MIND-LEVEL TRAINING IN CHOY-LI-FATT
Our Shaolin combat training, while being very effective for combat, also trains us to calmly and quickly make appropriate decisions. This has many applications outside of combat (negotiation, avoiding negative situations, etc). Since Choy Li Fatt was developed to be used for fighting en mass, could the mind-level benefits have even more application for today's modern, multi-tasking culture with stimulus coming from all directions at all times?-- Sifu Matt Fenton
You have highlighted a very important point. While our combat training makes us very effective in sparring or real fighting, we place more value on its daily non-combat applications, like being righteous and courageous as well as being able to make right and fast decisions in our work and play.
Your question is very interesting here, but unlike other questions, including your other question above, where my answers are based on classical records as well as empirical evidence we have directly experienced, the answer here is based on my speculation as I have no classical records or practical experience in this case.
If all other things were equal, the mind-level training of Choy-Li-Fatt would be comparatively less applicable for today's multi-tasking culture, compared to the mind-training of arts like Shaolin and Taijiquan. Please take note of the two terms "if all other things were equal" and "comparatively'.
In real life, all other things are not equal. Secondly, here we compare Choy-Li-Fatt to the greatest of martial arts, Shaolin and Taijiquan. If we compare to other martial arts like Wing Choon and Karate, the result would be different. Your conclusion is probably based on the similarity of Choy-Li-Fatt's handling of multiple attacks in combat and our modern culture of handling stimuli coming from all directions. The comparison, however, is invalid, and is due to confusing root with branch, or cause with effect.
Here the ability to handle multiple attacks in combat and multiple stimuli coming from all directions is the result, not the cause, of mental strength and mental clarity from mind-level training. The similarity or difference of the result, like the similarity of multiple attacks and multiple stimuli does not affect the quality of mental clarity and mental strength. It is the other way round. The methods to develop mental clarity and mental strength affect the ability in handling multiple attacks or stimuli as well as other performance.
As Choy-Li-Fatt is an external art, there are no special methods involving special postures or movements to develop the mind. But because we in Shaolin Wahnam are trained in mind development, we can transfer the necessary mind-development skills to Choy-Li-Fatt movements to do so. These movements are those geared for fighting multiple opponents.
On the other hand, in Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan, there are special methods for mind development, like One-Finger Shooting Zen and Cloud-Hands. If all other things were equal, the comparatively quiescent movements of One-Finger Shooting Zen and Cloud Hands are more cost-effective for mind development than the comparatively dynamic movements of Choy-Li-Fatt. Hence the mind-level benefits of arts like Shaolin and Taijiquan are more applicable than those of Choy-Li-Fatt in meeting today's multi-tasking culture.
On the other hand, if we compare students learning Choy-Li-Fatt at the coming Winter Camp with most other students learning Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan elsewhere, our students will be more efficient in today's multi-tasking culture. It is because our students train their mind in Choy-Li-Fatt, whereas other students do not train their mind in Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan. For example, our students having better mental clarity will understand the answer here, whereas many other students may not know what we are talking about.
-- Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
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The above is reproduced from the thread 20 Questions for Grandmaster: Choy-Li-Fatt and Kungfu against Other Styles in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.