SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
DECEMBER 2014 PART 1

Shaolin Kungfu

Genuine Shaolin martial arts are rare today

Question 1

Sigung, using the methods you taught me, I have seen definite results with being elusive or being commanding. In some cases, being commanding was so powerful that people would suddenly whip their head around to look at me, or my voice would resonate so forcefully that it scared people and made nearby people actually spasm a little.

— Frederick, USA

Answer

Congratulations for the good result you have by following my advice.

It is very important, for your own good, that you must use this fantastic skill for good. Never abuse it.

Question 2

I find it unbelievable that medical school does not stress me out at all, for which I have the Shaolin arts and your wondrous tutelage to thank.

Answer

Our arts give us not only good health but also vitality. It is due mainly to our development of internal force and mental clarity. Many of our students have reported that not only they are not tired in vigorous activities like sports and demanding activities like working for their Ph D, but also they enjoy what they do.

Combat sequence

Practicing combat sequences is an important aspect of combat training

Question 3

I am slowly building and drawing my confidence from martial arts into my daily life. I easily have the courage to face someone in a fight, even someone who is pointing a knife or sword at me, but my strength and confidence fail me if I have to speak with a pretty and intelligent lady. Smiling from the heart helps so much.

Answer

Our kungfu and chi kung practice should enhance all aspects of our daily life, including talking to a pretty lady.

It is natural for self-respecting young men to feel shy when talking to a pretty young women they have feeling for, though many people may not know this fact.

The following points will be helpful for young men like you.

  1. Take a slow, deep breath and gently sink your chi into your dan tian before speaking to a pretty young woman.
  2. Tell yourself that you are honorable and whatever happens is for mutual benefit, and certainly without any ill intention.
  3. Assure yourself that she is probably more shy than you.
  4. If you ask her for a date, irrespective of whether she accepts or declines, you are doing her a favour, you are giving her a chance to accept or decline. She may not have this chance often, and certainly she has little chance to ask you for a date even if she wants to.
  5. It is also her right to decline. If she declines, it does not necessarily mean she does not like you. She may have other legitimate reasons.
  6. If you like a girl, ask to take her out. If you fail, it is not due to lack of trying.
  7. If after a few tries, a girl you like continues to decline your dates, don't waste your time and hers. But sincerely wish her well. Spend your time on other girls who may want to go out with you.
  8. When you take a girl out, it is your duty to protect her and make her, not yourself, enjoy the outing.

Question 4

I was able to spar briefly several months ago with a good friend in another state who had been training for about the same amount of time that I had, and I was able to handle him quite easily by using sequences.

Answer

Sequence sparring is a secret of combat efficiency. It enabled me to remain undefeated in all my sparring and some real fights in my younger days. I am so generous to share this secret with our students and instructors.

But some students and a few instructors in our school did not follow my advice although they honestly thought they did. For example, they spent time and effort to learn other martial art techniques, like shoots and boxing, and used these techniques when sparring with opponents of other martial arts, when I specifically asked them to use our combat sequences.

In algebra terms, I asked them to use ABC, but they used PQR, yet they thought they used ABC!

ABC is obviously different from PQR, just as using combat sequences is obviously different from using techniques of other martial arts. Yet they couldn't tell the difference between using combat sequences and using other martial art techniques, as if they couldn't tell the difference between ABC and PQR.


Editorial Note: Frederick's questions will be continued at December 2014 Part 2 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

Green Dragon

A pattern from the Eighteen Lohan Hands

Question 5

I have a strange question that I hope you can help me with.

For fun, I'm trying to categorize each of the 18 Lohan Hands into the 5 Elements. I understand that many of the exercises spread across several Elements. But if you had to choose an Element for each of the exercises, based on the organ associations as well as the healing indications, which would it be?

Here is what I came up with:

Do you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions on this?

— Sifu Anthony Korahais, Chief Instructor of USA

Answer

I would not attempt to classify the 18 Lohan Hands into five elementary processes even for fun, as doing so is not only irrelevant but also counter productive. The term "5 Elements" is wrongly translated into English and it gives a mistaken conception which affects all subsequent application and manifestation of its philosophy. The Chinese term is "wu xing" or "wu yun" which means "five processes" or "five circulations", which refers to activity and not form.

Even when we leave aside this important premiss, classifying the 18 Lohan Hands into five elementary processes or five elements is counter-productive.

