Tag Archives: chi kung state of mind

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS JULY 2017 PART 2 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans17b/jul17-2.html)

chi kung, qigong

Practicing chi kung will give us good health, vitality and longevity as a matter of course

Question 1

I fear progressing in my practice of chi kung, because I don’t know where I shall be on the way.

— Franz, Russia

Answer

Your fear is not only unnecessary but also unfounded. Just practice your chi kung following the three golden rules of practice, which are not to worry, not to intellectualize, and to enjoy your practice, and you will have good health, vitality and longevity.

The first rule, “not to worry”, means you need not worry whether you are on the way. The second rule, “not to intellectualize”, means you need not intellectualize whether you are on the way, or where the way will lead you to. But I shall still tell you where the way will lead you to. It will lead you to good health, vitality and longevity.

The third rule, “enjoy your practice”, is self-explanatory. If you don’t enjoy your practice, or if you are indifferent to your practice, you are not following the three golden rules.

Why will the way lead you to good health, vitality and longevity? That is because that is the way chi kung is. As an analogy, when you are hungry, eating some food will satisfy your hunger. If you are driving along a road to Moscow, you will eventually reach Moscow.

Why will eating some food satisfy your hunger, or driving along the road to Moscow will enable you to reach Moscow? It is because that is the way eating some food and driving to Moscow is.

If you practice chi kung and don’t have good health, vitality and longevity, it is because of some other factors, like you stop practicing, or you practice wrongly, or what you practice is not genuine chi kung. So, don’t fear practicing genuine chi kung, and stop worrying and intellectualizing. Just enjoy your chi kung practice

Question 2

My mind thinks around trying to understand the experiences of meditation and compare my thinking with life. For the most part, I just can’t. For example, a human is just another animal living on a basis of stimulus-response without having a real choice because there is no one who can make it, and emotions and thoughts arise spontaneously. This makes me depressed. Can you please give me advice?

Answer

The reason you do not think well is that your thinking is wrong. The reason you are depressed is that, regardless of whether your thinking is right or wrong, you do not enjoy your thinking.

Your thinking is wrong because a human is not just another animal. The human is also not living on a basic of stimulus-response. It is also wrong to think that he has no real choice. Fourthly it is wrong to think that no one can make it, i.e. making a choice based on stimulus-response. It is also wrong to think that emotions and thoughts arise spontaneously.

I am quite sure you are a human. So, let us take you as an example. You are not just another animal. No animals, for example, can write an e-mail to me and ask me questions. In fact, you are unique. No other humans, and certainly no other animals, are like you.

You do not live on a basic of stimulus-response. If someone rings a bell, like the case of Pavlov’s dogs for example, you do not necessarily eat the food provided. You have many choices. Regarding the food, you can throw it away, throw it to the provider, go out to buy the type of food you like to eat, and so on.

You also can make it. If food is provided, you can eat it. If for any reason you do not want to eat the food, you also can make it, i.e. you do not eat the food.

Emotions and thoughts may arise in you spontaneously, or they may not. I believe your thoughts of these questions did not arise spontaneously. You made some effort to think of these questions. They did not arise by themselves.

If the ideas you think make you depressed, then don’t think of these ideas. Think of ideas that make you happy.

As a human, it is not difficult to think of happy ideas, irrespective of whether these ideas will become real. It also does not need high intelligence to do so, unless you choose to think of intelligent ideas.

Shaolin arts

The goal of practicing the Shaolin arts in our school is to enrich our life in this phenomenal world

Question 3

Isn’t enlightenment the goal of the Shaolin arts as well?

Answer

Attaining Enlightenment was the goal of the Shaolin arts at the Shaolin Monastery in the past. But in Shaolin Wahnam today, attaining Enlightenment is not the goal of our Shaolin arts. Enlightenment here means perfect transcendentality where there is no differentiation into myriad identities.

The goal of our Shaolin arts is to have good health, vitality, longevity, poak performance and spiritual joys in our phenomenal world. Many of our Shaolin Wahnam members have experiences of spiritual awakening, or a glimpse of Enlightenment, but we are not ready for Enlightenment yet.

Question 4

During standing meditation, when I am not thinking of anything, when I smile from the heart and am physically relaxed as best as I can, I am not actively doing anything but am in the moment. I mean that I am perceiving or noticing things, but in a greater quantity and quality than during normal daily life, which is just like during Vipassana meditation. Then I remember your advice about stopping sitting meditation, and I don’t know if I should do that and let the observation happen, which I feel like practicing Vipassana unintentionally. Can you please give me advice?

Answer

Yes, I can give you advice, and my advice is always based on the interest of the person who asks me for advice.

But whether you, or anybody, follow my advice is your choice and your right. It is also not my business to ensure that you, or anybody else, follow my advice.

My advice for you to stop Vipassana mediation was because it was making you dull and depressed. I also make it very clear that it was not because Vipassana meditation was not good, but because it was not suitable for you at the time when I gave you the advice, and also now when you ask me for more advice. Similsrly, if our chi kung brings you harm instead of benefit, I would also ask you to stop practicing our chi kung.

Vipassana meditation is good for Theravada monks who have renounced family life to cultivate for Enlightenment. If you were in such a situation, when you became a Theravada monk and had renounced family life to cultivate for Enlightenment, though I would not recommend you to do this, Vipassana meditation would be suitable for you.

Our standing meditation and smiling from the heart are different form Vipassana meditation, though some of the benefits may be similar. Practicing our chi kung is also very different from practicing Vipassana meditation, even unintentionally.

Editorial Note: Franz’ other questions can be found in the following issued, July 2017 Part 3, of the Question-Answer Series.

Sinew Metamorphosis

Sinew Metamorphosis

Question 5

Sifu, you said that being free from irrelevant thoughts is a necessary condition for performing chi kung. I have hundreds of thoughts crossing my mind How do I eliminate them?

— Elizabeth, USA

Answer

Yours is a common problem among many people. They complain that they are troubled by hundreds of thoughts in their daily life, specially when they are not performing any specific tasks.

But once they have learned from our school they overcome their problem. You also have done well. In the chi kung session just now, you had a beautiful chi flow. If you had hundreds of thoughts crossing your mind, you would not have any chi flow.

Being free from irrelevant thoughts is a necessary condition for practicing chi kung, and chi flow is the essence. The other condition is to be relaxed. In other words, if a person has hundreds of thoughts crossing his mind, or he is tensed, he would not be practicing chi kung; he practices gentle physical exercise using chi kung techniques.

A sure way to eliminate irrelevant thoughts is to stop each thought as soon as it arises. You may not stop all the thoughts at once; you would need time to do so.

Suppose you have 500 thoughts in 10 minutes. For the first day you succeed in stopping 5 thoughts. So you have 495 thoughts for that day instead of 500.

The second day you do better. You can stop 8 thoughts, leaving you 483 thoughts. But on the third day, for whatever reasons, you do not perform as well. 3 extra thoughts creep into your mind, resulting in you having 486 thoughts.

There may be rise and fall in the number of thoughts in your mind, but generally the trend is that your thoughts become less and less. If you persists doing this every day, in about 3 months you will have eliminate most of your thoughts.

This method is simple, though it needs perseverance. If you want to succeed, you must continue performing this method every day for a few months.

Why, then, many people have many thoughts troubling their mind? There are two reasons. One, they do not know of this method. Two, they do not persist enough. They attempt this method every day for a few days, then stop practicing.

Question 6

Sifu, Sinew Metamorphosis develops tremendous amount of internal force in a very short time. There is also no visualization and no special breathing methods involved. What mechanics are involved to make Sinew Metamorphosis so very powerful?

— Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Austria

Answer

This is an excellent question. In fact, I have been waiting for such a question. Many people have expressed amazement at the tremendous force developed from Sinew Metamorphosis in just a minute or two but so far no one has asked me how.

There are three dimensions in any internal force development, namely form, energy and mind. The division into these three dimension is for easy understanding. Actually all the dimensions are involved in any internal force development, or in any chi kung exercise.

For example, the most basic method of developing internal force is the Horse-Riding Stance or the Three-Circle Stance in Taijiquan today. These stances are usually regarded as the form dimension. But the energy and the mind dimensions are also involved. A practitioner lets his breathing be nautral, which is the energy dimension. His mind is focused at his dan tian or at nothingness, which is the mind dimension. If his breathing is forced, or his mind wandering, his result will be greatly hampered.

To illustrate the operation of these three dimensions in force training, let us take Lifting Water as an example. If we only perform the form of Lifting Water in a relaxed manner we can develop some internal force. This is the form dimension.

