HOW TO PREPARE TO ATTEND THE INTENSIVE SHAOLIN KUNGFU COURSE
I hope to attend your Shaolin course in the future and hope that what I learn won't be a lot different to what you teach. I understand you require that we are well versed in the basics before considering to attend your Shaolin course. Would it be best to learn basic forms from any Shaolin kungfu teacher or is it possible to learn from your books?
— Chris, Australia
What you learn, even from my books, will be very different from what I teach in my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, otherwise it would not be justified for you to pay US$1500 to attend. What you learn from other Shaolin schools or from my books is form. What you will learn in my course are force and application. This is a crucial difference many people do not realize.
I also explain force and application, besides philosophy, in my books. But these aspects of kungfu should be learnt personally from a master. Many other Shaolin schools teach force, but mainly external force like hitting sandbags and striking poles, which we affectionately call “water-buffalo” training. Very few Shaolin schools today teach internal force, which we consider superior training. In other schools, irrespective of whether it is external or internal, it takes a long time — many months or years — to experience force. In my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, students develop and experience internal force the very first day!
Many kungfu schools today teach only form, and nothing else. Combat application is found in many other schools, but it is combat application of random techniques and not combat application of Shaolin Kungfu. Even such combat application is not systematically taught. Students just engage in free sparring, and generally hurt themselves. A practitioner may have learned Shaolin Kungfu for 20 years, yet cannot apply typical Shaolin techniques for combat (though he may be a good fighter using other techniques). In my course, a student can apply typical Shaolin techniques for combat after 5 days!
Yet, what you will learn is not just combat application, but application of Shaolin Kungfu to enrich your daily life. If you spend an hour a day training to be effective in fighting, which seldom happens in real life, it is a very poor use of time. If the training harms you physically and psychologically, as it happens in some martial arts, it becomes silly.
The internal force you will develop in the course, which involves training of energy and mind, will enable you to do better whatever you do. The skills and techniques you will apply in systematic sparring — such as right timing, correct spacing, quick decision and fluid movement — will enable you to derive more rewards from your daily work and play. The combat principles you will learn — such as safety first, four modes of preparation, and three arrivals — will give you a clear advantage over others in business and social life.
One invaluable benefit of the course is developing a positive, joyful philosophy towards life. This philosophy is noticeable if you examine the discussions by our Shaolin Wahnam members in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum, or if you compare the discussions here with those of other forums on the internet. You will learn from direct experience in the course that determined effort is required to achieve any worthwhile goals, and that selecting the best available methods and training systematically will enable us to attain our aims more efficiently.
Hence, while others who have no idea what one can achieve in my courses, complain that my fees are exorbitant, many who have learnt from me, have expressed that they could never thank me enough.
To attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, you should have at least the basic stances and movements of Shaolin Kungfu, or of some relevant martial arts. The best, of course, is to learn from a Shaolin Wahnam kungfu instructor first. If this is not possible, it is generally better to learn from any other kungfu teacher, even if he teaches only kungfu gymnastics, than learning from my books. But a few have found learning from my books a very effective preparation for my course.
The above is taken from Question 9 of October 2003 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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