Monthly Archives: April 2015

ON FORGIVENESS

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion-2/christina02.html)

Christina Didyk

Sifu Christina Didyk


Sifu Christina Didyk

Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA

23rd December 2012

On Forgiveness

Since our Festival in St Pete, I continue to receive reports from many of my patients and students who attended on how profound their experience was during one of the sessions in which Sifu asked us all to forgive.

I myself have experienced how amazing this can be at many courses but now it seems I am experiencing it from all these new eyes and once again it has touched me deeply.

At the course itself there were multiple folks in tears after the forgiveness exercise, but amazingly as I looked around they were all clearly tears of joy. Many people came up to me to give a hug after – in particular one of my patients and my good friend from Europe. I didn’t know what either of them had forgiven but I did know that they both were radiating love and happiness and a sense of weightlessness that made my heart feel lighter and full of joy.

This post is being written because at least for my patient that single act of forgiveness in class has led to some amazing real life results. She gave me permission to relay the result here.

Mrs M. had a long and incredibly destructive relationship with her long time boss. She felt she had been passed over for promotion many times because her boss disliked her even though her performance was always top notch. She felt angry and unsatisfied every morning going to work and every evening coming home. In retrospect she realized that her relationship at home with her husband suffered because of her anger and her many illnesses may have been a way to get out of going to work.

She told me that during the class with Sifu when he asked her to forgive her boss immediately flew into her mind and for a moment she felt all of her anger and hatred for this man fill her up until she felt like she would throw up. All at once she decided to just follow Sifu’s instructions and let go, forgive, release all that pent up anger. She stated that it was if in a moment she had lost 100 lb weight that had been sitting on her heart. She felt filled with peace.

Mrs M said the last few weeks she has been able to be friendly and cordial with her boss and even enjoyed going to work each day. Just two weeks ago her boss came to her and let her know that she would be up for promotion soon and that he intended to help her get it!!

Perhaps most amazingly Mrs. M has decided to forego her promotion and in fact is resigning from her job to become a full time painter instead. She told me that painting is what saved her time and again from her anger and is her greatest joy in life. She has already landed a large commission for a group of paintings and will be making more from them than her promotion would have given her!!! Astounding!

It never ceases to amaze me how profound the lessons Sifu gives us can be if we relax, don’t worry, don’t intellectualize and just follow his instructions!

Not only did Mrs M forgive, release her potentially illness causing anger and create a better relationship with her boss. She also gained the courage to realize that she is in control of her destiny and there is no one but herself who can stand in her way!

I am constantly amazed at the students of Shaolin Wahnam and eternally grateful to be a part of such a courageous and loving family.

From the Heart.

Christina.


Chris and Christina

Sifu Christina Didyk and her husband, Sifu Chris Didyk


The above discussion is reproduced from the thread On forgiveness in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

THREE LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL FULFILLMENT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/wisdom-of-living-masters/wisdom06.html)

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Grandmaster Wong



Question

How would you define spiritual fulfillment?

Answer

Spiritual fulfillment is self-explanatory. It is fulfilling spiritual needs.

The difficulty faced by many people in understanding what spiritual fulfilment is, therefore, lies not in its definition but in what actually is meant by spiritual. Spiritual is non-physical, it has no form. Your spirit is the real you. The real you is not your body.

Your spirit may grow and develop, but it does not change. Your body is changing all the time, though the countless changes, like the constantly changing cells that make up your flesh and bones, are so minute that you normally do not see them with your naked eyes.

Indeed, scientists have estimated that the body you have now is totally different from the one you had just seven months ago. Then why do you look the same? It is because the changing cells that constitute you body maintain the same appearance of the previous cells they replace. It is like a flowing river. The water in the river is changing all the time, but it maintains the same appearance.

Depending on various factors, like different education, environment and developmental stage, different people have different spiritual needs to be fulfilled. But all our spiritual needs may be classified into three levels:

  1. To be happy, peaceful and free here and now.
  2. To go to heaven in the afterlife.
  3. To eventually return to our Source, called variously by different peoples as God, Tao, Buddhahood or Supreme Reality.

If these needs are not fulfilled, your spirit, i.e. the real you, will not be at ease, and may be manifested in your physical body. The process works both ways. If your body is dis-ease, you will not be well.

For example, at the fundamental level if a person’s spirit is frustrated, agitated or restricted for a prolonged period of time, he may become unwell and it may be manifested as cancer, cardiovascular disorders and depression. On the other hand, if harmful micro-organisms attack his body, it can also make his spirit unwell, manifested as being gloomy, stressful and depressed.

Hence, to fulfill the needs of his spirit so that he can be happy, peaceful and free again, he has to overcome the causes that bring about the dis-ease of his spirit. If he just removes the symptoms manifested on his body, like taking out the cancerous parts, rectifying the cardiovascular disorders or taking pills to neutralize his depression, he can only succeed in temporary relief. As his spirit is still dis-eased, its symptoms would surface again.

On the other hand, if spiritual dis-ease is caused by physical factors, like harmful bacteria attacking his body, he can regain his spiritual well-being by overcoming the physical cause, like taking appropriate antibiotics.

At the intermediate level, people aspire to go to heaven in their afterlife. This is actually simple, though it may not be easy for some people. Avoid evil and do good. If you avoid evil and do good, you will be sure to go to heaven. This is taught in and guaranteed by all the greatest teachers of all the world’s known religions.

If a person did a lot of evil things in his past in this present life or his previous lives, even he does good now, he may not go to heaven in his immediate afterlife. But as long as he starts to avoid evil and do good, no matter how much evilness he did in the past, he will still inevitably go to heaven.

Is heaven real? It is like asking is the world we now live in real. The answers are the same. Yes, heaven and our phenomenal world are real – relatively real but not absolutely real. Heaven and earth are real relative to our mind. In other words, how that tiny part of Cosmic Reality we currently exist in will appear to us, depends on our mind. At the present stage when we exist in this world, how this world appears to us depends on how we perceive it. That is why it is called our phenomenal world. The adjective “phenomenal” comes from the noun “phenomena” which means “appearances”.

After leaving this world, how the afterlife appears to us, whether it is heaven or hell, also depends on our mind. If a person has avoided evil and done good, he has cultivated his mind with good thoughts, often described as having good karma. He will experience his afterlife as heaven. If he has done a lot of evil, described as having very bad karma, he will experience his afterlife as hell.

Heaven and hell, as well as the world we now live in, are in the phenomenal realm. How we experience our living in it depends on our karma. Its reality is relative to how our mind perceives Cosmic Reality, and is conditioned by karma. If we can break down these conditions and go beyond karma, we go beyond the phenomenal and realize transcendental Cosmic Reality. This is the most supreme and noble of all spiritual cultivation, described differently by different peoples as returning to God, attaining the Tao and seeing the Original Face.

Although our spirit, not our body, is our real self, while our spirit is housed in our body it is important to keep our body healthy and strong. When a person’s body is sick or weak, he may overcome his sickness or weakness by cultivating his spirit, but it is faster and more effective by working on his body directly. An effective way is through the practice of chi kung, spelt as “qigong” in Romanized Chinese. Chi kung is the cultivation of energy, or life force, which links the body and the spirit. In our school, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan is also chi kung, as they also cultivate energy besides the body and spirit.

When a person’s body is healthy and strong, he is more efficient in cultivating his spirit. There are many different methods of spiritual cultivation. The following are some of the methods we use in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, and they have been proven to be very effective.

To be happy, we smile from our heart, which is a skill we practice every time we start an exercise. To be peaceful we stand in meditation and enjoy the stillness and experience inner peace. To be free we expand our spirit using techniques like Separating Water and Flicking Fingers.

A sure way to go to heaven is to avoid evil and do good. We aspire to this high moral living by following our Ten Shaolin Laws, which is an essential requirement for anyone who wants to learn from us. .

