The Bridegroom and his Warriors arrive at the Bride’s house. The beautiful Bride waits patiently but her Defenders are determined to prevent the inevitable conquest. At a most auspicious time, the Bridegroom leads the conquest to the Bride’s bastion. The door is locked. A formidable Warrior threatens to break down the wall, if not the door.
On the morning of the wedding, the Shaolin Warriors arrive early to accompany the Bridegroom on his journey to take the Bride home. The parents help the Bridegroom put on his best clothes. They then lead the Bridegroom by hand onward to his journey.
On arrival at the Bride’s house, the conquering party is met be a young boy who opens the door of the Bridegroom’s carriage. The Bridegroom is offered some sweet drink to sweeten his mouth and to bring sweet things to come. The conquering Warriors are well fed so that they are ready for the battle to break through the Bride’s defence.
All my students are deserving. I do not want to waste my time on undeserving students
I am re-sending this email since I haven’t heard from you, and I know you are likely very busy.
I could not find a Parkinson’s and/or Alzheimer’s testimonial per se on your website. Do you have anyone who healed who might be willing to talk to my dad about their healing with you? He would be moved I am sure by speaking with people who healed.
— Elizabeth, USA
I received your previous e-mail but I thought of not replying because you or your father would probably find my reply harsh, though in many cases I had to be harsh to be kind. Nevertheless, I would reply to your questions, implied or directly asked.
Here is the harsh answer.
I do not want to waste my time on people who themselves do not want to be healed. If they apply for my course, I would reject them as I consider them undeserving.
All the testimonials on my website are from grateful people who wrote to thank me on their own record. There are actually many more testimonials sent to me than I placed in my website.
If there are so many testimonials from people recovering from diseases more serious than Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, a sensible sick person suffering from a so-called incurable disease would not want to miss this golden opportunity to be healed. If he does not want to risk being a fool for a few days but prefer to be a fool for life, that is his business. I am not foolish enough to waste my time finding someone to speak to him. Even if I did, he would say he didn’t believe.
Whether he believes in the many testimonials is his right, but to me it is insulting. I don’t need to invent testimonials to trick people to seek healing from me. In fact I don’t like healing, but I do so as a duty. That was one main reason why now I do not offer personalized healing course even some people offer to pay me a lot of money — much, much more, I believe, than what your father could dream to pay me.
Do you keep track of people after they left your workshops, to know how many healed and kept up with practice?
No, I don’t keep such records. i expect them to be healed if they follow my simple instruction of practicing the lowest level of what they have learned in an Intensive Chi Kung Course for about 15 minutes twice a day, and in reality they were healed. Frankly I have lost count. There were literally thousands of them.
From the chi kung perspective, every illness can be overcome
In my experience, for my dad to heal, he will have to do qi gong, work with his mental habits, diet, and exercise his hands, voice, body, as they are all deeply weakened. Or would the 30 minutes of qi gong a day be all he needed in terms of physical exercise too, for all of the atrophied areas? Or would he also need to do other physical activities, in your opinion?
What you think is also what many people think. That was one reason why I suspected that you have been practicing chi kung techniques not as chi kung but as gentle physical exercise.
Even more people believe that such diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Lyme’s Disease as incurable. Not many people have a chance to be exposed to high level chi kung that overcomes these diseases.
People suffering from Parkinson’s Disease or any disease needs to practice the lowest level of what he has learned from my Intensive Chi Kung Course about 15 minutes per session twice a day. They do not have to do anything else, like doing other exercises or taking other medication. In fact I would prefer them not to do other exercises or take other medication, because just practicing the chi kung exercise prescribed for them is sufficient.
They are also advised to practice the higher-level chi kung exercises only once a while to maintain their skills of practicing them. They should not practice them often as these exercises are too powerful.
I have told my dad that really, given how ill he is, he might best view healing as a full or part time job so that he can hope to have a good quality of life again. But he followed the American dream of working at a job he disliked to make money to have savings in retirement, to then enjoy life, and then alas, he developed Parkinson’s right before retirement.
His mind is so bitter and he is so fused with his attitude that he deserves to do nothing because he worked so hard during his work life, that he is failing to see the truth that by doing nothing, he is actually losing everything, for he hasn’t the health to enjoy his retirement.
Your advice is wise, but your father is foolish. In the first place, he should not work on a job he did not like. And when he became ill, he should do something to get well. To be healthy is natural.
Practicing genuine chi kung gives you good health and fitness
However, truly, the man is definitely capable and willing to do 30 minutes a day. He has been forlorn by everyone’s assertions around him that he must devote hours a day to his health including qi gong, diet, exercise, voice exercises, hand exercises, etc. Until now, I have made those assertions to him too. I am hoping that somehow miraculously he can be really well with just 30 minutes a day.
Whether your father will practice 30 minutes a day is his business, and I am not interested in his business. I am also not interested to teach undeserving students.
Have you and those who assert that your father must devote hours a day to chi kung, diet, exercise, voice exercises, hand exercises, etc healed anyone suffering from Parkinson’s Disease?
I have healed countless people suffering from so-called incurable illness, including Parkinson’s Disease, and I have said that practicing the chi kung taught by me without doing any other exercises or treatment is enough. It is your and your father’s right whether to follow my advice.
I saw videos of one of your students who did heal back pain, but she looked rather overweight and unfit. I do not know how to gauge health with being unfit.
Obviously you know little about health and fitness, regardless of whether you admit it, or else you won’t be suffering from Lyme’s Disease for about 30 years.
Students at an Intensive Chi Kung Course in Sabah enjoying a Cosmic Shower
In Parkinson’s and Lymes, and I would say all neuro-degenation, many things are at play including emotional traumas, genetic detox deficiencies, stealth infections, heavy metal toxicities, methylation issues, gut issues, etc. etc. etc. Do you think people can heal with the 30 minutes of qi gong a day if they are not doing other active things to heal their bodies like getting the heavy metals out, eating a gut-healing diet, addressing mineral deficits, etc. etc.?
You speak as if you were an expert on Parkinson’s Disease and Lyme’s Disease, though you and your father have suffered from these diseases for years. I have helped many people overcome these diseases, and have said that practicing my chi kung 15 minutes twice a day is sufficient, yet you continue asking me the same question.
Many people, including professionals, give advice on how to deal with problems when they are the ones who have been suffering from these problems, and a lot of people listen to them. It is notorious, for example, that psychologists are amongst the most who suffer from psychological problems, but a lot of people listen to their advice on psychology. A lot of people take advice from marriage counselors, regardless of how may times these marriage counselors were divorced.
What is the difference between cleansing using Bone-Marrow Cleansing and using Cosmic Shower?
— Matt, England
Cleansing using Bone-Marrow Cleansing is specific, whereas using Cosmic Shower is holistic.
In the art of Bone-Marrow Cleansing practiced in our school, cleansing operates specifically at five levels, namely the levels of the skin, the flesh, the meridians, the internal organs and the bone marrow, which includes the nerves.
In Cosmic Shower, cosmic energy flows down the body from the head in all directions to the feet, clearing away physical, emotional, mental and spiritual blockage on the way.
Besides cleansing, these two arts can also be used for strengthening.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at email@example.com stating your name, country and e-mail address.
Sifu Wong at the International Congress for the Unity of Science in Seoul in 2000
Five Steps to Maximum Results
Why can some people attain in six months what others may not attain in six years? This is not an exaggeration; indeed, many of my students have reported that they have benefitted in a few months what they could only read about in books but never experienced although they had previously practiced the art in question for many years. Chi kung and kungfu (including Taijiquan) provide some glaring, if not disturbing, examples.
It is not uncommon today to find practitioners who have been in chi kung or kungfu for many years, some of whom are even instructors themselves, but who have no experience whatsoever of energy flow or any ability of self defence. Yet, the very fundamental of chi kung is energy flow, and that of kungfu is self defence. It is even more disturbing when some people, irrespective of whether their intention is good or selfish, start to teach chi kung or Taijiquan, which is actually a very effective form of martial art, after they have learnt some chi kung or Taijiquan movements for a few weeks, some even for a few days!
If you learn from such self-taught “masters” you are not going to get good results even if you practice for a whole lifetime. On the other hand, if you learn form a genuine master, you will get better results in a much shorter time. Nevertheless, while learning from a genuine master, or at least a competent instructor, is important, there are other contributing factors too, and they are generalized into the following Five Steps to Deriving the Best Benefits from Your Training:
Have a sound knowledge of the philosophy, scope and depth of the art you practice.
Define your aims and objectives clearly.
Seek a master for the best available methods to attain your aims and objectives.
Practice, practice and practice.
Assess your progress or otherwise with direct reference to your set aims and objectivs.
Philosophy, Scope and Depth
Understanding the philosophy, scope and depth of your chosen art is the essential first step if you want good result. Such an understanding acts like a map; it not only shows you the way and how to get there, but also the potential result at the destination.
Without this understanding, many people not only waste a lot of time and are often lost along the way, but also they do not actually know what they are working at. If they understand, for example, that to practice chi kung or Taijiquan, actually means to work on energy flow or to train for combat efficiency, far less people would have wasted their time over exercises that at best are gymnastics or dance.
If they further understand that the scope and depth of chi kung are much more than just energy flow, though working on energy flow is its essential foundation; and that the scope and depth of great kungfu like Shaolin and Taijiquan ae not just combat efficiency, though combat efficiency is the basic starting point, they would go beyond the foundation and basic to greater heights like vitality, longevity, mind expansion and spiritual fulfilment.
Where can you obtain knowledge on the philosophy, scope and depth of your chosen art? There are two main sources: living masters and established classics. Obviously if you hear it from a self-styled scholar who himself has not experienced what he says, or read it from a book which merely repeats cliches, you are unlikely to benefit much. Living masters were rare even in the past; they are rarer nowadays.
If you are so lucky to meet one, treat him with the respect as you would treat a living treasure. Showing Respect to the Master suggests the minimum you should do when meeting a living treasure. If you politely ask him relevant questions, he would answer them. If he gives excuses like the answers are too complicated for you to comprehend, or they involve secrets that you should not know (unless they really are secrets, which are not frequent in general questions), you are justified in suspecting whether he is a real master.
Established classics were also rare in the past, but they are more readily available today. You need to overcome two obstacles to understand the classics. One, you need to know classical Chinese; and two, you need to have some background knowledge. Most people, especially in the West, have neither of these two conditions. Their alternative is modern, easy-to-read books clearly written and well illustrated by practicing masters. Therefore, in chosing a book for your prior reading, you should decide on the following three factors: whether the book is dull or interesting, whether it is written in jargon or simple language, and whether the author and his material are authentic.
It is so evident that without aims and objectives much of the learning or training is usually unfruitful, that mentioning this fact may become trite. Yet, most people practice chi kung or kungfu without set aims and objectives! Try asking some practitioners why do they practice chi kung or kungfu, and many of them will start searching for their aims or objectives after, not before, they have heard your question. Even if they have prior aims and objectives, often they are merely fashionable slogans, rather than real definitions to remind them of the direction of their training.
For our purpose here, aims are general in their definition, and long-term in their attainment; whereas objectives are specific and short-term. For example, to be able to defend yourself is a general aim in your Taijiquan training, whereas to be able to release yourself from some particular locks and holds constitutes an objective. You should also set a time frame within which to accomplish your aims or objectives. Needless to say, you have to be realistic and reasonable when setting your time. For someone who has been suffering from an illness for years, for instance, it would be unreasonable to expect the disease to be overcome by just practicing certain chi kung exercises for only a few weeks.
For convenience, objectives may be classified into personal objectives and course objectives. The choice of personal objectives depends on the needs and abilities of the person in question, and sometimes on his whims and fancy. Developing the art of tiger-claw, and performing well the Five Animals kungfu set are examples of personal objectives in Shaolin Kungfu training.
Course objectives are related to the particular set of chi kung or kungfu exercises you intend to train for a period of time. For example, you may wish to spend six months on Golden Bridge training in Shaolin Kungfu, or on the Three Circles Stance in Taijiquan. In either case, developing powerful arms and solid stances is an appropriate course objective.
To define your aims and objectives wisely (please read the webpage Aims and Objectives of Practicing Kung Fu), it is necessary to have some sound knowledge of the philosophy, scope and depth of the art in question. For example, if you do not understand that chi kung also promotes mind expansion and spiritual cultivation, you will be in no position to touch on the mind and spirit while you define your aims and objectives. If you think (mistakenly) that Taijiquan is merely moving your body, arms and legs gracefully, the aims and objectives you set for your Taijiquan training, no matter for how long you may practice, are necessarily limited by your narrow perspective.
Seeking a Master for the Best Available Methods
Sifu Wong posting with his teacher, Sigong Ho Fatt Nam, many years ago
Having set your aims and objectives, the next logical step is to seek a master to help you realize your aims and objectives. Good masters are hard to find; you have to spend some time seeking them, but it is worth all your time and effort. The webpage Qualities of a Good Master will give you some ideas what to look for in your search. Remember it is you who seek the master; he may have neither the need nor the obligation to teach you. It is simply amazing why some people presume that just because they want to learn, a master is duty-bound to teach them. It is also illogical to presume that a master would not charge any fee for his teaching, that he could live on sunshine and water. The right attitude, which often turns out to be the best approach to a master, is for you to prove yourself to be a worthy student.
If you cannot find a master, at least look for a competent instructor, who must qualify in the following two conditions. One, he must be professional, i.e. he knows what he is teaching. Someone who teaches a profund art like chi kung or kungfu, after having learnt it for a few months, literally does not know what he is teaching. He does not know, for instance, that he is teaching chi kung-like or kungfu-like dance or gymnastics and not real chi kung or kungfu. The second condition is that he must be ethical, i.e. he ensures what he teaches is beneficial, and if his students develop adverse side-effects he knows about them and is capable of rectifying them.
A good master will choose the best available methods for you to achieve your aims and objectives. The selection will depend on numerous variables, such as your needs and abilities, the master’s repertoire as well as environmental factors and supportive resources. You may sometimes wonder if the choice made is a good one, but if he is a good master and has accepted you as his student, it is almost always certain that he will choose the best method and procedure for you.
Alternatively, you may have known from your reading or elsewhere some useful methods to accomplish your aims and objectives. Your task, therefore, is to seek for a master who can teach you your selected methods. However, if he advises you to make any changes — such as in your aims or objectives, your previously selected methods, or the procedure of training — it is again almost always certain that with his wider perspective and experience, he knows your needs and how to fulfill them better than you do. It is not without justification for the saying that real masters are worth more than their weight in gold.
Practice, Practice and Practice
The fourth step is the most important and takes the most time. It is significant to note that this step is “practice, practice and practice”, and not “learn, learn and learn”. In fact, frequently in chi kung and kungfu, especially at this stage, the more you learn the less you accomplish! This does not mean that learning is detrimental; in fact, learning about the philosophy, scope and depth of chi kung or kungfu is the first essential step to obtaining the best result in your training. But if your training is geared towards chi kung or kungfu proficiency, it is detrimental merely to learn, learn and learn.
There are some crucial differences between practicing and learning. Practicing is practical and experiential; learning is theoretical and intellectual. Practicing deals with what has been known; its purpose is to develop and consolidate skills, force or ability. Learning deals with what is to be known; its purpose is to obtain new knowledge.
Masters are made through practice, scholars through learning. Masters perform, and directly experience what they profess. Chi kung or kungfu masters, for example, can demonstrate internal force, and experience vitality and mental freshness. Scholars merely talk, but often have no direct experience of what they know. Nowadays there are many chi kung and kungfu scholars, especially in the West, but there are very few masters, even in the East.
If you want to become a master, or just to be proficient, in chi kung or kungfu, you simply cannot escape this long process of practice, practice and practice. You do not practice just three times, or for three months, but preferably at least for three years. There is a saying that “three years of practice will bring a small success; ten years a big success”. What you practice may be simple, and usually consists of only one or a few techniques!
Actually it does not really matter what you practice, so long as you practice, practice and practice long enough, you will become a master of what you practice — even if your chosen method is inferior. If you continuously strike your palms onto a sand bag, or strike your leg against a coconut tree every day for three years — methods which are considered “inferior” in our Shaolin Wahnam School of Chi Kung and Kungfu — you will become a master of iron palm or iron leg, and may have the power to kill a person with just one strike. Unless you are particularly fond of showing off your brute strength, breaking bricks or someone’s bones with your palm or leg is normally not a rewarding thing to do. Hence, if you have acquired a good philosophical background in your first step, you will be in a better position to choose a “superior” method to practice in this fourth step for more rewarding results.
Assessing Progress According to Aims and Objectives
Combat Application of Shaolin Kungfu
You should access your progress, or otherwise, according to your set aims and objectives. You must, of course, follow your master’s advice and the conditions required by the method of training. If your master asks you to breathe slowly and gently, it is sheer folly to attempt to be smarter than the teacher by breathing fast or forcefully. If the method requires you to practice daily for six months, it is a waste of your time and your teacher’s effort if you discontinue your training after three weeks because you have not experienced any effect.
If you follow your master’s advice and practice according to the requirements of the established method, you will obtain the results that method is reputed to give. For example, Self-Manifested Chi Movement is reputed to clear energy blockage and balance energy level, and the pattern Grasping Sparrow’s Tail in Yang Style Taijiquan is reputed to be an effective counter against all modes of attack. If you have practiced them correctly and adequately, you will have your energy blockage cleared, and be able to defend against all attacks. Why is this so? It is because the methods are established, which means they have been time tested for centuries to produce the expected results.
If you do not derive the expected results, which may sometimes happen, the fault is usually traceable to one or more of the following three causes:
the practice is incorrect or insufficient
the teacher is incompetent
the student is inadequate
Rectify the fault and the expected results will follow as a matter of course.
Your assessment is made not only at the completion of the training but also regularly during the course itself. Of course modifications, but not complete changes, are made when necessary, but they should be done with the master’s approval and supervision.
These Five Steps to Maximun Results may enable you not only to obtain remarkable results in shorter time, but also to approach the full potential your training can offer. For example, students who do not have the benefit of these five steps may be quite contented in their chi kung or kungfu training once they can cure their illness or attain combat efficiency, thinking that is all what chi kung and kungfu can do. Others who follow the five steps will understand a wider scope and greater depth of their art, and will therefore in a position to derive other benefits like mental clarity and spiritual joy.
The Five Steps show not only the procedure to follow but also the relevant dimensions to cover, involving all the three essentials in any training, namely the method, the teacher and the student. Hence, with this understanding one can appreciate that to get the best results in any training, be it chi kung, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kungfu, playing the paino or painting, merely having good techniques is not enough, he (or she) must also have a good teacher and himself be a good student. With such advantages and foresight, it is not surprising you can achieve in six months what others may not be able to do so in six years.
Most martial art students today make a big mistake in their combat training. They think mistakenly that practicing free sparring is the way, often the only way, to combat efficiency. To a large extent this came about because many people were disillusioned with kungfu, as much of (so-called) kungfu practiced today is merely performing external forms with little or no combat training.
In genuine traditional kungfu, free sparing is never used to train combat efficiency; it is used to test combat efficiency, to confirm that the students can really fight. In other words, it is not a training tool — it is a testing tool. You engage in free sparing only after you know how to fight, not as a means to train you to fight.
Practicing combat sequences is an essential link between form training and free sparring. In form training you develop the techniques as well as the skills that you will need for fighting. In combat sequences you methodically apply these techniques and skills in simulated combat. In free sparring you confirm that you can fight efficiently.
There are many stages and sub-stages in combat sequence training. “Black Tiger Steals Heart” is the first of a long series of combat sequences we use in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, to go through these stages and sub-stages systematically.
Most students would under-estimate this combat sequence, thinking it is too simple. This would be a big mistake. The techniques are purposely made simple because the aim of training here is not to learn new techniques but to develop skills. If the techniques are complicated, the students would waste much effort remembering the techniques rather than focusing on developing skills.
Before you even make any move, you must observe the “four modes of preparation” — one, you must be mentally and physically ready; two, you access your opponent; three, you seek an advantage or an opening; and four, when the opportunity arrives you move swiftly.
When you move in to attack, you must “ask the way”, i.e. you access your opponent’s strength and weakness, and you open the way for attack as well as prevent him from suddenly counter-attacking. You must also achieve “three arrivals”, i.e. the arrival of the heart, of the feet and of the hands.
