Category Archives: women equality

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS NOVEMBER 2015 PART 1 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/nov15-1.html)

Happy Family

It is a great joy to be a husband and father — an old picture showing Grandmaster Wong, his wife and their three eldest children in the garden of the house where they are still staying

Question 1

You said that becoming a wife/husband and mother/father is one of the most spiritually fulfilling things in this world. But spiritual fulfillment isn’t a given if I have to sacrifice so much and the man doesn’t. A relationship is made of two people, so both should strive to be the best they can be and sacrifice all they can. Not only the women, and not only the men either. How can a relationship be wholesome if that were so?

— Fabienne, Switzerland

Answer

Ask not what your husband and children can do for you. Ask what you can do for your husband and children. You and not they practice our elite arts.

Spiritual fulfillment is not a given attainment. You have to make effort and sacrifice to attain it.

While a relationship of husband and wife is made up of two people, and ideally both should strive for family happiness, you need not wait for the other person to make this come true. As an elite person who has practiced our Shaolin Wahnam arts, you take the lead.

If your thought, speech and action are appropriate, the other will follow, and both will contribute to the family happiness. It does not matter even when the other person does little work, or not at all, but you still need him to make a rewarding relationship.

Editorial Note

Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 2 and Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 3.

Question 2

While doing further research in Buddhism and its origins, I didn’t have to look far at all to find other offending examples of women being treated like lesser beings and/or being reduced to tools of convenience and satisfaction.

Can you please tell me what you think about these examples?

Answer

My main comment is that society and customs at the time of the Buddha were vastly different from those of ours. By the standard of Buddha’s time, what the Buddha did to women was extremely generous.

My other comments follow each of your examples.

Your Example (1) The most advanced Buddhist nuns had to sit behind the most novice monks simply because their body was deemed inferior. It is our body that is able to grow and give life.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhuni#Discriminating_against_nuns

My Comment: At that time in India, no matter how accomplished women were, they were still considered inferior to males.

Your Example (2) The Buddha himself was against teaching women at first. He refused to teach his own aunt, the woman that nursed and raised him when he was but a small and defenceless child. If it weren’t for the Venerable Ananda, women probably never would’ve been taught by the Buddha himself, and I am forever grateful for that. If “not teaching women” was for the sake of monks not being distracted or tempted, then the monks were much more at fault than the nuns. Men should be able to control themselves, a sentiment which is blissfully ignored by many males in our society.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahapajapati_Gotami#Ordination_of_the_first_woman

My Comment: It was a custom at the time to teach only males. The Buddha’s teaching of women was unprecedented.

Not teaching women for the sake of the monks was only one of a few reasons. The main reason for not teaching women was due to culture and custom.

If a beautiful woman temptingly stripes in front of a man, it is not easy for him to resist the temptation even when he can otherwise has good control of his sexual desires.

Xi shi

Xi Shi, one of the four most beautiful women of China

Question 3

Past kings and emperors had multiple wives. What purpose did that serve except prestige? The beauty of women as a means of manipulation is even present in the 36 Strategies (“From Nothing is born Something”). Don’t you think that men who are easily manipulated by the beauty of women are disgraceful?

Answer

The purpose of having multiple wives was more than just prestige. A Chinese emperor was required by rites and customs to have more than a thousand wives, irrespective of whether he liked it or not, but it so happened that usually he liked it.

One important reason, besides the obvious variety of sexual pleasure an emperor could enjoy, was to ensure he had a male heir to succeed him.

There is nothing wrong to use the beauty of women in strategies. Some women, like the famous beauties of China, Xi Shi and Diao Chan, were proud to be able to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the country, and the people sincerely honoured them.

A well known strategy of the 36 Strategies is simply called “Beauty Strategy”. Many famous strategists used this strategy elegantly and successfully.

You may be pleased to know that there is a Chinese saying as follows. “Even heroes may not escape the temptations of beautiful women.” When heroes can fall to beauties, mere mortals stand little chance of survival.

I don’t think that men who are easily manipulated by the beauty of women are disgraceful. I think they are normal.

The great sage, Confucius, advises, “Food and sex are normal instincts.”

Question 4

While talking to a very close friend of mine, it occurred to us that certain monastic rules and explanations of Buddhist cosmology and reincarnation state that people are born a woman because of some bad karma. Is this true? If so, that’s heart-breaking.

