SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JULY 2010 PART 1
Thank you very much for answering my e-mail. I would like to tell you why I want to learn Shaolin Kung Fu or Qigong from you. Since last year, I have been really afraid of bacteria and viruses. I am even afraid of eating some kinds of food because of this.
— Bjarni, Iceland
Be assured that unless there is an epidemic or you are seriously weakened due to emotional factors or illness, you can naturally handle bacteria and viruses. It is a scientific fact that bacteria and viruses are everywhere, including inside our body, but without we having to do anything our own natural body systems can clear the bacteria and viruses or keep them under control without them causing us any harm.
However, if you feel afraid or worried, you can weaken your own defence systems. The strength of the bacteria and viruses remain the same, but when you become weaker, they may cause problems.
On the other hand, by practicing chi kung, like "Lifting the Sky" which you can learn from my books, you strengthen your defence systems. Another excellent way to strengthen your defence systems is to smile or laugh often. There is a lot of truth in the saying that "laughter is the best medicine".
Traditional Chinese medical philosophy can explain this truth. When you smile or laugh, your heart opens and vital energy blossoms out to flow all over your body. This vital energy is an excellent defence against bacterial and viruses as well as other disease-causing agents.
I have also been having sleeping problems which my father doesn't like. No matter how long I sleep, I am always tired. I have very little energy to do things and little endurance and often have stomach aches. I also have poor eyesight and sometimes, I can't see when the teacher writes on the chart unless I stand or sit very close to it. I get irritated very easily, although I try to resist it.
All these problems are inter-related. They can be overcome if you practice genuine Shaolin Kungfu or high-level chi kung.
Meanwhile, you can do the following.
Go to bed early and wake up early. If you go to bed late and wake up late, or sleep in the daytime, the energy you get from the Cosmos when you sleep is not refreshing, and you may become tired even when you sleep for long hours.
How you sleep also affects the quality and amount of energy you get. If you do not sleep soundly, even if you lie in bed for long hours, the energy you get is poor. Hence you will becomre tired easily too.
Here is an effective method to help you sleep soundly. Lie in bed and perform "Lifting the Sky". As the head of your bed may prevent your arms going back, you can raise your arms as high as you can. Do not think of anything as your perform the exercise. Just enjoy your breathing. After about 15 repetitions, drop your hands at your sides, close your eyes if you have not closed them yet, and gently tell yourself that you are going to enjoy a good night's sleep. You will soon be sleeping like a baby.
Two excellent exercise to improve your eyes are "Counting Leaves" and "Rolling Stars". Stand at a comfortable distance from some leaves and count each one with your eyes to a hundred. Then without moving hour head, roll your eyes in big circles ten times each side.
I have heard of all the fantastic benefits your students get from practicing these arts and I know that I can overcome all these problems by practicing kung fu or qigong.
You are right. The fantastic benefits my students get, you can get too if you practice our arts according to the ways we teach them.
There is also one problem concerning self defence. I have been practicing Wushu for two and a half years and I can perform Kung Fu movements beautifully and I can learn them easily, but I cannot defend myself.
This is expected because one does not learn self-defence in wushu.
But you have not wasted your time. Wushu forms are very beautiful, and they will be very useful when you learn Shaolin Kungfu from us.
In fact wushu forms and kungfu forms are the same. It is how one practices them that makes the difference.
Of course, here we use the term "wushu" as it is being practiced today, i.e. an external demonstrative form of exercise, although in the Chinese language "wushu" means martial art.
I like the Kung Fu that you teach because of its peaceful nature. I don't like martial arts which focus on brutality and winning at all costs.
Many people may not like to hear what I am going to say, but it is a fact that many martial arts today, including some schools of Shaolin Kungfu, are brutal and focus on winning at all cost.
Our philosophy, which we believe is also the main philosophy of genuine, traditional kungfu, is to come out of combat unhurt, even if we lose.
Many people today shy away from martial arts because they conceptualize that when they are engaged in free sparring in their martial art training, they will be subjected to being punched and kicked by their classmates.
We place much importance in combat training, but our sparring is not only free from injuries but also full of fun. Indeed, some students were surpirsed at the amount of laugher in our sparring sessions when they first learned from us.
We aspire to the ideals of scholar-warriors and warrior-monks. A scholar-warrior is a great fighter but he is kind and elegant, not brutal and aggressive. He is also well-versed in the scholarly arts. A warrior-monk is a scholar-warrior who also has great compassion and cosmic wisdom.
I have always tried to be a good son to my parents and I spend a lot of time with them but sometimes they are angry with me because of my fear of germs, my sleeping problems and lack of energy, me getting easily irritated etc. But I hope that by learning and practicing Qigong or Shaolin Kung Fu, I can enrich my daily living and be happier and have more energy so that I can get more out of my life and have a better future. Will you be holding any Intensive Chi Kung Courses or Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Courses next year? I hope I can attend one when I'm ready.
I am glad that you have always tried to be a good son. If you follow my advice and realize that you need not be unduly worried about germs because your body can naturally take care of them, and if you practice "Lifting the Sky" regularly and have good sleep, you will erase the reasons that may make your parents angry.
Yes, by practicing qigong or Shaolin Kungfu from us you will enrich your life and the lives of other people. Our students have accomplied these beneifts.
Yes, I shall continue holding Intenisve Chi Kung Course and Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Courses next year and in the future.
Does kung fu ward off evil spirits? What do they think of us practicing kung fu? I would consider myself a very spiritual person. I have had experiences with spirits when I was 13. I've been doing kung fu for 17 years now.
— Gino, New Zealand
Yes, kungfu, especially where much internal force is involved, wards off evil spirits. The evil spirits regard kungfu exponents with internal force as very powerful persons.
When your qi (chi) or vital energy flows vigorously as a result of practicing kungfu, you attain a good circulation of chi round your body. In Chinese, "good circulation of qi" is "hou yun qi". If you ask a Chinese what "hou yun qi" means, he will tell you it means you are lucky.
When you have "hou yun qi", evil spirits will shy away. It is because our qi or vital energy is like eletricity to them. They cannot come near.
I read an article which shocked me. It is an old interview about a Yiquan master who said that many young people thought of learning Chinese martial arts to develop incredible fighting skills but in fact they just learned some acrobatics tricks.
Reading the interview I have the impression that the master thought the Chinese martial arts were not efficient for fighting. I feel bad because of that. Does it mean that masters of these styles like Yang Luchan, Dong Haichuan, Cheng Tinghua, Wong Feihung, Yin Fu and so many others weren't so good to fight? It's a very annoying interview for the Chinese martial art history.
— Sarah, Belgium
You may be surprised that I agree with the Chinese master you mentioned.. He did not say that Chinese martial arts were ineffective. He said that many modern practitioners of Chinese martial arts were not competent in using their arts for fighting though they might talk gloriously of their arts in the past.
But there is no doubt that the past masters you mentioned, like Yang Luchan, Dong Haichuan, Cheng Tinghua , Wong Feihung, and Yin Fu were great fighters using their arts. But Chinese martial arts degraded rapidly after them.
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