Over-training means excessive training, when the benefits derived from the training is more than the physical body can take. It usually results in over-cleansing, though over-building and over-nourishing may infrequently occur.
Practitioners must differentiate between over-training and deviation. Deviation results from wrong training. The two main causes of wrong training which results in deviation are tensing muscles and worrying. Deviation seldom occurs in our school.
How does one tell the difference between over-training and deviation. An effective way is to examine the symptoms.
If a student first experiences benefits, then quite suddenly experiences adverse effects, he is likely to have over-trained. If he has not experienced benefits, but he experiences adverse effects straightaway, he is likely to have deviated.
The adverse effects are also different. In over-training, a practitioner finds that the stuff that caused his blockage, like toxic waste, rashes, pimples, and smells, is coming out too quickly for his comfort. This may cause pain, but the pain is quite different from that of deviation.
It may also be excessive cleansing of negative emotions. The practitioner may experience anxiety, fear, grief and other negative emotions. These negative emotions from over-training are also different from feeling of nausea or oppression from deviation, but the difference is subtler.
How to Overcome Over-Training
What should one do when he has over-trained.?
Here are some effective methods:
Reduce the time of training.
Reduce the intensity of training.
Stop training for some time if necessary.
Spend the excessive energy wholesomely, like spending time with parents and friends, engaging more in out-door activities, performing kungfu sets or combat sequences, and playing games.
As mentioned earlier, deviation seldom happens in our school. The very fact that our students can practice internal arts, means that they can enter into silence. The two requirements for entering silence are not thinking of irrelevant thoughts and not tensing muscles. You may now realize why not worrying and not intellectualizing are the first two of our three golden rules of practice.
How to Overcome Deviation
There are two reasons why people practice internal arts wrongly. One, they stress their mind. Two, they tense their muscles. So, to overcome deviation, just be relaxed mentally and physically.
It may be a big surprise to many people that no matter what action they perform, so long as they relax their mind and body, they will have some effects of internal arts. Of course, for most people, the effects are minimal. However, if they choose special methods, like the internal art methods we use in our school, they will have better results in shorter time.
In our school we have the magic of chi flow. Even when students made mistakes in their practice, their chi flow will wash away any adverse effects due to their mistakes. Here, mistakes refer to those made due to carelessness or forgetfulness. If they consciously go against instructions, like they worry despite knowing not to, they are only asking for trouble. It is best they don’t train our arts.
How to Prevent Over-Training
Prevention is better than cure. An excellent way to prevent over-training is not to progress too fast, or to progress according to what your body can handle. As a general rule, if practitioners can get 30% of what they got in my intensive or regional courses, they would have done very well. I repeat: if practitioners can get 30% of what they got in my intensive or regional courses, they will have done very well.
I have mentioned a few times, and I mean it seriously, what I could achieve in one year at the time when I was already a grandmaster at Shaolin Wahnam Association, a typical Shaolin Wahnam Institute student now can achieve in one month. It took me about 30 years to become a grandmaster, not only in name but acknowledged by the public to have a grandmaster’s level.
If a student now works at 30%, he can attain my level as a grandmaster in 10 years. This means his solo performance is beautiful to watch, he is healthy and full of vitality, and he can defeat masters of any martial art quite comfortably. More significantly he is peaceful and happy every day.
The Magical 30%
Working at 30% is actually quite a lot. There is a lot of attainment in my intensive courses and even in my regional courses. Students attain in a few days what other practitioners, even at their master’s level, could not attain in a few years. How many masters having practiced for a few years, for example, can direct their chi to flow at different levels, or develop internal force using various methods, like what our students do in a few days in our chi kung or kungfu courses?
I must add that to reach the level of a grandmaster, I practiced according to what my sifus taught me at least an hour a day, everyday. So, you have to practice for at least 20 minutes a day, everyday for 10 years to reach a grandmaster’s level. If you only practice chi kung, you may practice at least 5 minutes a day.
If you dream to reach a grandmaster’s level, or even a master’s level, in a month, practicing off and on, this is certainly not a school for you. Although we have become so unbelievably cost-effective that I have to tell students to work at only 30% or less, and even that is far ahead of other practitioners, consistent practice is still a must if we want good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance in daily life as well as peace and happiness.
Why is it important for us to perform the form correctly in a kungfu set?
— Omar. United Kingdom
Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit:
It is important to perform the form of a kungfu set, like San Feng Wudang Set, correctly because the success of its combat application depends on its correct form. If the form of a kungfu pattern is not correct, not only it looses its combat effectiveness, it may also offer opportunities for opponents to counter-attack.
Let us take a simple example. An opponent executes a middle thrust punch, like Black Tiger Steals Heart. An exponent responds with Shift Horse Ask Way from the San Feng Wudang Set. This response is excellent when the form is performed correctly. It minimizes the opponentâ€™s force, and places the exponent in a favourable position to counter-attack without little opening for the opponent.
However, if the form is incorrect, not only the same response does not give the exponents these advantages, but also it offers the opponent opportunities to defeat the exponent. If the exponent does not rotate his waist, for example, he will not be able to minimize the opponentâ€™s force. If he does not sink back in his stance, he may too close for the opponentâ€™s attack. If he does not position his legs correctly, he exposes his groin for the opponent to attack. If he leans backward or foreard, his balance is unfavourable for him.
The wrong form places the exponent in an awkward position. Even if the opponent may not be successful in his initial attack, the awkward position of the exponent makes it easy for the opponent to continue, and makes it difficult for the exponent to respond.
Hence, picture-perfect form is very important in kungfu, even for beginners. If beginners have their form correct right at the start, they donâ€™t have to spend much time and effort relearning it later on.
However, you may notice that I am not particular about form for beginners in chi kung. In fact, for beginners if their form is not perfect, though not incorrect, I usually ignore it. The main reason, for ignoring minor mistakes as well as for not particular on picture-perfect form, is that I want beginning students to get on to energy flow as fast as possible.
If I pay too much attention to picture-perfect form, beginning students will be unduly worried about their form, get out from the chi kung state of mind which if often induce, and perform the chi kung technique as gentle physical exercise. Even with imperfect form, so long as the students relax and do not intellectualize, they can generate an energy flow.
As students progress, we pay more attention on form. When students have reached an advanced level, they could have picture-perfect form. Hence, I often mention in class when teaching a new technique that beginning students need not worry about details but just get the general picture right, whereas advanced practitioners can focus on finer points, like picture-perfect form.
However, we have come full-circle. We have become so cost-effective that sometimes I tell advanced practitioners to purposely get their form wrong, to tense their muscles , or to intellectualize sometimes so that they may not have too powerful result from their practice to prevent over-training! This is a big job to other people.
Nevertheless, instructors whether in chi kung or kungfu, whether they teach beginners or advanced students, must have picture-perfect form. It is because they are models for their students to follow when practicing any kungfu or chi kung techniques.