REFLECTIONS ON A LANDMARK COURSE
Sifu Andy Cusick
Shaolin Wahnam Scotland
30th July 2012
The course has had a chance to "soak in" and I feel ready to add to my summation
I needed a training break after the excitement of the Summer Camp and San Shou and rested up for two weeks or so.
Going back to my kung fu, my experience parallels closely some of the observations made by Sifu Chris above.
First up, my appetite has been growing steadily since I started practicing Bagua in the run up to the Course itself. After the Course, I've been eating like a horse and it shows no signs of going away
Sleepwise, I've been sleeping normal hours due to busyness, but feeling very tired in the evenings and sleeping deeply.
Post-course, the stances and circle-walking feel much more powerful than pre-course - perhaps an obvious comment and an expected benefit but very noticeable indeed.
The feeling of chi has a noticeably different quality when practicing Baguazhang, Shaolinquan or Taijiquan. For me:
- Shaolin - Mind still, Chi focused at the dan tien, emitted explosively and flowing through the strike.
- Taijiquan - Chi flowing deeply (meridians?), deep flowing mindset.
- Bagua - Chi flowing diffusely (collaterals?), collecting in the "aura" around the body (especially hands and arms).
Sifu has already spoken of the spread and depth benefits of practicing both Wahnam Taijiquan and Shaolin, and I am sure there will also be synergistic benefits currently unrealised with the addition of Bagua training. It feels exciting to be part of the 'experiment'!
I have been practicing Bagua and Shaolin on alternate days as Sifu advised ... and when I came to my first regular Shaolin practice post-course I was amazed at the benefits:
- My stances more solid and more agile
- My footwork more flowing
- My kungfu more flowing, more spontaneous and more powerful
The only way to describe it is as levelling-up!!!
There is always a levelling up after a course with Sifu but after this course it was most noticeable for me.
A Masterwork of Kung Fu
I've always wanted to learn Baguazhang since I first read about the mysterious circular art when travelling in China. Learning from Sifu is more than a dream come true as I never expected it would happen! Sifu modestly admits that Bagua is not his specialty but even so we were admitted in to majesty during the course.
A lifetime could be spent working on what Sifu gave us in those five days - it really feels like a seed has been planted that will blossom throughout the rest of our lives. I also feel that Sifu only touched on the basics of what he could initiate us into with this wonderful art form...
Please Sir, Could I Have Some More?
I hope the Bagua Course comes up again, and I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat it. It is another instant Wahnam classic, just as I imagine Taijiquan was when Sifu first started teaching it. There are so many great kung fu practitioners in the school that just shouldn't miss out on the opportunity if it becomes available again. Whether you practice Shaolin or Taiji (or Qigong ) - it really will have a special benefit on your kung fu
Shaolin Salutations to Sifu, the Summer Camp team and the Past Masters,
Sifu Andy Cusick
Shaolin Wahnam Glasgow
"A trained mind brings health and happiness" - ancient wisdom
The above is taken from the thread, Baguazhang! @ UK Summer Camp in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum