SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
APRIL 2018 PART 3
Can practicing chi kung give us good luck?
— Julian, Switzerland
Yes, practicing chi kung will give practitioners good luck. Hence, amongst other benefits, if you want to have good luck, you should start practicing chi kung. I would like to add that it must be genuine chi kung, which is rare nowadays. If you just practice chi kung forms as gentle physical exercise, you will not have chi kung benefits.
In the Chinese language, to have good luck is "hou yun qi". Word by word, "hou yum qi" means good circulation of qi, or vital energy. Chi kung masters discovered that if a person's qi is circulating well, he will have good luck.
Many Chinese words came from qigong, spelt as "chi kung" in English. Because of the long period between the time when words were first used and now, many people today may have forgotten their morphology, or history of how words were formed. Some words from chi kung are "kai xin", "fa bei qi" and "kong qi", which now mean "happy", "temperamental" and "air". If you tell Chinese-speaking people that the original meaning were "open heart". "manifest energy from the spleen" and "space energy", they may be very surprised.
I hope I may ask you a question about family life. A man has a relatively happy family life (with children) but the relationship between husband and wife is usually not so good. Now, later in life, he meets a lady who is, as he finds out, the love of his life. She feels the same about him. (It may feel as if they know each other from a previous life as everything is easy and flowing between them). She is also in the same situation: a relatively happy family life with children, but the relationship with her husband is usually not so good.
Could you give advice on what to do in this situation? I would be incredibly grateful.
— Name and Country Withheld
The man should make his present wife happy, like when they first met and became married, instead of making the other woman happy.
It may not be easy for him to do so, but he has to do it if he wants a happy family life -- for himself, his children and his wife.
It will be much easier for him to do so if he practices our Shaolin Wahnam arts because we do not just teach kungfu and chi kung, but also a healthy philosophy of life, including a happy family life.
So, if he is not part of our Happy Shaolin Wahnam Family yet, ask him to become a family member by learning from us. If he is already a member of our Happy Family, remind him that ours is an elite school. We are leaders, not followers.
We make our wives (or husbands) and our children happy, we do not wait for them to make us happy. Obviously, if a wife is not happy, the person cannot have a happy family life. It is actually for his sake that his wife is happy. It is also his duty to make his wife happy.
There are many ways to make his wife happy -- if he really wants to do so. He may, for example, help his wife to do their housework, and enjoy it -- both of them. He may buy her a present, which needs not be expensive, but it shows that he cares for her. He may take her out for a walk or a drive, especially to places where they went to when he courted her.
Why is Eighteen Lohan Hands more powerful than Eighteen Jewels?
— Tatiana, Russia
There are two reasons.
There is emphasis on breathing in Eighteen Lohan Hands, but in Eighteen Jewels regulated breathing is not necessary. Regulated breathing increases the power in the exercises. The exercises in Eighteen Jewels depend on repeating the form fast to generate an energy flow.
Relatively, Eighteen Jewels focus on circulating energy, whereas Eighteen Lohan Hands focus on building energy. Circulating energy and building energy, or "xing qi" and "yang qi" in Chinese, are the two dimensions of chi kung. In other words, in any chi kung there are the two dimensions of circulating energy and building energy, but the emphasis may not be equal. Circulating energy breaks through energy blockage, and building energy increases the amount or quality of energy.
Although Eighteen Lohan Hands are more powerful than Eighteen Jewels, these two sets of chi kung exercises are listed as elementary chi kung in our school. Examples of intermediate chi kung are Eighteen Lohan Art and Internal Force. Examples of advanced chi kung are Cosmic Breathing and Sinew Metamorphosis. Elementary chi kung gives the least energy, intermediate chi kung gives more energy, and advanced chi kung gives the most energy.
This does not mean that Eighteen Jewels and Eighteen Lohan Hands are least useful. In fact they are very useful in overcoming illness and maintaining good health. Eighteen Lohan Art and Internal Force, which are intermediate chi kung, are very useful for peak performance, and Cosmic Breathing and Sinew Metamorphosis are very useful for spiritual cultivation like expanding into the Cosmos.
Least energy is used to overcome illness. Using a powerful exercise, like Sinew Metamorphosis, for a patient is like asking him to lift heavy weight or to run a Marathon. More energy, which provides mental clarity and internal force, is used for peak performance when a practitioner is already healthy. The most energy is used for spiritual cultivation, like breaking through a practitioner's imaginary body to expanding into the Cosmos.