We are not in a hurry to return to our Source yet. We know the world we now live in is phenomenal, and we ensure our time here is well spent – for ourselves as well as for other people. We often have a glimpse of our Source while in deep meditation in such advanced arts like Cosmic Breathing and Expanding into the Cosmos. When we are ready, we can cultivate to return to our Source, using methods like Zen and Taoist meditation.

In all the arts practiced in our school, chi kung, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan, we are keenly aware of triple cultivation, namely cultivating jing, qi and shen, which means body, energy and spirit. We do not merely talk about spiritual cultivation, not even just practice spiritual cultivation, but ensure we have spiritual fulfillment, i.e. enjoying the benefits of spiritual cultivation in our daily life.


The above extract is reproduced from “Your True Nature: Wisdom of Living Masters” by Natalie Deane and Damian Lafont.

You can order this book from here or here.

INTRODUCTORY OR TRY-OUT 3 DAYS QI GONG HEALING COURSE.

banner-welcome

COURSE TITLE: INTRODUCTORY OR TRY-OUT 3 DAYS QI GONG HEALING COURSE.

DATE: 11th – 15th JUNE 2015.

VENUE: HOLISTIC HEALTH CULTIVATION CENTER (HHCC)

                    5-1 & 5-2, JALAN 1A / 114,

                    OFF JALAN KUCHAI LAMA,

                    58200 KUALA LUMPUR,

                    MALAYSIA.

CONDUCTED BY: SIFU DR. FOONG & SIFU WONG CHUN NGA

COURSE FEE: USD 800.00

SUPERVISED BY: GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: For those who wish to know more about Qi Gong healing, and to experience for themselves Qi or Energy. He or she can then decide to choose what the most suitable Qi Gong healing program for itself. Our Qi Gong healing is non – religious irrespective of race or culture.

REGISTRATION: If you are interested in joining the course please write directly to either Sifu Dr. Foong (drfoong@holistic.com.my) or Sifu Wong Chun Nga (wcn@holistic.com.my).

Here are the aims and objective for the 3-days introductory or try-out Qi Gong healing course.

AIMS:

– To provide an opportunity for students/patients to feel for themselves and understand about what is Qi Gong healing.

– To give them an opportunity to appreciate it is only 10 – 15 minutes of practice a day, and it is full of fun to get healed!

– To enable them to decide and select the best possible method of healing to overcome their diseases.

– To enable students/patients have confident to commit themselves at the center for a healing program for one year or as soon as they recover from their illness.

– To enable students/patients to have a choice to choose for a money-back guarantee USD 30,000.00 one year program or attend a 3-month healing program for USD 6,000.00 non-refundable in HHCC.

OBJECTIVE:

– Teach students/patients the most suitable level of Qi Gong so that they will recover from their pain and illness.

– Educate students/patients to understand the importance of supervision from a qualified healer in HHCC so that they will practice correctly rather than just practice on their own at home.

– In order to ensure recovery or overcoming their diseases it is best for students/patients to attend classes every day from Monday to Friday at HHCC.

– Any doubt and uncertainty in their practice can be readily rectified, when meeting with the qualified healer.

– When necessary the healer may help students/patients to open their energy points and transmit Qi to them as part of the healing.

COURSE SCHEDULE:

11th JUNE 2015

Arrival

12th JUNE 2015

8.00AM – 10.00AM Qi Gong Healing

11.00AM – 3.00PM Complimentary Tour

5.00PM – 7.00PM Qi Gong Healing

8.00PM – 10.00PM Welcoming Dinner

13th JUNE 2015

8.00AM – 10.00AM Qi Gong Healing

11.00AM – 3.00PM Complimentary Tour

5.00PM – 7.00PM Qi Gong Healing

14th JUNE 2015

8.00AM – 10.00AM Qi Gong Healing

11.00AM – 3.00PM Complimentary Tour

5.00PM – 7.00PM Qi Gong Healing

8.00PM – 10.00PM Graduation Dinner (Possibly meeting with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit in the dinner getting advise and guidance)

15th JUNE 2015 Departure

15th JUNE 2015

9.00AM – 11.00AM

For those who are interested to know and understand more about Qi Gong healing, a 2-hour workshop will be held on the 15th JUNE 2015 to help students/patients see for themselves actual healing conducted for patients at the center and possible interaction with students who are currently under the healing program, registration (recommend for hotel & accommodation) if required.

DECEIVING HEAVEN TO CROSS SEA

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion/36-strategies/strategy09.html)

Xie Ren Gui

A picture of the famous Tan general, Xie Ren Gui, reproduced from http://people.chinese.cn/en/article/2010-11/23/content_192809.htm


Question Which of the Thirty Six Strategies do you personally find the most beneficial and effective in term of profundity in simplicity, in order to enrich private and business life?

Sifu Roland Mastel


Answer

The strategy I find most beneficial and effective is the first one, Deceive Heaven to Cross Sea. It is simple. Basically it consists of making a feint move to accomplish a desired result. Actually all other strategies are covered in this strategy. All other strategies consist of making feint moves to accomplish desired results. Hence it is very profound.

A special feature of this strategy is that the deception does not appear to be very special. In fact it looks common, so that the enemy will not suspect the deception. Kungfu classics are a good example. A lot of secrets are hidden in the open, but unless they are initiated, people will not realize these secrets.

Hiding secrets in the open is found not just in classics but also in practice. Wuzuquan and Xingyiquan are good examples. When I first learned Wuzuquan more than 40 years ago I did not know how to use its patterns for combat. I believe many Wuzuquan practitioners today, despite having practiced for many years, are in a similar situation. But I am sure those who attended the recent Wuzuquan course in Penang are amazed that the patterns from San Zhan, the fundamental set of Wuzuquan, can be used to counter any attack! It is an excellent example of profundity in simplicity.

Another excellent example of profundity in simplicity is Xingyiquan, known to be the kungfu for generals. I knew for a long time that of all the kungfu styles, Xingyiquan is the closest to Western Boxing, and thus will be very helpful to those who want to win free sparring competitions as most competitors today fight like Boxers and also that most competitions follow rules closely related to Western Boxing.

But in terms of techniques, I did not know what a Xingyiquan practitioner would do if an opponent went beyond the simple techniques found in Boxing and Kick-Boxing and used sophisticated techniques like those found in the Shaolin Seventy Two Chin-Na Techniques or the little know felling techniques of Taijiquan. I reckon that the Xingyiquan practitioner would compensate his lack of extensive techniques with his tremendous force, for which Xingyiqaun as well as Wuzuquan are famous. (In my case, it was not a big concern because I could always fall back on my Shaolin and Taijiquan counters.)

Yet, as in the case of Wuzuquan earlier, when I went deeper in both the practice and philosophy of Xingyiquan in preparation for teaching the course at the UK Summer Camp, I found to my delight that even leaving aside internal force, simple looking Xingyiquan techniques do have counters for sophisticated attacks! Xingyiquan is not just bulldozing into opponents, as many people mistakenly think, but incorporates covering opponents adequately in its apparently straight-in advance. It was an aha experience for me to discover why this simple-looking style is regarded as kungfu for generals.

I am not sure whether the early Wuzuquan and Xingyiquan masters used this strategy of Deceiving Heaven to Cross Sea to hide secrets in the open. Personally I do not think so. The profundity in the apparently simple-looking arts evolved spontaneously. But I am sure that knowing this strategy by reading the answer here, or better still attending the course in Ireland, will enhance our ability to go deeper and obtain more benefits not just in kungfu and chi kung but in whatever we do when most other people merely skim the surface.

There is a lot of depth and benefit in the kungfu and chi kung we practice. For those who have not practiced Wuzuquan or Xingyiquan, let us take an example of Single Tiger Emerges from Cave from Shaolin Kungfu and Immortal Waves Sleeves from Taijiquan, and Lifting the Sky from chi kung.

The form is simple, and most other people merely practice their form. Any benefit they get is incidental. For us in Shaolin Wahnam, not only we know that the form is only a means to obtain benefit, but we get benefit deeper than what its surface suggests.

Single Tiger Emerges from Cave or Immortal Waves Sleeves is not only a counter where we can use minimum force against maximum strength, but is also applicable against any attack, be in striking, kicking, felling or chin-na! Lifting the Sky not only generates an energy flow, but gives us benefit ranging from just being relaxed to expanding into the Cosmos.

The past masters did not use the strategy, Deceiving Heaven to Cross Sea, but understanding the strategy enables us to see depth beyond surface.

An American businessman used this strategy to save a lot of money, as well as make a lot of money – legally. He probably had not heard of Deceive Heaven to Cross Sea, but what he did was applying its philosophy.

To protect local industry, the United States imposed a lot of tax on foreign imports. A lot of American women loved elegant French gloves but they were expensive because of heavy import tax.

A smart American businessman thought of a way to save a lot of tax and also make a lot of sales. He bought 100,000 pairs of these expensive, elegant gloves from France. But he did a strange thing. He unpacked them and sent only the left gloves to the United States, with a clear indication they were left gloves.

When the 100,000 pieces of left gloves arrived at United States, he did not claim them from the customs and therefore did not pay any import tax. As it was the practice, unclaimed items after some time were auctioned away. No one would bid for only left gloves without the right gloves. So this businessman could buy back his left gloves at a very low price.

The customs officials were alerted. They kept a close track on this businessman. They paid special attention to any future consignment of right gloves. Soon a consignment of 50,000 pairs of gloves arrived. They were normal, with left and right gloves. But the custom officials were careful. They still checked the consignment thoroughly to see if any right gloves were hidden. But they found nothing wrong. The businessman dutifully paid the tax and claimed the gloves.

The businessman sold the expensive, elegant French gloves below normal price. As it was a bargain, many people bought the gloves and the businessman made a fortune.

The customs officials continued to look out for any consignment of right gloves. The police and immigration also helped to ensure that no right gloves were smuggled in. But nothing of that sort happened.

Did the businessman get the right gloves, and if so, how did he get them? I would let you have fun working out the answer, which will be provided later.


Xingyiquan, Hsing Yi Kung fu

Xingyiquan looks simple, but is very profound


The above discussion is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on the 36 Strategies in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

FIVE FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION WHEN MOVING IN STANCES

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion/taijiquan2008/taijiquan2008-04.html)

Students will find the below discussion useful for reviewing Moving in Stances in our Shaolin Wahnam Kung Fu Level 1 syllabus.

Adrea and Sifu Jeffrey Segal

Intensive Taijiquan Tai Chi Chuan

Grandmaster Wong explaining the various factors one can consider when moving in stances


The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Intensive Taijiquan in Malaysia September 2008 started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 14th September 2008.


Andrea
Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
21st September 2008
Andrea

Dear Jeffrey Sipak,

Originally Posted by Jeffrey Segal
What are the five factors to take into consideration when we are training moving in stances?

A big thank you for posting these question. There was so much material on the course, I probably would not have gone back to these points any time soon. And while doing so I realized how much of a treasure, they will be for my practice.

Why? Because one of the difficulties I had when practicing “moving in stances” was that I “ran out of ideas” where and how to move. These factors and the way Sigung taught them, make it easy to first select where I want to be at the end of the move and how I will be moving. Amazing . I will definitely spend time practicing moving in stances over the next few weeks. But first let’s see if I did get the 5 factors correctly. Here is my answer:

  1. Directions : as given away by Hubert Sisook on his post above. Thank you.
  2. Leg mode : Left to Right, Left to Left, Right to Left, Right to Right (I just saw Ade Sisook added this one allready while I was writing this post)
  3. Reference point : Front leg, mid point, back leg.
  4. Yin-Yang approach to leg movement: Inside-out (Yin approach), outside-in (Yang approach) or straight
  5. Body movement : Clockwise or anti-clockwise

Are they correct? If so I feel confident about 4 of the 5 factors. The one I am still not very sure I understand correctly is the reference point. My understanding is that whatever we choose as the reference point is where the movement is started. If we turn to another direction this is also the rotation point. Is it? I think what confuses me is my understand of a reference point as a “fixed point” – i.e the point that does not move, while here it is the point that moves first.

If my understanding as explained above is correct, what does it mean for the mid point? Is it just the “rotation” point? Where does the movement start? I tried to review the video about this part (MOV05870 disk1) but however hard I try, I fail to see the link between the mid point and the movement sigh . I would be very grateful for any comment and help.

Warm regards from cold little Switzerland (4 degrees C yesterday in the morning)

Andrea
__________________
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.” (Venerable Ajahn Chah Subhatto)


Intensive Taijiquan Tai Chi Chuan

Grandmaster Wong demonstrating how to use end-point reference when changing directions


Sifu Jeffrey Segal
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Australia
21st September 2008
Jeffrey Segal

Excellent answer, Andrea!

I agree that the scope of this exercise is enormous

One way of understanding the reference point is that this is where the back leg will be when you have arrived at your new stance. In other words, the reference point is where you need to get to with your new back leg before you can correctly move into your new position. Where there is a rotation, it’s the point about which you rotate. It’s also worth noting that when we talk about the point of reference, we’re talking about the stance we’re in before we move, not the position we’re moving to! Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean.

Let’s say we’re training Bow Arrow Stance and that we’re starting in right mode facing north. Please note that this is the starting point for each of the examples i.e. they are not continuous. For now, let’s just concern ourselves with the first three factors which are direction, leg mode and point of reference . You’ll notice that I just write “Left” or “Right” for the second factor. Thus, if we are starting in Right mode, “Left” means “Right-Left” and “Right” means “Right-Right”.

North, Left, Front means that we’ll take a full step forward into Left Bow Arrow.

North, Right, Front means we would roll forward with the left leg and then advance the right leg (so we’d still be in Right Bow Arrow).

East, Right, Front means we would roll forward with the left leg and then turn to the right and advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow (facing east). In this case, the point of reference is also the point of rotation.

East, Right, Back means we would roll back with the right leg and then turn right and advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow. Here again, the point of reference is the point of rotation

West, Right, Middle means we would roll forward a half step with the left leg and turning to the left, advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow (facing west) Here, the mid point of our original Right Bow Arrow has become the point of rotation and the place where are (left) back leg belongs.

And one slightly trickier example

South, Left, Back means we’d turn around and roll forward with the right leg before advancing the left leg into Left Bow Arrow. Alternatively, we could roll back with the right leg and then turn and advance the left leg into left bow arrow facing south.

Please let me know if that’s clear.

Greetings from Melbourne
__________________
Jeffrey Segal
Shaolin Wahnam Australia
www.wahnamaustralia.com

HOW TO PLAN A TRAINING SCHEDULE

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/training-schedule.html)

Combat Sequence

Students, expecially at beginners’ level, should include stance-training, including moving in stances, in their daily training schedule

Question
I believe I heard somewhere that you prefer to have a structured, daily schedule. Can you please talk about the importance of having a daily schedule and any tips that may help us successfully implement and stick with our own (especially tips for handling disruptions such as travel or unexpectedly having to work late)?
Chris, USA
Answer
Yes, having a structured daily schedule will help to save much time as well as to get maximum benefits from the practice, both in the practice session itself as well as the general programme of training.

Experience has shown that many students waste a lot of time thinking of what to practice next after they have completed one aspect of their training. Because they lack a clear cut schedule, they often practice haphazardly, spending too much time on what is relatively unimportant, neglecting crucial aspects as well as training redundantly.

For example, many students spend years on practicing kungfu sets, without developing force and practicing combat application, which are the two twin pillars of any kungfu training. Yet, after many years of practicing forms, their forms are not correct because they failed to master the basics like how to co-ordinate their body, feet and hands, and how to move with grace and balance.

Having a structured schedule will overcome these setbacks. But before we attempt to work out our schedule, we must have a clear idea of what the art we are going to practice is, what our aims and objectives of practicing are, and what resources we have to work on. Without such preliminary understanding, many people end up with form demonstration or Kick-Boxing though they originally aimed to practice Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan. Some of them, including instructors, have invested so much time and effort in their deviated practice that they even think or argue that form demonstration or Kick-Boxing is Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan!

Setting aims and objectives are important when constructing a daily practice schedule. It helps to make your practice very cost-effective. To set aims and objectives wisely, you need to be clear of not just what you wish to achieve but also what the art has to offer. Then you select from within the art the relevant resources for practice that best help you to accomplish your aims and objectives. Arranging this material into some systematic ways for practice makes up your daily practice schedule.

Allot time, say half an hour or an hour, for each training session, and give yourself, say, six months as a package to achieve your objectives. Your daily practice schedule may be the same every day if you have sufficient time in the session to complete the chosen material, or you may vary your daily schedule if you have a lot of material to cover.

Naturally, because of different needs and aspiration as well as developmental stage, different practitioners will have different schedules. Let us take an example of a student who attends regular classes from a Shaolin Wahnam instructor. He aims to have good health and vitality as well as combat efficiency. A good daily schedule is as follows.

Start with about 5 minutes of “Lifting the Sky”. Then spend about 10 minutes on stance training, followed by about 5 to 10 minutes of gentle chi flow. Next, spend about 10 minutes on the Art of Flexibility, alternating with the Art of 100 Kicks on different days, followed by about 5 minutes of chi flow.

Then practice a kungfu set. If he has learnt many sets, he may vary the set on different days. Depending on his needs, aspirations and developmental stage, in his set practice he may focus on correctness of form, fluidity of movements, breath control or explosion of force. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

For the next 10 or 15 minutes, he should practice his combat sequences. He may go over all the sequences he has learnt or select those he wishes to consolidate. He will practice them at the level he is at, such as merely going over the routine so that he will be very familiar with them, using steps like continuation and internal changes, or varying them in sparring with an imaginary opponent. He will conclude his training session with 5 or 10 minutes of Standing Meditation where he enjoys inner peace or expands into the Cosmos.

Combat Sequence

If your objective is to prepare yourself for an Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, you should include combat sequences in your daily schedule

Another student who does not have the advantage of learning from a regional Shaolin Wahnam instructor, may have a very different daily schedule. Suppose he wants to attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, but could not learn kungfu, even only outward forms, from a local teacher. So he has to learn the forms from my books, and familiarize himself with the combat sequences from my webpages.

His main aim is to prepare himself so that he can qualify to attend the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course. He has three main objectives — to be able to perform basic kungfu forms so that he can follow the course, to be familiar with the routine of the 16 combat sequences so that he can focus on developing combat skills instead of wasting time learning the sequence at the course, and to develop some internal force, especially at his arms, so that he can be fit for a lot of sparring. He allots half an hour a day for three months to achieve these objectives.

He should spend the first month focusing on the basics, i.e. the stances and footwork and basic patterns, and the other two months on familiarizing himself with the 16 combat sequences. Force training, including the Art of Flexibility, should be carried out throughout the three months.

He spends about 5 minutes on “Lifting the Sky” which he can learn from my books. He will probably not have any chi flow. For the first two weeks, he focuses only on the stances. He spends about 20 minutes learning how to perform the various stances correctly. At this stage, he needs not, and should not, remain at each stance for any length of time. In other words, this stage is not for zhan-zhuang, or remain at a stance for some time. His task is to be able to perform a stance, for a few seconds, correctly. Within two weeks he should be able to learn the correct positions of the stances quite well. For the remaining 5 minutes, he practices the Art of Flexibility.