I try hard to be the best I can be, so I try and look at this as a blessing in disguise. As a woman, I might be better suited to clear deep-rooted, emotional or even karmic problems. According to my friend, a senior instructor in our school mentioned that women tend to be more sensitive and able to pass certain “milestones” in Kung Fu and Qigong more quickly. But still, it sucks to be told that I might be inferior.

In any case, I feel torn between righteous fury because of this caveman-ish injustice being prevalent to this day (sometimes even in Shaolin Wahnam, of all places), and grief for all the oppression and lost potential that women had to deal with ever since known history. Will it boil down to the fact that, as a woman, I have to make a very hard choice? Either reach high achievements or become a wife and mother?

Answer

It was true that in the past at a time when women’s position was inferior to men’s, many people believed that to be born a woman was due to bad karma. But this was relative. It was bad karma compared to being born as gods, or even as men. But it was good karma compared to being born an animal, or even a very beautiful female titan. Yet the very same people would probably think that being born a woman in a noble family was due to better karma than being born a male slave.

But conditions are different today. Even when Chinese culture prefers sons to daughters, many Chinese families I know prefer to have daughters than to have sons. When they are married, daughters with their husbands stay with the parents; or at least return home frequently, whereas the sons when married together with their wives are lost to their in-laws.

Hence, you should not be heart-broken, but instead take being born a woman as a blessing.

Indeed, to be born human, male or female, is a great blessing. He or she must have accumulated a lot of good karma in the past. To be born wholesome is a greater blessing. The blessing to be born in a highly civilized society like yours is even greater. And the greatest blessing is to be born human, male or female, wholesome in a civilized society and be exposed to spiritual teaching like ours in Shaolin Wahnam. We have a lot to be grateful for.

Don’t just try to be the best person you can be, do it. Don’t strive but enjoy your cultivation. While whether women are better suited than men to clear emotional and karmic problems, and pass milestones in kungfu and qigong training is debatable, there is no doubt that women today, especially in Western societies, enjoy privileges men normally don’t, like having their heavy luggage carried by men, and their food served to them first while their man friends may still mouth-water, provided that these women don’t mistake women equality to be female chauvinism.

Your righteous fury, sense of caveman-ish injustice, and grief of oppression and lost potential of women, are all the result of your imagination. Since known history, women never had such opportunities and benefits as they have today. Women in the past did not go to school or even out of their house, had no opportunities of employment, and could not choose their own husbands. Now you can reach high achievements and at the same time become a wife and mother. You should celebrate instead of groan over your opportunities.

I love my wife for who she is, not what I want her to be

Question 5

Sigung, may I please know how you feel about this issue? Do you feel like females are worth less than male beings, be it animal or human? Or did I just misunderstand your intentions behind the article you wrote about becoming a good wife? Do you love your own wife so much because she manipulated you into doing what she wants (even if she did it sweetly), or because she was supportive, sincere, loving and strong?

Answer

My feeling about this issue is very clear — to myself as well as to others. Definitely I do not feel females are worth less than males, animal or human. I regard them as equal, but not the same.

During question time, for example, when both male and female students asked questions about the same time, I always practiced “lady’s first”.

During demonstration I usually chose male students or instructors. Some people mistook this gesture as my disregard for women. It was just the opposite. It was my regard for them that I chose male demonstrators. I did not want to take advantage of their feminine beauty, or let other people have this impression, especial in the West where many masters, unfortunately, exploit their female students.

These may be little gestures, but they demonstrate my high regards for women.

You misunderstood my intentions behind the article I wrote about becoming a good wife. My intentions are noble, and are aimed at helping women get the men they love. They are too many eligible, loveable but unmarried women, as well as too many unmarried men who are scared to get married, in the West.

I love my wife very much for what she is, including her many faults. She did not manipulate me into doing what she wants, even in a sweet way. If she did, I would have sufficient ways to counter it, also in a sweet way. She does not need to do so because she is appreciative, sincere, loving and strong.

She has to be very strong, bringing up five lovely children at a time when I was financially poor, not only without any complaints but also with love and devotion. Now I earn more money, I like spending it on her to make her happy, but she spends it on our children and grandchildren, and that wisely and not lavishly, and our children have to say, “Papa and mama, we have enough money to be comfortable.”

Question 6

While with Shaolin Wahnam, I learned that we are all part of the same universe and that our world is an illusion, influenced by our perception. Why can’t this simple principle be applied to such a natural, sacred and simple bond as marriage, for example? Shaolin Wahnam gets so many aspects about daily life perfectly right, yet misogyny is still observable. Shouldn’t we stand above this petty differentiation?