If we regulate our breath while performing Lifting Water in a relaxed manner, we can develop more internal force. We breathe in gently through the nose when lifting up our hands, and breathe our gently through the mouth when lowering the hands.

If we are deeply involved in performing Lifting Water, even without regulating our breath, we produce the most internal force. This is the mind dimension. We enter into a chi kung state of mind, or enter Tao in Taijiquan context, or enter Zen in Shaolin context.

Outwardly the mind dimension may appear to be similar to the form dimension. But the difference is that in the form dimension we do not enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind, whereas we do so in the mind dimension.

All this information provides the background which is useful to understand the answer thoroughly. Now is the answer to your question.

A rough estimate of the internal force a practitioner can obtain from the form, energy and mind dimensions is 1, 3 and 6 respectvely. If he works only at the form level, he gets 10% of the internal force; if he works only at the energy level he gets 30%; and at the mind level, 60%.

The internal force generated in Sinew Metamorphosis practiced by us in our school is 100%, which is 10 times more than what others get at the form level. Why is it at 100% and not at 60%? It is because our practice also includes internal force derived at the form level and the energy level, although we do not regulate our breathing nor perform any visualization.

The form level is obvious. In fact, this is what most other students do if they perform Sinew Metamorphosis correctly, and not merely perform the external forms of Sinew Metamorphosis. This was what I did when I practiced Sinew Metamorphosis as a student. I had to perform each exercise 49 times, and there were 12 exercises. It took me about an hour to complete the Sinew Metamorphosis training.

Yet the internal force I developed from my one-hour Sinew Metamorphosis training was just about one-tenth of the internal force our students now develop in performing just 1 exercise 6 times in 5 minutes. It is mind-blowing but true, and of course I am very happy for our students.

Why was my internal force from Sinew Metamorphosis in 1 hour only one-tenth that of our students now in 5 minutes? The reason is that I performed Sinew Metamorphosis at the form level, whereas our students perform Sinew Metamorphosis at the mind level, which includes the form level and the energy level, and which also takes less time.

What mechanics are involved to make Sinew Metamorphosis in our school so very powerful and in such a very short time?

Let us take “Flicking Fingers”, or “Golden Dragons Tap on Ground”, as an example. At the ready position, our fingers are bent to the fullest. Thus, when we flick our fingers, it is not just physical movement though we actually do it, but we channel energy to flow up the 3 hand yang meridians.

These three hand yang meridians activate energy flow along the three leg yang meridians down the whole body to the toes. At the toes, the three leg yang meridians activate the flow of the three leg yin meridians up the leg and into the body, where they activate the three hand yin meridians to flow to the inner side of the arms to continue at the fingers with the three hand yang meridians.

Hence, by just flicking the fingers, without regulating the breath, energy flows through all the twelve primary meridians, completing the phenomenal big universal energy flow. This vigorous energy flow throughout all the twelve primary meridians not only generate a lot of internal force but also give us good health, vitality and longevity.

This phenomenal big universal energy flow is enhanced many times when we are deep in Zen, or a chi kung state of mind. It is a common misconception that one operates at the mind level by visualization. This is not so, as is exhibited in “Flicking fingers” or any of the Sinew Metamorphosis exercises. The deeper a practitioner is in Zen or a chi kung state of mind, the greater is the amount of internal force generated. Sinew Metamorphosis is an excellent example showing that a tremendous amount of internal force is generated without using any visualization or breathing methods.

Chi kung state of mind

Entering into a chi kung state of mind is a necessary condition for practicing chi kung

Question 7

How do we enter into a chi kung state of mind?

— Lucca, Italy

Answer

Like many things in our school, it is easier done than said, whereas to many other people it is easier said than done. All students who have attended our courses can enter into a chi kung state of mind easily, otherwise they cannot perform chi kung; they only perform gentle physical exercise using chi kung techniques.

You too, entered into a chi kung state of mind just now. You had a good chi flow. If you did not enter into a chi kung state of mind, you would be unable to enjoy a chi flow.

Nevertheless, I shall give you an academic answer here. Just do two things, and you shall enter into a chi kung state of mind. Relax and don’t think of anything. If you are relaxed and your mind free of irrelevant thoughts, you will be in a chi kung state of mind.

If you are relaxed and free of irrelevant thoughts long enough, your chi will naturally flow. If you follow the chi flow movement, you will enjoy a good chi flow.

It is worthy of note that entering a chi kung state of mind does not necessary mean you will have a chi flow. One has to be in a chi kung state of mind to have a chi flow, but being in a chi kung state of mind does not necessary mean a chi flow. Similarly, one has to open his moth to eat something, but opening his mouth does not necessary mean he will eat something.

Question 8

If chi kung is so good, why aren’t a lot of people rushing to learn it?

Answer

There are three main reasons. Firstly, chi kung in the past was exclusive. It was a rare opportunity to practice chi kung. Hence, very few people today practice genuine chi kung, and fewer still teach it. We are indeed very fortunate to inherit this rare art from the Shaolin Monastery.

Secondly, most people who practice chi kung today do not have good results. Even many chi kung instructors today take medication on a routine basic, and most of them do not exhibit the kind of vitality chi kung is meant to give.

Why is it that they become chi kung instructors when they themselves do not practice genuine chi kung that gives the results of good health, vitality and longevity? A main reason is that they only learn external chi kung forms. Their techniques are genuine, but they lack the skills to perform their chi kung techniques to generate energy flow to have good health, vitality and longevity. Hence, they teach external chi kung forms without energy flow to their students, and both the instructors and students do not realize this fact.

It is the energy flow that gives good health, vitality and longevity; not the techniques. As an analogy, many people perform genuine Taijiquan techniques, but they lack the skills to use the techniques to develop internal force and to defend themselves.

The third reason is that people do not believe the great benefits of chi kung. This is mainly because of the second reason that what is practiced as chi kung today is mostly gentle physical exercise, and not an energy art. Gentle physical exercise does not enable practitioners to overcome illness, have good health, vitality and longevity. If some practitioners overcome their illness, have good health, vitality and longevity, it is due to other factors, and not due to the gentle physical exercise they practice.

Thus, although chi kung can overcome so-called incurable diseases, most people do not think it is true. Practitioners who practice genuine chi kung daily need not be sick at all, and they have vitality and longevity, but most people do not believe this fact, mainly because they see that others who practice gentle exercise, mistaken as chi kung, are still sick and weak.

It is understandable if they are doubtful of the claims of chi kung, but it is shocking that they do not even take some effort to find out, especially those who suffer from so-called incurable diseases. As I have mentioned many times, that is their problem, not ours. If they wish to learn from us, even when they are skeptical, we shall teach as best as we can, but if they do not believe in what we say, it is not our business to convince them.



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 JANUARY 2017 PART 3 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans17a/jan17-3.html)

Internal force

Sifu Wong Chun Nga breaking a brick with internal force almost 30 years ago when he was only 11 years old

Question 1

At the “Secrets of Internal Force” course at the UK Summer Camp, I took notes that only about 5% of Kung Fu practitioners today were able to develop internal force, while in the past about 70% could. In Shaolin Wahnam we are happy that 100% of our practitioners are able to do so.

— Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Austria

Answer

You are right that very, very few kungfu practitioners today, including masters, have internal force. Most other martial artists do not believe in internal force.

It is simply ridiculous that not only 100% of our practitioners have internal force, but also they make good use of it to enrich their life. This is something even masters in the past could not do. Many well known masters in the past, like the famous Taijiquan master, Yang Deng Fu, and the famous Xingyiquan master, Kuo Yun Sheng, led miserable lives.

I might have forgotten but I can’t remember saying that 70% of kungfu practitioners in the past had internal force. If we take kungfu practitioners in the past in general, not just in the Shaolin Temples, I think less than 30% of them had internal force.

This 30% is a generous estimate. If we consider only kungfu students, leaving masters asides, I believe those with internal force would be less than 10%. Most kungfu styles were (and still are) considered “external”.

Only those who practiced internal styles for a long time, like Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and Baguazhang, had internal force. On the other hand, external kungfu masters who had practiced their arts, like Hoong Ka, Wing Choon, Choy-Li-Fatt, Praying Mantis and Eagle Claw, for a long time might have internal force, usually without their own realization.

Question 2

My question refers to the “70%”. Does this estimation refer to practitioners at the Shaolin Temples only?

Given that my interpretation of the 70% refers to practitioners at the Shaolin Temples is correct, what would be your estimation, in percentage, of successful internal force practitioners outside of the Shaolin temples in the past?