You say that we can achieve in one month what it took you a year. Why is that?
This is true though it may be difficult for some people to believe.
There are a few reasons why our students in Shaolin Wahnam can be so cost-effective that they can achieve in one month when I needed a year.
One important reason is that our students understand the underlying philosophy. They understand, for example, the difference between skills and techniques. They know that they need skills to practice chi kung. If they only practice the techniques without the skills, they will not get chi kung benefits.
When I was a student, I did not differentiate between skills and techniques. I thought wrongly that if I knew the techniques I would eventually get the benefits.
Then why did I still get chi kung benefits, like having good health, vitality and longevity. It was because of my dedication to the art, or "ku lian" in Chinese which means "bitter perseverance". Because of my dedication, I developed the necessarily skills unknowingly. That is why I took a year whereas our students can attain in a month.
Secondly, having understood the underlying philosophy now, I can teach our students the necessary skills. For example, I can teach our students to be relaxed and be free of irrelevant thoughts. These two skills are in fact the causes of why many other practitioners do not get chi kung benefits even when their techniques are correct.
Thirdly, not only I can teach the skills, I transmit the skills to them. Our students need not practice the skills for some time to be skillful. They attain the skills immediately when I transmit the skills to them. Hence, they are able to apply the skills straightaway instead of spending some time to practice them. Our students, therefore, can attain in one month what I needed a year.
I noticed a comment from Sifu Chris Didyk in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum that in the Essence of Shaolin set there don't seem to be any phoenix eye fists, snake strikes or leopard strikes. I noticed through practice and the video that there is maybe one leopard pattern (Pattern 35 General Leads Horse) also one application with the snake hand (Pattern 28 Devil King Waves Fan).
As I remember you told us last year during the Intensive Shaolin Kung Fu course dinner that the inventor of the set was Hoong Hei Khoon, who learned Southern Shaolin Kungfu from the Venerable Chee Seen, who was the first patriarch of Southern Shaolin.
It is said that the Essence of Shaolin Set comprises the best of Shaolin techniques for combat. Dear Sigung, do you know why these hand forms and their techniques are not in the set?
— Dimitri, Austria
Chris is correct. There are no phoenix eye fists, snake strikes or leopard punch in the Essence of Shaolin set. Pattern 28, Devil King Waves Fan, uses a palm slap, and Pattern 35 General Leads Horse, uses level fists.
You must have remembered wrongly. The great Southern Shaolin master, Hoong Hei Khoon, did not invent the set. I believed the set was invented by his siheng, the Venerable Harng Yein, who was also the most senior and best of the Venerable Chee Seen's disciples. The Venerable Harng Yein was more of a missionary than a revolutionist. Hence, he was not so well known.
The Essence of Shaolin set comprises the best of Shaolin techniques for combat. It brings a practitioner to the level of the marvelous, which even masters may not attain. Once we are at the marvelous level, we may, if the combat situation warrants it, modify any established hand-forms.
I have to admit that, though I know that you do not approve of people learning chi kung from books, I had learned chi flow from your very first book, almost 23 years ago. I can now teach myself an chi kung exercise, and reap the purported results and benefits alluded to it, with over training very easily being my greatest challenge.
— Riccardo, Canada
Congratulations for learning chi flow from my first book. Considering that more than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world, including in China, could not generate a chi flow on their own, and chi flow is the essence of chi kung, yours is a remarkable achievement.
The main reason I ask people not to learn chi kung from books is to prevent them from harming themselves, which they may do if they attempt advanced chi kung. Another important reason is to prevent them from performing gentle physical exercise but think that they are performing genuine chi kung.
If someone has the skill of chi flow, will other internal skills continue to develop by practicing chi flow only?
If someone has chi flow, other chi kung skills may not continue to develop by practicing chi flow only. For example, to direct chi to various internal organs, or to develop internal force, he needs the appropriate techniques.
I would also like to express my great gratitude and appreciation for all that I've learned from your books, and have the intention of eventually learning directly from you, like the Yang family form that I am currently being taught.
If you incorporate your chi flow into your Yang Style Taijiquan, you can develop some internal force, but it will take a long time. You can shorten the time tremendously by learning from a good teacher.
You need to learn to apply your Yang Style Taijiquan for combat. Chi flow alone will not enable you to have combat skills.
Sifu Emiko Hseun is a very good teacher, and she lives in Toronto. Perhaps you can learn from her.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.