SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
NOVEMBER 2019 PART 2
You have sometimes said that charging high fees is for the students’ interest. Why do you say so?
— George, USA
Charging high fees is more for the students’ interest. I have learned this fact from direct experience.
In the past I used to teach students high level chi kung and kungfu free of charge. When I left Shaolin Wahnam Association, the forerunner of Shaolin Wahnam Institute, I used to ask a few students to practice high-level kungfu, the type of kungfu not taught in most other kungfu schools, in a nearby temple. I did not charge any fees.
One night I was at the temple waiting for the students to turn up. No body turned up. I then realize that at about the same time, television stations were broadcasting a world cup football match, though the students could watch other world cup football matches on other nights.
I taught a neighbour chi kung exercises for free because he had difficulty walking. He knew that I charged high fees for other people, and I knew very well that the chi kung exercises I taught him would overcome his leg problems. But he did not practice.
I also taught two other persons for free because I pitied them and they were poor. One was a cripple and the other was on a wheelchair. I knew very well that the exercises I taught them would overcome their problems, as I taught the same exercises to other people who paid high fees and had more serious problems. But the two persons never practice because I taught them for free.
There were many other examples. Hence when I later discovered that some people borrowed money to attend my courses, I knew that they would overcome their health problems. Of course they did.
It was not because they wanted to get their money’s worth, but because they already had faith in me and my teaching. Of course I have great faith in my teaching. If I know there are other sources where these students will overcome their problems faster or better, I will not hesitate to recommend them to these other sources.
Actually anyone who is not satisfied with my teaching can ask for his or her money back an hour before the course ends. For more than 60,000 students that I have, only about 10 persons asked for their money back. Four of these 10 persons asked their money back because they could not understand English, and I taught in English.
I remember that one person asked for his money back, but later he wanted to pay me again because he continued practicing our chi kung and overcame his health problem. I declined his payment and asked him to continue his chi kung practice as it would give him tremendous benefits.
Women have many problems after menopause. They become depressed, and experienced a lot of health problems as their hormone production is badly affected. Can practicing chi kung overcome these problems?
— Ono, Austria
Yes, practicing genuine chi kung can overcome these women's problems. Many of our female students have done so. Chi kung practice harmonies their body systems, enables their internal organs to function well, makes them cheerful thus preventing depression, and continues their normal hormone production.
Some of the female students, who had their menopause earlier, resumed their menstruation again. They were worried at first and taught something was wrong, but their doctors arrayed their fears. But I am not sure whether they could have babies, though some doctors have said they won't.
These female students look younger, become healthier and are more cheerful. They find their daily life, including sex, more enjoyable.
Some of the more typical Dragon Form tactics that we trained were reactive, such as using swerving movement, body positioning, and diagonal stepping in patterns such as Swimming Dragon Plays With Water, Dark Dragon Draws Water, and Angry Leopard Charges at Fire.
Reversely, how would a Dragon exponent best initiate combat? Did Dragon practitioners in the past use the lightness skills derived from “Move Body Little Jump” to arrow step into their opponents, or did they prefer to establish a bridge with patterns such as Lohan Asks the Way, Separate Leaves Search For Flowers, and Swimming Dragon Plays With Water?
— Dr Frederick Chu, USA
Editorial Note: Dr Frederick Chu’s other questions can be found at November 2019 Part 1 issue of the Question-Answer Series.
Kungfu is alive. This phrase will answer your questions well.
You can use the reactive patterns in a proactive way. Remember “safety first” regardless of whether you are proactive or reactive.
If you train Dragon Force, you will also develop lightness skills, even if you have not practiced “Move Body Little Jump” and arrow step. If you already know “Move Body Little Jump” and arrow step, like in the Essence of Shaolin course, you will even be better.
How would a practitioner of our Dragon Form handle multiple opponents? Would they move similar to Baguazhang practitioners that use their agility to move amidst their opponents to strike them down from the side, or would a Northern Shaolin Dragon practitioner put their back to a wall and defeat all comers, or do otherwise?
Are there certain patterns in the set that lend themselves well to striking down opponents in multiple opponent fighting, such as Dark Dragon Draws Water or Dark Phoenix Nods Head?
There are two principles to use when fighting against multiple opponents, namely Back-Wall Battle and Dodge-Hit Battle. Putting your back to a wall and defeating all comers is Back-Wall Battle. Using your agility to move amidst opponents to strike them down is Dodge-Hit Battle.
Dragon Form practitioners, or practitioners of other sets, can use any one or both principles. Personally I prefer Dodge-Hit Battle.
You should not just strike down an opponent, but strike down their leader. If the leader is too good, which usually isn’t the case or else he would fight you alone, you should strike down the least capable, then run.
“Dark Dragon Draws Water” and “Dark Phoenix Nods Head” are excellent patterns in the set to fight against multiple opponents using Dodge-Hit Battle. Other excellent patterns are “Swimming Dragon Plays with Water” and “Angry Leopard Charges at Fire”.
Is it advisable to have a thought of our internal force entering our opponents to damage them in multiple opponents or even high level single opponent fighting, or is it enough to simply strike them with the relevant hand-form, kick, or other attack?
In today’s fighting, which rarely happens, it is sufficient to strike them with the relevant attack.
In free sparring with a master you may have a thought of your internal force entering your opponent to damage him, to prove to yourself that you can do it, or to prove to him that you have the skills. Remember to conduct a chi flow to clear the injury, or to take out the injury as we did in the Dragon Strength course, followed by a chi flow.