In the first place, it is irrelevant. It is forcing meaning into the set of chi kung exercises when not only the meaning is not there originally, but also it restricts their usefulness, which is especially unwise in our school when we have become very cost-effective.

We may classify each application of each individual situation into the five elementary for fun, processes, but not rigidly classify the whole exercise in general. "Lifting ther Sky", for example, may be classified into the earth process for fun when we apply the exercise to build chi at the dan tian. But when we use the chi to circulate to clear blockage, we classify it into the water process.

As an analogy, we may, for fun, classify the money we earn from various sources into rent-money, food-money, entertainment-money, etc when we use it for a specific function in a particular situation. But it is counter-productive if you insist that the money you earn from teaching Taijiquan is rent-money, from teaching chi kung is food-money, and from healing is entertainment-money.

It is all money or cash flow which you earn from different sources and which you can use for different purposes, for which you may make classification. Similarly, it is internal force or ch flow which you earn from different techniques from the 18 Lohan Hands which you can use for different purposes, for xhich you may classify into different processes for convenience.

Question 6

I have a friend who has lyme disease (from a certain type of tick getting into the body) and had this disease for two years now. Her immune system is so low that she can't fight it off, and she has to lie down every several hours from fatigue and muscle pain.

Could you please recommend a series of Chi Gung exercises that might be good for her

— Larry, Russia

Answer

It is not the type of exercise that one performs but how he performs the exercise that helps him overcome illness, like lyme disease. In other words, it is not the chi kung techniques but chi kung skills that help to overcome illness. This is a fact that many people, including chi kung instructors, may not know.

If it were true that by practicing a correct chi kung technique, a person can overcome his illness, there will not be so many sick people today.

As an analogy, it is not what swimming techniques or driving techniques that a person uses that enables him to swim or drive, it is the skills of swimming or driving that are necessary. If it were true that by knowing the techniques, like reading them from a book, many people could swim or drive without having to learn from living instructors.

I would recommend your friend to learn chi kung from our certified instructors. A list can be found at http://www.shaolin.org/general/instructors-list.html. Or she may attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. Please see my website at http://www.shaolin.org for details.

chi flow

Generating a chi flow without performing any chi kung exercise is a master's skill

Question 7

I have a hard time seeing this fault in myself. I've been told before too by many people. Sifu Andrea's direct approach hit me hard today, and your writing seals it. I will take this instruction seriously and follow your advice. I've never approached a problem in the ways you are telling me too. This is turning my paradigms upside down. I am very grateful for your and others' help

— Lee, USA

Answer

I am glad that you have seen your fault and are going to rectify it once and for all. It is a big break-through.

All you need to do is to follow the three golden rules in chi kung practice as well as in daily life:

  1. Don't worry.
  2. Don't intellectualize.
  3. Enjoy your practice.

Please note that "don't worry" does not mean "don't care". It is precisely that you care, you take steps to overcome your setbacks, but you don't worry and don't intellectualize over them.

For example, suppose you feel tired or emotionally down. Don't worry and don't intellectualize why you feel tire or whether your chi kung practice will overcome your emotional problem. Just practice your chi kung twice a day and enjoy your practice.

Suppose you have to perform a certain task, don't worry whether you can perform it or intellectualize how well or badly you would do, just do it and enjoy doing it.

In this way you will find life more pleasant, and you will also have more time to do whatever wholesome things you want to do.

Question 8

Every time I do standing meditation I get chi flow and spontaneous movements before I have even done one of the techniques. Should I even use the other techniques? I have not been fixated on this, rather I mostly just go for it and enjoy the practice like you said I should. However, am I missing something? Should I still do the techniques like Lifting the Sky or Carrying the Moon?

Answer

Congratulations.

Being able to go into chi flow just by entering a chi kung state of mind and without performing any chi kung patterns is a master's skill. It doesn't mean you have become a master, but this is a skill normally available to masters. Nevertheless, many of those who have attended an Intensive Chi Kung Course have this skill.

If your object is just to generate a chi flow, it is not necessary for you to perform any other chi kung exercises. After all, it is the chi flow, not the exercises, that gives benefits of good health, vitality and longevity.

However, there may be other objectives, even when these other objectives may not be the most important. You may, for example, like to correct your posture, or to have better posture. Or you may like to loosen your joints and stretch your muscles. In such cases, it would be recommended to "tame" your chi flow so as to perform some repetitions of chi kung exercises like Lifting the Sky and Carrying the Moon.

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