July 2005 (Part 1)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I was truly moved by one of your statements on your website: “For a long time I have wanted to train a team of genuine kungfu fighters who can show the world that kungfu can be used for fighting. It doesn't matter if they lose so long as they use kungfu skills and techniques, and fight honorably.”
— Colin, USA
I am glad that since making that statement a few years ago, I have succeeded in helping many of my students, some of whom have become instructors themselves, to use genuine Shaolin and Taijiquan skills and techniques to fight effectively and honorably. Some of them can do so after learning from me for less than a year.
We are also quite liberal in sharing our training methods with other kungfu practitioners even if they do not want to learn from us formally. They may also be practicing other kungfu styles. You can find many video clips and explanations at Shaolin Wahnam Sparring Methodology and Applying Taijiquan for Combat.
I am 16 years old and have been searching long and hard for a master to teach me true Kung Fu — someone who can teach the great philosophies of the Chinese martial arts and real, effective, true kung fu techniques in free sparring and self defence. But I haven't even come close to finding anything.
For various reasons, both the great philosophies and the great combat effectiveness of Chinese martial arts have been lost. Hence, it is no surprise that you and many other seekers like you, have found nothing.
If you surf the internet, for example, you can find Shaolin masters whom the general public regard as authorities, explicitly say that kungfu stances and patterns are meant only for training principles, but when one has to fight he has to use movements like Boxing and Kickboxing. You can also find world known Taijiquan masters who explicitly say that there are no such things as qi (chi) and internal force.
Yet, if you examine any kungfu classic, it is clearly recorded that stances and patterns are used for combat, and qi and internal force are real in Shaolin, Taijiquan as well as other kungfu styles.
On the other hand, there are masters who say that that they use kungfu for fighting, but if you see how they or their students spar, it is obvious that they use Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing or Kickboxing.
Many masters say that kungfu training contributes to health and spiritual cultivation, but if you observe how their students train, you will find them routinely hurting themselves and intentionally hurting their sparring partners. Hurting themselves is detrimental to health, and hurting others is contrary to spiritual cultivation.
We do not mean to be presumptuous but we at Shaolin Wahnam still believe in and practice the great philosophies and combat effectiveness of Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan. Our Video Galore provides a lot of evidence.
I have been training hard and diligently anyway, and have formal training in Judo, and am now studying Tae Kwon Do. As much respect as I have for those arts, they are lacking and become more sport and nothing else.
Yes, you are right. Judo and Taekwondo are meant for sport. It could be dangerous to forget this fact and use them in real-life fighting. If you attempt to hold an opponent for a Judo throw, he may jab a dagger into your ribs. If you raise you leg high for a Taekwondo kick, your opponent may smash your groin.
Jabbing a dagger into someone's ribs and smashing someone's groin are not allowed in Judo and Taekwondo, but may happen in real-life fighting.
In our opinion, they are also lacking in health promotion and spiritual cultivation. Being routinely thrown or kicked is detrimental to health. The training is only physical; there is no systematic training of the spirit.
I also am studying hard the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. Even though Bruce Lee denounced classical Kung Fu, I feel that it can still prevail.
While we at Shaolin Wahnam have much respect for Bruce Lee, both his philosophy and practice are very different from ours. For example, Bruce Lee did not place much importance on kungfu stances and patterns, but we do.
Someday, I hope you will see me fit to be your humble student. Martial Art is my life, it pulls at my heart and spirit like nothing else on this planet. Hopefully my search stops with you.
In our school, we do not regard Shaolin Kungfu or Wahnam Taijiquan as our life. Although we are dedicated to our Shaolin or Taijiquan training, we are fully aware that there are many other things more important.
For example, if you are a student and have just enough time either to practice kungfu or do your homework, you should do your homework. If you are a husband and have just enough time either to practice kungfu or go for a walk with your wife, you should go for a walk with your wife. If you are a father and have just enough time either to practice kungfu or play with your children, you should play with your children.
Doing otherwise is upsetting priorities. In our school, we place duties before aspirations. Doing well in your studies is a duty to your parents as well as to yourself. Being kind to your wife and children is a duty to them as well as to God or by any name you call the Supreme Reality. Excelling in kungfu is an aspiration, not a duty.
But it is a very noble aspiration. To us in Shaolin Wahnam, our kungfu training is a comprehensive programme of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cultivation. As a result of our cultivation, not only we have more time to do our homework, go for a walk with our wife or husband, and play with our children, but also we shall do them more efficiently. Our Shaolin or Taijiquan training is not our life, but it is an effective means to enrich our life and the lives of other people.
Could you please explain how I can overcome an attacker controlling me on the ground as shown in pictures attached. (Please see the pictures before Question 1.) The attacker controls my right arm with his left hand while simultaneously smashing my lower ribs with his right knee and punching my face with his right fist. In the second picture, the attacker controls my right arm and simultaneously steps on my chest.
— Torsten, Germany
You can apply the following Shaolin techniques to overcome the situations shown in the pictures as follows.
In the first picture, use your left hand to ward off his right punch, and push away his right knee. Simultaneously turn your right hand in a circular manner first to release his grip, then grip his left wrist instead. Immediately use your left hand to grip his genitals. This pattern is called “Plucking Fruit While Looking at Sky”.
Alternatively, after warding off his right punch, pushing off his right knee and counter-gripping his left wrist as before, swing up your legs and with either leg sweep his head from behind to fell him backward. This pattern is called “Golden Coin Falls on Ground”. Following the mometum, you spring up and follow up with a punch at his dan tian. This pattern is called “Strike Tiger While Squrting on Ground”.
In the second picture, turn your right hand in a circular manner to release his grip and counter grip his right hand instead. Simultaneously use your left hand to push away his right leg from your chest to your left side. Immediately kick back your right toes at his kidney. This pattern is called “Reverse Kicking of Purple Bell”.
Alternatively, after you have released his grip on your right hand and pushed away his leg with your left hand, turn your whole body from your right to your left so that you crouch on the ground. Then move your body backward between and under his legs, grip his two ankles with your two hands, stand up and fell him forward with his face hitting the gorund in front. This pattern is called “Old Man Pushes Cart”.
How can Cosmos Palm be effective in a fight?
— Alawadhi, UAE
Cosmos Palm is a very powerful vehicle for attack. The energy from Cosmos Palm can penetrate Iron Shirt and even Golden Bell and injure the opponent by shattering his energy network.
The internal force of Cosmos Palm is versatile, i.e. it is not just found at the palm but is spread all over the body. Hence a Cosmos Palm exponent may also have Golden Bell. Hence, a strike on him may not cause any injury.
Cosmos Palm training gives the practitioner a lot of energy and develops his mind to be calm and sharp. Tremendous energy and a calm, sharp mind are actually more valuable to him in both daily living and fighting.
Fight will be fast and there is no time for standing upright and relax, then using your mind to store the chi in the hands and then attack. The opponent will punch you before you can think of your chi.
An ordinary person may not fully be aware of what has happened when an opponent attacks him. When he comes to his awareness and is able to think and act, he may have been punched and kicked many times. But a trained martial artist is different. A master trained in Cosmos Palm, of course is even more combat efficient.
This may sound incredible to ordinary persons but it is true that a master knows when an opponent is about to attack him. Sometimes he even knows what the attack is going to be. He does not have to think of his chi, or to store his chi in his hands first. He can be in any position, standing or otherwise, and he can react spontaneously and correctly in a relaxed manner.
He can also decide what the appropriate response would be, such as where and when to respond, and whether to hurt the opponent. He can do all these and more before an ordinary person can lift his hand. In fact, if a master wants to, he can defeat an ordinary opponent in just one move as soon as the opponent attacks.
I remember reading one of your books where you say a Chinese master with Golden Bell or Iron Shirt can take blows without sustaining injury. Is this true against a karateka especially one who can break bricks.
Although breaking bricks is formidable to ordinary people, it is not damaging to a master with Golden Bell or Iron Shirt. If the Golden Bell is powerful it can bounce back the force of a brick-breaking opponent and hurt him instead.
Many people may be surprised to know that a person who can break bricks in demonstration may not necessarily be a good fighter. Indeed a jab into an opponent's eyes by an ordinary untrained woman is more damaging than a strike onto the moving body of an opponent by a brick-breaking martial artist.
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- My Life Changing Experiences — Emiko Hsuen
- Application of Single Knife against Spear (Part 4)
- Golden Bell (2)