MAKING OF SOUNDS IN IRON WIRE
Is it because the Iron Wire set involves the making of unfamiliar sounds that it is easy to practice it wrongly?
Sifu Zhang Wuji
Although many people, many of whom have not practiced the Iron Wire Set at all, say that making correct sounds is very important and making sounds other than the ones prescribed can cause serious side-effects, I disagree with this observation. Hence, my answer here may be a surprise to many people.
At first I succumbed to this view too, but during my training of the Iron Wire Set I found that this was untrue.
You will notice that in the paragraph above the previous one, I use "sounds other than the ones prescribed" instead of "wrong sounds" This is purposely done to highlight the following crucial points.
1 "Wrong sounds", of course, are wrong, and by the fact that they are wrong, may cause side-effects.
2. Wrong sounds may not necessarily be sounds other than the ones prescribed.
In the pattern "Double Dragons Emerge from Sea" of the Iron Wire Set, for example, the prescribed sound is "herit", like the sound we make in "Black Tiger Steals Heart". Many students close their mouth while making the sound, which becomes "hup" instead of "herit". "Hup" is a sound other than the one prescribed, and in this case it is a wrong sound as it causes side-effects.
Suppose a student makes the sound "herit", which is the same sound as the one prescribed. But he tenses his chest while making the sound. So, in this case although the sound is the one prescribed, it is a wrong sound.
3. On the other hand, instead of making "herit", a student makes "ouit" or even "yaa", and he does so without tensing his vocal cords or lungs. Although the sound is not the one prescribed, it is not a wrong sound because it does not cause side-effects, though the good effects may be different. When one makes "herit" correctly, the sound vibrates at the dan tian; "ouit" the sound vibrates at the stomach, and "yaa" the sound vibrates at the lungs.
There are other reasons why making other sounds is not necessarily wrong, and why making the prescribed sounds is not necessarily right. In other words the difficulty of training the Iron Wire Set correctly is not due to the making of unfamiliar sounds.
The same sound when pronounced in different tones will actually become different sounds. The famous example is "ma", which may mean mother, numb, horse and scold depending on which tone it is being pronounced. The same situation applies to sounds in the. Iron Wire Set, like "herit", "ouit", "yaa", "chaa", "yeh", "shss", and "sss".
In the pattern "Double Dragons Emerge from Sea", "herit" is to be pronounced in the 4th tone. Will there be adverse effects if it is pronounced in other tones? No, as long as the vocal cords and lungs are not tensed. On the other hand, even when "herit" is pronounced in the 4th tone but with the vocal cords or the lungs tensed, then it can cause adverse effects. The same principle applies to other sounds.
Some people say that the various sounds in the Iron Wire Set affect different organs of the body. If the right sounds are not used, then it will cause harm. This observation is incorrect. While it is true that different sounds affect different parts of the body, it is not true that if sounds other than those prescribed are used, it will be harmful.
If sounds other than the prescribed ones are produced correctly, they benefit organs other than those prescribed. For example, instead of saying "herit" when performing "Hands Guard Dan Tian", you say "ouit", you will vibrate your stomach instead of your dan tian.
On the other hand, even when "herit" is pronounced but with the vocal cords tensed, instead of vibrating the dan tian this may cause energy at the dan tian to stagnate.
Note : The first part of this answer can be found here
The above question-answer is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong on the Iron Wire Set in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum