Monthly Archives: September 2015

CULTURAL MEANINGS OF SIFU WONG CHUN NGA’S WEDDING CEREMONIES SERIES 4

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-4/chun-nga-wedding/videos/wedding04.html)

Asking for the Bride

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.

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CULTURAL MEANINGS OF SIFU WONG CHUN NGA’S WEDDING CEREMONIES SERIES 3

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-4/chun-nga-wedding/ceremony-overview.html)

Going to Bride’s Home

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.

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SEPTEMBER 2015 PART 3 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/sep15-3.html)

chi kung, qigong

All my students are deserving. I do not want to waste my time on undeserving students

Question 1

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

Answer

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.

Question 2

Do you keep track of people after they left your workshops, to know how many healed and kept up with practice?

Answer

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.

chi kung, qigong

From the chi kung perspective, every illness can be overcome

Question 3

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?

Answer

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.

Question 4

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.

Answer

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.

good health and fitness

Practicing genuine chi kung gives you good health and fitness

Question 5

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.

Answer

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.

Question 6

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.

Answer

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.

cosmic shower

Students at an Intensive Chi Kung Course in Sabah enjoying a Cosmic Shower

Question 7

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.?

Answer

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.

Question 8

What is the difference between cleansing using Bone-Marrow Cleansing and using Cosmic Shower?

— Matt, England

Answer

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 secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.

SHAOLIN WAHNAM KUNGFU — COMBAT SEQUENCE 1 “BLACK TIGER STEALS HEART”

SHAOLIN WAHNAM KUNGFU — COMBAT SEQUENCE 1 “BLACK TIGER STEALS HEART”

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/review/black.html)

Black Tiger Steals Heart

Black Tiger Steals Heart

The Big Mistake Concerning Free Sparring

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.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Poise Patterns

Black Tiger

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.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Single Tiger

Black Tiger

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.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Single Tiger

Black Tiger

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.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Single Tiger

Poise Patterns

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.

OVERVIEW

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Poise Patterns

Black Tiger

Single Tiger

Black Tiger

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Single Tiger

Black Tiger

Single Tiger

Poise Patterns

CULTURAL MEANINGS OF SIFU WONG CHUN NGA’S WEDDING CEREMONIES SERIES 2

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-4/chun-nga-wedding/ceremony-overview.html)

The Night Before the Wedding at the Bride’s Home

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.

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SEPTEMBER 2015 PART 2 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/sep15-2.html)

delicious food

When you practice genuine chi kung you can eat whatever food you like

Question 1

Is it necessary to abstain from any food when practicing chi kung?

— Jochen, Germany

Answer

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

Question 2

Do we practice chi kung before or after gym work?

Answer

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

Golden Bridge

Golden Bridge

Question 3

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

Answer

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.

Question 4

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

Answer

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.

chi kung qigong

In Shaolin Wahnam chi kung, you need to practice only about 15 minutes a session

Question 5

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?

Answer

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.

Question 6

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?

Answer

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.

chi kung, qigong

The three golden rules of chi kung practice are not to worry, not to intellectualize, and to enjoy the practice

Question 7

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

Answer

Our Three Golden Rules of Practice are actually simple. They are as follows.

  1. Don’t worry

  2. Don’t intellectualize

  3. 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.

Question 8

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?

Answer

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 secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.

BENEFIT OF KNOWING THE 36 STRATEGIES

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/general-2/36-strategies/strategies01.html)

36 strategies

The famous Tang general, Xue Ren Gui, who originated the strategy “Deceiving Heaven to Cross Sea”



Question 1

It would be great to hear some of your experiences using the 36 strategies. Do you have any particularly memorable moments when you applied them, whether with patients, in work or in combat?

Andrew

Answer 1 by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Although I know the 36 strategies well, interestingly I do not consciously apply them to solve problems. A main reason is that since actively putting our Shaolin Wahnam philosophy into daily life, I do not have any problems. What other people regard as problems, I regard as opportunities for improvement, which is quoted from Emiko who mentioned this some years ago.

Another important reason is that, regardless of whether we call them problems or opportunities for improvement, I look at them with a Zen state of mind. The solution often appears immediately, without the need to think of suitable strategies.

But this does not mean that it is not useful to learn the Thirty Six Strategies. In fact, it is because I know the strategies very well that solutions appear easily to me. Just like in our kungfu and chi kung training. I have learnt so many kungfu and chi kung techniques, that now I can respond spontaneously to any attack or meet any chi kung need without having to think of what techniques to use.

Knowing these 36 strategies is also very useful in a reverse manner, i.e. you can quickly know if someone attempts to use any tricks on you.

I recall an interesting occasion many years ago when a salesman tried to sell something to me. He said he had a present for me. I told him straight away that I didn’t want the present. He was shocked. “Don’t you want a present?” he asked, “it’s free.” “No, thank you. I’m not interested in the present.” He was trying to use the trick, Deceive Heaven to Cross Sea, on me, though he probably did not know the name of the strategy. He might not even know he was using a strategy; he just followed the training he was given.

In my younger days, some masters would tell me that other masters criticized my kungfu behind my back. “What do you think of my kungfu?” I asked. “Of course, it is very good,” they said. “That is good enough for me,” I said, “I don’t have to worry about what the other masters said.” I knew they were using the strategy, Borrow Knife to Kill Another.

Yet, looking back with hindsight in my healing work I often use the strategy, Deceive Heaven to Cross Sea. The title of this strategy is not quite appropriate here as it connotes a sense of deception. It would be more appropriate to call it Admire Plum Quench Thirst, which connotes a sense of inspiration, and is actually another name for this type of strategy. When someone couldn’t stand unassisted, I told him to imagine how wonderful if would be when he could walk and run unaided.

In combat, the strategy I use often is Sound East Strike West. It is extremely effective. In the no-shadow kick, which is one of my specialties, I could kick slowly yet hit an opponent when I use this strategy effectively.

36 strategies

An old picture showing Grandmaster Wong demonstrating a no-shadow kick on a student


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