Monthly Archives: September 2017

TWO REQUIREMENTS FOR A GOOD BOOK

Grandmaster Wong Kiew KitThe Way of the Master, written by my Sifu, Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, is now officially launched.

You can order the book through Amazon or write a review.

You can also read more delightful stories, or order the special edition directly.

Please enjoy one of the memorable stories from my Sifu’s book below:

TWO REQUIREMENTS FOR A GOOD BOOK

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way28.html)

Introduction to Shaolin Kungfu

The first kungfu book written by me — Introduction to Shaolin Kungfu, published in 1981



Most of the kungfu books in English I found only described kungfu forms. They lacked depth. Douglas, my most senior student from Europe, once told me that when one opened a kungfu book written in English, he would find pictures showing how to perform kungfu sets from the first page to the last page of the book.

In the many kungfu books I wrote, I attempted to overcome this common problem. My student, Kai (Sifu Kai Uwe Jettkandt), who was already an international free sparring champion before he learned from me, and is the Chief Instructor of Shaolin Wahnam Germany, told me that he was surprised at the secrets I revealed in my first kungfu book, “Introduction to Shaolin Kungfu”.

In writing my books, I consciously aimed at two accomplishments. One, I wanted my books to be readable. I was inspired by reading an editor who said that she had no interest in the topic of a book she was reviewing but it was so well-written that she couldn’t put it down.

One important factor that makes a book readable is clarity. An author presents his materials clearly that readers can understand it. Many books are boring because readers do not know what the authors are saying. Sometimes, the authors themselves do not know what they say.

Another important factor is pleasure. Readers will enjoy reading a book if there is humour. The book is also a pleasure to read when the reading materials are presented from a fresh, and sometimes surprising, perspective.

The second aim I wished to accomplish when writing my books, besides readability, was that readers must gain benefits from reading them. Many readers kindly told me that they had gained from my books more than they ever thought possible from the arts they were pursuing. Some, who had not pursued the arts before, told me they had been inspired to start practising the arts.

For example, readers can benefit from the beginning of this chapter, knowing the difficulties involved in reading kungfu and chi kung classics, or by extension any classics. Those who practise any form of force training, even from living instructors, will benefit knowing that preparation and remedial work are necessary.

Indeed, a lot of martial artists today have harmed themselves because they have not prepared themselves well for their training, and they do not have remedial treatment for the injuries they unwittingly, and sometimes even knowingly, sustain. An obvious example is free sparring.

Many martial artists have not learned how to spar. They just go into free sparring straightaway and hurt themselves and their sparring partners. They also routinely leave their injuries unattended to, bringing insidious harm to their health and vitality.

Classic of Shaolin Kungfu

The Classic of Shaolin Kungfu in 8 volumes


You can read more stories at our Discussion Forum. Here are details to order the special and limited edition. This edition will not be reprinted once it is sold out.

Advertisements

FREE SEMINAR FOR THE SUPER RICH

Grandmaster Woing

Why should the super-rich practice chi kung? It is simple — so that not only they will be guaranteed not to suffer from so-called incurable diseases, but also they enjoy everyday of their life.

The free seminar is from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon on 23rd September 2017 at the Holistic Health Cultivation Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please contact Dr Foong at drfoong@ogm.com.my or phone 012 606 6028 to reserve a place.

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

WHY CAN’T KUNGFU PRACTITIONERS USE KUNGFU FOR COMBAT?

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/kungfu-combat.html)

Kungfu Combat

In Shaolin Wahnam we use kungfu patterns, not kick-boxing, for combat

Question

I have read from your posts in the answers section that genuine Kung Fu is not only learning Kung Fu forms but being able to apply them in combat situations. However, I have found out from personal experience training in Shaolin Kung Fu as well as from your website that the norm today is to revert to bouncing about like kids and using Kickboxing techniques while sparring. Why is this the norm? Is there a reason why it is common place to use Kickboxing techniques while sparring instead of learning how to apply Kung Fu forms?

— Ricky, USA

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

You have touched on a very urgent point in kungfu training today. Yes, it is a norm today that most kungfu practitioners, including many masters, use Kickboxing or other martial art techniques in sparring or fighting. They do not know how to use kungfu techniques for combat though some of them are formidable fighters using Kickboxing or other techniques.