For example, we are making the difference between hard and soft chi for the sake of understanding. We can do that with the concept of men and women, too. But only for the sake of understanding and explanation. It should flow into each other and ultimately be one. Men and women can’t be without each other in the long run (for the simple sake of continuously populating this planet), so let’s make it an equal business. Based on love and respect, not on superiority and manipulation.

Answer

You have highlighted a very important point that can bring meaning and happiness to our daily life. Our phenomenal world, which is an illusion, is much influenced by our perception. My article on Perception and Reality illustrates this very important point.

Paradoxically, your problem in this issue is due to your perception. The reality is the same, that men and women can’t be without each other, and their mutual well-being should be based on love and respect, and not on superiority and manipulation. This is the theme in my article you mentioned, How to Trap a Good Husband and be a Good Wife, as well as in the teaching of Shaolin Wahnam.

However you interpreted my article from a different perspective. I advise that to get a husband whom she has found lovable and eligible, the woman should fulfil the qualities that he wants in his wife. He wants his wife to be attractive, feminine and yielding. But you thought, wrongly, that if a woman conforms to these qualities, she would make herself inferior as well as manipulate him to marry her.

Although you may not have explicitly said it, you imply that to demonstrate your superiority, or at least your equality, you need not confirm to his likings. If you are already attractive, feminine and yielding, that is fine. You already process qualities that he likes. But, for the sake of illustration here, if you were unattractive, dominating and demanding, you need not make yourself attractive, feminine and yielding to win him. He has to accept you for what you are.

You consider, again wrongly, that if you have to make yourself attractive, feminine and yielding to win him, you will be manipulative. This is your flawed perspective. A better perspective is that you make a sacrifice to attain a greater mutual goal.

An example will make this point clearer. Suppose you are a manufacturer producing red T-shirts. A customer orders blue T-shirts. This is his likes. But you think that if you conform to his likes, you are demeaning yourself and accepting your inferiority. But if you conform to his likes, you are manipulative to win his sale. You can choose to be stubborn and clinch onto your flawed perspective, but you will lose the sale or your man whom you feel will make a good husband. Your perspective is flawed because you confuse woman equality with being dog-headedness, and confuse sacrifice with manipulation.

This principle of fulfilling the needs of the other person and making sacrifice for greater mutual benefit can be applied to marriages as well as all other aspects of life. To implement this principle successfully, you have to be clear in your vision and direction, and noble in your perspective. Marrying any man that comes your way is not being clear in your vision and direction. Being stubborn even when your views are flawed and mistaking sacrifice to be manipulation is being unclear in your perspective.

Misogyry, or hating women, is definitely not a trait in Shaolin Wahnam. We have many perfect husbands in our school. Some men in our school may not be perfect husbands, but certainly they don’t hate women. If you feel that misogyny is observable in our school, for your own sake, you really have to examine your mind-set. Ironically, it is you who need to clear yourself from this mess of petty differentiation.

Besides better understanding, differentiating between hard and soft, or men and women, also enables us to be cost effective and bring us a lot of benefits. You are the one who can’t differentiate between men and women. Although you may differentiate them by sex, you fail to differentiate them by their roles and aspirations. You seem to treat women as men.

Men and women cannot ultimately be one. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. It is utterly unnatural if anyone of them become a man-woman, or for the female chauvinists, a woman-man. Playing their roles and fulfilling their aspirations also cannot be equal business. Whether in love making, rearing children or any other aspects of family life, men perform their roles and fulfil their aspirations as men, and women as women. In love making, for example, by instinct, a man’s aspiration is his immediate pleasure, whereas a woman’s aspiration is to have love.

Five-Animal Play -- the Monkey

Five-Animal Play — the Monkey

Question 7

Sigung, you are the greatest person and teacher I have ever known and probably ever will. Your opinion matters a lot to me. This subject is very dear to my heart and highly important for my own future. I am terrified that you might push a very out-dated opinion of women and marriage onto students who won’t think twice about the wisdom you generously share and will simply accept it as fact.

I know at least three married couples in Wahnam where the wife does not adhere to your standard of what a “good wife” should be like. Yet they are all wonderfully happy. On the other hand, I see many Wahnam women with high achievements being unmarried to this day. I don’t know if that is their personal choice or simply their adapting to current circumstances.

