May 2006 (Part 2)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I've searched the internet for ten years and could not find any books in English on the subject of qing gong. I'd like to do training in this skill. Can you reveal the training exercises as well as its chi kung exercises?
I started doing brick walking around my house with ankle weights and hand weights as well as carrying a 25 pound weight in a back pack and on my completely off-day (Sundays) I do 10,000 steps with each foot which takes me at least six hours. I got this information on the internet as one of the exercises to do to walk on bricks with ankle weights.
— Patrick, USA
There is much information about “qing gong” or the Art of Lightness in my question-answer series. Please do a search to find where the information is.
While invaluable information can be obtained from the internet, on the other hand much information given is reproduced from other sources with the writers often not knowing what they themselves are saying. Such information may be harmful.
The information you obtained about “qing gong” described by you is an example. The supplier of the information probably reproduced it from some classical kungfu texts. The information is true, but what you and most people may not realize are the following two very important points.
The information is incomplete. It describes only part of the exercise. The missing part, which is actually crucial, is not described because those practicing qing gong properly would know it.
Let us take an analogy. Suppose you read a book on surgery. Essential information like knowledge of anatomy is not described. Even basic requirements like sterilizing surgical instruments may not be mentioned. Such information, though crucial, is not described because surgical students who read the book would know it.
Secondly, the success of your training depends on the skills of your practice, and not on the techniques. The analogy of surgery is also appropriate here. You may know the exact techniques of surgery from reading a good text book, but you will not be able to operate on a patient.
You spend six hours practicing on your off-day. These six hours are going to waste. You do not understand the two fundamental principles in force training, those of regular practice and of gradual progress. If you practice the 10,000 steps once a week, you are not going to make any progress. If you practice those 10,000 steps with ankle weight, hand weight and a 25-pound weight on your back for six hours, you are injuring yourself from over-training.
I have a problem with gout, and I seek your advice on what to do. The doctors and western medicine didn't help at all, and I am feeling desperate already.
— Yeo, Singapore
I am sorry to hear about your gout problem, but the good news is that practicing high level chi kung not only can overcome your gout problem but also bring other wonderful benefits like giving you vitality to enjoy your work and play, and giving you inner peace and joy. Many people have overcome their gout problems and enjoy these benefits after practicing chi kung learnt from me.
I would recommend that you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course to be held from 6th to 10th June 2006. Please see /general/ck-course.html for details, and apply to my secretary at
as soon as possible. In future you may look back and find your gout problem a blessing in disguise.
On doctor's advice, I thereafter abstained from the 'gout-forbidden' foods, eating only once in a while at social events like weddings, family dinners when it's not polite to refuse to eat (but I never drank or smoked before).
Different paradigms would offer different advice. From the chi kung paradigm, while wrong food may cause gout to occur, it is not the root cause of gout. You will understand better as you read on.
In the chi kung paradigm the root cause of gout, or any disease, is yin-yang disharmony, which is a Chinese medical jargon meaning that your body systems are not responding appropriately to constantly changing conditions. There are countless factors that cause conditions to change, such as temperature, environment, viruses, stress, emotions and food. If there is a change of temperature, for example, or if harmful viruses get into your body, and if your body system cannot adjust appropriately, you will become sick.
In reality, conditions change all the time. We are all exposed to temperature change, viruses, etc, yet we are not sick because our body systems can adjust appropriately, usually without our conscious knowing. This is a natural process.
In your case, some of your body systems are not working properly. And in your particular situation, when you take wrong food, you will have a gout attack. In the situation of other people, when they take spicy food they will have peptic ulcers, or when they take sugar they will have diabetes.
In all these cases, the root-cause of the sickness is not the food, although you will have a gout attack if you take wrong food, or the other people will have peptic ulcers or diabetes if they take spice food or sugar. But if your systems are working properly, you will not have gout even when you take “wrong” food, and they will not have peptic ulcers or diabetes when they take spicy food or sugar.
Now, what cause the systems not to work properly? Fundamentally, and in Chinese medical jargon, it is disrupted chi flow. In everyday language, it means that the energy that flows to all your systems to enable them to work properly, is blocked from doing so. Hence, by restoring your energy flow, you can restore the natural working of your systems, which will result in your overcoming gout or any diseases! Practicing high level chi kung is an excellent way to achieve this.
The next attack came 4 years later when I was 27. Again it was a surprise as I had been watching my diet and exercising regularly. After this incident, I became more serious in practicing Yang Style Taijiquan for healing and to maintain my health. Since then, I have never been sick, catching minor colds very occasionally only when I overworked (no choice due to job demands). But three weeks ago, at age 31, I had another gout attack.
