SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MAY 2016 PART 3
I am truly beginning to understand the simple yet profound practice of Black Tortoise almost a year and a half later after the Dragon Strength course.
After a week of practicing the first section of Dragon Strength via the Black Tortoise Method, I continue to feel very charged throughout the day. In fact, there are times when I am certain that just merely thinking of the Black Tortoise method when I am out and about during the day charges me.
— Stephen, USA
I am happy that I taught the Dragon Strength Course in December 2014. It was a very special course, and although many people have asked me to teach it again, I don't intend to do so.
This is the same with other courses that I say I am unlikely to offer them again. I don't want deserving students (including instructors) to miss them. The one that comes in mind is the Special Weapon Course. Not only students learn 8 famous weapons in a few days, many of the things they learn at the course are not taught elsewhere.
Four special skills were outstanding at the Dragon Strength Course -- dragon speed, dragon force, dim mark and various ways to develop internal force using the Dragon Strength Set. The Black Tortoise method is only one of numerous ways to develop internal force. I am glad that you have accomplished it.
It's also interesting that although Black Tortoise seems to consolidate energy, the consolidation is very different and far more powerful than Iron Wire.
You are right. Although both consolidate energy, the Black Tortoise method and the Iron Wire method are different. Relatively, the internal force from the Black Tortoise method is more flowing and softer.
It is interesting that you have found out the internal force from the Black Tortoise method, while softer, is more powerful than that from the Iron Wire method. I believe this was because your Black Tortoise internal force was built upon that of Iron Wire. You had practiced Iron Wire before, then you practiced Black Tortoise.
Is this possible as one progresses in chi kung training? Just now, when I was standing in line at an airport, I gave a thought to charge and energize my whole body. The resulting sensations were similar to after having practiced Black Tortoise.
I have been using this new method for the past few days and it seems to work every time. However, I would like to check with Sigung before continuing since it seems that I don't even need to formally practice chi kung anymore!
This is possible to a dedicated student who has learned from a generous, genuine master. Most other students will not have this result. Indeed, most people, including masters, do not even have internal force.
Genuine masters are rare today. Even among these rare genuine masters, many of them may not want to teach others. Even if a student has a rare opportunity to learn from a generous genuine master, the student may not be dedicated enough to practice to have this result.
Your experience can be described as "first thought, then realization". First you have a gentle though of the process of the training. Then the result of the training is realized. You need to have undergone the training and have obtained good result. Other people may think or visualize the result, and it never will happen.
This experience of "first thought, then realization" occurs in many of our students. Yours happened to be a very powerful one. A less powerful and more common occurrence concerns energy flow. Students think of their hands, and energy flows to their hands. Students think of their back, and energy flows to their back.
Another example is the Small Universe. Those who attended my courses of the Small Universe, just have a gentle thought of the Small Universe, and their small universal energy flow manifests Others who have not learned these skills, may think of the hands, back or the Small Universe, but nothing will happen.
You need to have practiced the respective art and have attained a good level before you can experience "first thought, then realization". If one does not have attained a high level of an art, not matter how he thinks of the result, nothing will happen.
But what about future development? Does a student who has the ability of "first thought, then realization" on energy flow, for example, need to practice more advanced arts, like the Small Universe? It depends on whether he wants more advanced results? If he is contented with energy flow, he needs not progress further. But if he wants better results, he progresses to more advanced arts.
I remember some advice my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Name, who told me many years ago, in Cantonese, that "hok mo ji keng", which means "there is no limit to learning". Our arts are so deep and wonderful that their learning and practice are limtiless.
How does one choose which exercise to practice?
— Andrea, Russia
The choice depends on a few factors, like needs, aspirations, developmental stage and sometimes whims and fancies.
If a person is sick, his immediate need is to overcome his illness. He may also aspire to have internal force and mental clarity, but need comes before aspiration. So he should choose an exercise from Five-Animal Play or 18 Jewels which are excellent for overcoming illness.
He may not be clinically sick, but if he is anxious for no apparent reason, he lacks emotional health. He should choose the Monkey Play from Five-Animal Play, or direct his energy to massage his stomach in Massaging Internal Organs so as to flush out negative emotions of anxiety from his spleen and stomach systems.
When he is healthy, he may want a lot of energy to play games or mental clarity to solve problems. He can choose Bone Marrow Cleansing at the Muscle Level or Cosmic Shower to give him internal force and mental focus.
His developmental stage in chi kung training is also a crucial factor. If he has not learnt Bone Marrow Cleansing or Cosmic Shower, he will be unable to perform exercises from these arts. He will have to perform exercises that he knows to develop internal force and mental clarity, like Lifting the Sky and Pushing Mountain from the 18 Lohan Hands.
Often the choice of an exercise is dependent on whims and fancies. He may just fancy to practice a particular exercise for no other valid reasons. So go ahead and enjoy himself.
We are indeed very lucky that in our school we have a great range of exercises to choose from. We are also very skilful in performing chi kung to an extent that even when a student has made a poor choice of exercise to practice, his result is usually better than other students who may have made the best choice.
Our three golden rules of practice are:
- Don't worry.
- Don't intellectualize.
- Enjoy the practice.
It means that our students need not worry which exercise or exercises they practice. They don't intellectualise whether they would have better result if they have made a better choice. They enjoy practicing whatever exercise or exercises they have chosen.
In fact, irrespective of the exercise a student has chosen, he is advised that if he can attain just 30% of what he attained during a course with me, he would have done well. I would lie to add that this statement about 30% is made earnestly in my capacity as a chi kung grandmaster who has given health and happiness to thousands of people.
In the Plum Flower Sabre Set at http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-2/weapons/single-knife/single-knife-pictures.html, is "Reverse Whirlwind Kick" (Patterns 6-7-8) aiming at the head?
Which part of the foot would connect with which part of the head?
— Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Austria
Yes, "Reverse Whirlwind Kick" is meant to strike an opponent's head. But it may be used to strike any part of the opponent's body if the situation warrants it.
Normally the outer edge of the foot is used to strike an opponent's temple or the side of his face. But, as kungfu is alive, any part of your foot may strike any part of his body.
Editorial Note: Sifu Leonard Lackinger's other questions can be found in the previous issue, May 2016 Part 2.
In the poise pattern "Show Dragon Hide Tiger" (Pattern 21 in False-Leg Stance and Pattern 36 in Bow-Arrow Stance), should the sabre be pointing forward or diagonally downwards?
Is it correct that in the similar looking patterns, the sabre is slashing upwards in "White Monkey presents Fruit" (Pattern 28) and sideways in "Fierce Tiger on Ground" (Pattern 40)?
In "Show Dragon Hide Tiger", the sabre points diagonally downward.
This poise pattern can sometimes be used for combat application. Can you think of situations where this pattern can be applied for combat?
Yes, the sabre is slashing upwards in "White Monkey Presents Fruit", and slashing sideways in "Fierce Tiger on Ground".
But these two patterns are different from "Open Window to Look at Moon". In "Open Window to Look at Moon" you hold the sabre with two hands and push it diagonally upward.
In "White Monkey Presents Fruit", you hold the sabre with one hand and slash it upward, using the other hand to stop the upward swing of your weapon-holding hand so that the weapon may not accidentally hit you.
In "Fierce Tiger on Ground", you squat down to avoid an opponent attacking your upper body, and simultaneously slash your sabre at your opponent's lower body.
How can "Open Window to Look at Moon" (Pattern 37) be applied?
When someone grasps you from behind, or attempts to grasp you, you can turn around and apply "Open Window to Look at Moon" on him.
An opponent grips your wrist holding the sabre, and tries to capture your weapon. With an appropriate turn of your wrist, you can apply "Open Window to Look at Moon" on his two arms. He would have to release his grip to move away.
Is there a story behind the pattern named "Kin Ngo Assassinates Emperor" (Pattern 56)?
Yes, there is a story associated with the pattern, "Kin Ngo Assassinates Emperor".
Kin Ngo, in Cantonese pronunciation, was a strategist during the Period of Seven Warring States about the third and fourth centuries BCE in China.
The State of Qin was the strongest, and the other six states combined to fight against it, but still to no avail. At last they came up with a plan, which was to send Kin Ngo to present a map showing the six states to the King of Qin. Hidden in the map was a dagger, with which Kin Ngo was to assassinate the King of Qin.
But Kin Ngo trembled when facing the King of Qin. So the plan failed, but Kin Nga still attempted to assassinate the King. Kin Nga with the dagger chased the King around. The King had a sword behind him, but he could not reach it.
Eventually a minister shouted, "My Lord, bend your body to pull out your sword." The King did that and killed Kin Ngo.
The King of Qing eventually annexed the other six states, became the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, or Qin Shi Huang Ti in Chinese, and unified China. He was best remembered for building the Great Wall of China. The term "China" came from the word "Chin", which is the English spelling for the Romanized Chinese "Qin" of the Qin Dynasty.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
- History and Philosophy of Dragon Strength Chi Circulationg Set
- Weapon Training in Daily Life and Martial Development
- Baguazhang Combat Sequences
- Green Dragon Crescent Moon Guan Dao
- Simply Declicious