The two fundamental skills developed here are right timing and right spacing. And the skills are applicable to both the initiator (attacker) and the responder (defender). In other words, when you move in to attack, you must move in at a right time, and space yourself at a right distance. A very common weakness is that the initiator is too far from the responder in his attack, in which case the responder can counter-strike immediately, without bothering to defend first.
On the other hand, when you defend against an attack, you must move at a right time. A very common weakness defenders make is that they move back too soon. A trained attacker would exploit such a weakness. He would skip the first attack, treating it as a feign move, and follow in with a second attack, striking the defender at a time when he is still in the process of defending the first attack.
Nevertheless, now you should not worry about this skill of exploiting the opponent’s weakness. It is practised at an intermediate level. At an elementary level, your focus is to avoid making such weaknesses. If you can just do this, you would have done well. Many combatants today, including those at black-belt level, commit many such mistakes, thus throwing advantages to their opponents without their opponents having to make any effort.
You must also remember that all combat principles in Shaolin Kungfu are applicable to daily living. You should use these principles to enrich your life and the lives of others. For example you should not blame the traffic if you miss an appointment; it just shows you have not developed the skill of correct timing. You should not blame the waiter if you have been seated amidst a cloud of cigarette smoke in a restaurant; you have not developed the skill of correct spacing.
The ceremonies at the Bride’s side are similar to those at the Bridegroom’s side. The Bride’s parents pray to Heaven and Earth to thank all the Gods for their blessings. The Bride thanks the Gods for a good husband.
The parents comb the Bride’s hair three times, the first combing signifying the marriage will be perfect and lasting, the second combing signifying the Bride and Bridegroom will have long lives, and the third combing signifying they will have a lot of children and grand children.
The parents then feed the Bride symbolizing the years of bringing her up. The Bride then feeds the parents and elders symbolizing her gratitude for their love and care.
When you practice genuine chi kung you can eat whatever food you like
Is it necessary to abstain from any food when practicing chi kung?
— Jochen, Germany
No, it is not necessary. Whatever you had been eating or doing without any harm to yourself and others before you started practicing chi kung, like cake and sugar, coke and coffee, yoga and lifting weight, making love and party-going, you can carry on eating or doing them with better satisfaction and result after you have started practicing chi kung. This is only logical, as practicing chi kung enhances our daily life.
However, some “masters” advise otherwise. Actually we call them “masters” out of respect. Strictly speaking they are not even genuine chi kung practitioners, as they teach only gentle physical exercise though they use genuine chi kung forms. These “masters” advise their students not to take sugar, considering it as white poison, and not to have sex, even for those who have willing partners and find it pleasurable. And the irony is that with these unnecessary limitations, the students are not healthier or happier.
When I first taught in Spain, many students were shocked to see me adding two or three sachets of sugar to my coffee, and enjoying jarmon. They taught, wrongly of course, that chi kung masters should drink only pure water and eat vegetable.
In fact, when you practice genuine chi kung which increases your energy and life performance, whatever you have been doing without harm to yourself and others, you can continue enjoying these activities with more satisfaction and better bre
Do we practice chi kung before or after gym work?
You can practice chi kung before or after gym work. If you practice it before, you add energy to your gym work. If you practice it after, you replenish your energy.
It is even better if you perform your chi kung during gym work. This does not mean that you do your chi kung exercise while performing your gym workout. It means that employ chi kung skills, like being relaxed and not tensing your muscles, during gym work.
Practicing chi kung alone is sufficient for your needs for good health, vitality and longevity. It is not necessary to supplement chi kung with vitamins and physical exercise. But if you enjoy eating vitamin and performing physical exercise, like working in a gym, you can do so with better result
An interesting question arose this morning after training from a senior Kung Fu student. He asked when doing Golden Bridge for about 30 minutes, “should I simply count the breaths gently or should I just be aware of the breathing”. I answered “for myself I just stay at my dan tian and gently count”. I would love to hear what your advise is.
— Sifu Mark, Ireland
All the three methods are correct.
The main purpose is to keep the mind one pointed. Of course it is also very important to be relaxed.
There are many methods to keep the mind one-pointed. The three methods mentioned by you are excellent examples.
Another method, which is more advanced, is to keep the mind free from all thoughts.