What would Sifu consider are the most important and characteristic patterns and combat skills of our Northern Shaolin Dragon Form?
Understandably, different people will consider differently their most important and characteristic patterns.
For me, the most important and characteristic pattern is “Swimming Dragon Plays with Water”. Other important and characteristic patterns are “Dragon Rises Tiger Leaps” and “Dark Phoenix Nodes Head”.
I can use any one of the above patterns to defeat an opponent, including a Boxer, a Kick-Boxer or a Muay Thai fighter, as soon as he makes a move. But the chosen pattern needs very high-level skills.
If a practitioner in Shaolin Wahnam were to specialize in the Dragon Form, are there certain Dragon tactics and patterns that you would say are best to use against a specialist in Boxing, Kick-Boxing, or Muai Thai?
What about other styles of Northern Shaolin and Wudang Kung Fu?
Likewise, how would a Northern Shaolin Dragon exponent fight against Southern Shaolin kung fu practitioners such as a specialist in Hoong Ka, Choi Li Fatt, or Wing Chun?
Dragon Form is a selective art, which means that a practitioner who chooses to specialize in Dragon Form already knows combat sequences against Boxing, Kick-Boxing and Muay Thai. He should first use the appropriate combat sequences against these other arts.
I have often taught using Double Guard Hands to keep a Boxer at bay, cover him and them execute the coup de grace. A Kick-Boxer hands his own defeat. Avoid his kick, fell him onto the ground, and execute the coup de grace. A deadly Muay Thai attack is the continuous knee jabs, which even masters fear. But we have a wonderful counter from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, in “Reverse Planting of Willows”. All these patterns are not found in the Dragon Form set.
Nevertheless, when a Shaolin Wahnam practitioner specializes in Dragon Form, there are certain tactics and patterns to use against a specialist in Boxing, Kick-Boxing or Muay Thai. The main tactic is to avoid the opponent’s strong points and attack his weaknesses. Other tactics include knowing how a typical Boxer, Kick-Boxer or a Muay Thai fighter fight.
I would choose “Dark Dragon Draws Water” or “Angry Leopard Charges at Fire” against any one of the three opponents. Actually it is skills rather than techniques that will defeat the opponents.
Typically a Boxer jabs and crosses. Occasionally he may use hooks and upper-cuts. Brush away his jab, cross, hook or upper-cut with one palm, and strike him with the other palm. It is favourable to attack him at the same side he uses his jab, cross, hook or upper-cut. If the Boxer bounces away, immediately follow up with another “Dark Dragon Draws Water”. If he bounces away again, follow up again. You will drive the Boxer to a wall.
Alternatively you can use “Angry Leopard Charges at Fire”. Attack him on the same side of his attack. If he retreats, follow him. Again you will drive the Boxer to a wall.
A Kick-Boxer often kicks. Avoid his kick by slightly moving back, then move in with “Dark Dragon Draws Water”. If you like, you may fell him onto the ground by tripping his leg, cover him and execute the coup de grace. You may also use “Angry Leopard Charges at Fire”.
A Muay Thai fighter may jab, elbow or knee you. Avoid his attack by slightly moving back, then move in immediately with “Dark Dragon Draws Water’, taking care that you must cover him adequately with one palm, and strike him with the other palm. Alternatively, you may strike him with “Angry Leopard Charges at Fire”.
Be careful that your opponents may be agile and tricky. Make appropriate changes whenever necessary, and be ready to fall back onto the basic combat sequences.
If all other things were equal, it would be more difficult to fight against exponents of Northern Shaolin, Wudang Kungfu and Southern Shaolin because these arts have a much wider range of techniques than Boxing, Kick-Boxing and Muay Thai. It would be a matter of skills.
But other things are not equal. Usually exponents of Northern Shaolin, Wudang Kungfu and Southern Shaolin only practice kungfu forms, and use Boxing when they have to fight, and occasionally they may use other martial art techniques. If you can beat Boxing, Kick-Boxing and Muay Thai specialists, usually you can beat exponents of various kungfu styles.
Thank you so very much! I plan to spend a fair amount of time plumbing the depths of each set you so generously taught at the Glory of Shaolin Kung Fu camp and thank my lucky stars every day that you have restored these life changing arts to the modern day. I am also continuing my preparations for the upcoming Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Practitioner course and hope to be ready and worthy of the skills you'll teach.
Any one of the sets taught in the Glory of Shaolin Kungfu course will make you a master. This is not boasting or empty words. You are already a master in Baguazhang, having defeated other masters easily.
For many other people, any of these five sets will distract their kungfu performance. But for you and other Shaolin Wahnam members these five sets will enhance your Baguazhang or any kungfu they specialize in. Other people may be angry at what I have said. As I have mentioned often, that is their problem.
“Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner” is a wonderful course. You will learn a lot of new things. Make sure you will also enjoy yourself.
Editorial Note: Please note that the "Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner" course was before this answer was presented to the public. The course was held from 26th Nov to 2nd Dec 2018, and this answer was presented in November 2019. Because of a long waiting list, issues of Question-Answer Series are often prepared ahead, sometimes a year ahead.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
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- Good Health is our Birth-Right
- Dragon Form Set of Northern Shaolin
- To Tell the Truth which is Usually Unpleasant or to be Civil and say Pleasant Things
- Beautiful Places