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 piano 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.
Students could generate an energy flow within the first hour of my Intensive Chi Kung Course
Over-training has become a serious issue in our school. It is important to recognise it and to know what to do when it occurs.
Firstly, it is helpful to understand our working definitions of these terms.
Over-training means a practitioner has trained correctly according to how an exercise should be practiced, but the benefit is too powerful for his physical body to bear.
In this sense, overtraining is different from wrong training. Wrong training is when a practitioner has not practiced an exercise according to how it should be practiced. Hence, he has no benefit or he has adverse result.
Strictly speaking, or to split hair, if a practitioner has no benefit, we can cali it incorrect training. The training is not wrong, but incorrect. Therefore he has no benefit. This is the case of most chi kung practitioners.
If a practitioner has adverse result, it is wrong practice. It is not only incorrect, it is wrong. Therefore he has adverse result. This is the case of many kungfu practitioners who sustain internal injury in their sparring.
To split hair further, we can refer to over-training as wrong training. But for our purpose here, we shall differentiate the two. The remedy is different. To overcome over-training, we reduce the training. To overcome wrong training, we correct the training.
Hence, we have four types of training — correct training, incorrect training, wrong training and over-training.
Over-training may result in over-cleansing. The former is the cause, and the latter is the effect. As an analogy, you may earn a lot of money, then you become wealthy. Earning a lot of money is the cause, becoming wealthy is the effect.
Over-training may also result in over-building and over-nourishing, but these are not explained here so as not to confuse you.
How do you know you have over-trained. One good way is that you experience over-cleansing. Before this happened, you might experience strong benefits. Then you feel tired and sleepy. Sometimes you may feel anxious, fearful or angry. This happens when your negative emotions are flushed out of your body faster than you find tolerable. Sometimes you have rashes, pimples or are smelly.
There are a few ways to reduce over-training, which will in turn reduce over-cleansing. Please take note that there may be a time-lapse between the two.
Reduce the time of training.
Reduce the intensity of training.
Expend your energy in wholesome activities.
Stop training for some time.
Perform negative actions.
If you train for half an hour a day, reduce it to 15 minutes. If you train everyday, reduce it to once in two days. But as our training time is short, and we enjoy our training, a more useful method is to reduce the intensity of our training.
An excellent way to reduce the intensity of training is not to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Please take note that even when we do not want to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind, because of our habitual training, we will still be in a deep chi kung state of mind compared to most other practitioners.
Another way is to focus on your form, or purposely think of your form. This will distract you from your mind level.
Spend time on wholesome activities. Go hiking or swimming. Play football or enjoy music. Roll about on the ground and jump about in the sky. Perform kungfu sets or sequences, focusing on form, not on chi flow, internal force or mind power. If you haven’t got a girlfriend (or boyfriend). get one, and focus on making her happy on a date.
Stop training for a few days, or even longer. Use your training session to spend quality time with your parents. Read some good books, like “The Way of the Master”.
You may even perform negative actions, like tensing your muscles or intellectualising during your training. But perform some gentle energy flow at the end of the training session to clear out negative effects.
It is worthwhile to know that over-training is relative. What is normal correct training to a healthy person, may be over-training to someone who is sick. What is normal correct training to a master may be over-training to a student.
It may also not be easy for some of you to realise how effective we have become in our training. The following facts may help you in the realisation. They are facts, not opinions.
If a practitioner in another school can generate a chi flow after 6 months, it is good result. (I took more than 17 years.) Students who attended my Intensive Chi Kung Course took less than an hour. Roughly this means our students are about 180 times more effective.
If a practitioner in another school can develop internal force after 6 months, it is good result. (I also took more than 17 years, and I was already known as a kungfu genius.) Students who attended my regional courses like 18-Lohan Art and Bone-Marrow Cleansing experienced internal force in a few hours. This means our students were about 180 times effective.
Many people outside our school may concede that we are more effective. They may think we are 2 times or even 3 times more effective. Translated into income, if they earn 2000 dollars or euros a month, they think you earn 4000 or 6000. They will not imagine we are 180 times more effective. If it is just 10 times, you will earn 20,000 when they earn 2000.
To have an idea of how much one should train so as not to over-train, I have suggested that he can get just 30% of what he got at an intensive or regional course with me. That would be enough for his purpose of overcoming illness or contributing to good health, vitality and longevity. In case you think that 30% is too little, let us work out how much benefit it is. If an average person earns 2000 euros a month, as you are 180 times more efficient, you will earn 38,000 euros. If you get 30% of that, you will earn 11,400 euros a month. Translated into chi kung benefits, if an average person practicing chi kung gets 2000 units of benefit a month, you will get 11,400 units, which is a lot of benefit.
Wong Kiew Kit
16th January 2016
Students at a 18-Lohan Art course performing Double Hooks
First I would like to again give my most heartfelt thanks to Sigung for the Legacy of Bodhidharma course in 2012. Since then Iron Wire has become my most prized possession. iI has given me health, a strong body, vitality, a strong mind, and courage on one level.
On another level it has continually brought my kung fu to new levels. As each of the 12 Bridges manifests in my practice I feel as though I take baby steps closer and closer to realizing what past masters experienced, not to mention Sinew Metamorphosis, and Bone Marrow Cleansing. — just wow!
— David, USA
I am very glad of your progress, which is expected as you have been very diligent in your training.
What you are making are not “baby steps”, as you modestly reported, but “gigantic steps”. We do not mean to be presumptuous, but it is good for you and others of our Shaolin Wahnam Family to know that what you and many of our students can achieve in one year what past masters would take at least 10, but more probably 20!
I myself took more than 20 years of training before I could achieved what you described below, and I was very lucky, I learned from some of the best teachers in the world. Not many past masters had my opportunity.
My mentioning of this fact is not to glamorize our school, but to remind you and others not to over-train. Over-training has become an issue with our diligent students in both chi kung and kungfu. You should avoid their mistake.
All the force training I know seems to be almost too powerful now that I’ve been training for some time. I am immensely looking forward to taking all the courses at the UK Summer Camp! Looking forward even more to attending an intensive kung fu course and consolidating all my Sifu has taught me.
It is important to differentiate my courses, both regional and intensive, from the regular classes taught by your sifu and other Shaolin Wahnam instructors.
My courses, including regional ones, are intensive. My intensive courses in Malaysia are very intensive. Course participants learn in a few days whet they would learn in a year or more in regular classes. Most other students in other schools will never learn what our students will learn, no matter for how long they may train. They may be angry reading this; that is their problem and their business. Frankly, I don’t want to waste my time on them.
What I write here is for our students. It is useful for our students to know the difference between what we practice in our school, and what most other people practice in other schools.
I always justify my statements. What do participants in my courses and students taught by our instructors in regular classes learn in a few days or a year that most other people may not learn even when they have trained for many years? Let us leave aside details like ensuring safety first and rotating the waist, and focus on main points. How many kungfu practitioners today have internal force and are able to apply their kungfu techniques for combat after having trained for 20 years? It is indeed shocking how much kungfu has degraded.
Why don’t our instructors teach in a few days instead of spreading the instructional material over a year? It is for our students’ benefit. Students need time to develop the appropriate skills, which will not only improve their kungfu but also enrich their daily life. The students also need time to adjust themselves to the new levels of energy, otherwise they will over-train with adverse results.
Then, why do I teach a year’s material in a few days? It is also for the students’ benefit. For obvious reasons, it is not feasible for students to learn from me over a year like in a regular class. So I condense the material into a few days so that more deserving students all over the world can benefit.
My courses and the regular classes taught by our instructors complement each other. The focus of my course is to learn. The focus of the regular classes is to practice. Learning constitutes only 5% of practical success; the remaining 95% is practice. Students in our school are indeed lucky to have these two learning opportunities that complement each other.
The Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course is unbelievable. It covers material ranging from beginners’ to masters’ level. You will learn all that you need to become a genuine master.
Iron Wire is probably the most powerful kungfu set to generate internal force
The main reason I am emailing you is to ask for advice in two matters. Firstly it is somewhat odd but my situation started after practice a few months ago when I was walking around and then relaxing. I started having visions. The earliest one began with me as a very young boy except it wasn’t me as I am now, I was learning a Tiger Kungfu similar to my experience in Post 20 in my training journal.
I recall vague images of some brutal training as well as pleasant chi kung and meditation in a beautiful garden. Then some time later I started getting images of wandering the streets, stumbling around and getting into many fights as well as demonstrating kung fu, and receiving a few coins for food and drink.
These visions got more and more vivid as time went by. The most vivid one to date was a couple of months ago. I think I was walking down a narrow street and got jumped by many men. They were screaming at me, I couldn’t understand them. I think it was Cantonese but I don’t speak the language. They attacked me and I defeated them. But one of them managed to cut me with a knife.
When I came back to my awareness I was sweaty, and my breath was deeper like I just got done fighting for real. I was also bleeding a little bit where I got cut in the vision. This was the last vision I had. I don’t know if another will come.
It was probable that you relived your past life when you were a skillful kungfu exponent. Just enjoy the visions like you enjoy a movie, but don’t be attached to them.
Experiences in past lives were imprinted into one’s consciousness, but these imprints are not normally accessible to the person in his current life. However, some training, like high-level chi kung and meditation, can erase defilement that blocked these imprints and allow them to surface. Yours appear to be the case.
Similarly a couple of months ago I started having very interesting chi flows. I’ve had chi flows that resembled kungfu in the past but nothing like this. I feel so incredible during these flows. It feels like Drunken Eight Immortals but a lot more straight forward and “hung gar-like.” I can feel my spirit and chi expanding and spinning during transitions, contracting and coiling, and exploding straight out again in focused ways with great force.
It is these expansions, contractions, and explosions that seem to cause my body to move in very drunken ways. It is my first time experiencing chi flows at such a deep level like this. Could you give me any advice on how to deal with these emerging memories and “drunken” kung fu flows?
Enjoy the experience, but do not be attached to them. In other words, when they occur, fine. You can learn a lot and benefit from the experiences. If they don’t occur, fine too. Don’t crave for them.
Many students in our schools have similar experiences, and have enjoyed and benefited from them. There experiences are odd to most other people, especially in Western societies. Some may even think you have gone crazy. But these experiences are not uncommon in our school.
There are two explanations for these interesting experiences. As explained above, chi kung training has erased some defilements allowing some past life memories to surface. The second explanation is that your own training of internal force has enabled you to progress to this high level.
It does not matter which explanation is the actual reason, though I think the first one is more likely. As an analogy, when you go to your bank and key in the right particulars on a teller machine, cash will flow out — provided you have the cash in the bank, just as provide you had the past-life experiences or the necessary high-level internal force training. It does not matter whether it was an officer-in-charge or the bank manager himself who first put the money in the teller machine. In both cases, just enjoy the benefits.
Drunken Eight Immortals
The second thing I want to ask you about is the 12 Bridges. They have been manifesting in my practice in interesting ways.
My striking speed was first enhanced incredibly by the manifestation of straight force and inch force. It felt like my punch started off full speed, and then at the last 6 inches or so inch force kicks in and gives a sudden acceleration and an explosion of force like the cracking of a whip. This gave me a sudden flash of intuition that all twelve bridges might be combined simultaneously into an “ultimate strike.”