They are all inspirations to me, yet I absolutely do wish to get married and have children one day. But not when things are still like this. The status quo scares me and makes me hold onto my personal freedom and joy and open way of expression even more.

I guess I just wish to know why these kinds of things are still happening the way they are. It breaks my heart to think that, no matter how high my achievements might be in the future, I’ll never be deemed “as good” as male students, simply because I’m a woman.

If that were the case, and knowing my passion and deep emotions, I might just become that bitter kind of “liberated” woman you said men are scared of. As of now, I am still very young, optimistic and eager to learn. I hope this issue can be resolved. If not in today’s society, then at least let it be resolved in my heart!

Thank you very much for your patience and I will be forever grateful (even more so than I already am) if you could help me break through this blockage. I also hope that my sincere, yet still somewhat critical inquiry won’t result in me not being welcome in Shaolin Wahnam anymore.

Answer

Thank you for your very kind words.

One of the proudest achievements of our school is that our teaching has enabled our family members, single or married, to enrich their daily lives. This achievement is more important than being extremely combat efficient, developing tremendous internal force, or even overcoming pain and illness and attaining good health, vitality and longevity.

Our teaching, including that of happy marriage, is successfully time-tested. You view the issue in a matter of 30 years; I view it over many centuries. Even in a short period of 30 years, your perspective has proven to be unsuccessful, resulting in many people remaining unmarried though they are eligible and lovable.

I do not push my teaching onto our students. I always encourage them to assess any teaching to the best of their understanding and experience.

You have misconceived my advice on what a good wife should be like. You wrongly think that a good wife should abandon her ability and wisdom and follow her husband blindly. I advise that a good wife should use her ability and wisdom to make her family happy.

Even if we presume that the three married couples you mentioned do not adhere to my advice on being a good wife, if they and their husbands and children are happy, I am happy for them. In fact I would advise them to carry on what they have been doing, and don’t follow what I mentioned in the article. The article is not for them. It is meant for women who want to but have not accomplished a happy family.

If those Shaolin Wahnam women with high achievements choose not to have a family they need not follow my advice in the article. If they wish to have a happy family, my advice will be very useful.

Getting married and having children is a woman’s instinct. It is also a wonderful thing to do. Never before in history have women this golden opportunity to be married and have children, and still have freedom, joy and open way of expression. You are living in this golden age but you don’t realize it.

Your problem and heart-breaking situation is the result of your own faulty imagination. Change your perspective from a negative way to the Shaolin Wahnam way and you may see the golden age you are in.

Why should you choose to be a bitter liberated woman whom men are scared of, when you can be a sweet liberated woman whom men adore? Becoming such a sweet, liberated and adorable woman is not by fancy. You have to put in a lot of hard work. Following my advice in the article you mentioned, after you have realized your previous faulty perspective, will provide a practical way to achieve your goal.

Of course you will be welcome in Shaolin Wahnam, more so after you have raised these interesting questions that will benefit many men and women.

Question 8

Can children practice the Five-Animal Play?

— Konchia, Spain

Answer

Yes, they can if they have competent teachers. Nowadays, competent teachers teaching Five-Animal Play or other types of chi kung are rare. Most teachers teach chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, and not as chi kung.

Gentle physical exercise works on the physical body, whereas chi kung works on energy. Gentle physical exercise cannot overcome pain and illness, and cannot enable practitioners to have more energy and mental clarity, but chi kung can.



If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.

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

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/oct15-3.html)

Marriage Blessings

Women are women, men are men. Happy women and men at a marriage blessing in Hawaii

Question 1

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

Answer

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.

Editorial Note

Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 2 and Questions-Answers November 2015 Part 1.

Question 2

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.

Answer

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.

Xingyiquan

Our training in Shaolin Wahnam makes us the best person we can be

Question 3

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.

Answer

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.

Question 4

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.

Answer

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, qigong

Chi kung for health and vitality

Question 5

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.

Answer

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

Question 6

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?

Answer

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.

Michael Agar

Martial art chi kung

Question 7

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

Answer

You can find a lot of my teaching material of the Intensive Chi Kung Course on my webpages, like the following

  1. http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-8/chikung-penang2012/glimpse/glimpse.html

  2. http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-7/chi-kung2011/glimpses.html

  3. http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-5/sabah-chikung2010/chikung-01/overview.html

  4. http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-2/chikung-intensive/overview.html

You can take notes during the course if you like, but are advised not to because

  1. 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

  2. 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

Question 8

You have said the forms of qigong that I have done are not high-level qigong, but I have experienced the following:

  1. I feel intensive energy flows.

  2. I have led some very sick people in these exercises, and they feel much better immediately

  3. People have healed many things like cancer, Lupus, etc.

  4. 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!

Answer

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.

  1. Medical qigong — to overcome pain and illness.

  2. Health qigong — to promote good health, vitality and longevity.

  3. Scholars’ qigong — to promote scholarly qualities, like mental clarity.

  4. Martial art qigong — to develop internal force, like for peak performance.

  5. 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:

  1. For combat efficiency.

  2. For good health, vitality and longevity.

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

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

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15b/oct15-2.html)

Children and Grand Children

It is a joy to have children and grand-children

Question 1

I wish to thank you again for the wonderful teachings and deep impact you had on me and my emotional health at the Valentine’s Course in Ireland only a few months ago.. I was lucky enough to make a lot of progress during the past few years, especially in 2014. I did leave my job after you sent me the kind message and I am now working for a different and absolutely incredible new employer. I feel very blessed and grateful.

Nevertheless, there is an issue about women equality that has bothered me more than ever this year and that I feel is a major blockage.

Sigung, you are always very kind, generous and most important of all, objective and fair. I am also aware that there are still some cultural differences that make me so torn and conflicted about accepting some of your comments about women and marriage.

Whenever I think of finding a husband or having children, my thoughts and optimism grind to a halt. It wasn’t always like that, but my experiences in my professional life as well as in Shaolin Wahnam have somewhat disheartened me, so holding onto optimism and hope is difficult when thinking about marriage and children.

— Fabienne, Switzerland

Answer

I am very happy about your progress though it is expected as you are a very good student. With mental clarity you could easily see that your previous job was unsuitable for you. With courage from internal force, you were not afraid to leave a job that you did not like to look for another one. Mental clarity and internal force are developed in the training you practice in our school.

It is useful to understand more deeply the term “women equality”. To me, women equality means that women are not inferior to men, but it does not mean that they should be treated as if they were men.

For example, a woman can be as efficient as a man in her job as a manager, but in work where physical strength is required, like carrying heavy luggage, she should not be treated the same as a man. Let her husband or boyfriend do the job.

How the concept of women equality is interpreted in martial arts is interesting. Many Karate and Taekwondo masters boast that they want their female students to fight like men. “If a man throws a punch of 200 pound at you,” they tell their female students, “block it with 200 pounds.”

Our interpretation is different. We don’t want our female students to fight like men; they should fight as women — without losing their feminine charms. They are not men, but can be as combat efficient as men. They can, for example, deflect the powerful punch with minimum force, and elegantly drive a phoenix-eye fist into a male attacker’s ribs.

It is precisely failing to appreciate the deeper significance of women equality that brings suffering to both men and women. Many men have told me that they are afraid to be married for fear that their wives might quarrel with them like men. Many women like to be women, but are forced by a mistaken concept of women equality to act like men.

Your problem of being disheartened about marriage and children may be due to a mistaken concept of women equality, wrongly thinking that when you are married you have to be a husband instead of being a wife, and to be a father instead of being a mother. Such a mistaken concept will distort family roles and is unlikely to bring family happiness. You are likely to have family happiness when you let your husband be the husband of the family, and you remain to be the wife.

Question 2

I’m scared of being a loving wife and mother one day, because the kind of devotion you expect a woman to show towards her husband is not something many males nowadays are worthy of.

Sadly, not all men in Shaolin Wahnam are a shining example of honourable men one might think they are. I can speak as a female student who has had some unpleasant, non-consensual experiences. I heard some very demeaning things about myself and others. I didn’t want to list them at first, but I think I have to in order to make the situation clearer.

Answer

Your problem here is not being scared of becoming a loving wife and mother one day nor the kind of devotion expected of a woman toward her husband. Your problem is finding a husband worthy of your devotion.

There are two different approaches to train a school of honorable men and women.

One approach is to select people who are already honorable to train them. This will make the group exclusive.

Another approach is to open the school to those who want to be honorable, and train them.

Shaolin Wahnam employs the second approach. But we require that those who wish to be trained to be honorable must be deserving, like following the Ten Shaolin Laws.

Hence, it is understandable that there are some in our school who are still dishonorable. Either they have not successfully completed their training in our school, which means that in time they will be honorable, or they have failed in their training, which means they do not want to be honorable.

