CIRCUMSTANCES OR SCENARIOS WHEN A STUDENT'S INTERESTS WOULD BE BEST SERVED BY PRACTICING THE 18 LOHAN HANDS
Are there any circumstances or scenarios when a student's interests would be best served by practicing the 18 Lohan Hands exclusively over a prolonged period of time (say 10-15 years) and not integrating other styles (e.g. Sinew Metamorphosis, 18 Lohan Arts etc) into his or her practice?
Yes, the following are some of the circumstances or scenarios.
The student does not have an opportunity to learn other arts, like Sinew Metamorphosis or 18-Lohan Art.
His interests would be best served by practicing the 18 Lohan Hands exclusively over a prolonged period of time. If he stops practicing, he would not gain any chi kung benefits.
If he practices the 18 Lohan Hands well, he can gain a lot of benefit, including good health, vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys. He may even achieve the highest spiritual attainment, i.e. attainment Enlightenment or returning to God the Holy Spirit, though he could probably attain it more cost-effectively through higher arts like Zen meditation if he had the opportunity to practice it.
If he practices mediocrely, he can still gain benefits that he would not have gained had he not practiced.
Even if the art he practices is not genuine chi kung but gentle physical exercise, he would still gain some benefit, like loosening joints and muscles, being relaxed and having good posture which will enable his organs to function at their best.
This scenario is not likely to occur in our modern world because people today have opportunities unimagined before in the past, even though most of the arts taught today have been grossly debased, which leads to the next scenario. But in the past the scenario was not uncommon. Just to practice chi kung, which would be of a lower level than the 18 Lohan Hands, was a rare opportunity.
Even at the Shaolin Temple, where the best arts were taught, many monks only had the opportunity to practice the 18 Lohan Hands. Sinew Metamorphosis, 18-Lohan Arts, Shaolin Kungfu and other forms of chi kung were not available to them.
Another scenario is that the other types of chi kung available are of a low level or not genuine, and only the 18 Lohan Hands is worthy. Then it would be to the student’s interest to practice just the 18 Lohan Hands exclusively over a prolonged period of time.
This, in fact, was the real life scenario for many years when only the 18 Lohan Hands, or a selection of the exercises, was taught in our school. Before I taught the 18 Lohan Hands to the public, chi kung was very rare anywhere in the world.
I first taught a package-course of 18 Lohan Hands for six months. It was revolutionary. No one, as far as I know, did something like this before. Before this, chi kung, better known as nei kung or internal art then, was taught as part of advanced kungfu to selected disciples.
Some kungfu masters thought I had gone crazy. Firstly, they questioned why I taught chi kung to the public; it was meant only for exclusive students. Secondly, they asked how I could teach chi kung in six months. Chi kung training was supposed to be for years. In such circumstances, which actually was the first scenario above, it would be to students’ interest to practice 18 Lohan Hands for a prolonged period of time.
Gradually chi kung teachers from China went overseas, mainly to Southeast Asia, to teach chi kung in packaged courses like what I did. But what they taught was mainly gentle physical exercise, though they used chi kung forms. Some local chi kung teachers also started to teach chi kung to the public, mostly on a long term basis instead of in packaged courses. But their chi kung was of a lower level than our 18 Lohan Hands even at the early history of our school.
This was the second scenario. Although there were a few different types of chi kung available, only 18 Lohan Hands was worthy, the rest was low-level or just gentle physical exercise. In such a scenario, it is to the students’ interest to practice 18 Lohan Hands exclusively over a prolonged period.
A third scenario is that, for some reasons, other types of chi kung though available elsewhere and for other people, are not accessible to a student. Then it is to his interest to practice 18 Lohan Hands exclusively for a prolonged period of time.
Another scenario is that other types of chi kung, though accessible, are not suitable to him. For some odd reasons, he only finds 18 Lohan Hands beneficial. In this scenario it is to his interest to practice 18 Lohan Hands exclusively for a prolonged period of time. This scenario, however, is academic. In real life, it is very unlikely to happen because it is very unlikely that other types of chi kung are unsuitable for any particular persons.
The fifth scenario is that although other types of chi kung are beneficial, 18 Lohan Hands gives a student the best benefits. In such a scenario it is to his interest that he practices 18 Lohan Hands exclusively for a prolonged period. This scenario too is academic. It is unlikely to happen in real life. Although 18 Lohan Hands is an excellent start, as students progress they will find other types of chi kung more cost-effective.
The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 18 Lohan Hands: 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.