Answer

Yes, if I had said that 70% of kungfu practitioners in the past had internal force, I would be referring to practitioners at the Shaolin Temples only.

Even at the Shaolin Temples, Shaolin Kungfu was often referred to as external, different from the flowing force, for example, of practitioners practicing Taijiquan at the Chen Village. Even the Shaolin monks used “external” methods, like hitting sandbags and carrying water, when they had internal force.

Apart from the Shaolin Temples at Henan, Quanzhou and on the Nine-Lotus Mountain, my estimate of kungfu practitioners in the past with internal force is less than 30%. The situation today is worse. Less than 5% of kungfu practitioners now have internal force.

Shaolin Kungfu

Shaolin Kungfu, usually considered external by most people, is practiced as an internal art in our school

Question 3

Also, from what I learned from you, I would say that even practitioners who had the rare chance of learning from an internal master would only be taught internal methods after showing their worth by years of external training first.

After learning the methods many still could not produce internal force consistently, because they did not know the secrets and underlying philosophy we have today.

I believe that internal training was always hard to find, be it today or in ancient China.

Answer

Both Northern and Southern Shaolin were (and still are) considered external. We are freaks to practice them as internal arts, which they really are, especially at an advanced level, though our students now could practice them as internal arts right at the beginning.

Indeed, internal training was, and is, very hard to find, today or in classical China. Your siheng, Kai, for example, spent a few years traveling to the East to seek for internal force, but to no avail.

My estimate of practitioners outside the Shaolin Temple in the past, and outside of Shaolin Wahnam now, who had or have internal force is less than 10% in general, which is a generous estimate. Base on my own experience, those with internal force is probably around 3%, and none of them know how to use it consciously to enrich their life. Because of their internal force, these rare masters may be more effective in their work, and more rewarding in their life, but they do not consciously apply it as we do.

We sound boastful, but we are merely stating the truth.

Question 4

Thoughts come to my mind all the time. How do I clear my mind of all thoughts?

— Alexei, Russia

Answer

Just do it.

In other words, if you want to clear your mind of all thoughts, just clear your mind of all thoughts, instead of thinking of how to clear your mind of all thoughts, or why or when or what is it to clear your mind of all thoughts.

The same method is applicable in daily life, which will make life more pleasant for you.

For example, if you want to find a new job, go for a holiday, or buy a present for your wife, just do it, i.e. find a new job, go for a holiday, or buy a present for your wife.

Instead of just doing what they want to do, many people intellectualize, and make themselves stressful. They intellectualise, for example, why they should find a new job, where they should go for a holiday, and how they should buy a present for their wife. They may intellectualize for a long time, but never get to do what they want to do.

In principle it is like standing up from the chair you are sitting on. Just do it. Just stand up. But instead of just doing it, i.e. just standing up, you start to intellectualize why you should stand up, how you can stand up, and whether you should stand up or remain sitting on the chair.

chi kung

Students in our school are able to generate a chi flow on the very first day of their learning chi kung from us

Question 5

Why do many chi kung practitioners not have any chi flow despite practicing chi kung for many years, whereas we have a chi flow on the very first day we learn chi kung?

— June, Singapore

Answer

There are a few ways to answer this question, though all these different ways eventually refer to the same truth.

Many chi kung practitioners do not have any chi flow despite practicing chi kung for many years, whereas you have a chi flow on the very first day you learn chi kung because the many practitioners do not have the skills to generate a chi flow although they use correct or even the same techniques, but you can generate a chi flow on the very first day because you have the necessary skills.

Suppose a wealthy person gives a car to people who do not have the skills of driving. Although they may have the car for many years, they still cannot drive it. But if you have the skills of driving, you can drive the car on the very first day it is given to you.

Another way to answer the question is that many chi kung practitioners do not realise that they need special skills to generate a chi flow. They may not even know what a chi flow is. They think, wrongly, that if they perform chi kung techniques, they will have the benefits of chi kung. It is also not complimentary to them that they they do not realise this fact, that they do not get the benefits of practicing chi kung. Many chi kung practitioners are still weak and sick despite many years of practice.

On the other hand, you know the difference between skills and techniques, as this has been clearly explained to you. You also know that chi flow is the essence of chi kung, and that it is chi flow that gives the benefits of chi kung, not the chi kung techniques. In other words, even when practitioners practice chi kung techniques correctly, but do not experience any chi flow, they will not have chi kung benefits like overcoming pain and illness, and enjoying good health and vitality.

Most importantly, besides the important knowledge, you are transmitted the skills from heart to heart at the course so that you can use the skills to perform the techniques to generate a chi flow on the very first day you learn chi kung. Once the skills are transmitted to you, especially when you practice these skills during the course, they are yours, and you can use the skills to generate a chi flow when you perform chi kung techniques.

A third way to answer the question is that you entered into a chi kung state of mind, and performed chi kung in a chi kung state of mind. Hence, even on the very first day you learned chi kung, you could generate a chi flow. Other practitioners do not know how to enter into a chi kung state of mind, and do not perform their chi kung techniques in a chi kung state of mind. They may not even know what the term is. Hence, they may have practiced chi kung techniques for many years, but still are unable to generate a chi flow.

All these are different ways to answer the same question. Having the necessary chi kung stills, differentiating between techniques and skills, and entering into a chi kung state of mind, refer to the same situation — the situation of generating a chi flow on the very first day you learn chi kung, or the situation of other practitioners not generating a chi flow despite having practicing chi kung for many years. Strictly speaking, these other practitioners do not practice chi kung; they merely perform chi kung forms, in the same way that many Taiji practitioners today do not practice Taijiquan, which is an internal, martial art; they merely perform external Taiji forms.

Although my explanation is clear, the uninitiated may not understand what I have explained although they may know the dictionary meaning of all the words used. They do not understand that it is necessary to have the right skills to generate a chi flow, that chi flow is the essence of chi kung, the difference between skills and techniques, and entering into a chi kung state of mind.

Despite my explanation, they still think that all they need to do is to practice chi kung techniques correctly and diligently, and eventually they will have the benefits of chi kung. Less than 20% of them if they practice for many years may eventually acquire the necessary skills and enjoy the benefits of chi kung, but usually they are unaware of the skills. The great majority merely practice chi kung forms.

Question 6

What can we do when we loose trust in someone or someone looses trust in us? Irrespective of who is wrong or has a wrong perception. I have had two occasions now where this is an issue for me.

— Binia, Switzerland

Answer

Different people may react differently when they loose trust in someone or when someone looses trust in them. Many people will feel angry because they only see things their way, and presume the other party is wrong. The other party will also feel angry and presume these people are wrong.

If these people are weaker, in ability or status, they feel disappointed or dejected. Sometimes they rebel.

Often, both sides are right, but they see things from different perspective. The failure to understand and appreciate this fact leads to quarrels and fights, including amongst nations with much destruction.

We in Shaolin Wahnam see the issue the Shaolin Wahnam way. We realize that the same issue can be viewed from different perspective, and not that any side is right or wrong. We are able to differentiate opinions from facts, and realize that often opinions are more important.

Let us take an example. .Suppose a student thinks Boxing is more effective for combat than Shaolin Kungfu, This is his opinion.

It is not a fact that Boxing is more effective in combat than Shaolin Kungfu, although in his particular case at this particular time, if he uses Boxing he is more effective in combat than if he uses Shaolin Kungfu. But the fact is different for me. I am more effective in combat when I use Shaolin Kungfu than when I use Boxing.

With this understanding, I shall explain to him.that at present his Boxing is better than his Shaolin Kungfu because he has not practiced sufficiently to be skillful in Shaolin Kungfu. More importantly I shall explain to him the fact, not an opinion, that practicing Shaolin Kungfu the way we do in our school contributes to his good health, vitality, longevity and daily peak performance, whereas practicing Boxing would not. But if he persists in thinking that Boxing is better, I would not want to waste my time and would ask him to leave my class for his own benefit, and wish him well, as he does not have trust in my teaching.

Xingyiquan, Hsing Yi Chuan

Many kungfu practitioners find Boxing more effective for combat, but we in Shaolin Wahnam find kungfu more effective

Question 7

Trying to solve the problem with having a good conversation was somehow also no more possible. I tried to practice “forgiveness” as you suggested to me in another matter and indeed this helped me a lot beyond my imagination. But somehow here with forgiveness I don’t seem to find the path. I would very much appreciate if you would share some of your wisdom with me.