Since this flash of insight I’ve managed to have 7 bridges manifest spontaneously in my strikes — Lifting, Circulate, Soft, Hard, Straight, Inch, and Press.
This is an expected result of your diligent training.
All the 12 bridges may be combined into an “ultimate strike” or used separately, depending on the situations. We are the master of the 12 bridges, and we decide how and when to use them. We should not be a slave to rigid theories.
Your manifesting 7 bridges in your strikes is very good. Carry on.
Editorial Note: David’s questions will be continued at March 2015 Part 2 issue of the Question-Answer Series.
About 15 years ago some chi kung practitioners opened my chi points. I have been experiencing jing being converted to chi and then to shen. This is a wonderful but powerful feeling, which has made me feel and look younger.
— Ivan, Russia
Jing being converted to chi and chi being converted to shen are descriptions of two important stages of energy transformation in everyday life or in chi kung training. It may occur naturally at basic levels or through advanced training at masters’ levels.
Jing being converted to chi, or substance being converted to energy, happens to every person in everyday life. It describes, for example, that the food a person eats is converted to vital energy that maintains life.
Chi being converted to shen, or energy being converted to spirit, is also present in everyday, irrespective of whether a person practices chi kung. It describes, for example, that when a person is full of energy, his spirit is u;lifted.
At an advanced level of internal art training, jing being converted to chi may describe some specialized training where a practitioner develops a lot of internal force. Where does the internal force come from? In modern scientific terms, the practitioner breaks down his subatomic particle to release energy.
This modern explanation is from me. The practitioner may not know the scientific operation behind his training. He just trains according to the method taught by his master. Past masters described this process as jing being converted to chi. As I have the benefit of both Eastern and Western education, I am able to explain the Eastern concept using Western terms.
Chi being converted to shen describes another advanced state of training where a practitioner’s energy is converted to spirit. In some of my advanced courses, like Cosmic Breathing and Merging with the Cosmos, many practitioners had this experience. They generated a lot of energy, which greatly strengthened and enriched their spirit to expand beyond their physical body, resulting in a spiritual awakening.
Understandably other people may not believe this happened. But to the practitioners who had direct experience there was no doubt that this happened. More significantly, it was life-changing. If it happened to one or two practitioners in a class of thirty once in a blue moon, critics may say it was their illusion. But if this happened to more than half the practitioners in every class of Cosmic Breathing and Merging with the Cosmos, critics were just stubborn to not accept facts right before their eyes.
When chi if vibrant, the spirit is bright
Sometimes I have to slow down or stop everything when this occurs at certain times of the day. My body mass and muscle have consequently reduced significantly much to my disliking. I do not know whether this may be due to ageing, I am 45, but I am only a fraction of the size I used to be. I have also lost weight.
Can I increase my body mass and muscles to my former self? Should I try to oppose the conversion of my jing into chi?
Your shrinking in size and weight is a serious problem. Either those chi kung practitioners who opened your energy points had done something wrong, or you practiced wrongly.
Irrespective of whether jing being converted to chi, and chi being converted to shen occurred at the basic level of everyday life or at the masters’ level of advanced training, the conversion should not result in a practitioner shrinking in size and weight. It should contribute to his health and vitality.
What can I do to improve the results of my chi kung practice?
— Wswaldo, Ecuador
Contrary to what is practiced in other schools, in our school you don’t have to try to improve your results! In fact we would ask you not to aim at getting the best results when you practice at home. You would have done very well when you practice at home on your own to get only 30% of what you get here in a regional course.
This is indeed very odd, and I need to explain further. In this course not only we practice high-level chi kung, we are very cost-effective. You gain in one day what other students may not gain in one month. The benefit is very powerful. This is alright if it happens once a while, like when you attend a course. But if you get powerful benefit like this every day, it will be over-training.
So, at home when you practice on your own, if your daily result is only a portion of what you get here, like about 30%, that is fine. Your attitude for your daily practice is not that you must get the best of your practice, but to enjoy your practice.
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.
One must be properly train to be a chi kung teacher. The above chi kung exercise, for example, is very powerful; untrained teachers may bring harm rather than benefit teaching it.
I’ve gained a lot of benefits from the chi kung class. Can I teach my friends to help them?
— Javier, Costa Rica
No, you should not. You may be able to practice chi kung, but you are unable to teach it effectively. As an analogy, having undergone a surgical operation does not qualify you to be a surgeon.
You may cause harm to them instead of bringing benefits if you try to teach them chi kung techniques as chi kung. It is because you are not trained to teach chi kung.
If you teach chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, which you are likely to do, you will give your friends a wrong concept of chi kung. They will think that they practice chi kung when they actually practice gentle physical exercise. They will not get any chi kung benefits, like good health, vitality and longevity. This in fact has happened to more than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world.
As many people may not understand the explanation here, it is helpful to elaborate. More than 80% of chi kung practitioners practice chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, and not as chi kung which is energy exercise. Hence, they get benefits of gentle physical exercise like loosening joints and muscles, and not chi kung benefits like overcoming pain and illness, and getting good health, vitality and longevity.
Most of these practitioners do not realize this fact. Why are they ignorant of the fact? It is because the forms are the same in gentle physical exercise and chi kung. They use genuine chi kung techniques, but lack the skills to practice them as energy exercise. They only practice the forms as gentle physical exercise.
The same situation happens in Taijiquan. More than 90% of Taiji practitioners practice genuine Taijiquan techniques as external dancelike movements, and not as an internal martial art. They have no internal force, and cannot defend themselves.
