SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
OCTOBER 2013 PART 3
Sifu, you said that you benefited a lot while you were preparing to teach this Wuzuquan course (December 2012). Can you please tell us what the benefits are for Sifu as well as for the Wuzuquan course participants
— Dr Damian Kissey, Malaysia
Of course. Each time when I prepare to teach a course, I benefit much. But the benefits from preparing to teach the Wuzuquan course are enormous. It is also very satisfying; it indicates how far I have progressed in both my teaching and my own kungfu performance.
When I learned Wuzuquan from Sifu Chee Kim Thong, regarded as a living treasure of China, more than 30 years ago I had no internal force. Sifu Chee Kim Thong's school was well known for internal force. The main vehicle to develop internal force was to practice San Zhan, the fundamental Wuzuquan set.
I practiced San Zhan for two years but still could not feel any internal force in me. Now I have just returned from a Wuzuquan class on the first day of the course. This afternoon, during lunch break, many course participants told me that the internal force they had developed in the first session by practicing San Zhan was so tremendous. This is ridiculous but true. I could not develop any internal force after practicing for two years, but course participants at the Wuzuquan course developed a lot of internal force on the very first day!
My Wuzuquan training has benefited me very much, and I am very grateful to Sifu Chee Kim Thong and his eldest son, Siheng Chee Boon Leong. Using San Zhan to develop internal force is one of the great benefits of attending the Wuzuquan course.
The benefit is more than that. It is not just developing internal force using the Wuzuquan method, but having a chance to use San Zhan to apply various internal force training methods from other great arts like Taijiquan, Iron Wire, Triple Stretch, Flower Set and Siu Lin Tou. The result was mind-blowing.
Other people may ask how do our course participants know that they have successfully developed internal force. In principle it is the same as asking how you know you are happy. The answer is the same. If you are happy, or if you have internal force, you will know it from direct experience. It is also confirmed by many tell-tale activities like sparring for a few hours and not feeling tired, having a lot of energy to enjoy work and play, and mental clarity to see things clearly.
Many people think that San Zhan is excellent for internal force training but not for combat application. They think that one needs to learn other techniques from other Wuzuquan sets or elsewhere in order to fight effectively. Indeed I had this thought when I was learning San Zhan. I was puzzled how techniques from San Zhan could be used against kicks, felling attacks and chin-na.
The patterns in San Zhan are so simple -- or so they appear to be. Actually they are very profound. They can be used to counter any attacks! Herein lies the fourth benefit. Not only you have in a short San Zhan set enough techniques to counter all attacks, the experience in attaining this ability enables you to understand the combat applications of other kungfu sets even when you may not have learned these sets before! It is interesting, By looking at a kungfu set for the first time, you can tell the person performing the set the combat applications of the patterns in it which he may not know although he may have practiced the set for many years.
This leads to the fifth benefit, which is closely related to the fourth. Course participants may have a aha experience where they discover a basic principle they can use to defend against any attacks. Even more beneficial, they may relate this principle to daily life to overcome many problems. I have mentioned this principle a few times elsewhere, but combat application in Wuzuquan brings out this principle significantly. On the other hand, they are countless Wuzuquan practitioners who are not only ignorant of this principle but do not know any defence against any attack.
One setback amongst many of our students is their lack of threat in their sparring. As a result, they are unable to handle opponents in combat who are actually less knowledgeable and skillful than them. The nature of Wuzuquan sparring is such that it is ideal for overcoming this setback. Course participants can face threatening opponents, they themselves can exhibit threat, yet the free sparring can be safe.
Related to this element of threat is the ability to win free sparring contests. Of course in other kungfu courses, participants also learn free sparring, but Wuzuquan sparring is particularly suited to modern needs where most combatants fight like Boxers or Kick-Boxers irrespective of the styles of martial art they practice.
In my personal way, these benefits are very meaningful to me both as a teacher and as a performer. When I first learned Wuzuquan, I had no internal force and did not know how to use Wuzuquan techniques for sparring. Now not only I can generate a lot of internal force from my Wuzuquan practice and effectively use its techniques for combat, I can teach them to students in just five days. It indicates my progress in both my kungfu performance and teaching.
The special benefits of the Wuzuquan course can be summed up as follows:
- Use San Zhan to develop internal force
- Be introduced to other important methods of internal force development
- Apply apparently simple patterns for combat
- Knowing the combat applications of other kungfu sets
- Discovering a basic principle of defence in combat as well as in daily life
- Overcoming the element of threat
- Winning free sparring contests
Half a year ago I met someone who touched my heart by a very deep experience of playing music together. I felt the need to change my life, to be more sincere, make decisions that I delayed out of fear, become a better person.
After some time I had to admit to myself that I was in love, when I began to see him in everything that was beautiful in nature - even the sunlight on the smallest blade of grass. As I was not sure of his feelings, I asked the advice of one of my sisouks who told me to give him some encouragement, because I could not afford to stay any longer in tension that made me loose my appetite and sleep.
Now I know that my feelings are not returned. The clarity helps, but on the other hand I don't know what to do with all the love that's left inside and, I admit, there's a lot of pain. Can you please give me some advice on how to deal with this? Are there Chi Kung exercises to mend broken hearts?
— Name and Country Withheld
I am glad that you have the mental clarity to see that it is a one-sided affair, and the courage to overcome the problem. Many other people might be devastated by the experience, but not you, as you have benefited much from out Shaolin training.
We always see a problem as an opportunity for improvement, and this experience is no exception. You are a lovely woman, and there are many other eligible men worthy of your devotion. This, of course, does not mean that he is not worthy, but one should not continue loving a man or a woman if the love is not returned, no matter how worthy he or she may be. This is a very important principle for a happy marriage. Love must be a two-way traffic, it must never be one way.
