung Course