DECEMBER 2009 (Part 2)

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kungfu is simple, direct and effective. But "simple" does not mean shallow or straight-forward; it means devoid of unnecessary frills.

Question 1

Should I sometimes train with a "sparring" mindset, then less frequently train with a "fighting" mindset?

— Sifu Jamie Robson, Scotland

Answer

A sparring mind-set is a fighting mind-set. There should not be different. We spar the way we actually fight, except of course that in friendly sparring we hold our strikes. You may, however, vary the intensity of threat in different sparring or fighting situations.

Question 2

Can I highlight the difference to my students that in sparring they may attempt pressing, luring, setting up, tactics and strategies etc, but if attacked on the street, they just be simple, direct and efficient.

Answer

Tell and train your students that we spar the way we actually fight. As mentioned above, we may vary the intensity of threat, damage or control in different sparring or fighting situations. In this way, when your students engage in real fights, they will be relaxed and effective as if they were sparring in the kwoon.

Whether your students are engaged in sparring in the school or real fighting on the street, they use the same techniques, tactics and strategies. They may press, lure, set up, or just cover and strike, but whatever techniques, tactics or strategies they use, they must be simple, direct and effective.

To be simple does not mean using only one or two moves. It means we do away with unnecessary frills and superfluous moves. If a chin-na technique requires five moves for example, we will use the five moves. We would not add one or two frills to make the technique look pretty, or one or two extra moves to make it more complicated.

However, if a frill is necessary to distract an opponent, for example, we will use it, not as an unncessary frill but as an advantageous feint to distract an opponent. If a complicated movement is required in a sophisticated technique, we will use it, not to make the technique complicated, but as an integral part of a sophisticated technique.

Kungfu Sparring

A sparring mind-set is a fighting mind-set. Our students fight the way they are trained in sparring

Question 3

My wife was diagnosed of having metastatic liver cancer about 10 days ago. She had 1st stage breast cancer treated with lumpectomy, radiation and chemotherapy 7 years ago.We just heard that the source of the multiple liver metastasis is the breast. Life expectancy with chemotherapy is a few months to a year or two -according to her oncologist.

— Peter, USA

Answer

I am sorry to hear of your wife's cancer. But the good news is that cancer can be overcome, and many people have overcome cancer. One good way is to practice high-level chi kung. In fact I was awarded "Qigong (Chi Kung) Master of the Year" at the 2nd World Qigong Congress in San Francisco in 1997 mainly due to my helping many people overcome cancer.

The chi kung perspective in viewing cancer or any disease is very different from that of conventional Western medicine. From the chi kung perspective, cancer or any illness is due to energy blockage. This may sound odd or even ridiculous from the Western medical perspective, but this chi kung perspective has enabled chi kung masters and therapists to help many students or patients to overcome cancer and other diseases.

Hence, if a patient can clear his energy blockage, he can overcome cancer or any disease. An excellent way to do so is to practice high-level chi kung from a master.

Question 4

I read your books and have been using them as a guidance and started doing Chi Kung on my own several years ago. I do the induced Chi Flow, Lifting the Sky, Carrying the Moon, Pushing Mountains and the Golden Bridge. I usually do the Golden Bridge for 30-35 minutes. Not too long ago I did it for 62 minutes on my 62nd birthday, which I feel makes me really strong.

I also meditate on my own for a long time. Can I channel my accumulated Chi to help my wife? How would I o this? Do you have other advice for us?

Answer

The chi kung exercises you practice are very good at generating energy flow and building a strong supply of energy. In theory, if you have a lot of energy, you can channel it to your wife to help her overcome cancer. But in practice, it may not be so, because you may lack the knowledge and skills to do so.

In the same way, in theory, practicing high-level chi kung can overcome any illness, but in practice it may not be so because the student may not have practiced correctly or the illness may have gone beyond a threshold.

I would recommend that you wife learns from a chi kung master. If she wishes to learn from me or any of our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors, please refer to my website or our List of Certified Instructors . Attending my Intensive Chi Kung Course would be a good choice. Please apply to my Secretary at shaolin@pd.jaring.my if she is interested to attend.

Meanwhile you can help her much by giving her hope and encouragement. Referring her to the Testimonials section of my website, and pages concerning cancer recovery like those found in http://www.shaolin.org/chikung/qigong-cure.html , would be helpful.

I would also like to share with you the secret in my helping many people overcome cancer. The most important thing a healer should do is to convince the patient that life is worth living. This is especially so with cancer patients, where suffering constant pain may have eroded their will to live.

The second moist important thing is to convince the patient that he can be cured. (Please note that this does not necessarily mean he will surely be cured.) This is not giving false hope. In my case, if I myself am not convinced that there is a possibility that the patient will recover, I will ask him to seek help elsewhere. I consider it sinful to treat someone if there is no hope of his recovery, when he may recover from treatment by other more capable healers.