There are many methods, but all the methods can be generalized into two categories, attaining a one-pointed mind, or attaining no-mind which is all mind. In mathematical terms, it is arriving at one or at zero.
Arriving at zero is the most advanced. It brings the practitioner beyond the phenomenal realm. Arriving at one is still in the phenomenal realm.
I am used to practicing 1-4 hours a day of the qi gong I was taught locally by a Chinese master, and I am still not well.
— Elizabeth, USA
Honestly without meaning to be disrespectful to the master, you have been practicing gentle physical exercise using genuine qigong forms. Gentle physical exercise cannot overcome any illness regardless of how long you have been practicing it. It also does not have the other wonderful benefits of qigong, like vitality, longevity, mental freshness and spiritual joys.
How is it that you have been practicing gentle physical exercise when you have been performing genuine qigong forms? It is because you lack qigong skills. It is the skills and not the techniques that enable practitioners to get the benefits of the art they practice. You can learn piano techniques or even surgery techniques from some good books or videos, but you can’t play the piano or perform surgery if you lack the necessary skills.
Thousands of thousands of practitioners of martial arts today are doing precisely this. Thousands of Taijiquan practitioners are doing Taiji dance, and not genuine Taijiquan as an internal martial art that it really is. Thousands of other martial artists are performing genuine martial art techniques as gymnastics and hurting themselves in generous exchange of blows in sparring. They cannot defend themselves, which is the first purpose of practicing any martial art.
You are, of course, not alone. More than 80% of qigong practitioners all over the world today are practicing qigong techniques as gentle physical exercise, and usually they are unaware of it.
You will find out the glaring difference in the first 15 minutes when you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. It is not for no good reasons that I charge 1000 euros for three days (it will be 1200 euros next year) when many qigong teachers charge only 50 euros for a month.
Editorial Note: The question was asked in 2014 when the fee for an Intensive Chi Kung Course was 1000 euros.
In Shaolin Wahnam chi kung, you need to practice only about 15 minutes a session
Can my father do this even if he cannot stand or walk well? If he did not somehow receive immediate benefits in the workshop in mobility, arm movement, etc, because of his concentration issues, I do not think he could even do the exercises in his imagination. In fact, as of now, I know he could not. I want to be clear on his level of impairment. Do people with sever things like Alzheimer’s need someone to help them even remember to do the exercises?
Your father or anybody can still perform the qigong exercise even if he cannot stand or walk well, but he has to make some effort. I want to be very clear on this point. The student himself (or herself) must make a lot of effort if he wants to benefit from qigong practice. I won’t, and I can’t, do the exercises for him. I can only teach him the way that has helped many people like him overcome his problems.
In the past people with special problems like your father attended a personalized course, where I only taught that student. The fee, of course, was more expensive. But now I do not offer personalized courses. If you come for the Intensive Chi Kung Course in Penang and ask the staff of the hotel you will be staying, they may tell you that an elderly gentleman over 70 came to my last personalized course in a wheelchair with his wife, and they took a taxi to town, without the wheelchair, for shopping the next day!
I just give an offer to help your father to recover. He has to make the choice to attend the course or not. I would also like to mention that the course won’t be easy for him if he has difficulty standing and walking. He won’t be pampered. In fact he may find me a slave-driver, asking him to do things he may not want to, like swinging his arms about and running round the hall without others’ help.
Incidentally the wife of the gentleman mentioned above suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease a few years earlier. She could not remember the exercise I just taught her. Obviously she recovered. She could remember her husband, and accompanied him back from town to the hotel after shopping, although it was, I believe, the first time they were in Penang.
For your father, it would be recommended that you attend the course with him together. Not only you will learn how to overcome your Lyme Disease which you have suffered from for about 30 years, you can also remind your father of the qigong techniques that he has to practice.
But remember it is not the techniques that will help you and your father to regain good health. It is qigong skills which I shall transmit to you and your father during the course.
I am wondering, given the high cost of studying with you, if I do wish to continue my qigong studies, would I be able to pursue studying with them in addition to doing your 30 minutes of practice per day? And could I keep practicing the past chi kung that feels good to me?
You can continue to pursue chi kung with me or other certified instructors in our school. Of course you can also continue to practice the chi kung you learned elsewhere before.
You will find that you can raise your former chi kung by one or more levels. Honestly, I don’t mean to be presumptuous or arrogant, I just state the truth of what many students like you who learned other types of chi kung elsewhere, have reported to me.
Better still, if you are permitted to teach other types of chi kung you have learned elsewhere, if you find the chi kung skills learned from me are useful, you can incorporate these skills into the other types of chi kung, without having to mention that you have learned these skills from me. If you face any difficulty concerning our chi kung skills, you can write to me in private.
We are sincere in wanting other chi kung practitioners benefit from their practice. We do not mind if they do not credit the skills to us.
I would like to mention two important points. It is strictly for your and other people’s benefit.
If you incorporate our chi kung skills into the chi kung techniques of other schools you teach, please do so discretely. Make very certain that this would not offend the teachers and the seniors of these other schools.
Secondly, teach only simple and basic skills, like being relaxed, not thinking of irrelevant thoughts, and generating an energy flow. For the sake of your students, don’t teach advanced skills, like directing energy to various parts of the body, building internal force, and expanding beyond your physical body. These advanced skills are taught during the Intensive Chi Kung Course. But an instructor teaching these advanced skills need to be trainied and such training is not provided at the course.
If you teach these advanced skills without proper training on how to teach the skills, even though you may have these skills, you are likely to cause harm to your students. As an analogy, a patient may undergo surgery himself, but this does not qualify him to perform surgery on others.
Depending on one’s perspective, my course fee can be considered very expensive or very cheap. Many students have told me they would gladly pay ten times the fee to learn from me.
The three golden rules of chi kung practice are not to worry, not to intellectualize, and to enjoy the practice
I find it difficult to follow the Three Golden Rules consistently. For example, during training I will stop intellectualising, but then a moment later I will begin again, or I will intellectualise about saying to myself the Third Golden Rule, “just enjoy”.
— Chris, Australia
Our Three Golden Rules of Practice are actually simple. They are as follows.
Enjoy your practice
There are not like asking you to do press-up a hundred times or climb up a high coconut tree.
If you wish to have good results, you have to follow the three golden rules, just like if you wish to be safe on a road, you have to follow safety rules. If you choose not to follow the rules, you do so at your own peril.
Although the rules are simple, they may not be easy for you and many other people. This is because you have been conditioned to worrying and intellectualizing. If you suddenly stop worrying or intellectualizing, it can be difficult due to your bad habit.
But it can be done, and many people with the same problem have done so successfully. You overcome your problem progressively. Suppose you worry 50 times in 5 minutes. You don’t stop worrying totally the very first day you start your programme to overcome your problem. You worry less. Suppose you are able to cut down your worrying by 3 times, which means that in 5 minutes you worry 47 times.
You practice this programme everyday. Suppose the second day you can further cut down your worrying by 2 more times, which means you worry 45 times. The third day could be worse. Suppose you cut down your worrying by only 4 times in total, which means you worry 46 times. So there may be up and down on individual days, but on the whole there should be gradual progress. Eventually you will be able to cut down your worrying from 50 times in 5 minutes to just 2 or 3 times, which will be good result.
How long you take to achieve this result depends on various factors, and may range from a week to a year. But most people can attain the result in a hundred days.
There are two important requirements. You must persevere. You have to practice everyday. The second requirement is gradual progress. You cut down your worrying a few times each day. Eventually you hardly worry at all.
The same method is used to cut down intellectualizing.
I have also searched your Q & A series using the term “intellectualize” and read through many of your wonderful answers, which have helped immensely.
But still I would like to humbly ask for your advice. If I find that I can’t apply the Three Golden Rules before or during my practice, should I simply stop and wait to train again at a later time if possible?
Stop worrying and stop intellectualizing. Enjoy your practice. Just do it.
If you can’t follow these three golden rules, stop your practice and train at a later time.
Don’t do something is certainly easier than doing something. Don’t worry is certainly easier than to worry. Don’t intellectualize is certainly easier than to intellectualize.
Suppose you want to cross a road but a car is coming fast. Just don’t cross the road. It is certainly easier than crossing the road and be hit by the car.
Or suppose you are at a beach watching people swimming, but you can’t swim. Don’t go into the water. It is certainly easier than going into the water and be drown.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.