This is a delicate issue, but it is urgent. If this issue is not resolved, the ability to use kungfu for combat may just disappear from the world! Hence, we in Shaolin Wahnam are very serious in doing our part in preventing this happening, even at the risks of being ridiculed and criticized.

Why are most kungfu practitioners today unable to use their kungfu for combat? It is because they have not been taught to do so. Why haven’t their schools or systems taught them kungfu combat? It is because somewhere in their generation line they have lost their sparring methodology. Hence, the majority of kungfu practitioners today — students as well as masters — either do not spar at all, or if they ever spar they use other martial art techniques.

Why is it that they can use other martial art techniques like Kickboxing or Karate in sparring even when they have not learnt these arts, but they cannot use kungfu techniques in sparring when they can perform kungfu techniques in solo practice? It is because Kickboxing and Karate are closer to instinctive or free-style fighting, whereas kungfu is more elaborated.

In other words, even if you have not learnt any martial art, if you fight instinctively, the way you fight looks like Kickboxing and Karate. And if you have seen how Kickboxers and Karate exponents spar, you can more easily imitate their ways of sparring.

On the other hand, even if you have learnt kungfu forms in solo performance but have not learnt how to use them in sparring, you would have great difficulty using them to spar because these kungfu forms involve elaborated stances and movements. Indeed, if you are not trained in kungfu combat, using these forms in sparring would be a liability instead of an asset. Thus, you would discard them for instinctive fighting, which is bouncing about and punching and kicking wildly. When you fight in this way, your movements resemble more like Kickboxing and Karate than kungfu.

Why was sparring methodology lost in most kungfu lineages? There were many reasons. The burning of the Shaolin Temple in the mid 19th century was a crucial factor. In the past the Shaolin Temple was regarded as the pinnacle of kungfu, and acted as a standard of reference. Without this reference point, kungfu as a fighting art deteriorated rapidly.

One important reason for its deterioration as a fighting art was the emergence of firearms which rendered kungfu a hobby instead of a need for survival as in the past.

Another reason was a change of teaching mode. In the past disciples learned from and served a master. If they did not train diligently they might not have their meals. In the 20th century, rich landlords employed kungfu instructors to teach their children and followers. Rich children were not the type who would train diligently, and if they didn’t train, the instructor might not have his meals. So he taught them kungfu forms instead of insisting on force training and drilling them in combat application. When there were gatherings or celebrations, these children would give demonstrations of beautiful kungfu forms, receiving loud applaud, and the landlord, the instructor, the students and all present would be very happy.

In its early years the present Chinese government discouraged traditional arts, including kungfu and chi kung. During the period of the Cultural Revolution in China, practicing kungfu or any traditional art was a cardinal crime. Later, after a change of national policy, kungfu known in Chinese as wushu was re-introduced — not as a fighting art but as a sport.

The various kungfu styles in the past were classified into seven categories, namely Long Fist, Southern Fist, Taijiquan, Knife Techniques, Sword Techniques, Staff Techniques and Spear Techniques. Henceforth, kungfu or wushu was not practiced as Praying Mantis, Eagle Claw, White Crane, Lohan, Monkey, Hoong Ka, Wing Choon, Choy-Li-Fatt, Black Tiger, Lau Ka, Bagua, Hsing Yi, etc, but as the seven categories. There were no sparring and force training, only forms.

Later, probably embarrassed by their inability to defend themselves, kungfu or wushu practitioners attempted free sparring. But they had no methodology. So they imitated sparring in other martial arts. At first they borrowed (or stole) techniques from Karate, then Taekwondo. Now they borrow from Kickboxing.

Not only it has become a norm that the great majority of kungfu (and wushu) practitioners use Kickboxing and Karate in their sparring and fighting, the situation has become ridiculous and pathetic. Many kungfu students and some masters, including world known ones, even claim that kungfu techniques cannot be used for fighting!

Kungfu Combat

Our students fight the same way as they practice

LINKS

Reproduced from Questions 1 in Selection of Questions and Answers — June 2007 Part 2