The same situation happens in other martial arts. More than 90% of martial artists today practice their art for demonstration or as a generous exchange of blows, but not as an art of sefl-defence. They lack the necessary skills to use their marital art techniques to defend themselves. In free sparring they even take being hit and kicked for granted!.
I had just finished performing the Cosmic Consciousness exercise when a horrible feeling came over me suddenly, and then my heart felt like it contracted and became cold, and then my entire body became so cold as if i had been put into a freezer. I tried thinking of my dan tien to reduce the shock.
My joints all started to ache like I was suddenly becoming very ill. I felt so horrible and this haunted feeling was growing, My fear and anxiety started going through the roof and I could not stop it no matter what I tried. Amongst other things, I tried doing a few simple Lifting The Sky exercises without qi flow
Though not asleep, at one point, I saw an image of a woman’s skeleton with only some flesh left on it and no head being dragged across the room on some sort of trapeze-like device — she was flung over it. I was intensely alarmed! This image came out of nowhere, and did not help my state of mind. Eventually my body warmed back up and after some time I fell asleep.
— Elizabeth, USA
Congratulations. Your experience was a deep cleansing of your bad karma. Some gentle chi flow will help to ease you of the terror and get you back to normal pleasant living. This deep cleansing was due to your practicing too deeply. Expanding into the Cosmos, which you called Cosmic Consciousness exercise, is very advanced and to be practiced by those at an advanced or master’s level.
It is alright if you practice it once a while, like once a month, but certainly you should not practice it too often until you have become advanced. Even for those at an advanced level, they need not practice it often, though they would not have severe cleansing symptoms if they practice often.
For us, i.e. the great majority of people who live in the phenomenal world, the most useful exercises are those taught on the first day of my Intensive Chi Kung Course, which are meant to overcome illness for those who are sick, and to give good health, vitality and longevity when they are already healthy. Even for our advanced practitioners, it is not easy to realize how powerful our advanced exercises are.
“Expanding into the Cosmos” is a very advanced skill, and should be practiced undert the supervision of a master
Can I learn to become a best fighter in your school?
— Pranav, India
You have come to a wrong school to learn to be a best fighter. Although we are combat efficient, and many of our students are international free sparring champions, fighting is low in our priority.
High in our priority in our aspirations for our training is to have good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity, peak performance and spiritual joys irrespective of religion. Nevertheless, not to make a mockery of ourselves in training a martial art, we pride ourselves to employ our arts in combat.
We also have helped many people overcome pain and illness, including so-called incurable diseases. We take this as a stepping-stone. In other words, overcoming pain and illness is not a fundamental aim for us to practice chi kung and kungfu. A fundamental aim is to have good health. Having good health means we are free from being sick or in pain.
It is legitimate to ask that if we do not take fighting as a top priority in our training, why do we train combat efficiency. It is mainly because our combat training enriches our daily life without us having really to fight.
Practicing chi kung also enriches our daily life, but practicing a martial art makes it more immediate. For example, attaining good health is the climax of many schools of chi kung, but it is only a starting point of a martial art. In other words, chi kung practitioners would consider their practice successfully completed when they have attained good health. But martial artists would consider having good health the start of their training.
As another example, chi kung practitioners generally have more time in making wise decisions. But for martial artists, like when a punch or a kick is coming from an opponent, they have to make fast and wise decisions on the spot.
I was lying in bed and suddenly “it/he” was there again, for the third time now. But this time it was much more powerful. In my ear I started to have something that I would call a tinnitus. Although the sound was very brief and not loud, it had this powerful vibes.
I did recognize it immediately again and then I could literally feel how it was lying next to me, right at my back. I felt like paralyzed and got a shock and wanted to scream but was not able to. I did not know what was happening and without thinking I simply started to recite Guan Yin Boddhisvattva’s name over and over again.
I then got calm and fell asleep. This happened to me twice before. But when it happened earlier, I never felt this tinnitus and it/he would be on the other side of the bed, like there would be a distance between us. And I remember it always felt powerful and somehow also “frightening”, but I had never really big fear or a shock and was rather easily able to go back to sleep.
But this time it stays with me. I have no idea what this thing/being is. I can only humbly say that I really think it is for real and not any imagination in my head.
How do I know if I have to protect myself and how could I do it? If I don’t consider the moment when it happens, I don’t really feel like I am in danger but I feel a lot of respect and uncertainty as I do not know what this is.
— Abelle, France
The being was real. But you don’t have to be afraid. You can attain confidence with the following facts and action:
Your chi flow is powerful — not powerful when compared to your sifu’s but powerful compared to most other people. Other beings would be repelled by your powerful chi; it is like electricity to them. If you are frightened, it is because of your own emotions.
You can chant the Guan Yin mantra, which is very powerful. Not only the mantra will repel the being, it will also sooth you.
You can apply One-Finger Zen onto the being. This is a drastic step and may hurt the being, so don’t use it unless necessary, and usually it is not necessary. Even if you had to use it, warn the being first. If the being did not heed the warning, point your One-Finger Zen at the being with your index finger pointing upward, not pointing at the being. The being would flee away. If it still didn’t, then point your index finger at it and visualize powerful chi shooting from your One-Finger Zen at the being.
I once used the One-Finger Shooting Zen on a monster, which was much more powerful than a ghost or natural spirit and which was disturbing a student. It fled away immediately.
While we train combat efficiency, we place higher priority on other benefits like good health, vitality, longevity and peak performance in our kungfu training
I remember when I had the opportunity to take courses for the first time with you, I later saw a ghost (according to my Sifu after hearing my descriptions) here in my apartment.