Congratulations for remaining healthy by practicing your Yang Style Taijiquan. However, while it keeps your gout under control, it is not powerful enough to overcome the disease. After practicing high level chi kung, you will be able to raise the level of Taijiquan many times.
I went to see the doctor, and like previously, he prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs which I found out from the internet is actually poison used to clean swimming pools! Anyway, the medicine didn't work.
Then I went to see a sinseh (Chinese physician) from an established Chinese medicine chain who diagnosed me as being deficient in both kidney yang and kidney yin. My blood is also sour. She gave me Chinese medicine to consume, but the pain actually increased after taking the medicine!
Western medicine is excellent in treating many other diseases, but gout is a disease that is considered “incurable” in Western medicine.
Perhaps the Chinese physician did not diagnose correctly, or she did not prescribe a right treatment. In Chinese medical philosophy, there is no such a thing as an incurable disease. If the diagnosis is correct and the treatment is appropriate, the disease will be cured.
Someone told me that Yang Style is too yin, and thus I have a lack of aerobic-type exercise (more yang). Is this true? Can I still practice Yang Style and perhaps do other forms of aerobic exercise like running or swimming, or do I need to switch styles e.g. Chen style (more aerobic)?
It is untrue that Yang Style is too yin. All great styles of kungfu, including Taijiquan, have yin-yang harmony.
The problem lies not with the style, but with the teacher or the student. It is a sad fact today that most Taijiquan is practiced as an external exercise and not an internal martial art. If it is practiced as an internal martial art, Taijiquan of any style is more vigorous and demanding than aerobic exercise like running and swimming.
If you practice Taijiquan irrespective of its style as a gentle, external exercise, which is most likely the case, you can also practice aerobic exercises like running and swimming.But if you practice Taijiquan, again irrespective of its style, as an internal martial art, there is no need to practice any other forms of exercise, be it running, swimming, football or weight-lifting, although you can do so if you enjoy doing it.
I read on the net that fasting can trigger gout attacks, but another person would say that fasting allows the kidneys to rest, detoxifies, and expels poisons from the body. So who is correct?
Both can be correct, or both can be wrong. It depends on many variables. To some, fasting may trigger gout attacks; to others, fasting may expel poisons from the body. The variables include how they fast as well as their bodily conditions.
You should also examine the sources of the information. Is the information given by experts or by teenagers who write under pen-names and pretend to be experts?
I'm trying for my second child. I read somewhere that sex is no good for the kidneys. Is this right?
Excessive sex is bad for the kidneys, but wholesome sex enriches the participants both physically and spiritually.
Trying for your second child is a noble endeavour. You should approach it with joy and hope rather than with trepidation. Practicing high level chi kung will greatly enhance both your performance and your result.
I read your books before and in it I recall you mentioned a lot about “Carrying the Moon” and “Hula-Hoop” as good for the kidneys. Can I practice them? What else need I do to improve the kidneys?
Yes, both these exercises are very good for the kidneys. Another excellent exercise is “Nourishing the Kidneys”.
But the more important consideration is not what exercises you practice, but how you practice them. Many people think that they have received fantastic results by practicing from my books, But when they attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course, they find that there is no comparison between learning from me personally and learning from my books.
Sifu Wong, please help me. So many people say different things, I don't know who to listen to. The sinseh says I must improve the kidneys urgently before they develop into gout-caused kidney disease, especially so when I first got it when still so young.
My best and honest advice to you is to attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. You will most probably be amazed at what you can achieve in just a few days.
Although I believe you will overcome your gout problem if you continue to practice after the course, I cannot guarantee that will surely happen, because recovery depends on other variables too, like how well or regularly you will practice.
Nevertheless, I can guarantee that you will be satisfied. If not, you don't have to pay the fee. Some people have asked how does one know or express dissatisfaction. He just says it. He does not even have to tell me. He just tells my secretary that he is not satisfied, and my secretary will not collect the fee from him, without asking any questions whatsoever. We in Shaolin Wahnam are not vain, but we are very proud of our arts. We will not accept payment from dis-satisfied students.
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- Northern Shaolin Long Fist — Part 1
- Northern Shaolin Long Fist — Part 2
- Understanding why Taiji comes from Wuji — Joko Riyanto
- Special Shaolin Kungfu Course — Experiences
- Using Kungfu for Sparring is Certainly Possible and Also Enjoyable