IS WHITE CRANE STEPS ON SNOW RELATED TO THE ART OF LIGHTNESS
Is White Crane Steps on Snow in any way related to the Art of Lightness?
The answer is yes and no.
The term "White Crane Step on Snow" originally referred to a Shaolin kungfu pattern found in an exclusive kungfu set called "Essence of Shaolin" which I learned from Uncle Righteousness.
Sometimes I showed this pattern in class when demonstrating combat application. Amongst many functions, it is useful for intercepting a sweeping kick and breaking an opponent’s leg.
When I taught Praying Mantis in Bern a few years ago, I found the Praying Mantis Seven-Star Stance very effective in combat. I wondered why it was not popularly use in other kungfu styles. After thinking over the question, I cam to a conclusion that there was a nemesis to the Seven-Star Stance, and this nemesis was “White Crane Step on Snow”.
In other words, if an opponent applies a Seven-Star Stance to break you shin, he would have his own leg broken if you respond with “White Crance Steps on Snow”, and it is difficult, but not impossible, to defend against this White Crane counter. Masters did not want to risk themselves, so the Seven-Star was not popular.
To meet an expedient need of helping students overcome knee problems, I devised an exercise that resembled this kungfu pattern "White Crane Steps on Snow". So I call the chi kung exercise “White Crane Steps on Snow” too.
Hence, in these two aspects of kungfu application and chi kung healing, “White Crane Steps on Snow” is not related to the Art of Lightness.
I practiced the Art of Lightness for some time in my young days. I could jump up to a height of about 5 feet on the spot. Unfortunately I did not continue the training after sustaining an injury, "White Crane Steps on Snow" was not one of the required exercises.
However, when I taught the Eighteen Jewels recently )February 2013), "White Crane Steps on Snow" was one of the exercises. When I taught it, I meant it to be an exercise for the knees. But when students practiced this exercise in chi flow, I found that they became very agile. I was innovative and I encouraged them to run and jump using “White Crane Steps on Snow” while in chi flow.
Jereom, for example, was very impressive. He could spring up a few feet quite effortlessly. I encouraged him to continue practicing with this exercise. Hopefully he may break the world high jump record one day! In this respect, "White Crane Steps on Snow" is related to the Art of Lightness. If I shall teach the Art of Lightness one day in future, I shall include the Art of Lightness in its training.
The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong -- 18 Jewels of Shaolin Wahnam Chi Kung in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.