Answer

Being able to forgive contribute to good health. The one who beneifts the most is the person who forgives, not the one forgiven. I have discovered from my many years of experience in healing that holding grudges insidiously leads to serious illness. Once a person can forgive, he (or she) lets go of the grudges, and allows chi flow to overcome the illness.

Forgiving and finding a solution to a problem are two different issues. Forgiving enables you to be calm and clear, and therefore you are in a better position to find a solution to your problem. But you still have to find a solution.

The Zen course you took some time ago gives you very useful tools to solve problems. Firstly, clear your mind of all thoughts. With mental clarity, you can effectively define your problem. Many people are constantly burdened with problems not because there are no solutions, but often without their own awareness, they do not know what their problems are.

Once, you have defined your problem, solutions often offer themselves readily. Choose the solution that is simple, direct and effective.

Question 8

How do I handle the problem of trust regarding my parents and myself?

Answer

Handling the problem of gaining trust in your parents or your parents having trust is you is quite different from the example I gave earlier though the main principles are the same. The main principles are to differentiate opinions from facts, and to realize that different people have different opinions.

There are two main differences. In the example, being his teacher I am in a superior position. Secondly I do not have to waste time on a student who has no trust in my teaching; I prefer teaching other deserving students.

In your case, your parents are in a superior position. Secondly, you have only one father and one mother. You need to have trust in them and have to win their trust in you.

Having trust in your parents is easy. Just realize that they protected you and brought you up from a time when you were totally helpless to now when you are independent. Now you may (or may not) be better educated than them and earn more money than they did, but this should not negate your trust in them.

Winning trust in ones parents is also not difficult, though many young people today lack this skill as well as are ignorant of some facts.

First the facts. It is a fact, not an opinion, that parents are superior in status to children. A person may become the president of a country, but his parents are still his parents.

It is also a fact that there is a generation gap which results in difference of opinions. Many parents, for example, are not in favour of sex before marriage, but many young people today think that sex before marriage is a norm. Please note that here having sex before marriage is a fact, considering it undesirable or normal is an opinion.

We should be grateful to our parents. The third point is actually an opinion, but it has become so established and has been taught by so many great teachers that it has been considered as a fact by many people. The Buddha, known for his immense wisdom irrespective of one’s religion, has taught that even if a person carries his invalid father or mother on his shoulders everyday for 50 years of his life, and does this for 500 lifetimes, he still has not repaid the debt he owes to his parents.

Of course, another person may have a different opinion. He may think that it is stupid to respect ones parents. He may step on his parents or spit on them.

Irrespective of whether it is a fact or an opinion, it is good to respect ones parents, and evil to disrespect them. Good is whatever that brings benefit, and evil is whatever that brings harm. One who disrespect his parents will result in harm — to himself, to his parents or to other people. Realizing this fact, i.e. it is good to respect one’s parents, will make it easier to accept their different opinions.

But winning trust in ones parents is not just accepting their different opinions. More importantly, it is spending time with them and be kind to them. Parents actually do not care whether their children are wealthy or famous — a misconception that many young people have — but they do care that their children spend time with them and are kind to them.



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 APRIL 2016 PART 1 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans16a/apr16-1.html)

chi kung state of mind

Entering into a chi kung state of mind

Question 1

You have often said that some of the most important lessons and skills we learn in our school are taught right at the beginning.

— Sifu Tim Franklin, United Kingdoms

Answer

You are perfectly right. While many masters teach their best arts to their selected students after the students have spent many years with them, we teach every student the best arts right at the beginning. I remember clearly what my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, told me when he taught me One-finger Shooting Zen. He said, “One-Finger Zen and Tiger-Claw are two of the most advanced arts in Shaolin. They are taught to students right at the start in our school so that they can train everyday and have sufficient time to master them.” One-Finger Zen is used in “dim-mark” and “Tiger-Claw in “chin-na”, and both are found in One-finger Shooting Zen.

The very first arts we teach in any chi kung, Shaolin or Taijiquan class, and also we use to start subsequent classes, are entering into a chi kung state of mind, entering Zen or entering Tao. Without entering into a chi kung state of mind or entering Tao, a person cannot perform genuine chi kung or genuine Taijiquan, even when he uses genuine chi kung or Taijiquan techniques. He merely performs gentle physical exercise or Taiji dance.

One may be able to perform genuine kungfu without entering Zen, but his performance remains at a physical and low level. Only by entering Zen can he develop internal force and brings his Shaolin performance to a high level.

Question 2

Sometimes these important lessons can be missed by some as they eagerly pursue other “more interesting” aspects of our arts. This, in our opinion, would be a mistake as the beginning teachings are not only really interesting, but also help build a strong foundation, to fully appreciate and develop the skills required for deeper practices and benefits.

Answer

More likely today is that these important first lessons are not even taught at all. Most chi kung, Shaolin and Taijiquan teachers are unaware of these important lessons.

A very small percentage of these teachers, less than 5% of the total number of people who practice chi kung, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan, may eventually become real masters after many years of dedicated training, and have high levels of chi kung, Shaolin and Taijiquan attainments, but they are still unaware that they could reach high levels of attainment because, without their conscious knowing, they had entered a chi kung state of mind, entered Zen or entered Tao during thair training.

More likely, some students chase after novelties, like tingling sensations at their finger tips in chi kung, winning trophies in Shaolin competitions, and learning exotic sets in Taijiquan. They have forgotten the aims of practicing their arts, like enjoying good health in chi kung practice, and being able to use their arts for combat in Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan. Realizing these aims as well as other wonderful benefits are only possible if they have practiced well the initial lessons.

Ever victorious strategy

The ever-victorious strategy

Question 3

The aims of the 2016 UK Summer camp are to ensure students/teachers not only develop these skills but also realise them as well, for if they don’t they would have missed a wonderful opportunity to experience life as a meaningful flow of energy.

Answer

It is telling that you make a difference between realizing these skills and developing them. Most practitioners neither realize the great importance of these basic skills nor develop them.

Some may realize the importance of these skills, but never develop them. They know, for example, that they have to be relaxed and not thinking of anything in order to generate an energy flow, but they never succeed in generating an energy flow.

On the other hand, some may have developed their skills, but they never realize what these skills are. They may have developed internal force through years of dedicated training, for example, but they never realize that they need to be in a Zen or Tao state of mind for the internal force development. Many chi kung and kungfu practitioners have missed the wonderful opportunity to experience life as a meaningful flow of energy. Indeed, many of them may not really understand what the expression means although they know the dictionary meaning of all the words used.

Those who realize its meaning and experience life as a meaningful flow of energy will have good health, vitality and longevity besides other benefits. But many who practice chi kung are weak and sick, and many who practiced Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan are stressful and injured, though the arts they practice are supposed to enhance their flow of energy.

Question 4

We have already discussed the aims of the 5 day Foundations of Kung Fu course, for which we are very much looking forward to.

Answer

It is beneficial to elaborate on the benefits of the kungfu course at the coming UK Summer Camp.

I have often mentioned an ever-victorious strategy against other kungfu styles or other martial arts, which is to apply a combat sequence relentlessly but taking great care of our own safety, against an opponent in free sparring.

Though I used this strategy in my own free sparring in my younger days and remained undefeated, it will be the first time I teach instructors and students in our school to put this philosophy into practice at the kungfu course during the coming UK Summer Camp.

Barry suggested that I devised 4 combat sequences, and course participants would choose one. I have done that and shall post the 4 combat sequences on my website later on for participants to choose.

If we apply any one of the 4 combat sequences flowingly and forcefully, our opponents would have no chance to fight back. They would be overwhelmed by our flow and force. Even if they could match our flow and force, they have no techniques in their repertoire to defend against our pressing attack. they will be pressed back against a wall.

However, if an opponent is very skillful, he may escape our pressing attack, and counter attack with typical techniques from his art. We shall learn to counter these typical techniques and continue to press him back against a wall.

While attaining this specific objective of winning free sparring, which will make our kungfu training meaningful, we shall also place much focus on our general aims of attaining good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.

To most other martial artists, to attain good health, which includes being free from stress and injuries, is antagonistic to free sparring. Many other martial artists are stressful and injured in free sparring. But we are elite. Not only we will be relaxed, but we learn to be unhurt in free sparring.

The course will even attain more than this, Not only we shall be relaxed and unhurt in free sparring, the free sparring will contribute to our good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys! It is hard for others to believe, even to comprehend. One has to experience the course to find out.

Five-Animal Play

Five-Animal Play in Barcelona

Question 5

We would also like to explore and share with you our understanding of the foundations of Chi Kung, our ideas for a series of Chi Kung courses and how this fits in with the Kung Fu.