The ghost was wandering around somehow and was here for quite some time. Only later I asked him to leave and did send him blessings according to the instructions I gladly received as it started to disturb me. But he never ever felt so strong as this being now. This being now feels to be much stronger than me.
This being was likely to be an asura, or a titan. A titan is much more powerful than a ghost. Asuras are as powerful as dewas, or gods, but they did not become gods because of their negative emotions. The principal emotion of male asuras is anger, whereas that of female asuras, who are very beautiful, is jealousy. On the other hand, the principal emotion of gods is joy.
Ghosts are less powerful and of a lower spiritual level than humans. Many humans are afraid of ghosts because of ignorance and uncertainty. The fear is due to their own emotions. Ghosts actually shun humans but if a ghost was severely wronged, it might risk its own comfort to seek revenge from the responsible humans.
Our attitude towards ghosts should not be fear, but pity. Ghosts are pitiful. They are usually hungry and often lost. If you see one, like when it could not leave you in time, send it blessings and let it leave.
I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I did indeed cancel in a very short notice, on my day of departure, a trip over New Year’s Eve and stayed for almost two weeks unexpectedly at home. I experienced two weeks of very deep rest and peace and beautiful moments with uplifting thoughts. Maybe this is a coincidence.
If not, maybe this being is even visiting me for some good and I should feel gratitude? But why would it then have this powerful, frightening touch?
Sigung, how can I know about the intention of this being?
There are three ways to find out the intention of the being:
Ask the being itself. You should do so only when you feel confident facing the being. Don’t do so if you feel afraid.Don’t promise the being anything, even if its requests are reasonable and within your means. Say that you may try to help but tell it that you can’t promise anything. If its requests are unreasonable, tell the being firmly but calmly that they are unreasonable. If the requests are beyond your means, tell it that they are beyond your means and it has to find help elsewhere.
You may ask Guan Yin Bodhisattva for the answer and guidance. Go into a chi kung state of mind, pay homage to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, then ask your question and request for guidance. Conclude by thanking the Bodhisattva.
You may ask the Cosmos. Go into a chi kung state of mind. Ask your question and seek for guidance. Conclude by thanking the Cosmos.
High-level chi kung gives us radiant energy that lower spirits are afraid of
Why do we see these beings?
These beings as well as higher spiritual beings are around us all the time, but most of us cannot see them, nor they see us because our energy and theirs vibrate at different frequencies. It is just like we do not see waves of energy that carry information across the world until these waves manifest on our computers.
Years ago when I was a student under my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, he told me an invaluable lesson. He said in Chinese (Cantonese), “Khui tau sam chet yow shen meng”, which means “When you raise your head to look up three feet, there are gods.” He mentioned this when he was explaining a moral value to me that we must be righteous and have a clear conscious all the time.
When we practice chi kung, we open some psychic points that are normally close to most other people. This enables us to see such beings.
I would like to take up my Kung Fu training again. I do love my own Chi Kung training but I do indeed also miss my Kung Fu and the possibility to train with other people. Kung Fu has always been a big challenge for me, but I also feel it’s a big opportunity for me and many good things that happened during the last years are due to my training I feel.
Sigung, am I allowed to take a Kung Fu class with a Sisook if he would accept me? I hope that the question is not disrespectful. Taking classes with my Sisook wouldn’t change my gratitude and respect I feel towards my Sifu whom I indeed honor for everything that he has done for me and for the way he spreads the Shaolin Arts.
It is good that you have decided to resume your kungfu training. The Shaolin Kungfu practiced in our school is so wonderful. Not only it will give you a lot of benefits, it will also enhance your femininity. Indeed, it is a golden opportunity for women to practice our Shaolin Kungfu, though most of them do not realize it, and some are too lazy to do so. Most other kinds of kungfu or any martial art practiced elsewhere make women rough.
It is best if you learn from your sifu. He is an excellent teacher and has the interest of his students at heart. But if this is not feasible, you can learn from your sisook.
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.
Women are women, men are men. Happy women and men at a marriage blessing in Hawaii
I just wish to be myself, the person I am working hard to cultivate and to improve on every level. The person you called “of a high calibre”, the person you were kind enough to call talented and beautiful. The wonderful woman I’ll be in only a few years’ time. And once I find my future husband, we will hopefully create a wholesome and harmonious relationship together, based on awe, spirituality, respect and love.
— Fabienne, Switzerland
I am very happy that many students of our schools, male and female, have explicitly stated that our training has made them the best persons they can be.
You have all the potential to be this wonderful woman. The only hindrance I can see in you now is your concept of women equality. It is a fact that many male students who make excellent husbands have told me that they are scared to get married because they are scared that their future intelligent and liberated wives will argue with them on every thing. If your sense of women equality dictates that it is your right to argue with them and to you that is not oppressing them, and that they should not be scared of you, it is unlikely that you will meet these lovable men as a potential husband.
It is your choice. You can choose to believe that they should not be scared, although they have explicitly said they are scared, and choose to believe that even when you strongly express your views which oppose theirs, you can still have a happy marriage. As an analogy, in internal force training you can choose to believe that you can tense your muscles, though internal force masters have explicitly said that you should relax, and choose to believe that even when you use muscular strength which opposes the view of internal force masters, you can still develop internal force.
Actual experiences have repeatedly shown that wives who strongly express their views that oppose their husbands’ views, although the wives claim that it is their right, do not have happy marriages. Actual experiences also have repeatedly shown that students who tense their muscles, when internal force masters advise them to relax, although the students claim that it is their right to practice in a way they want to, do not develop internal force. If, knowing these facts, you still persist on doing what you think is right although actual experiences have shown that you will not have a happy marriage or develop internal force, you are not only unwise but also stubborn, despite your intelligence.
