SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
NOVEMBER 2011 PART 2

Wing Choon Siu Lin Tou

Grandmaster Wong performing Siu Lin Tou of Wing Choon Kungfu

Question 1

I'm sorry that I haven't written yet to thank you for the courses in Costa Rica. It was a magical time for us. The Blue Mountain is more beautiful than I imagined, and it was a wonderful setting to learn from you. Rama and Adalaida did a wonderful job building such a special place.

In Gainesville, we have been working on the Wing Choon that you taught us. The Chi Sau and the sequences are a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can help to preserve Wing Choon since we have over 7 students here who can practice it.

— Sifu Anthony Korahais, USA

Answer

Yes, the Blue Mountain is beautiful. I am glad you also have found the visit rewarding.

Let me share with you a secret. I was amazed with the Wing Choon sets myself. At first I thought Wing Choon was just a physical fighting art. Although I could develop internal force using Siu Lin Tou, most Wing Choon practiioners couldn't (and still can't). I also thought its fighting effectiveness limited.

But my teaching the special Wing Choon course in Penang changed all this. Because I had many force traiing methods, preciously I did not pay much attention to using Siu Lin Tou to develop internal force. But as I was going to teach the course, I spent some time practicing Siu Lin Tou to develop internal force. I was amazed! The internal force generated was much, much more, and also much, much faster than when I first did so learning from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy. As a rough comparison, I could develop in one day the amount of internal force I would need a year to do so when I first learned it.

This was directly related to the concept of breath and depth. I was able to generate so much force using Siu Lin Tou because of my experience in other force-training methods.

Understandably, some people would think that I exaggerated. How could I generate more force in one day when it took me one year in the past? Would you believe that a billionaire could earn in one day what it would take him a year to earn when he was a schoolboy? Similarly, some people could earn in one day what most other people would need a year to earn,

The "you" here, of course, refers to people in general, not to you personally. You personally would have no problem believing it because you have such experiences yourself.

The following explanation may provide some insight to how I could now generate more force in one day than what I would need a year using the same method when I first learned it, There are two dimensions in operation.

One, the tremendous improvement in both the breath and depth of my force training has enabled me to generate more force now than that in the past. Two, now I have a much bigger reserve of force to draw from.

An analogy would make this concept clearer. When I was a schoolboy, if I needed to spend a thousand dollars, I would need to save for a year. Now if I need to spend a thousand dollars, I can readily draw it from my bank account. I am more cost-effective now because both my earning ability as well as my bank account have improved tremendously.

This concept of breath and depth also applied to Wing Choon combat application. As I wanted course participants to experience the comprehensiveness of Wing Choon Kungfu in combat, I started working on using Wing Choon techniques against all categories of attacks. I was surprised at the wide range of possibilities the apparently simple Wing Choon patterns could provide. "Plucking Coconut" against shoots, and "Cockerel Kick" against throws are two examples of my surprised discoveries.

Question 2

So now I have the Tiger-Crane set to add to my repertoire. A few years ago, I would have been overwhelmed. But now, I enjoy learning new sets. Thanks to a conversation that we had while you were here last November, I also solved the problem of how to manage so many sets.

It's simple: I practice a set a day. Every day, without fail, I practice a set. Of course, I often practice more than one set, but the bare minimum is 1 a day. This "Set a Day" rule has been really helpful for me.

Another thing that really helped was modifying the sets to practice them in my small Kung Fu room at home. If it's too cold or too hot outside, I practice in that room

Answer

A set a day is excellent. We only need the space a buffalo lies to practice a set.

A set a day reminds me of a concept I thought of many years ago. If you keep up practicing a set a day everyday without fail, you will have vitality and be able to run and jump when you are ninety and beyond.

s kungfu set a day

If you practice a kungfu set a day and keep it up without fail, you can run and jump even when you are ninety and beyond

Question 3

Would you recommend that I teach chi kung to my children at the physical level?

