COSMOS PALM FORCE IN COMPARISON WITH INTERNAL FORCE FROM BAGUAZHANG, TAIJIQUAN, GOLDEN BRIDGE AND LIFTING WATER
Several arts have been in kung fu literature as being useful for both healing as well as combat, especially One Finger Zen and Cosmos Palm. What is it about the force developed by Cosmos Palm that makes it so useful for healing and combat compared to the characteristic force developed by other arts such as Baguazhang, Taijiquan, Golden Bridge, Lifting Water, or Golden Bell?
When we understand the philosophy of internal force and are able to use it, we can use the internal force of any arts, like Cosmos Palm, One-Finger Shooting Zen and Tiger-Claw, for combat and for healing. It is because internal force can be used for both – if we know how. Internal force can also be used for most other things, like attaining good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys – again if we know how.
Let us take an analogy. If we have money, we cau use it to have dinner at an expensive restaurant or to buy a new dress. We can also use it for most other things, like going to a cinema, attending a course, or donating it to charity. Of course, the money or the internal force must be sufficient. Also important, though some people may not realize it, we must know how to use the money or the internal force.
Most martial artists today may not know how to use their internal force for combat or for healing, though they have internal force. This may not be surprising for healing, but it may be surprising, especially for people outside our school, for combat. First of all, not many people outside our school have internal force. Amongst the few who have internal force, most of them do not know how to use it for combat. They merely exchange blows, and be punched and kicked themselves.
But this was not so in the past. Those trained in kungfu, would know how to use kungfu for combat, though most of them might not know how to use it for healing even if they had internal force. Amongst those who could not use their internal force for healing, some of them might know in theory that internal force could be used for healing, and some didn’t know.
Regarding healing, it is also important to know the amount of internal force transmitted to a patient. A healer who transmits too much internal force to a patient might harm the patient. This is especially so for children and expecting mothers. An untrained person with internal force transmitting chi to an expecting mother, might harm her or her baby. A healer is like a father (or a mother). He must heal within his ability and confidence.
There are a few reasons why the force developed by Cosmos Palm is very useful for healing and combat. Firstly, the force is plentiful, compared to arts like Iron Palm and Iron Leg. Obviously, the more force one has, the more effective he is for healing and for combat.
Another reason is that the force is flowing. Flowing force is more effective for healing. Flowing force can be consolidated if needed for combat. A master with Iron Palm may have a lot of force, but it is usually consolidated and localized at his palm. It would be less effective for the Iron Palm master to transmit it to a patient for healing. It would also be less effective for him in many aspects of combat, like making quick decisions, moving about, and applying felling or kicking attack.
Thirdly, for want of better terms, the force of Cosmos Palm is proactive, whereas the force in some arts like Golden Bell, Iron Shirt and Thirteen Grand Guards is reactive. Proactive force is more effective in healing and combat. A Golden Bell master, for example, will know the effective of his force when he is hit. And usually he would ward off the attack even when he knows the hit would not harm him.
A fourth reason is that the force of Cosmos Palm is focused at the hands, and the hands are usually used in healing and combat. If the force is focused at the head, like in Iron Head, or at the legs, like in Iron Leg, it is not as effective for healing and combat.
Cosmos Palm is a special force or skill in Shaolin Kungfu where practitioners draw energy from the Cosmos to focus it at their palms. Other kungfu styles, like Baguazhang, Taijiquan and Xingyiquan, may have force and skills similar to Cosmos Palm, but these styles do not call it Cosmos Palm.
Golden Bridge and Golden Bell are also special types of force or skills in Shaolin Kungfu, but are dfferent from Cosmos Palm. Other kungfu styles may also have similar types of force or skills, but again they do not call these arts Golden Bridge and Golden Bell.
Lifting Water is popular in Taijiquan, but it is also found in Shaolin Kungfu, though it is infrequently practiced. By practicing Lifting Water, practitioners can develop flowing force. If they can consolidate this flowing force, they have a force that is similar to Cosmos Palm. But not many Taijiquan practitioners can do so. In fact, if they practice Cosmos Palm and Lifting Water at the same time, they may cancel out the force developed from each art. We in Shaolin Wahanm are special. We enhance both arts.
Cosmos Palm is an excellent art for combat and healing. But practitioners must learn combat and healing first, before thay can use the force of Cosmos Palm to enhance them.
This question and answer are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Cosmos Palm in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.