Or should I cast all that honour and potential aside once I marry? Should it really be my goal to hide my lively and talkative character? Turn doe-eyed and meek and become a master at manipulating and tricking the person I love into doing what I want, instead of being upfront, sincere and loving with him? And have my husband return that sentiment, out of respect and love.
You have jumped into conclusions that are irrelevant.
No one asks you to cast your honour and potential aside once you marry. You are advised to use your honour and potential in a way that will make your marriage happy and successful, and not to use them in a way that will confront your husband resulting in an unhappy and unsuccessful marriage.
No one asks you to hide your lively and talkative character. You are advised to use your lively and talkative character to make your marriage happy and successful, and not to use them in a way that may dominate your husband resulting in an unhappy and unsuccessful marriage.
No one asks you to turn doe-eyed and meek and become a master at manipulating and tricking the person you love into doing what you want. You are advised to be doe-eyed and meek or eagle-eyed and demanding or whatever is appropriate, and be sincere and loving in persuading the person you love into doing what you want for mutual happiness and benefit.
You should be upfront in all your dealings with your husband, and never deceive him. But your approach can be straight-forward or circular depending on the situation and his character. You should have your husband return that sentiment out of respect and love, and definitely not out of deceit, fear or cunningness.
Our training in Shaolin Wahnam makes us the best person we can be
Why can’t women be equal to men? Why do women have to adhere to the sensibilities of men (them being scared of our opinions, strength or maybe even superior intelligence), whereas men have a horrifying sense of entitlement as soon as we dress attractively, smile or talk with them? Again, I speak from personal experience.
If men are scared of women having an opinion and being strong, shouldn’t they practice Kung Fu and grow a real spine instead?
Don’t you think that we women aren’t afraid of men, too? When men are scared of dominant women, then women like me are scared of having to submit and give up everything for men like them.
It seems that your concept of women being equal to men means women being the same as men. Women are women, and men are men. They are not the same. It would be a very dull world if they were the same.
It is also worthwhile for you to realize that women equality is a modern concept. In the past women were considered inferior to men. In the same way, all men are equal, meaning all men have equal rights, is a modern concept. In the past, even in Athens, the birthplace of democracy, men were not equal. Women and slaves had no rights.
Women adhere to the sensibilities of men, and men adhere to the sensitivities of women for mutual respect and benefit. You can choose not to adhere to men’s sensitivities, like not dressing prettily, but it will be to your disadvantage. Similarly, a man can choose not to adhere to women’s sensitivities, like being rough with them, but it will be to his disadvantage.
Your thinking that men are afraid of women who have their own opinions and are strong is again jumping into a wrong conclusion
I have noticed more men wanting women to have opinions on their own and be strong than men being afraid of women having opinions and are strong. Many men complain that women, rightly or wrongly, are flicker-minded, and no matter how strong women are, they are generally not as strong as men, physically or emotionally.
Only by practicing genuine kungfu can men and women develop mental clarity and internal force that enable them to be tolerant of others’ opinions and be strong physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and figuratively have a real spine.
But genuine kungfu is very rare nowadays. Kungfu is so debased today that practitioners become dull and intolerant of others’ beliefs. Though they may be stronger physically, they are weak emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Don’t you think that we women are afraid of men, too? When men are scared of dominant women, women like me are scared of having to submit and give up everything for men like them.
In the past women submitted themselves and willingly gave up everything for their husbands. Because of their submissive nature, they were happy. Divorce was unheard of, though some people argue that the absence of divorce was due not to happy marriages but to the unavailability of divorce opportunities.
The submissiveness of wives as well as their inferior position were a blessing in disguise. They became tolerant of their husbands’ shortcomings, and even if their marriages were not particularly happy, they were not particularly quarrelsome.
It was a sharp contrast to today’s marriages. Because women are liberated, they demand equal rights, which result in frequent quarrels or at least disagreement between husbands and wives.
Herein lies an interesting debate. Would you prefer wives to be submissive which results in a peaceful family, or wives to have equal rights which results in a quarrelsome family. Men’s preference is quite obvious. Usually choices have to be made by modern women.
Chi kung for health and vitality
Let me make an example. Let’s say that, hypothetically, I found a boyfriend. Both he and I are dedicated martial artists, talented and spiritually advanced. Who do you think will have to make the bigger sacrifice in order to achieve this perfectly wholesome family life you were talking about?
Me. I would offer my body, stop practicing high level Kung Fu and Qigong for at least 9 months, bear the pain of childbirth and ideally submit to my husband to not “make him feel bad” by being my true self: intelligent, sharp, outspoken and kind-hearted.
This is your perspective as a wife who is unwilling to make sacrifice for a happy family. The perspective of your husband, who is also unwilling to make sacrifice for a happy family, will be different. It will be as follows.
Who do you think will have to make the bigger sacrifice? Me. I would offer both my body and my time, and work like mad with hardly any time to rest, and of course not to practice high level kungfu and qigong, especially during the 9 months when my wife is pregnant, bear the pain of anxiety and ideally submit to her whims and fancies to make her feel good, and not to be my true self: spending time with by buddies and bearing their cruel jokes as my wife’s handy man.
Both perspectives are unlikely to contribute to a happy family. If you value your family happiness more than your mis-conceived women rights, your perspective will be as follows.
I am grateful to be able to sacrifice for my family happiness. I shall gladly offer my body, and continue to practice high level kungfu and qigong. It will be a privilege to be pregnant, and to bring forth my children, who will be a joy to both my husband and myself. I shall willingly submit to my husband’s wishes, and make his life happy. I shall employ my intelligence, effort and kind-heartedness to be my true self as a loving wife and mother.