— Maria, Spain

Answer

Yes, at the physical level, but not performing chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise. There is only a fine line of difference, and most chi kung practitioners today may not realize it. They practice chi kung techniques not as chi kung, but as gentle physical exercise. That is why they do not derive any chi kung benefits like good health, a lot of energy and mental freshness though they may have practiced for years. At best they derive benefits of gentle physical exercise, like being relaxed and having good balance

The crucial difference is energy flow. When the practice results in energy flow, it is chi kung. When the practice does not result in energy flow, even when the same techniques are used, it is gentle physical exercise. Please note that for most other students, their chi flow may not be as vigorous as ours. They may just sway a little, or they feel some tingling sensations inside their body. And they usually take a longer time to have some chi flow.

It is the chi flow, not the techniques, that gives the benefits of chi kung. In other words, if after practicing chi kung for some time, you overcome your illness, or find that you can think more clearly, it is because of your chi flow, and not because of your techniques like "Lifting the Sky" and "Pushing Mountain". If you practice "Lifting the Sky" and "Pushing \Mountain" but there is no chi flow, in which case you practice the techniques as physical gentle exercise, you will not overcome your illness or have mental clarity. On the other hand, you can also generate chi flow using other techniques.

It is the same as cash flow. It is the cash flow, not the job you do, that enables you to enjoy your economic needs. In other words, if after working as an engineer or a salesman you can pay your rent and enjoy delicious dinners, it is because of your cash flow. If you work well but have no cash flow, you will be unable to enjoy your economic needs. On the other hand, you can also generate cash flow by working other jobs.

There are three main approaches in generating chi flow, namely using form, using breathing and using mind. These three approaches or levels are integrated, the difference is one of emphasis.

You can generate an energy flow by repeating a chi kung form, or a few chi kung forms, many times, without worrying about your breathing and without any visualization. This was what we did at the start of our "Cosmic Shower" course. And this is the physical-level of chi kung that I recommend you to employ to teach your children

You can generate an energy flow by regulating your breathing while performing a chi kung form, or a few chi kung forms. This was what we did in our "Generating Energy Flow" course. You can also generate an energy flow using mind, wwithout performing chi kung forms. This was what we did in the main part of our "Cosmic Shower" course where we generated a cosmic shower through our body.

If repeating a chi kung form, or a number of chi kung forms, can generate an energy flow, then why so many other students who do exactly this, cannot generate an energy flow? It is because they lack chi kung skills, especially the skill of entering into a chi kung state of mind.

Question 4

Is it necessary to continue a diet after one has recovered from a disease?

Answer

No, it is not necessary. Chi kung aims for good health, not just overcoming illness. If a person had diabetes, for example, after practicing chi kung he does not need to take medication. He has overcome his illness. But if he still has to continue a sugar-free diet, he does not have good health. To be healthy includes being able to eat whatever he likes without harmful effects.

Indeed, having overcome diabetes, he should start a programme of gradually increasing his sugar intake. His pancreas had not been working for some time while he suffered from diabetes. Now when his diabetes has been overcome, he should eat a little sugar at a time, and gradually increase the amount to stimulate his pancreas to work normally again.

carrying the Moon

Students at and Intensive Chi Kungfu Course practicing Carrying the Moon

Question 5

What is the difference when two persons practicing the same exercise, like "Lifting the Sky"?

— Jorge, Spain

Answer

There will be difference in the way they perform the exercise, the reaction they have, as well as the result they get. The difference will depend on such factors like their skill levels, the constituents of their body and their state of mind.

Obviously, the one with higher skill levels perform the exercise more beautifully and more effectively than the other. His form will be accurate, his breathing gentle and he is focused and relaxed.

The more advanced practitioner will generate more chi flow than the other, even when they practice the same exercise for the same length of time. If he knows other skills like massaging internal organs or expansion into the Cosmos, he may direct his chi to do so, and his outward appearance will reflect these effects, while the lesser skilled practitioner merely sway in chi flow.

The constituents of their body has a great influence on the type of chi flow and other reactions even when they perform the same exercise. If all other factors were equal, the one with kidney problems may stamp his feet, the one with rheumatism may roll on the ground, while the one with emotional problems may cry and scream, as these are natural ways for chi to flush out their problems.

Due to different influencing factors, their results will be different though they practice the same exercise. Logically the more skillful practitioner will have better results. One who is already healthy will feel fresh and energized. One who has some blockage to clear, may feel some pain as his chi flow is in the process iof pushing through the blockage.

Question 6

I have back pain. Can I do "Carrying the Moon"?

Answer

Not only you can, but you should as "Carrying the Moon" is excellent for overcoming back pain.

This perspective is different from the perspective of conventional Western medicine. Doctors often advise patients with back pain not to bend their back.

But the chi kung perspective is different. Chi kung masters tell their students with back pain to practice "Carrying the Moon", which involves bending the back. First you have to bend your back gently. There may be some slight pain initially, but it is usually tolerable. Then you let your chi flow to take over.

Sometimes your chi flow may bend your back vigorously. Those used to the conventional Western perspective may be shocked. But as long as the movements, though vigorous, are generated by chi flow, it is perfectly safe. Soon you will have no more back pain. Many students in our school have overcome their back problems in this way.

Shaolin combat application

Florian of Switzerland and Sifu Michael of Australia applying a Shaolin combat sequence in sparring

Question 7

I am writing to ask if it is possible for me to train to become a Wahnam instructor and eventually, if possible, a master. I would like to start by attending one of Master Wong's intensive kung fu courses in Malaysia and I would please like to know if it possible to join the Wahnam school in Malaysia full time to learn from Master Wong or one of his instructors on a regular basis?

— William, UK

Answer

We do not offer courses to train instructors. Our instructors are selected from our top students who have shown prominence in character as well as kungfu performance.

You are welcome to attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course , but you need to have some prior kungfu experience. You should at least be able to perform the stances well. You will derive more benefit from the course if you have familiarized yourself with the Shaolin Basic 16 Combat Sequences before attending the course. You will find the course tough if you are not prepared beforehand.

If you wish to attend, please apply to my Secretary . You will be informed whether your application has been accepted.

Attending the course does not mean that you will eventually be considered to be trained as an instructor. You have to prove yourself to be a worthy student first. Indeed we have a lot of worthy students in our school.

I do not teach regular classes at present. We have many certified Shaolin Kungfu instructors in the United Kingdom. Please see our List of Certified Instructors . I would recommend that you learn from one of them. They are excellent instructors. My Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course and the regular classes taught by our instructors complement each other.

Question 8

Why do we open our mouth when practicing chi kung?

— Koncha, Spain

Answer

The mouth is the most important organ to dispose off toxic waste. I am not referring to the roughage which we clear in the toilet every morning, but waste products like carbon dioxide and ammonia which resulted from our metabolic processes and which we dispose off when we breathe out. If you close your mouth, you still can clear toxic waste by other means, but it will be far less efficient. The toxic waste left in your body can cause insidious harm.

When you close your mouth, you become physically and mentally tensed. Many people are so used to closing their mouth and being tensed that they usually do not realize it. If you close you mouth once a while, it may not be serious. But if you close your mouth a few hours a day, everyday for many years, the accumulated tension can be quite substantial. Now you may not be so surprised why so many people find it hard to relax. Being tensed has become habitual to them.

The mouth is also very important for expressing emotions. One cries when sad, laughs when happy, sighs when worried, and shout when angry. He can hardly express these emotions if the mouth is close. These emotions, especially negative emotions, when locked in the body may bring about psychological or even physical illness.

It was Douglas who once told me he noticed that without a single exception all the people who consulted me for their psychological problems, came with their mouth close. Closing their mouth habitually may not have caused them their psychological problems, but it certainly had aggravated them.

Not many people realize that they can think better with their mouth open. Now, try thinking of some problems with your mouth close, then thinking of similar problems with your mouth open. We shall use similar problems, because thinking of the same problems a second time gives an advantage. For example, you may think with your mouth close what is 5 + 8 x 3, or what you are going to have for lunch. Then open your mouth gently and think for about the same length of time what is 3 + 7 x 4, or what you are going to have for dinner. We have tried this a few times, and every time almost everyone finds that thinking with the mouth open is more efficient.

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