July to December 1999

July August September October November December

July 1999

July 1999 (Part 1)


Many American youths have expressed to me their desire to become Shaolin monks. They probably did not know that Shaolin monks, according to genuine Buddhist tradition, have to follow over 400 strict rules. A monk, for example, cannot listen to rock music or sleep on a comfortable bed. Incidentally, if you find Shaolin monks wearing wigs or drinking Coca Cola, you can suspect whetther they are real Shaolin monks.

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July 1999 (Part 2)

Sifu Chen Thin Hung

Many people suffering from diabetes, for example, have been told by their doctors that they could never be cured, yet they have been cured after practising chi kung. Some of my students had the vertebrae of their spin fused, and the doctors had told them that nothing could prevent their complete fussion, yet after practising chi kung they have been relieved of their problem.

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July 1999 (Part 3)

Sifu Yip Mann

The Shaolin arts, of which these chi kung exercises form a part, are simple and at the same time profound. It is not the brain that we work at, or with -- but the mind. There is a lot of difference between the brain and the mind. For example, the brain is located in the head, but the mind can be anywhere. The brain has substance, but the mind is transcendental. The brain dies, but the mind never.

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August 1999

August 1999 (Part 1)

Shaolin Kungfu

Shaolin Kungfu and Tai Chi Chuan are the greatest martial arts in the world, and their greatness lies beyond fighting. When I was still a boy I read a master saying that comparing other martial arts with Chinese martial arts is like comparing a drop of water with an ocean. At that time I thought he was chauvinistic and exaggerating beyond reasons. But now, having experienced the scope and depth of Shaolin Kungfu and Tai Chi Chuan, I am beginning to see the truth in his comparison.

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August 1999 (Part 2)

zhan zhuang

Attaining "a chi kung state of mind", which is at a deeper level of consciousness than ordinary waking consciousness, is a necessary first step in any real chi kung practice. In other words, if one does not enter into a chi kung state of mind, which is called "entering silence" in classical terms, he cannot have real chi kung effects even though he may be doing some chi kung external forms or breathing exercise.

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August 1999 (Part 3)


The word "meditation", though widely used, is a poor translation of what in the Shaolin teaching would be referred to as Zen. To many people in the West, "to meditate" often suggests "to think" of something, whereas in Zen the fundamental objective is to do away with all thinking. Strictly speaking, the expression "to do away with all thinking" is also incorrect, although it is probably the closest one could get to explaning what Zen is in this context.

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September 1999

September 1999 (Part 1)

Sifu Wong and Mrs Wong

The forte of chi kung is to restore yin-yang harmony. Once your yin-yang harmony is restored, your body systems will convert the excess mass into useful energy, giving you your ideal weight. You will have all these done for you if you let your systems work naturally, i.e. the way they are born to work. If you, with imperfect knowledge, try to interfere with the natural working of your body systems, such as by restricting your diet or overburdening your heart with excessive physical exercise, you may distort your natural energy system and aggravate your problem.

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September 1999 (Part 2)


From the chi kung perspective, the reason for your happinese is very simple -- and profound! You are happy because you have opened your heart. That is also why you do not need any medication for your heart now -- although "heart" in chi kung context means more than just the physical organ. When energy blossoms from the heart, that person will be happy.

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September 1999 (Part 3)

combat application

In kungfu context, "hard" and "soft", or "kang" and "rou" in Chinese, are vastly different from what a westerner would conceptualize hard and soft to be. "Soft" here does not imply any lack of power; in fact soft force may be more powerful than hard force. Soft force does not use mechanical or muscular strength; its power comes from "chi" or vital energy. A classic example of soft force is flowing water or flowing air, such as a torrent or a hurrican, which of course is very powerful.

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October 1999

October 1999 (Part 1)

the Bible

Taijiquan, Shaolin Kungfu and Xingyiquan are different forms of wushu, or in more familiar English terms, different forms of kungfu. But because the present Chinese government has standardized various ancient forms of wushu into one modern version, and promotes it as sport, the term "wushu" is often used today to denote a modern form of kungfu movements quite distinct from traditional kungfu forms such as Taijiquan, Shaolin Kungfu and Xingyiquan.

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October 1999 (Part 2)

Taijiquan combat

Tai Chi Chuan is not checked. Tai Chi Chuan is an internal martial art, but there is nothing internal nor martial in what is being practised by the great majority of modern Tai Chi practitioners.

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October 1999 (Part 3)

Shaolin Kungfu

Cosmic wisdom is transcendental, i.e. it transcends sets of conditions, and at the highest level is not bound by any conditions. Cosmic wisdom is almost always obtained by great masters from direct experience at heightened level of consciousness. Lesser minds learn such cosmic wisdom from the masters.

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November 1999

November 1999 (Part 1)

Shaolin Kungfu

In terms of health and vitality, chi kung and kungfu exercises are far superior to western strength and endurance training, and can replace them altogether and achieve better results in shorter time.

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November 1999 (Part 2)

tiger-tail kick

Although Hoong Ka Kungfu is named in honour of Hoong Hei Khoon, most of Hoong Ka exponents today are descended from the lineage of Luk Ah Choy. Please note that Hoong Hei Khoon and Luk Ah Choy did not call their kungfu Hoong Ka, they called it Shaolin. "Hoong Ka" is a modern term; even as recent as Lam Sai Weng's time, which was about 50 years ago, what is now called Hoong Ka by many people was then called Shaolin.

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November 1999 (Part 3)

Five-Animal Set

Set practice enables you to perform kungfu techniques correctly and develop certain combat skills, but without sparring practice you can never be competent in self-defence.

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December 1999

December 1999 (Part 1)

Tai Chi Chuan

You are right about the Brush Knee pattern. It manifests the "swallowing" technique, the tactic of "retreating before advancing", and the principle of "starting later but arriving earlier".

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December 1999 (Part 2)

combat application

Chinese martial arts pay as much attention to health and vitality as to combat efficiency, whereas other martial systems neglect health for combat efficiency. The underlying principle in Chinese martial art philosophy is that if you want to be a good warrior, you must first of all have good health and vitality.

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December 1999 (Part 3)

Lifting the Sky

At a higher level, you can use this exercise to generate an internal energy flow. Then you can tap energy from the cosmos and cleanse your body. These effects may sound fantastic to those who do not have the opportunity to experience high level chi kung, but virtually all students who have taken an intensive chi kung course from me, have acquired those skills and experienced the effects -- generating an internal energy flow, tapping cosmic energy, cleansing the body with energy -- during the three-day intensive course itself.

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