Your husband’s perspective if he values family happiness over male chauvinism will be as follows.
I am grateful to be able to sacrifice for my family happiness. I shall gladly offer my body and my time, continue to practice high level kungfu and chi kung, and to work hard to provide well for my wife and children. I shall willingly submit to my wife’s wishes, and make her life meaningful. I shall employ my intelligence, effort and time to be my true self as a loving husband and father
All of this is worth it, but the man needs to be upright, smart, handsome and worthy, too. Not everybody is a husband who appreciates his wife and works extraordinarily hard like you do, Sigung.
What is the point of me practicing martial arts and thus developing elegance, grace, mental clarity, confidence, courage and tremendous strength if I shall have to submit all my ambitions and everything I’ve achieved to a man the moment I get married and wish to have children?
It is certainly worth it. You need to find the man who is upright, smart, handsome and worthy. As we practice elite arts in Shaolin Wahnam, we are the leaders. We take the initiate to build a happy family. We are not followers. We do not hope someone will take the lead and follow him.
Thinking that you have to forego all the benefits of your training for the man you will marry is a negative way of looking at your things. The Shaolin Wahnam was is as follows.
My practicing elite martial arts enables me to develop elegance, grace, mental clarity, confidence, courage and tremendous strength. With these benefits I can find a wonderful and appreciative man whom I will get married and have children. I shall continue to practice the elite arts to make my family happy and meaningful.
Martial art chi kung
In contemplating your Intensive Chi Kung Course, I recalled you had said there was an intensive amount to learn, and something about remembering even a fraction of it would be invaluable.
I wonder if you have learning materials for class review that you supply with the class, like workbooks and/or DVDs. And if not, do you permit students to take notes?
— Elizabeth, USA
You can find a lot of my teaching material of the Intensive Chi Kung Course on my webpages, like the following
You can take notes during the course if you like, but are advised not to because
Taking notes will get you out of a chi kung state of mind, and it is in a chi kung state of mind that you get the best benefits of the course
A video recording of the course will be presented to you with compliments before you leave
You will probably find that what I teach during the course is very different from what you and most people have in mind about chi kung. It may sound ridiculous but you don’t have to remember anything if you can generate an energy flow.
You will learn and be successful in doing this in the first half an hour of the course, and you will practice doing this throughout the course, except when you sit down to listen to chi kung philosophy which will enhance your practice, and to my answers to students’ questions.
If one cannot generate an energy flow, he (or she) will not be performing chi kung even though the exercises he performs are genuine chi kung techniques. More than 80% of chi kung practitioners all over the world today are in this situation, i.e. they use genuine chi kung techniques to perform gentle physical exercise, and not an energy art, just like more than 90% of Taiji practitioners use genuine Taijiquan techniques to perform external dance-like movement and not an internal martial art.
If you can’t generate an energy flow by the end of the course, you should ask me for a full refund of the course fee, which will be refunded without question
You have said the forms of qigong that I have done are not high-level qigong, but I have experienced the following:
I feel intensive energy flows.
I have led some very sick people in these exercises, and they feel much better immediately
People have healed many things like cancer, Lupus, etc.
It focuses on body, mind, soul, and spiritual development.
Would it be accurate to say that my current qigong is high-level because of the 4 things listed above, but Shaolin Wahnam qigong is a more advanced and of a higher level. I feel a bit sad thinking of my teacher’s as low level qigong.
But of course the question is why am I not well fully yet. I have healed a lot of other people but they have to do this qigong 2-3 hours a day, for a few years to be completely healed. I have not yet been able to sustain this level of practice for extended periods of time.
And I have some concern that the practice itself is too complex and not balanced. I am really excited to experience a vastly more powerful and succinct practice in the hopes of complete recovery soon!
Whether a certain type of qigong (chi kung), or any art, is high-level depends on various factors, and the assessment is often subjective. It is best that you compare different types of qigong and make an assessment yourself.
Many of my students honestly thought that the qigong or kungfu they previously practiced was high-level. When I later asked them about their assessment, after having practicing qigong or kungfu in our school for some time, without a single exception they told me it was incomparable.
I usually let their assessment stop at that. I did not persist further to ask which type was of such a higher level that they were incomparable. Their continuing to practice our qigong or kungfu, instead of their former types, clearly gave me the answer.
Before assessing whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is of a high level, it is useful firstly to consider whether it is genuine. In other words, first we consider whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is genuine. If it is not genuine, we need not proceed. If it is genuine, we assess whether it is high-level or low-level.
An excellent way to decide whether a certain type of qigong or kungfu is genuine is to examine whether it gives the benefits it is meant to give. A fundamental benefit of qigong is good health, and a fundamental benefit of kungfu is self-defence. If a practitioner after practicing his art for a reasonable period of time, like a year, is still sick or unable to defend himself, then the qigong or kungfu he practices is not genuine.
Please note that the issue here is whether the art he practices is genuine, and not his character. He may be a very kind and lovable person, but if he does not derive the benefit that his dedicated practice is meant to give him, his art cannot be said to be genuine.
Unfortunately, this is the situation of qigong and kungfu practitioners today, including world-known masters. Many qigong practitioners have to take medication on a routine basis. Most kungfu practitioners cannot defend themselves. If they need to fight or spar, they use Boxing or Kick-Boxing, and are still being punched and kicked by their opponents.
Qigong masters since classical times have classified qigong into the following five progressive levels, from the basic to the most advanced.
Medical qigong — to overcome pain and illness.
Health qigong — to promote good health, vitality and longevity.
Scholars’ qigong — to promote scholarly qualities, like mental clarity.
Martial art qigong — to develop internal force, like for peak performance.
