QUISCENT METHODS AND DYNAMIC METHODS OF FORCE TRAINING
How do the benefits of Iron Wire as a dynamic method differ from quiescent methods such as Zhan Zhuang? It seems that quiescent methods form the foundation of force training due to the mind or meditation aspect.
Generally, internal force developed from dynamic methods is more flowing than force developed from quiescent methods. For example, the force developed from One-Finger Shooting Zen and Cloud Hands is more flowing than the force developed from Golden Bridge and Three-Circle Stance.
Flowing force is softer and more versatile, and in combat it is more fluid. Consolidated force is harder and more compact, and in combat it is more pressing.
For example, if you want to sense an opponent's movement or fell him onto the ground, flowing force, like that from One-Finger Shooting Zen, is preferred to consolidated force, like that from Golden Bridge. On the other hand, if you wish to dominate and opponent or smash his bones, consolidated force, like that from the Three-Circle Stance is preferred to flowing force, like that from Cloud Hands.
In promoting health, vitality and longevity, flowing force is more suited to cleansing and spreading, whereas consolidated force to building and strengthening. If a person is sick or in pain, applying flowing force, by himself or from another person, is preferred to applying consolidated force. If he wants solidness and stability in his daily life, consolidated is preferred to flowing force.
However, Iron Wire is different. Although it is a dynamic training method, the force developed is relatively consolidated rather than flowing. Indeed, if we compare Iron Wire with a quiescent method like zhan zhuang, Iron Wire is relatively more consolidated and less flowing. The reason is that although the method is dynamic, it is used to consolidate force, rather than let it flow.
So in comparing its benefits with other force training arts, we should consider Iron Wire as a consolidated force rather than as a dynamic method. In combat, the consolidated force of Iron Wire is more compact and pressing than force from quiescent methods like Three-Circle Stance and even Golden Bridge. If you wish to force an opponent against a wall, for example, Iron Wire Force is preferred to Three-Circle Stance force.
On the other hand, it is less fluid, even when compared to force from quiescent methods. If you wish to manipulate an opponent so that he heels overwhelmed, Golden Bridge force is preferred to Iron Wire force.
For non-combat purposes, Iron Wire force is more beneficial when situations need building and strengthening. If you want to better withstand a winter’s cold, for example, or have courage to face intellectual challenges, Iron Wire force is relatively more beneficial than flowing force, like from Cloud Hands and Self-Manifested Chi Movement.
Yes, generally force from quiescent methods form the foundation of force training, and an important factor is due to their mind or meditation aspect. The basic principles are to accumulate force at the dan tian, and develops solid stances. Quiescent methods are more conducive for such purposes. When a foundation is laid, force can then be channelled using dynamic methods various places in the body for their respective functions.
All these observations are relative and presume that all other things were equal. While consolidated force from Iron Wire is relatively less fluid than flowing force from Cloud Hands, for example, a master can use his Iron Wire force more fluidly than a student using Cloud Hands force.
In this respect, our students are very lucky. Because of the magic of energy flow, our students can readily convert one type of force to another. They may have developed consolidated force from Iron Wire, but if they need to overcome pain and illness, for example, they can just let go and enter chi flow. On the other hand, they may have developed flowing force from Cloud Hands. But if they wish to build or strengthen, they just go to standing meditation and let the force consolidate.
Also because of the magic of chi flow, our students not only can train two or more opposite methods at the same time, like Iron Wire and Taijiquan, without negating each other, but also their progress is even better than just training one at a time. This is the advantage of spread and depth.
This privilege is not available to other practitioners, including masters. If they practice Iron Wire and Taijiquan at the same time, the two opposing force training methods negate each other. For us they complement and enhance.
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