San Zhan of Wuzuquan

San Zhan of Wuzuquan


What special features are taught in the Wuzuquan Course in December? Is the course recommended for those who have not learnt Wuzuquan before or who may not want to specialize in Wuzuquan?

— Sifu Mark Appleford, Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam UK


Befitting its name as a special course, the Wuzuquan Course is special in many ways.

Wuzuquan, especially the Wuzuquan of Sifu Chee Kim Thong, is famous for internal force. Many martial artists would have heard of this story. A journalist for an international martial art magazine met Sifu Chee Kim Thong for an interview.

The journalist was a Karate black-belt, had trained Iron Palm and was well known for breaking bricks. He asked Sifu Chee Kim Thong to demonstrate his internal force. Sifu Chee Kim Thong sat in a lotus position and asked the journalist to chop hard at his head. At first he did so gently, but eventually he chopped really hard at Sifu Chee Kim Thong's head and nearly broke his palm.

Internal force in Wuzuquan is trained by practicing its fundamental kungfu set, San Zhan, and Abdominal Breathing. It is unbelievable but true that it took me many years to develop internal force but participants at the Wuzuquan Course will develop internal force through San Zhan and Abdominal Breathing in just a few days!

When I first practiced San Zhan I did not know how to use its patterns for combat. If an opponent gave me a kick, attempted to fell me to the ground, or gripped my arm, I did not know how to defend against these attacks. I believe many Wuzuquan practitioners today are in a similar situation.

Like many Wuzuquan practitioners, I thought that San Zhan was just for developing internal force, although at the time I practiced it for two years I had no internal force. But now I realize that San Zhan itself is complete, and its patterns can counter any attacks, regardless of whatever they are strikes, kicks, felling or gripping!

Except, perhaps, if a Wuzuquan practitioner is already being pinned down by a heavy-weight. But a Wuzuquan practitioner would not allow this to happen. He has enough counters against any opponents trying to fell him before pinning him down.

But what would you do if an opponent succeeded in pinning you down? We shall borrow two techniques from the Drunken Eight Immortals to teach in the Wuzuquan Course. So even if a course participant is being pinned down by a heavy-weight, he would be able to flip the heavy-weight away, especially when he has developed some internal force.

San Zhan of Wuzuquan is an excellent example of profundity in simplicity. It looks so simple, but is sufficient to handle any attack! Once a course participant is able to apply patterns from San Zhan for combat, applying patterns from other kungfu sets would be relatively easy. A special benefit is that even when he has not learnt a particular martial art set before, but by watching its performance he would know how to apply its patterns for combat.

Another special feature of the course is to exhibit as well as face threat, especially in free sparring against other martial artists. Having an element of threat is an important part of efficient combat, but it happens to be a weakness amongst many of our students and some instructors. This course will overcome this weakness.

It is indeed interesting that when I first learned Wuzuquan, because of my own ignorance I found it inadequate for combat. But after my "enlightenment" in combat application after learning from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, not only I could apply Wuzuquan for combat, I could teach it as an effective tool to win free sparring competitions. It took me 30 years to arrive at this point. Course participants at the Wuzuquan Course will gain in a few days what it took me 30 years to develop.

Hence, I would strongly recommend this Wuzuquan Course to all, irrespective of whether they have learnt Wuzuquan before or intend to specialize in Wuzuquan.

Amongst other benefits, they will develop tremendous internal force. If they already has internal force, this course will make their internal force more fluid and powerful.

It will teach them combat applications of patterns where combat application appears impossible. They shall find it so easy to counter sophisticated attacks once they understand some combat principles which are specially significant in Wuzuquan patterns because the patterns are so simple.

If the course participants are ready, they may have an aha experience discovering the root principle of all counters which can be used against all attacks! I would let course participants to have the fun of finding out this root principle at the course.

The Wuzuquan Course will also enable course participants to exhibit as well as face threat, which is a common weakness amongst many of our students and some instructors. Our students can apply their combat application effectively when sparring amongst themselves, but when sparring with martial artists of other schools, our students lose their composure when their opponents become threatening.

Our students are beaten by other martial artists even when our students are superior in martial art training because our students throw away what they have trained and fight like their opponents. The Wuzuquan course will overcome this weakness.

The above is taken from Question 2 October 2012 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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