SOME A-HA MOMENTS OF GOLDEN BELL
Also can you share some life stories or experiences you had when you learnt the Golden Bell, like how it felt, some 'a-ha' breakthrough moments, and so on?
-- Yasmine, New Zealand
My Golden Bell training made me feel fresh and energetic all the time. There were no special aha or breath-through moments during training, but these occurred unexpectedly during its application.
One method my sifu taught me was very special. It was not found in orthodox Golden Bell training methods. In fact it was not commonly known.
It was called "Tit Pan Kiew", or "Iron-Plank Bridge". I had to lie on two supports, with my head on one and my feet on another, and empty space between them. It was a tough exercise. Student should not attempt it without the supervision of a competent teacher.
My sifu told me that during his time he had to perform this "Iron-Plank Bridge", and his sifu, i.e. my sigung, would stand on him with nothing below his body to give speeches.
As a good student I just practiced what my sifu asked me to, without thinking much about it until one day when I placed my arm on my wife's arm, she complained that my arm was very heavy. This was a aha moment. It suddenly dawned on me that my training of the Iron-Plank Bridge had given me a lot of internal force.
On one occasion I was sparring with a Wing Choon practitioner. He thrust his palm into my solar plexus. I did not feel anything but his fingers were almost broken.
The most unforgettable experience was years later when a group of chi kung students, who were senior managers and senior engineers from an international corporation in Penang, Malaysia, requested me to give a demonstration. I handed a sharp chopper -- the type that butchers used to chop bones -- to a tall student.
He must be out of his mind then. Without exaggeration, he swung his body fully backward. I was then talking with some other students, but saw his movement from a corner of my eye. I thought he was joking by exaggerating his movement. The next moment the chopper was swung with full force at me! It hit me at my stomach and was bounced away about twenty feet. Luckily it did not hit anybody in its re-bounce or else it would have killed him even if hit on the blunt edge.
This happened about 25 years ago but I can still remember the shock and wide eye and open mouth of this silly fellow. Everyone else was shocked and totally silent. My shirt was cut, and there was a mark on the skin of my stomach, but due to my Golden Bell I was unhurt. I have no doubt that had the chopper hit an untrained person, it would have cut deep into his stomach or even cut him into two pieces.