OVER-TRAINING IS A SERIOUS FEATURE IN OUR SCHOOL
When would you recommend a student to slow down or stop certain aspects or the complete practice for a certain time because of cleansing symptoms?
— Sifu Leonard lackinger, Austria
A main reason why they over-train is that they innocently under-estimate the effectiveness and powerful results of our training methods.
Over-training is now a major problem amongst our students in our school, and it usually happens amongst dedicated students. Even when they follow our advice of not over-training, and they normally do as they are good students, they do not do so sufficiently. In other words, even when they do not train as much as they like, they still over-train.
Many people know that we are effective, but they do not realize how more effective we are. They may think that we are two or three times more effective, which is a lot. Some of our students may not realize, and those outside our schools simply do not believe, that we are more than ten times more effective.
Quantifying some examples will make this clearer. The figures are, of course, rough guide but they provide some good basis of comparision.
Students of other schools, if they are lucky to learn from genuine masters and they themselves practice correctly, will be lucky to develop internal force after six months of proper training. Most students never develop internal force regardless of how long they have trained.
As a comparison, it took me more than 17 years after I started learning kungfu before I had some internal force. For the first 15 years my training was mainly external, but my sifu, Uncle Righteousness, was an excellent fighter who had much internal force. His internal force was due to many, many years of dedicated training, and this was and is the norm for masters with internal force.
For the next two years, I trained Wizuquan, and my school was well known for internal force. There was no doubt that my sifu, Sifu Chee Kim Thong, and my seniors had a lot of internal force. Like Uncle Righteousness, they developed their internal force after many, many years of dedicated training. But unlike in Uncle Righteousness' school, in my Wuzuquan training every movement was geared towards developing internal force. Yet, after two years I did not have any internal force. The fault, of course, was not due to my teachers, but due to my ignorance in both my practice and my understanding of kungfu philosophy.
When I learned from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, by practicing One-Finger Shooting Zen daily for six months I had enough internal force to break a brick. The internal force was not just due to my One-Finger Shooting Zen training, but also due to my earlier training under Uncle Righteousness and Sifu Chee Kim Thong as well as my two years of Iron Palm training on my own. The six-month training of One-Finger Shooting Zen activated my dormant internal force. And I am sure I was an above-average student.
Hence, presuming other students take six months to develop internal force is reasonable for comparison. How long do our students in Shaolin Wahnam Institute take to develop a similar amount of internal force? Six days! In fact, those who attended my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course, could develop internal force on the very first day! It is true that these course participants had prior kungfu experience, generally about a few years. But don't forget that I had 17 years of kungfu experience under two of the best kungfu masters in the world, yet I took six months to have some internal force.
If our students take 6 days to develop internal force, and other students take 6 months, it means that our method is 30 times more effective. If we translate internal force to cash flow so that we can have a better idea in daily life, this means that if other students earn 5000 euros a month, which is more than what many people earn in Europe, our students earn 150,000 euros.
Hence, even when our students reduce their training to 10%, they are still 3 times more powerful than other students who succeed in developing internal force. In other words, instead of getting 150,000 units of internal force, they now get only 15,000 units, but this is still 3 times more than what other students get for 5000 units.
The reduction of productivity from 100% to 10% can be through time or intensity, or both. Instead of training for 60 minutes, he can train for just 6 minutes, or instead of training in a very deep state of mind he can train in a less deep state of mind.
Let us presume, for the sake of comparison, that 5000 units of internal force is manageable. In other words, if a student develops 5000 units of internal force -- in 6 days or in 6 months -- he is fine. But if he pushes himself and trains 5 times as hard, and obtains 25,000 units of internal force, he reaches his optimum point. If he pushes himself further, he over-trains, and over-cleaning or adverse effects may result.
We do not know where exactly is our optimum point. It varies according to different persons, as well as different times for the same person. One has to estimate his optimum point from direct experience.
But if he trains at 10% of his potential, he probably under-trains, but he is save. For our students, they get 15,000 units of internal force when their optimum point, let us presume, is 25,000 units. If he trains at 50%, which is only half his potential, he probably over-trains; he obtains 75,000 units of internal force when his optimum point is 25,000 units.
Except for our instructors and senior students, most participants in my courses over-train. As I have often mentioned, my courses are good examples of bad practice but excellent learning. Course participants learn in a few days what they need many months to practice on their own. I have also mentioned that if course participants find their results at home only a quarter of what they experienced at the course, it is perfectly fine. If their results at home are similar to what they experienced at the courses, it is likely that in time they will over-train.
The optimum point increases as one progresses. Initially the optimum point for a student may be 25,000 units of internal force. After a few years, it may increase to 250,000. This means he is 10 times more capable than before.
The above philosophy provides the basis on which you can give advice to your students depending on their situations. Over-cleansing is a result of over-training. Over-cleansing is actually beneficial but uncomfortable. It speeds up recovery too fast.
If over-training continues, adverse effects take over. Adverse effects are both harmful and uncomfortable. It is not easy to know when over-cleansing ceases and adverse effects start. Theoretically it occurs at the time when benefit becomes harm.
When cleansing is comfortable and manageable, a practitioner should continue as he has been doing. When over-cleansing occurs, i.e. when cleansing has become uncomfortable, the practitioner should slow doen -- in time or in intensity of practice. When adverse effects occur, he should stop training until the adverse effects subside. Then he resumes training gradually.
These are philosophical principles. How skilful a teacher is, depends much on his judgment basing on these principles.
Many people think that every teacher is the same. They also think that every art is the same. These are big mistakes, which not only result in these people not getting the benefits from the arts they practice, but worse they derive harmful side effects.
The above is taken from Question 3 July 2013 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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