Comparing our school with other schools, we have done very well.

The examples you have listed will be commented on below.

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Joan

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Joan. Women equality does not mean women are the same as men. It means women are as capable as men.

Question 3

When a close Sije of mine went through a difficult time, I heard more than once that “She should find a strong man to have sex with her. She’ll calm down then.” That’s unacceptable!

I was propositioned for sex after a course. The man was ugly, ignorant and thought I’d sleep with him because “nobody else would find me attractive” due to my weight.

All these things stopped once I became more advanced and confident. They also disappeared because I aged and gained weight. But I wish to show that women are much more likely to be reduced to their beauty and features. Even in Buddhism, almost every description of female practitioners says something along the lines of “she was known for her beauty.”

This is so infuriating and unfair. It is a nice compliment when it comes from someone sincere and without ulterior motives, but I’m scared of being reduced to it in the future. But if I defend myself and talk to other people about this, I might be called a “feminist” and “attention seeker”. No man will approach me then, I’m sure.

Answer

Both asking a distressed woman to have sex to calm down, and asking a woman to have sex otherwise no one else would have sex with her were not only unacceptable, they were despicable. As mentioned earlier, there may still be dishonorable students in our school. Either they failed in the training to be honorable, or they do not want to he honorable.

They automatically eliminate themselves in any competition to be husbands of sensible women.

The insulting comments stopped because you had advanced in your kungfu training and had become more confident. The insulting males might be worried that you asked them to have free sparring instead.

You are still very young. With our training, you can remain young when you grow in chorological age. Our exercises can also help you to reduce weight. Exercises like “Drawing the Moon” and “Merry-Go-Round” are excellent. You have to practice these exercises regularly.

You should not feel infuriating or unfair when someone says you are or any woman is beautiful. I believe women, regardless of their age, will take it as a compliment.

There is no need to defend yourself when complimented to be beautiful. Accept the compliment graciously.

It is natural for women to want to be beautiful. She will indeed be very odd if a woman wants to be ugly, or tough and masculine like a man. This is what I mean by misconception of women equality. Women and men are equal but not the same. If a woman appears or behaves like a man, such as putting on man’s clothing or putting her legs on a table, most men I believe will find her ugly.

Question 4

I might adhere to what you called a “liberated” woman in a past article. But I don’t wish to oppress my husband with my intelligence, my wit or my knowledge. I don’t wish to confront and nag him unnecessarily, as you seem to think most “liberated” women are doing according to this article.

Truly liberated women are exactly that: liberated. They’re happy, independent and free to express themselves, not bitter and unpleasant and trying to oppose their partner at every step. I am truly sorry if you or other men have had unpleasant experiences with these kinds of women. I do not identify with these women.

Answer

A liberated woman can be feminine and gentle. She needs not act or behave like a man.

Oppressing her husband with her intelligence, wit or knowledge, and confronting and nagging him unnecessarily is not a matter of being liberated; it is a matter of being unwise.

You are mistaken that I think liberated women tend to oppress their husbands, nag or confront them unnecessarily. I advise that women, regardless of whether they are liberated or not, should not do such things. If they do, they may win arguments but lose their men.

Liberated women are independent and free to express themselves. But they are not necessarily happy, not bitter, unpleasant and trying to oppose their partners at every step. In other words, liberated women can be happy or depressed, sweet or bitter, pleasant or unpleasant, oppose their partners at every step or not at all. Being liberated or not liberated, and being happy, sweet, pleasant, opposing or otherwise are different issues.

Liberated women who are wise will be sweet, pleasant and accommodating to their husbands or partners, and as a result they are happy. Unwise liberated women will do the reverse and be depressed.

Editorial Note

Fabienne’s other questions can be found at Questions-Answers October 2015 Part 3 and Questions-Answers November 2015 Part 1.

women equality

A woman can be very combat efficient and still retains her femininity

Question 5

I don’t have any illness or problems. Is it necessary for me to practice Cosmic Breathing?

— Belinda, Germany

Answer

It is not necessary but it is very beneficial. In fact it is not necessary to practice chi kung, yet a person can live, but practicing chi kung will bring a lot of benefits. As an analogy, you don’t need to buy a car, but a car is certainly very useful. You can walk from Germany to France, or even cross the sea to reach England hugging a log — if you survive the journey. The Polynesian people, for example, crossed the Pacific before cars and ships were invented. But if you can afford it, having a car is very beneficial.

