breaking brick

Sifu Maxime breaking a brick


Can you please tell us more about the principles of gradual progress and of persistent training?

— Westlee, England


These two principles are particularly important in force training. Suppose a practitioner wants to develop internal force to break a brick.

He graduates his force development from 1 to 100, 1 being with very little force, and 100 being with much force, with which he could break a brick. Let us say he has 100 planks with different thickness, and he lines them up from 1 to 100. The 1st is a very thin plank which he can break easily, but the 100th plank is thick which he cannot break now. When he can break the 100th plank, he can break the brick.

The 1st day he breaks the 1st plank. The 2nd day he can easily break the 2nd plank. Not only the thickness between the 1st plank and the 2nd plank is not much, he also has some training breaking the 1st plank. If he progresses gradually and trains persistently, he will be able to break the 100th plank in 100 days, and therefor has the force to break a break.

After 25 days, he can break the 25th plank. But the next day instead of breaking the 26th plank, he attempts breaking the 36th plank. He may not be able to break it because his progress is not gradual. He jumps from the 26th plank to the 36th plank.

Instead of breaking the next plank, he stops breaking planks for a month. After the month, he attempts the 26th plank. He may not be able to break it because his training is not persistent.

In kungfu terminology in Cantonese Chinese it is called “chien kung chun fai”, which means “the force he has developed earlier is now lost”. He would have to start afresh at the 1st plank.

If a student is ready to follow these two principles of gradual progress and of persistent training, and if he has a teacher willing to teach him and there is available a method, he can attain any force. These two principles are often the main reasons why students fail.

The above is taken from Question 4 September 2019 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


Courses and Classes