KUNGFU MASTERS IN THE PAST WERE SICK DESPITE HAVING INTERNAL FORCE
What caused kungfu masters in the past to be sick? How could they be sick if they had internal force? I thought that you said the first function of internal force was to keep us healthy?
— Vicente, Spain
Like other people, kungfu masters in the past became sick because they were attacked by disease-causing agents, such as stress, negative emotions, bacteria, viruses and physical injuries. The most important cause, then as now, was stress.
It was (and is) stress that weakened a person's natural defence system, allowing contagious diseases, organic disorders and psycho-somatic problems to occur. Many kungfu masters in the past were stressful. They often had to deal with life-death combat.
Nevertheless, kungfu masters in the past were healthier than ordinary people. Hence, they were not as often sick as the general public. But I believe they might not be as healthy as we are. The reason will become clear soon.
Not many kungfu masters had internal force. Internal force was (and is) elite. But even those with internal force would sometimes become sick, though they would not be as often sick as masters who used external strength.
It is true that internal force would spontaneously keep us healthy, enhance our life and enable us to do better no matter what we do. However some kungfu masters did not allow their internal force to operate spontaneously; they channelled their internal force for combat, thus depriving their internal force to keep them healthy.
Moreover, they did not train internal force the way we do. We let our energy flow, but they consolidated their energy in training like Iron Palm and Iron Shirt. Flowing energy is more effective in maintaining good health.
Hence, although disease-causing agents also attack us as they did to past masters, our flowing energy flush out the disease-causing agents before they can have any chance to cause trouble, whereas past masters consolidated their energy for combat purposes.
The difference in philosophy and environment also play a crucial part. For us, stressful combat seldom occurs (unless one is silly enough to look for it). We train internal force for good health, vitality, longevity and peak performance in our daily life. For past masters, stressful combat was frequent. They trained internal force for survival.
The above is taken from Question 8 March 2012 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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