Golden Bridge

Grandmaster Wong demonstrates Golden Bridge

Question 5

I have been training in earnest since February, not practicing anything except "Lifting the Sky" and Horse Stance with "Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows". I have shirked external exercise and even my own martial arts training, just practicing these exercises only, at least once a day, at most twice a day.

— Andrew, USA

Answer

These are excellent exercises. But you must remember to relax totally during stance training.

As you progress, you can now practice other exercises you like, including your martial art training.

Remember that genuine chi kung enhances whatever you have been doing, nor restrict it. For example, if you practiced martial art before, or ate ice-cream and chocolate, or enjoyed wholesome sex, now you can do them better.

Question 6

The problem was because of my worrying, my practice suffered. I couldn't gain the chi flow I received that first time. My chi flow was significant, but not as effective. Then I found that I did "Lifting the Sky" wrong. I was disheartened. But I didn't give up.

I review the instructions in your book and followed every letter. It was then that I knew what was wrong. I didn't breathe gently. I didn't relax. I didn't excuse and exit all distracting thoughts. I failed in the basic tenets of qigong practice. I was lucky that I even got chi flow without adverse effects.

Answer

Your experience is invaluable to those who practice from books or from mediocre teachers. You have listed the most important requirements for chi kung practice, namely breathe gently (and often naturally), relax and don't think of anything.

These requirements are most important because without them one cannot practice chi kung; he merely perform chi kung external forms. Yet, these are often the requirements many students overlook, possibly because the requirements appear so simple.

Masters or books would have mantioned these requirements for chi kung training, but many students merely listen to or read the words, without actually applying them. Instead the students pay attention to less important aspects like how fast must they move their hands or how straight must their legs be.

Not worrying is very important in high-level chi kung. This is because high-level chi kung works at the mind level, and worrying not only distracts the mind but also makes it stressful. It is so important that it features as the first of our three golden rules of practice, which are don't worry, don't intellectualize and enjoy the practice.

Chi Kung State of Mind

Being in a chi kung state of mind is esential for practicing chi kung

Question 7

Practicing "Lifting the Sky" before everything got me into a Qigong State of Mind. To the point that if I was angry and frustrated before practice, it would melt away by three repetitions. I would be focused and relaxed. Then, practicing Horse Stance was easy (relatively). I "sat", I felt the cool buzz in my dan tian.

Sifu, I believe that this is the signal that let me know how correct my practice is. If I do not feel it, I am doing it wrong. What's interesting is that if I worry about it, it won't come. If I don't worry and wait, and just relax, like what you have always been saying, it comes like clockwork. In fact, the cool buzz swirls around my torso from time to time, I believe with every breath I take! After practice, I feel so happy.

Answer

This is one of many reasons why "Lifting the Sky" is such a wonderful exercise.

Yes, feeling happy, or at least feeling pleasant, is a clear signal that the practice is correct. This is a good answer to many students who often ask whether they have been practicing correctly.

You will be pleased to know that your feeling of a cool or refreshing buzz in your dan tian is not only a signal that you have been practicing correctly but also that you have been practicing well. This is what past masters described as a flow of energy swelling at their dan tian.

Past master took many years to achieve this result, but you took only a few months, and practising from my books! The masters' energy was more powerful than yours, but still you had similar result albeit at a lower level. This is incrediable. Many people may not believe it, but it is true.

Chi kung is scientific in that if one performs X exercise correctly, he will get Y result. If he does not get Y result, it can be traced to one or more of the following three causes:

  1. Actually he did not perform X exercise, although he thought, often honestly, that he did.
  2. He performed X exercise incorrectly.
  3. He performed X exercise insufficiently.
Indeed, the first point above is the most important reason why a great majority of chi kung practitioners today do not benefit from their practice. They perform gentle physical exercise but honestly think it is chi kung.

Question 8

One day, I said something that hurt my girlfriend deeply, but I was too upset. I kept wondering, "I'm practicing Qigong! Why such anger? Am I practicing wrong?"

Answer

When we practice chi kung, we still experience strong emotions. But we do not lock up the emotions. In other words, we can still be angry, sad or anxious, but only for a short while, as our chi flow soon clears the negative emotions away.

Ordinary people, who do not practice chi kung, have a lot of blockage. The emotions are therefore locked in their body (and mind). They remain angry, sad or anxious long after the events that caused the negative emotions.

Question 9

Later that day, I practiced "Lifitng the Sky" and Horse Stance. Then, I went into "Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows". While swaying my mind flashed about what had happened. I finished my practice and I called her up. I told her how I felt and I listened to what she had to say. We both felt a lot better. Please, tell me what happened to me?

Answer

You opened your heart, resulting in the negative emotions being released. Your vigorous chi flow also flushed out a lot of negative emotions and ndgative thoughts.

LINKS

Selected Reading

Courses and Classes