The Course is Fun

Multiple Attacks

Overcoming three simultaneous attackers

Drunken Boxer

Shaolin Wahnam Student

18th October 2009

The Course is Fun

Ha ha, yes indeed I agree with all descriptions of the course so far: great, fantastic and amazing. If I have to pick one word to describe this course that will be FUN!

I had so much fun over the course of the week, both in an out of the lessons. Ever since arriving at the hotel I was in a great chi flow all week, and felt brilliant because of it, whether that was doing stance training, sequences, multiple weapons attack, or having dinner or beers with brothers, or just watching some daft film whilst sipping coke in the hotel room - it was so much fun all the way through.

And that is surprising when you consider how intensive the program was, the level of the participants (the other ones that is!) and the material we were covering - to make multiple attacks or attacks with weapons fun is a tall order. Don't get me wrong, it was very daunting, intimidating and even frightening at times. Couldn't agree more with this from Jamie Siheng:

On the course content itself, I can't emphasise enough how challenging it was to progress through weapons, multiple and multiple with weapons; a truly humbling experience! Fighting with weapons, whether against single or multiple opponents is simply another level; my already deep respect for Sigung and our Past Masters has risen far beyond after this course, and stories of long ago where people survived countless battles using such weapons is awe inspiring.
-Jamie Robson

It gave me too new respect for Sifu, the past Masters, and ancient warriors of Kungfu. One thing that I thought beforehand and had confirmed on the course was this: if you are fighting multiple attackers - you must have the ability to put people down with one blow. There isn't time for anything else. Which means you need an art that develops formidable strikes.

This rules out most martial arts straight away - there simply isn't time to box, wrestle, grapple etc. The bit that I realised on the course was that genuine Kungfu with internal force is surely by far the best art for these situations. When Sifu demonstrated and we saw his relaxed yet phenomenal strikes flow out and take out attackers in 1s and 2s, we saw how the shape of the 'battlefield' could be swiftly and dramatically changed in his favour.

Speaking of force, when Sifu demonstrated his force during "Grasping Sparrow's Tail" in the Taijiquan section it was just a privelege to be present.

Grasping Sparrow's Tail

An old picture showing Grandmaster Wong demonstrating "Grasping Sparrow's Tail"

The other thing that made the course fun was the participants. I don't think I've ever been present in such a concentration of instructors, and this made the combat aspects like dealing with multiple attacks more daunting and challenging.

But also it was really fun - before the course I had visions of being in my hotel room or eating alone while the instructors were dining together etc. But from day one we were all socialising, enjoying good food, good beer (sometimes too good ), and good craic! I was jealous of the jovial banter between those great friends at the start of the week, but not by the end!

Another standout part of the course for me came in the preparation for it, as alluded to by Wuji and Emiko earlier. I had never ever practised weapons before, and never really wanted to, unlike 99% of kungfu practitioners. I thought why learn to use a weapon when it won't be there when you need to use it. Its not legal to carry a weapon in modern society, and I thought... here's the rub... if it was legal to carry a weapon in modern society then I wouldn't even practice martial arts because carry a weapon is exactly what I would do!

Oh how wrong I was... the weapons training was fantastic in many ways. For example in terms of developing force, stances, flow. But also my brother Martin who kindly taught me the weapons sets revealed the great benefit in that they can develop agility and movements that can be transferred to enhance non-weapons fighting - some empty hand moves I couldn't do or understand before but now I can! This was further elaborated on by Sifu who told us how practising against certain weapons like the Spear, the Sabre, or the Sword can help us deal with unarmed people who are particularly tall, or strong, or quick, tricky and agile respectively.

Well I'd say thats too much talk already from me bearing in mind how much training needs to be done to go over what was learned on this course! I'll finish off with a massive thank you to all who helped me prepare for the course, to all the brothers who took part on the course, and of course to Sifu. Thank you!

Persevere in correct practice
Qigong and Shaolinquan classes in Singapore

The above discussion is reproduced from the thread “ 2009 Advanced-Combined Shaolin-Taijiquan Course ” started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 6th October 2009.



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