Spiritual qigong — to attain the highest spiritual fulfillment, or at low levels to experience spiritual joys like being peaceful and happy.
Kungfu masters have classified kungfu into the following three levels:
For combat efficiency.
For good health, vitality and longevity.
For spiritual cultivation.
The knowledge above will help you to access the qigong your practice or any types of qigong you come across. This knowledge, however, is quite exclusive, and we in Shaolin Wahnam are happy to share it publicly, regardless of whether others believe in it or not. This knowledge has given us a lot of benefits.
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.
Sifu Wong in a Shaolin kungfu pattern called “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave”
Find out what you need to know about aims and objectives before you begin your Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan training
Why do You Practise Kungfu?
One important reason why the standard of kungfu today is generally low is that many people practice kungfu without being aware of their aims and objectives.
If you ask someone who has practiced kungfu for many years why he has done so, it is not uncommon for him to have difficulty finding the real answers.
He may say he practices kungfu for self-defence, for health or for keeping alive a worthy tradition, but on deeper examination he often finds that those are not the real reasons.
This is evident from the fact that despite many years’ training, he cannot defend himself with the kungfu he has learnt, is not as healthy and fit as a typical kungfu exponent recorded in classical kungfu literature, and knows little about kungfu tradition.
The truth is that he has practiced kungfu without any clear set aims and objectives.
Sifu Wong and Goh Kok Hin in combat-ready poses. Sifu Wong attacks with a thrust punch and Goh Kok Hin responds with a tiger-claw
Making Your Training More Rewarding
Obviously, if we are clear about our aims and objectives, our training will be more rewarding. Not only we shall not waste time over unnecessary training, we shall also have a higher level of attainment.
For our purpose here, aims refer to general and long term aspirations, and objectives to measurable and more immediate needs.
There are three aims in all kungfu training:
Health and fitness.
For great kungfu like Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan, there are two further aims:
The punch is a feign. As soon as Goh Kok Hin defends, Sifu Wong changes into a snap kick. As Goh Kok Hin strikes the attacking leg with a hand-sweep, Sifu Wong withdraws the leg and executes a side-kick with the other leg
Self Defence, Health and Fitness
Combat efficiency is the first and foremost aim of all kungfu training. The term kungfu, especially as used in the West, means martial art.
It is ironical, therefore, if you practice kungfu (including taijiquan) but do not know how to defend yourself with what you have learnt.
The second aim of kungfu training is health and fitness. Indeed, in our modern societies where fighting seldom happens, this benefit of being healthy and fit is more immediate and important than being able to fight.
But the crucial point is that you will derive the radiant health a typical kungfu exponent of classical kungfu literature manifests, only if you practice kungfu as a martial art. If you practice kungfu dance, you will only get the type of health benefit that a dance can give.
”Lifting Water”, which is an important force training method in Taijiquan, develops tolerance and perseverance as well as mental clarity
Character Development and Spiritual Cultivation
Kungfu training itself is a process of character development.
Qualities like tolerance, endurance and perseverance are developed if you practice kungfu the way past masters did, such as practicing “Golden Bridge”, “Small Universe” or “Lifting Water” everyday for years. Qualities like mental freshness and calmness are pre-requisite if you wish to be a good kungfu fighter.
Great kungfu like Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan is more than a mere fighting art. Both Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan expand the mind and leads ultimately to spiritual fulfillment.
Meditation, known as chan (zen) in Shaolin Kungfu and jing-zhou (silent-sitting) in Taijiquan, is an essential aspect in all levels of these two arts, although it is emphasized at the advanced levels, and although not many people today may be aware of this fact. Actually, the original aim of Bodhidharma and of Zhang San Feng, the First Patriarch of Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan respectively, when they first initiated the arts, was spiritual cultivation.
Taijiquan is an internal art excellent for combat as well as spiritual cultivation. Here Goh Kok Hin grips Sifu Wong’s arm.
Setting Measurable Objectives
Besides being clear of our general aims and consciously strive to achieve them, it is helpful to set measurable objectives for more immediate needs.
In order to attain the general aim of combat efficiency, we may set objectives like developing powerful arms and agile footwork, and mastering defence techniques against common attacks.
We may, for example, set aside one year to practise how to counter the various kicking attacks typically executed by Taekwondo and Siamese Boxing exponents.
To attain good health and fitness, we may train the Shaolin art of ‘One-Finger Shooting Zen’ or the Taijiquan art of ‘Three-Circle Stance’ everyday for six months as our set objectives.
After the six month period we can assess whether we have been successful in meeting our objectives by using measurable tests like checking whether we are now comparatively free from cold and fever which we used to have, and whether we can comfortably block our seniors’ attacks in sparring practice when previously we could do so only with difficulty.
Sifu Wong applies the Taijiquan technique “Cross-Hands Thrust Kick” which not only releases the opponent’s grip but also counter-attacks him at the same time.
Enriching our Lives
Setting objectives like increasing our endurance and perseverance levels from a minute to five minutes over a period of six months in zhang-zhuang (stance-standing) training can be readily combined with the objectives of developing internal force.
It will be useful to check whether we have also transferred these qualities to our daily life, such as examining ourselves to see whether our disciplined kungfu training has made us more tolerable to other people and more capable of facing demanding tasks.
The various meditation methods in Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan enhances our mind and spirit. (In eastern philosophy the mind and spirit are often regarded as one.) We may, for instance, set objectives like enhancing our mental clarity so that we can comprehend a problem in five minutes when it took half an hour in the past.
Hence, if we are clear about what we intend to achieve in our kungfu training by setting aims and objectives, we can not only get more benefits from our practice in shorter time, but also enrich our as well as other people’s lives.