Think back on your time with this man with good memories, being grateful that you are in time to discontinue the relationship and remain good friends with him so that you can eventually find the man you truly love and marry.
You have to be decisive now. You should not be thinking of him any more. This does not mean that you are not going to see him, but you do not think of him when you are alone. This can be readily done when you have made up your mind.
Any chi kung exercise followed by chi flow will help you clear away any pain or grief you may have. Two excellent exercises are Separating Water and Carrying the Moon.
I like to start new chi kung training. I am in India. Any options?
— Nadaran, India
There are many chi kung schools all over the world, but most of them teach gentle physical exercise rather than genuine chi kung. The crucial difference between gentle physical exercise and chi kung is that the former works on the physical body like loosening muscles and joints, whereas the latter works on energy.
If a person does not know what working on energy is, then he is not practicing genuine chi kung. It is like someone skipping on a rope or lifting weights will surely know what skipping on a rope or lifting weight is.
But many people, including those who say they practice chi kung, do not know what working on energy is. It is because genuine chi kung is very rare, and not many people have a chance to practice it.
Hence, if you just want to learn chi kung techniques, you can find many schools teaching them, but they practice them as gentle physical exercise. If you want to learn genuine chi kung, you have to search hard to find it.
Can I get basics online?
Yes, you can get basic chi kung knowledge and techniques on line. My website , for example, gives a lot of such information.
On the other hand, you must be careful that a lot of chi kung nformation on line is incorrect, and may be harmful. Unfortunately, it may not be easy for the uninitiated to differentiate the good information from the bad one.
There are also a lot of chi kung techniques on line, and most of them are genuine chi kung techniques. However, even when they are genuine, if you do not have the necessary skills, you may not practice them correctly. Worse, it is likely you may practice them wrongly and have harmful effects.
As an analogy, you can learn genuine swimming or surgery techniques on line or from a good textbook. But if you don't have the necessary skills and attempt swimming or surgery, you can cause a lot of harm.
It is indeed shocking that many people think that they can easily learn chi kung, which is an internal art dealing with energy and mind, on line or from books and videos, then teach it to others.
Also I was masturbating too much. How many days I need to restrain from masturbation? Is masturbation related to stamina in chi kung. I am 25.
Anything too much is harmful. Masturbating too much is very harmful; it weakens both your body and spirit.
How many days should one restrain from masturbation depends on the individual. Generally for a young man of 25, masturbating once a while, like once a month, is alright. Nature will replenish his lost energy due to masturbation.
But if you ask me for my opinion, I would recommend that you should refrain from masturbation. When you feel the urge to masturbate, perform some peasant activities instead, like playing football or go out with your friends.
Yes, masturbation is related to stamina in chi kung. If you practice genuine chi kung, you would have more energy. In theory it means you can afford to masturbate more often. But in practice, you won't masturbate at all. It is because you will find practicing genuine chi kung more satisfying and beneficial than masturbation.
Are you absolute sure that's it is impossible to have enlightenment and full energy at the same time?
— Theo, Germany
Yes, I am absolutely sure. Enlightenment here is perfect Enlightenment where there is no differentiation at all. Once there is differentiation, it is no longer Enlightenment. No differentiation means there is nothing else.
On the other hand, one may say that Enlightenment is Full Energy, and nothing else.
But it is incorrect to say that in Enlightenment there is full energy and there is also lack of energy or just some energy. Then there is differentiation into full energy and lack of energy, or differentiation into full energy and some energy.
As a very rough analogy, when you say that a jar is empty, you mean there is nothing in it. It is incorrect to say that a jar is empty but it contains full energy or some energy. If a jar contains something, it cannot be empty. In the same way, if there is anything present, like energy, then it is no longer perfect Enlightenment.
Enlightenment here is used in a sense different from what many people may conceptualize enlightenment to be, like saying he is an enlightened person. What is meant is that the person is highly developed spiritually or he has much wisdom. In this case, this "enlightened" person may have full energy, some energy or is lacking in energy.
Do you use external chi too?
Yes, I do. In fact, everybody does.
When you breathe in, external chi flows in to become internal chi. When you breathe out, your internal chi flows out to become external chi.
When I transmit chi to people, what is transmitted is called internal chi when it is inside my body, called external chi when it is travelling from my body to the bodies of other people, called internal chi again when it has entered their bodies.
What is the name of your Chi Gong. Which forms are used?
The chi kung we practice is called Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung.
There are many forms. Some examples are Lifting the Sky, Big Bird Flaps Wings, Dan Tian Breathing, Lifting Water, and Golden Bridge.
Which forms are used in our practice depends on some factors, like aims and objectives, needs and aspirations, and the developmental stage of practitioners.
When a practitioner is very skillful, he can use any form for any purpose! For example, he may use Lifting the Sky just to relax, or to develop internal force, or to see God.
For many people, choosing a right chi kung form for a particular purpose makes his practice cost-effective. If he wants to develop internal force, for example, choosing Lifting Water or Golden Bridge, will generally give him better result than choosing Lifting the Sky or Big Bird Flaps Wings.
However, for most people who practice chi kung today, it does not really make much difference what forms they use. It is because they practice the forms as gentle physical exercise instead of as chi kung, which is energy exercise. Regardless of the forms they use, eventually their benefits will be loosening muscles and joints.
Nevertheless, they are advised not to use advanced or powerful forms like Dan Tian Breathing and Golden Bridge. Although these forms look simple, most people do not have the necessary skills to practice them as energy exercise, and are likely to practice them wrongly, resulting in serious harmful side-effects.
- Qualities of a Good Master
- The Reality of Chi and Internal Force
- Various Eighteen Lohan Arts
- Where a Buffalo Lies
- The Oasis of Danta Fe