As you have successfully learned the skills and techniques of Cosmic Breathing, make full use of its benefits even when it is not necessary to practice it to carry on living.

When your boyfriend takes you to a date and you are tired, for example, practicing Cosmic Breathing for just about 5 minutes will energize you. When you study for an examination, and your mind just cannot take in any more knowledge, go for a short walk and practice Cosmic Breathing for about 5 minutes. You will be mentally fresh and study more effectively. When you want to play some games, practicing Cosmic Breathing for just 5 minutes will give you better mental focus and more energy for better performance.

Question 6

Can I combine Cosmic Breathing with Eighteen Lohan Hands?

Answer

Yes, you can. You can also combine with other chi kung exercises.

But it is not necessary because Cosmic Breathing is already very powerful by itself. Combining it with other exercises will dilute its power. But for fun or variety, you can combine Cosmic Breathing with any other exercises.

As an analogy, you already earn a lot of money working as a doctor. You are also good at cooking and gardening. Can you combine being a doctor with being a cook and a gardener? You can, but it is not necessary because working as a doctor alone will bring you more incomre than combining your job with cooking and gardening. But for fun or other appropriate reasons, you may combine being a doctor with cooking and gardening.

Mexican Pyramid

An Intensive Chi Kung Course in Penang in 2012

Question 7

I’ve been practicing chi-kung for some time, self learning out of necessity since there is no chi-kung master in my place. I’ve been learning from books, articles and videos, and I have received large benefits from my practice.

May be one of Sifu Wong’s advanced students may come to teach us. I would like to become a healer, though I need to learn first hand from a master.

Mexico is a country with a lot of problems, including very low wages. There are hardly people who can afford the fees of Master Wong Kiew Kit. But I know there should be a way I may learn form the master.

— Francisco, Mexico

Answer

I taught in Mexico a few years ago. It was a large class of about 100 students, and each paid about 1000 euros for my courses.

You are right to say than one must be a good chi kung student before he thinks of becoming a chi kung healer.

You are also right to say that if you wish to learn from me, there is a way. I would recommend that you attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. You will find the chi kung practiced in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, very different from what you have learned from books, articles and videos, and also very different from the chi kung practiced in most other schools.

Editorial Note :

Francisco’s immediate reply:

“Thanks for your answer, I am going to travel to Malaysia to learn at your school. I don’t know when, but I will be there. When I’m ready I’ll check courses and details.”

Grandmaster Wong’s response:

I am very glad of your prompt and right decision. You will certainly find the Intensive Chi Kung Course worth many times your effort to learn it.

Apply the same principle, “When there is a will, there is a way”, to all worthy tasks, and you will soon find that your life will be richer and happier by manifold. A worthy task is one that is honorable and brings benefit to yourself or others or both.

Question 8

Sifu Wong mentioned that one should not masturbate too often. How often is too often? Is once a day too much?

— Jussi, USA

Answer

It depends on the age and vitality of the person who wants to masturbate.

The following verse in Chinese (Cantonese) would be a useful guideline:

Ye sap lien lien
Sam sap thien thien

Translated into English it is as follows.

At twenty, continuously
At thirty, every day

It means that at twenty of age a person, male, can have sex continuously, provided, of course, he has a willing partner who preferably enjoys it too. At thirty of age he can have sex everyday.

As masturbation consumes a similar amount of energy as having sex, perhaps with less pleasure and often with a tincture of frustration, a person who wishes to masturbate may use this verse as a guideline, provided he has vitality. If he lacks vitality, masturbating once a week is too much.

It should be note that the above verse is meant to show a person’s vitality in relation to sex, not to show his necessity or even desirability. In other words if a male youth of twenty can have sex continuously, it shows he has vitality. It is not necessary or desirable that he does it.

How does one know whether he has sufficient vitality to perform his chosen task, regardless of whether it is masturbation or meditation? It is simple. If he is twenty and can satisfactorily masturbate or meditate continuously, he has the vitality to accomplish his task, otherwise he lacks the vitality, in which case it is only wise of him to masturbate or meditate less or none at all even when he wants more.

A sure way to have vitality is to practice genuine, high-level chi kung. Nevertheless, when a person, old or young, male or female, has acquired a lot of vitality, he or she will find masturbation uninteresting. That person will find other activities more rewarding.



If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at secretary@shaolin.org stating your name, country and e-mail address.