For the next two weeks he focuses on moving in stances and performing basic patterns. By now he should be able to move into any stance correctly, though he may not be able to remain at the stance for long. He begins the session with about 5 minutes of “Lifting the Sky”. Then he spends another 5 minutes on performing all the stances correctly. The emphasis is on correct form, and not on remaining at the stance to develop force. Next, he spends about 15 minutes to learn how to move correctly in stances and to perform basic patterns. He should pay careful attention to waist rotation and body weight distribution so that he can move gracefully and without hurting his knees. He concludes the session with the Art of Flexibility. By the end of the month, he should be able to perform basic patterns in proper stances correctly.

For the next two weeks, he focuses on familiarizing himself with the 16 combat sequences as well as developing some internal force. He starts his session with stance training. Now, as the postures of his stances are correct, he focuses on remaining at a stance for as long as he comfortably can. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. For the remaining 20 minutes, he practices the 16 combat sequences, starting with one and progress to all the others. He needs not worry about force and speed. His concern is to remember the routine of the sequences and perform the patterns correctly.

If he takes three days to learn and practice one combat sequence, he can complete the 16 sequences in 48 days, giving him a few days for general revision. He should learn and practice the sequences progressively, not individually. In other words, by the sixth day, he should be proficient in sequences 1 and 2, and by the ninth day be proficient in sequences 1, 2 and 3, etc.

Hence, if he follows these schedules for three months, he will be well prepared for the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course even though he might not have any kungfu experience before. On the other hand, someone who may have learnt kungfu for many years, where he only learns external kungfu forms, is ill prepared. This is a good example of cost-effectiveness. The smart student knows what he wants and plans his practice accordingly, whereas the mediocre student practices haphazardly without direction.


The above is reproduced from Question and Answer Number 1 of the May 2007 Part 2 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

Please e-mail your questions to Sifu Wong Kiew Kit stating your name, country and this webpage for reference. E-mails without these particulars may not be answered.

CHI KUNG AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion/academic-excellence.html)

Alex, Englandstanding meditation Mind training is an essential aspect of genuine chi kung. Here during a review course in Malaysia in December 2004, students entered Zen, where they attained a one-pointed mind, then let their mind expand.


The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Chi Kung and Academic Excellence posted by Alex in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 7th January 2005.


Chi Kung and Academic Excellence

I used to be a slacker but now I’m not.

I would aim for the minimum pass mark at University of D (40%) and often I would fail and have to redo the module.

I would look at other students and think, ‘How can you be bothered to go to the library’ and ‘How can you be bothered to send e-mails to companies to get some information?’ Now I’m the one going to two libraries just to find some help for an answer that’s worth 5%. Now I understand why they do it, it’s because they have the desire to.

Now I look at a question and I can see exactly how I can answer it.

Before I may not have understood a question, now not only do I understand it. I see the faults in it.

Sifu says with Chi Kung we can reasonably expect academic excellence. I still have a way to go to be an A student and if I were to start the degree again I wouldn’t be surprised if I did become one.

My role has changed in the class. I find my friends coming to me for help rather than the opposite.

People at University will understand that you have a lot of time between semesters. The summer holiday is around 5 months. This large break means I can clearly see how my Chi Kung in those months has improved myself.

I would leave my work as late as possible and feel very rushed in the last few weeks. This semester was different. I started as early as I could and even came in extra days. I finished the modules early and had lots of spare time at the end. Only certain classes appealed to me previously, now every class is interesting. Even now I’m looking forward to the next semester in February. A friend said to me ?Don’t you think this is semester is really hard?’ I didn’t know what to say.

My desire to learn and educate myself has increased massively. I now read as much as I can, broadly and deeply. I try and learn as much as I can, filling all the gaps in my education. Even these words are written with my touch typing skills I learnt from a website.

A while ago I thought, I’m not getting smarter, I’m just working harder because we have more work and everyone changes. But my friends are still the same. The B students still get Bs and the D students still get Ds.

Without Chi Kung this post would have been unorganised and brought my points across unclearly. I look at my posts on this forum a year ago and I can see the change I’ve made. Now I understand why the instructors and students can write so clearly.

How long have I been practising Chi Kung?

One year.