Referring back to your Q&A in 1998 regarding intensive courses we understand the foundation skills of Chi Kung can be narrowed to two things:

  1. Circulating energy

  2. Building Energy

We had a chat about how people could use these skills and agreed that someone would need to be able to do the following:

  1. Enter a Chi Kung state of mind

  2. Maintain a Chi Kung state of mind

  3. Generate a smooth flow of energy

  4. Maintain a smooth flow of energy

  5. Apply a smooth flow of energy

All of these skills are on a continuum. Some students are more skillful than others. We think at the highest level a master would be able to do these things under any circumstances in their:

  1. chi kung practice

  2. kung fu practice

  3. sparring under pressure

  4. fighting for real

  5. any aspect of their daily life, whatever the outside pressures.

The foundations can be taken and used at any level. Shaolin Wahnam students can aspire to the highest levels, if they realise that’s what they can aim for.

Answer

Your description is excellent. It clearly describes in a systematic manner what we do in our school, which you have nicely summed as circulating energy and building energy. Indeed, these are the two aspects of any genuine chi kung training, described in Chinese as “xing qi” and “yang qi”, which literally means “circulate energy” and “nourish energy”.

I am glad that all our instructors and students can circulate and nourish energy in their chi kung and kungfu practice, most can do so in sparring under pressure. Real fighting is, fortunately, rare in our modern societies, but I believe many of our instructors and students can do so. I also believe that they can circulate and nourish energy in their daily life where they are under pressure. In other words, due to their training in our school, they can remain relaxed and be able to think and react accordingly even in difficult situations.

If you like, we may create simulated situations during our chi kung courses at the UK Summer Camp for our students to apply their chi kung training in difficult situations. You may, for example, suddenly rush into the training hall and announce that there is a fire to see how our students react. It is best that such simulated situations are to be created when I am not in the hall.

Question 6

I am nervous and stressful. I find it hard to relax. How do I enter into a chi kung state of mind?

— Koncha, Spain

Editorial Note: Asked in class by a beginning student in Grandmaster Wong’s basic Five-Animal Play course.

Answer

Just follow my instructions as best as you comfortably can. In half an hour’s time you will find you are able to relax. By the end of the course today, you will be able to relax easily.

This is a practical answer, and the best answer. You can assess whether what I say is true in half an hour, and again by the end of the course. You don’t have to wait for three months to find out.

(Editorial Note: in half an hour after the practice session, Koncha found out from her own experience she could relax. By the end of the course she found out she could relax easily._

But I shall also give you an academic answer, which some people like to hear but is not as useful as the practical answer.

Your problem of not being able to relax is very common. In my early years of teaching, many people who first learned from me told me the same problem. Gradually less and less people told me this problem. Now very few people mention this problem.

If you don’t do anything, you will be relaxed physically and mentally. In practical terms, if you do not tense your muscles, you will be able to relax physically. If you do not intellectualise, you will be able to relax mentally.

Most people cannot relax because they close their mouth and tense their muscles, usually unknowingly. They have been so conditioned to closing their mouth and tensing their muscles that they do not consciously realise it. They are stressful because myriad thoughts come to their head. Again, they have been so conditioned to having countless thoughts that they are no conscious of it.

They also do not know, although it is actually quite simple but may not be easy to those who are habitually tensed and stressful, that if they make an effort not to tense their muscles and not to think of any thoughts, they can relax. Not doing something is simpler than doing something. Not tensing their muscles and not thinking of anything is simpler than tensing their muscles and thinking of something.

perfect kungfu form

Having picture-perfect form is important in kungfu

Question 7

Can we have a shower before or after our practice?

— Camilia, Spain

Answer

Yes, we can.

Our art is powerful, so we can enjoy such privileges. Other practitioners may not have such privileges. They have to wait for half an hour before or after a practice session before taking a shower.

In the same way, if we made some mistakes during our practice, we don’t have to worry. Our chi flow will erase whatever harm the mistakes might have caused. Other practitioners do not have this privilege. If they made some mistakes, the harm would remain as they did not have any chi flow to flush away the harm.

In my book, “Chi Kung for Health and Vitality”, I mentioned 10 do’s and 10 don’ts. One of the don’ts is not to have a shower immediately before or after we practice. This book as well as the do’s and don’ts mentioned in it, are meant for readers who do not have an opportunity to learn from me personally. Their result learning from a book, even when they have practiced perfectly, is far less than those who learn from me personally. Hence, for them, they have to wait for at least half and hour before and after practice for a shower.

Moreover, the book was written about 20 years ago at a time when my teaching was not as high level as it is now. Now students learning personally from me have more powerful result, and enjoy the privilege of having a shower immediately before or after a practice.

Question 8

Why is it important for us to perform the form correctly in a kungfu set?

— Omar. United Kingdom

Answer

It is important to perform the form of a kungfu set, like San Feng Wudang Set, correctly necause the success of its combat application depends on its correct form. If the form of a kungfu pattern is not correct, not only it looses its combat effectiveness, it may also offer opportunities for opponents to counter-attack.

Let us take a simple example. An opponent executes a middle thrust punch, like Black Tiger Steals Heart. An exponent responds with Shift Horse Ask Way from the San Feng Wudang Set. This response is excellent when the form is performed correctly. It minimizes the opponent’s force, and places the exponent in a favourable position to counter-attack without little opening for the opponent.

However, if the form is incorrect, not only the same response does not give the exponents these advantages, but also it offers the opponent opportunities to defeat the exponent. If the exponent does not rotate his waist, for example, he will not be able to minimize the opponent’s force. If he does not sink back in his stance, he may too close for the opponent’s attack. If he does not position his legs correctly, he exposes his groin for the opponent to attack. If he leans backward or foreard, his balance is unfavourable for him.

The wrong form places the exponent in an awkward position. Even if the opponent may not be successful in his initial attack, the awkward position of the exponent makes it easy for the opponent to continue, and makes it difficult for the exponent to respond.

Hence, picture-perfect form is very important in kungfu, even for beginners. If beginners have their form correct right at the start, they don’t have to spend much time and effort relearning it later on.

However, you may notice that I am not particular about form for beginners in chi kung. In fact, for beginners if their form is not perfect, though not incorrect, I usually ignore it. The main reason, for ignoring minor mistakes as well as for not particular on picture-perfect form, is that I want beginning students to get on to energy flow as fast as possible.

If I pay too much attention to picture-perfect form, beginning students will be unduly worried about their form, get out from the chi kung state of mind which if often induce, and perform the chi kung technique as gentle physical exercise. Even with imperfect form, so long as the students relax and do not intellectualize, they can generate an energy flow.

As students progress, we pay more attention on form. When students have reached an advanced level, they could have picture-perfect form. Hence, I often mention in class when teaching a new technique that beginning students need not worry about details but just get the general picture right, whereas advanced practitioners can focus on finer points, like picture-perfect form.

However, we have come full-circle. We have become so cost-effective that sometimes I tell advanced practitioners to purposely get their form wrong, to tense their muscles , or to intellectualize sometimes so that they may not have too powerful result from their practice to prevent over-training! This is a big job to other people.

Nevertheless, instructors whether in chi kung or kungfu, whether they teach beginners or advanced students, must have picture-perfect form. It is because they are models for their students to follow when practicing any kungfu or chi kung techniques.



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 AUGUST 2016 PART 1 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans16b/aug16-1.html)

Wing Choon Kungfu

Grandmaster has often said that he remained unbeaten in his early days not because he was combat efficient but because he was smart; he spent a lot of time preparing for his upcoming free sparring

Question 1

Sigung, you were unbeaten in sparring in your young days. Can you please share your secret with us?

— Peter, Ireland

Answer

I used to say “in my young days”, but Douglas, my most senior student in Europe, reminded me at the time when I was about 50 that I was still young, so I have changed the expression to “my younger days”. Even now when I am over 70 and still feel young, I use the expression “in my younger days”.

In my younger days, especially between about 20 to 40 years of age, I spent a lot of time looking for sparring partners. At first I could beat them not because I was good but because I was smart. I chose opponents whom I had confidence of beating.

I made my victory doubly sure by doing a lot of homework, i.e. by practicing over and over again sequences which I used in the sparring. I devised the sequences from the way I expected my opponents would fight. This was not difficult because most of my opponents then were Taekwondo and Karate exponents, with some Boxing and Judo practitioners, and the way they fought was quite stereotyped.

For example, if I had to spar with a Taekwondo black-belt, I knew that he would probably start with some jabbing or side kicks, then round-house kicks, and eventually reverse round-house. So I would avoid his initial jabbing and side kicks, slant my body backward to avoid his round-house kicks, and when he executed a reverse round-house I would swiftly move forward with a coup de grace. I would practice this sequence many, many times, sometimes with modifications. When the actual situation occured during sparring, and this planned scenario almost always happened, I could use my practiced sequence to defeat my opponent easily. I always gently tapped my opponents; I never hurt them.

Having learnt from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, my combat efficiency, including my internal force, improved tremendously. But initially I still used the same strategy. I chose sparring opponents whom I had confidence in beating, and I did a lot of homework. But gradually I did not have to do much homework as I could respond spontaneously and correctly to opponents’ attacks. As I became confident of my combat efficiency, I did not go out to look for sparring opponents.

I always used kungfu, including good stances, in my sparring. I never used Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai or any other martial arts, although I sparred with opponents from all styles. The difference was that in my earlier years of sparring I used simple punches and kicks, whereas in my later years my techniques were more sophisticated, like felling and chin-na. I discovered that when I used sophisticated kungfu techniques, my opponents just did not know how to defend against them.

So, if I have to give a secret for my unbeaten sparring record, I would say that I used a superior fighting art against opponents whose fighting arts were inferior to mine. Presuming that the skill levels were about equal, if I used simple punches and kicks, my opponents would have no difficulty defending against them. But if I used sophisticated techniques, like subtle felling and chin-na attacks, together with tactics and strategies that created situations for me to apply these attacks, my opponents had no techniques in their repertoire to defend.

Question 2

What are the effects of over-training?

— Sascha, Switzerland

Answer

For convenience, over-training may be divided into three stages.

At the most serious level, a practitioner who has over-trained becomes very weak and sick, or may even die. It is unlikely that practitioners who have over-trained will arrive at this serious stage, certainly not in our school.

But in my younger days, before I started Shaolin Wahnam Institute, I met a well-known kungfu master, who was a daughter-in-law of a kungfu patriarch, who either had over-trained or had practiced wrongly. As I knew him previously he was strong and full of vitality. When I last saw him, he was extremely weak and sickly. I regretted that I did not know chi kung healing them, or else I would have helped him recover.

The intermediate stage of over-training was when over-cleansing was clearly noticeable. Over-cleansing is the result of over-training, but practitioners are often confused over both these conditions. The symptoms are pain, tiredness, sleepiness and feeling of nauseousness. The practitioner who has over-trained feels unpleasant and uncomfortable, and is sometimes sick.

At the beginning stage of over-training, the practitioner feels tired and sleepy after his chi kung training, instead of feeling energised and fresh. The symptoms of cleansing are mild and may not be noticeable. Many practitioners over-train mildly at one time or another, and he will soon adjust to the excess energy from his training even without doing anything special.

Horse-Riding Stance

What a typical Shaolin Wahnam student achieves in one day, it took Grandmaster Wong more than a month to achieve in his student’s days. Hence, it is important to guard against over-training.

Question 3

In a chi kung class, people had different diseases but they overcame their diseases by practicing the same exercises you taught. How did chi kung know which disease to cure?

— Roberto, Spain

Answer

In the chi kung perspective, which is also the traditional Chinese medical perspective, all diseases are caused by energy blockage. Western medical perspective uses different names for the different types of energy blockage.

In Western terms, if energy is blocked from inhibiting harmful micro-organisms from attacking a person, he is said to suffer from an infectious disease. If energy is blocked from working an organ normally, the patient is said to suffer from an organic disorder. If energy is blocked from flushing out negative emotions, he is said to suffer from psychological problems.

Chi kung works at the root cause, which is energy blockage. Other Chinese therapeutic methods, like herbalism and acupuncture, which also deal with energy blockage, work at higher hierarchical order. An acupuncturist or a herbalist will find out where the energy is blocked, and applies acupuncture or herbs to clear the blockage accordingly. Hence, in other Chinese therapeutic methods, correct diagnosis is very important.

It may sound ridiculous to those not familiar with chi kung philosophy that diagnosis is not necessary in chi kung healing! This is because chi kung deals with the root cause. Once the energy blockage is cleared, the patient recovers as a matter of course.

Different students in a same class might suffer from different diseases, like rheumatism, diabetes, cancer, chronic infection, and depression. But regardless of what the disease was, the root cause was energy blockage. Once the energy blockage was cleared, the patients recovered.

How did practicing chi kung clear energy blockage? It was through chi flow. The chi flow generated by chi kung practice cleared the energy blockage.

How did the chi flow know where the energy blockage was? Or, how did chi kung know which disease to cure?

It was a natural characteristic of chi flow to flow from high energy level to low energy level. Disease areas were areas of low energy level where there was insufficient energy to perform natural physiological and psychological functions to maintain normal good health. The energy generated by practicing genuine chi kung would naturally flow to these low energy areas to clear the blockage. When the blockage was cleared, the students would recover, regardless of what diseases Western medicine might call them, as their energy flowed to these areas to resume natural physiological and psychological functioning to restore good health.

Question 4

Can we transmit chi to friends to clear their blockage and help them recover?

Answer

You can but you may not. In other words, it is within your ability to do it, but you should not do it. In fact, every person has the natural ability to transmit chi, or energy, to another person. Mothers do this to their babies when the mothers comfort them. When your girlfriend is cold, if you hug her you transmit chi to her to warm her.

But unless you are trained, the chi you transmit to friends to help them clear their blockage is unlikely to work. You may harm them and harm yourself.

If your friends’ energy is blocked, which is the reason why they are sick, adding more chi to them will aggravate their blockage causing more harm. Their sick chi may back-flow to you making you sick too.

Transmitting chi to patients to clear their blockage and help them recover is an important part of chi kung healing. A chi kung healer must be properly trained. Chi kung healing is not something any person can play about with.

chi kung, qigong

Many people may find it hard to believe, but practicing high-level chi kung can overcome any illness

Question 5

Some schools pay much attention to visualisation. Can you please tell us more about visualisation in chi kung training?

— Dimitry, Switzerland

Answer

Chi kung operates at three levels — the levels of form, energy and mind. The proportions of benefit by practicing chi kung at these three respective levels are 1, 3 and 6. In other words, if all other things were equal,. practitioners operating at the form level may obtain 10% of the benefit of the chi kung training, those operating at the energy level obtain 30%, and those operating at the mind level obtain 60%.

As most chi kung practitioners practicing genuine chi kung operate at the form level, where they perform many chi kung techniques for a long time and get some chi flow, whereas we practice chi kung at all the three levels of form, energy and mind, our benefit is 10 times more than what most other practitioners get.

A common misconception among some people is that when a practitioner operates at the mind level, he has to visualise. This is not true. Operating at the mind level, the practitioner may or may not visualise, but he must be in a chi kung state of mind, or at a heightened level of consciousness.

Many practitioners, especially those who learn from books and videos, confuse visualisation with intellectualisation. They think they visualise when they actually intellectualise.

Even if they visualise, it is still different from visualisation in the mind level of chi kung. These practitioners visualise while in their ordinary state of mind, whereas visualisation in chi kung must be performed in a chi kung state of mind. It is actually having a gentle thought rather than visualisation.

We do not need to employ visualisation at the elementary level of our chi kung exercises, but we still operate at the level of mind (even without visualization). Hence, our students get more benefits practicing our elementary chi kung exercises than other practitioners practicing advanced exercises. Many people may not believe it, and some may become angry at this statement, but it is a fact. Some examples of our elementary chi kung exercises are 5-Animal Play, 18 Jewels, and 18 Lohan Hands.

We use visualisation for some of our intermediate chi kung exercises, and do not use visualisations for other intermediate chi kung exercises. Some example of our intermediate chi kung exercises where visualisation is needed are Cosmic Shower and Abdominal Breathing, and some examples where visualisation is not needed are stance training and 18-Lohan Art.

We generally use visualisation in our advanced chi kung exercises, though they are some exceptions. Two remarkable exception are Sinew Metamorphosis and Cosmic Breathing which are very powerful. Examples of advanced exercises where visualization is needed include Bone Marrow Cleansing and Expanding into the Cosmos.

Question 6

What, in your opinion, will Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiuan be in a hundred years from now?

Answer

In my opinion in a hundred years from now more people will practice genuine Shaolin Kungfu and genuine Taijiquan, instead of practicing Shaolin forms for demonstration or for free exchange of blows, and Taiji dance. The total number of people who practice the genuine arts will still be small, but it will be bigger than the number now where most people, despite their good intention, cannot differentiate the genuine from the bogus.

Genuine Shaolin Kungfu and genuine Taijiquan give practitioners wonderful benefits. Besides being able to defend themselves when needed, these genuine arts provide practitioners with good health, vitality and longevity, as well as mental clarity and spiritual joys. Masters who teach bogus Shaolin Kungfu and bogus Taijiquan also say that their arts give good health, vitality and longevity as well as mental clarity and spiritual joys, but their students never attain these benefits, and they don’t realize it. By the time they realise this fact, they are too proud to change to genuine arts even if they have the opportunities, but usually they may not have the opportunities as genuine Shaolin Kungfu and genuine Taijiquan are very rare nowadays.

It is precisely to preserve genuine Shaolin Kungfu, and later genuine Taijiquan, that I established Shaolin Wahnam Association in the early 1980s, which later evolved to our school, Shaolin Wahnam Institute, in the middle 1990s. We have progressed very well. We now have more than 60,000 students spread over more than 35 countries in the world. Even if I were to retire tomorrow, our Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan as well as chi kung will continue to spread as we have very good instructors.

It is legitimate to ask what justification we have to claim that our Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan are genuine. The benefits our students get correspond exactly with what genuine Shaolin Kungfu and genuine Taijiquan will give. Besides being able to defend ourselves using our arts, our students have good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.

Internal Force

Internal force is not only used for combat; more importantly it is used to enrich our daily life

Question 7

What is the difference between chi kung and nei gong?

Answer

Chi kung means “energy art”, and nei gong means “internal art”. In this case, “chi kung” is in English spelling, and “nei gong” is in Romanced Chinese spelling.

In Romanized Chinese spelling, chi kung is “qi gong”, and in English spelling hei gong is “nei kung”. Because we are used to English spelling, we may think that Romanize Chinese spelling is funny. Actually it is English spelling that is funny. “Bus”, for example, is pronounced as /bas/, not /bus/, and “phone” is pronounced as /fon/, not /phone/.

The two terms, “chi kung” and “nei gong”, can be used interchangeably, i.e. they have similar meaning though the connotation may be different. Chi kung is a modern term, nei gong is more classical.

For example, 18 Lohan Hands and Sinew Metamorphosis can be called chi kung or nei gong. Calling some exercises as chi kung gives a connotation that they are modern and are practiced to maintain some general well-being. Calling them as nei gong gives a connotation that they are classical inheritance practiced for martial art purposes.

In this connection, most of our chi kung exercises are more aptly described as nei gong than as chi kung, especially when chi kung has today degraded into gentle physical exercise, or “ti cao” (pronounced as t’i c’ao) which is bodily exercise. But we still call them chi kung exercises because the term “chi kung” has been established.

Question 8

We develop a lot of internal force in our chi kung or nei gong exercises. What are we to do with the internal force?

Answer

It is like asking what we are to do with money when we have earned a lot of money. Use it, force or money, wisely.

There are three main functions we can put internal force to use:

  • To maintain life.

  • To enhance life.

  • To enable us to have better results no matter what we do.

Maintaining life is the most important function of internal force. It is also the function that many people with internal force, including genuine masters, fail to realize. The force that changes the breakfast you ate into blood and flesh as well as vital energy is internal force.

The second function of internal force is to enhance life. It is similar to but not the same as the first function. Enhancing life can be manifested in many ways. Having zest in your work and joy in spending time with your family are some of the manifestations of enhancing life.

The third function is to enable those with internal force to have better results than when they did not have internal force, in whatever they do, including martial arts, intellectual work, sports and playing games. Take a few seconds to reflect on this tremendous benefit. No matter what you do, because you have internal force you will do better than when you did not have internal force!



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.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US TO PERFORM THE FORM CORRECTLY IN A KUNGFU SET?

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans16a/apr16-1.html)

Why is it important for us to perform the form correctly in a kungfu set?

— Omar. United Kingdom

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit:

It is important to perform the form of a kungfu set, like San Feng Wudang Set, correctly because the success of its combat application depends on its correct form. If the form of a kungfu pattern is not correct, not only it looses its combat effectiveness, it may also offer opportunities for opponents to counter-attack.

Let us take a simple example. An opponent executes a middle thrust punch, like Black Tiger Steals Heart. An exponent responds with Shift Horse Ask Way from the San Feng Wudang Set. This response is excellent when the form is performed correctly. It minimizes the opponent’s force, and places the exponent in a favourable position to counter-attack without little opening for the opponent.

However, if the form is incorrect, not only the same response does not give the exponents these advantages, but also it offers the opponent opportunities to defeat the exponent. If the exponent does not rotate his waist, for example, he will not be able to minimize the opponent’s force. If he does not sink back in his stance, he may too close for the opponent’s attack. If he does not position his legs correctly, he exposes his groin for the opponent to attack. If he leans backward or foreard, his balance is unfavourable for him.

The wrong form places the exponent in an awkward position. Even if the opponent may not be successful in his initial attack, the awkward position of the exponent makes it easy for the opponent to continue, and makes it difficult for the exponent to respond.

Hence, picture-perfect form is very important in kungfu, even for beginners. If beginners have their form correct right at the start, they don’t have to spend much time and effort relearning it later on.

However, you may notice that I am not particular about form for beginners in chi kung. In fact, for beginners if their form is not perfect, though not incorrect, I usually ignore it. The main reason, for ignoring minor mistakes as well as for not particular on picture-perfect form, is that I want beginning students to get on to energy flow as fast as possible.

If I pay too much attention to picture-perfect form, beginning students will be unduly worried about their form, get out from the chi kung state of mind which if often induce, and perform the chi kung technique as gentle physical exercise. Even with imperfect form, so long as the students relax and do not intellectualize, they can generate an energy flow.

As students progress, we pay more attention on form. When students have reached an advanced level, they could have picture-perfect form. Hence, I often mention in class when teaching a new technique that beginning students need not worry about details but just get the general picture right, whereas advanced practitioners can focus on finer points, like picture-perfect form.

However, we have come full-circle. We have become so cost-effective that sometimes I tell advanced practitioners to purposely get their form wrong, to tense their muscles , or to intellectualize sometimes so that they may not have too powerful result from their practice to prevent over-training! This is a big job to other people.

Nevertheless, instructors whether in chi kung or kungfu, whether they teach beginners or advanced students, must have picture-perfect form. It is because they are models for their students to follow when practicing any kungfu or chi kung techniques.

SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS JANUARY 2016 PART 3 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans16a/jan16-3.html)

Way of the Master

Many stories described in “The Way of the Master” are incredible but true

Question 1

I have read your book. “The Art of Chi Kung”, over 3 times now, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading “The Way of the Master”.

— Qasim, UK

Answer

Thanks for your kind words for “The Art of Chi Kung”. Many people have kindly commented that it is the best chi kung book they have read. It gives a comprehensive, yet in-depth picture of what chi kung is, as well as what practitioners in the pasts attained in practicing chi kung. Hopefully this book may prevent chi kung from degenerating into mere external forms.

“The Way of the Master” is my autobiography, and has been kindly described by the editor as the real story of a small boy becoming a world legend. Interestingly, it is also the most entertaining book I like to read. Readers will not only have much reading pleasure, but also learn many useful lessons that can enrich their daily life.

Question 2

It a bit sad to see that some form of chi kung is lost, like your teacher Sifu Ho Fatt Nam could jump 10 feet from a standing position. I would love to practice that. Can you do that?

Answer

My sifu did not jump 10 feet from the ground, but his sifu, i.e. my sigung did. I cannot do that, though I have other benefits of the Art of Lightness which my sifu taught me, like running up four storeys fast and without panting, and am flexible and agile at an age most people would consider old, i.e. 70, but I still regard as young.

Although I can run up many storeys and long distances, I prefer to take an elevator or drive a car, or better still be driven by a careful driver. As I have often told my students, we should make use of modern facilities.

It is worthwhile to know that chi kung methods were invented not for fun, but to meet expedient needs. Kungfu masters needed to learn the Art of Lightness to jump high as they were often ambushed by many opponents, and this skill enabled them to escape.

I trained the Art of Lightness in my younger days. After many months of daily training I could jump up to about 5 feet. One morning I fell down and cut my thigh, which resulted in stopping my training.

I discontinued my training not because of the cut, as I learned years ago that greatness lies not in never falling but in rising after every fall. I realized it was not a wise use of time, because now we have elevators and cars. Later my wife commented independently that she would love to see the Art of Lightness. Had I known this earlier, I would have continued my training just to make her smile.

But this does not mean that my training was wasted. One I saved my niece, who was about five years old then, from possible serious injury. She was about to roll down a long flight of stairs. I rushed up to save her before she could roll two steps!

Dim Mak

Dim mak is believed by many people to be an lost art, but we are proud that it is found in our school

Question 3

What is the best form of mediation for calming the mind and raising consciousness?

Answer

The best form of meditation for calming the mind and raising consciousness, or the best form of any art for any purpose depends on various factors, like the philosophy and methodology of the teachers as well as the developmental stage and needs of the students.

For you if you have an opportunity to learn in our school, the best form of meditation is entering into a chi kung state of mind, which we do every time we practice. You may find it hard to believe, and many people may be angry at the statement, but it is true that in just a few seconds you will have a calmer mind and a higher level of consciousness than many others who have spend an hour sitting in a lotus position.

Question 4

I am crying as I write this. I myself suffer from Lyme Disease. My dad cannot keep track of his pills. He could not find his way through an airport. He has Parkinsons and dementia. He puts food all over the floor and cannot figure out how to put on his seatbelt. My dad cannot live without my mom.

Mom is utterly exhausted as a caregiver. Her relationship with dad has degraded so badly, that she resists wanting to try to help him at all anymore. Mom has so many demands on her time in caregiving and running an entire household on her own

— Carole, France

Answer

You dad is in a really bad shape.

It is best that he goes to the Holistic Health Centre straightaway, without having to go for my regional course. It is ideal if you and your dad can have treatment at the Centre.

You should be healed in three months, or perhaps two. But your dad may need six months.

You can help him in the first month, but your help should be progressively less each day so that he could be on his own by the second month. This is definitely for his own good. He must learn how to be on his own, and he can do so everyday in one month.

To be well means, for example, he has to eat his own food, not have someone eat his food for him, and do his own toilet, not have someone do it for him. He has first learn how to live, and then how to wholesomely enjoy living his life, all in six months. He can’t have someone feed him and pamper him for life, even if he has money to employ someone to do so.

Your dad must give your mom a chance to live her life, but still loving to him and be his wife. It is very selfish of your dad to want your mom to be his slave, and it is also very bad for his own life.

Your dad, your mom and you can have all these wonderful things, which are actually normal things, if you all really want them and work for them, not merely hope that they will happen.

Chi Flow

Chi flow can overcome any illness and gives practitioners good health, vitality and longevity

Question 5

As my training progresses, my third eye continues to pulsate but less painfully so. I believe the vigorous circulation from Dragon Strength is helping. Prior to Penang, my focus was on the Small Universe and Cosmic Breathing.

— Stephen, USA

Answer

Small Universe will enhance whatever you do, and Dragon Strength will make it more powerful. The way you learned Small Universe and Dragon Strength was also in the right order.

One would still have very good results if he learned Dragon Strength first, then Small Universe. But if he learned Small Universe first, then Dragon Strength, like what you did, the results will even be better.

Question 6

I’ve noticed that my general intuition as well as sensitivity to energy has grown exponentially over the years. For example, whenever I am visiting Buddhist or Hindu temples, I often now feel energy and force emanating from certain statues.

Are these abilities related to the third eye?

Answer

Your third eye is opening, or has opened. In practical terms it does not matter much whether you are at the opening stage or at the opened stage. Only those who intellectualize unnecessarily worry about such issues. As an analogy, it does not matter much whether your business if picking up or has picked out. What is important is that you are earning a lot of profit and your customers have gained a lot of benefit.

The exponential increase of your general intuition and of sensitivity to energy is one of the many benefits that your third eye is opening or has opened. It is very important that you use this and other benefits for good and never for evil.

We do good and avoid evil because we are righteousness. Even if one ignores righteousness and works only for self-interest disregarding the interest of other people, it is also for his own self-interest that he must do good. If he does evil, evilness will certainly return to him. The law of karma is certain.

Dragon Strength

Dragon Strength learnt at the Dragon Strength course will enhance any art you practice!

Question 7

Is there a hidden link between our Dan Tian and our third eye? The more focused my energy is at the Dan Tian, the more my third eye seems to pulsate.

Answer

Yes, there is a direct connection between the dan tian and the third eye, though I don’t know whether there is a direct link, like a meridian or some nerves in modern scientific terms, connecting them.

The more powerful the dan tian is, the more effectively the third eye will function. In other words, if there is a lot of chi at the dan tian, the third eye will open and the person will be able to perceive things across space and time that is not normally possible in ordinary persons.

On the other hand, if a person’s dan tian is weak, his third eye will be close. Not only he has no psychic abilities, his normal eyesight will also be poor.

Question 8

Finally, at what point will I know when my third eye is finally open and the pulsation stop?

Answer

As suggested earlier, in practical terms it does not matter whether your third eye is opening or has already open. But for your curiosity, when pulsation has stopped for some time, and you are used to perceiving across space and time, your third eye has opened.

But this is not absolute. Even when your third eye has open, pulsation may sometimes occurs, just as even when your business has established, it can still pick up.

The most important issue is that, irrespective of whether it is your business or your third eye, you must always use the benefit for good and never for eveil.



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.

NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM THE GRANDMASTER

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/general-3/message2016.html)

Shaolin Kungfu

Grandmaster Wong presenting a paper at the 2nd World Qigong Congress in 1997 where he was awarded “Qigong Master of the Year”



As we move into 2016, it is worthwhile to look back over the years at what we in Shaolin Wahnam have discovered. Viewing these discoveries from a particular vantage point, some of our family members may not realise their great significance, but viewing the discoveries over many years, with reference to the general development of chi kung and kungfu, these discoveries are really remarkable, and may create history for posterity.

One of the greatest of these discoveries is to enter into a chi kung state of mind, or to enter Zen in Shaolin Kungfu, or to enter Tao in Taijiquan. Shaolin Wahnam students today are very familiar with entering into a chi kung state of mind as we perform it every time we practice, but this concept, as we understand it, is actually new. I did not know about this chi kung state of mind in my students’ days, and most chi kung and kungfu practitioners today are unaware of it.

My first introduction to this chi kung state of mind, though it was not so called at the time, was during a casual talk with my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. My siifu told me, “If you are not relaxed and focused, you may as well not practice because you will not get any benefit.”

The first time I read about the term, chi kung state of mind, was from the great chi kung master of China, Sifu Yen Xin. He mentioned that entering into a chi kung state of mind is crucial in chi kung training. He explained that it was a new term, probably coined by him himself, and in the past this mental state was known as “entering silence”. It dawned on me that in other cultures, the same mental state was described as attaining a heightened level of consciousness. I also recalled reading some chi kung literature that the mind, not energy, is the most important factor in chi kung, though it literally means “energy art”.

The skill to enter into a chi kung state of mind was developed by me over many years. When I first taught chi kung to the public, I did not ask students to enter into a chi kung state of mind. But when I found the skill useful, I not only taught it, I transmitted it.

One main reason why I could improve my teaching methodology tremendously, sometimes beyond recognition, is because I teach about a hundred classes a year, whereas most other teachers teach only a class or two. In other words, a typical chi kung teacher teaches his students a particular chi kung exercise one or twice a year, but I teach the same exercise a hundred times. This gives me a lot of opportunities to improve my teaching methods.

Entering into a chi kung state of mind is fantastic. Now students at my Intensive Chi Kung Course can generate a chi flow within the first hour. My early students took about 4 to 5 months to generate a chi flow. Most other practitioners cannot generate a chi flow at will regardless of how long they may have practiced chi kung.

Besides speeding up the attainment of our students, entering into a chi kung state of mind also enables them to accomplish unbelievable high-level results. In a regional course of Massaging Internal Organs of just 4 hours, even relative beginners can direct chi to their internal organs to massage them. In a regional course of Bone Marrow Cleansing, within 4 hours even relative beginners could direct chi to flow at different levels and derive various wonderful benefits. Others outside our school, even when they are sympathetic to us, may find it hard to believe.

How do we know our students could direct chi to their internal organs or to whatever level they wish? In the respective courses, they reported form their own experience that they could do so. In principle, it is like asking someone sitting on a chair how he knows he is sitting on a chair. He knows from direct experience. Only those who have never directed chi to their internal organs or to whatever level they wish, would ask such a question.

In kungfu training, two of the greatest discoveries, and which our students benefit immediately, are to develop internal force and to use kungfu for combat. These two attainments are actually the two pillars of kungfu training. In other words, all kungfu training, if it is done correctly and successfully, is geared towards developing force and combat efficiency.

Again, as developing internal force and applying kungfu for combat are so common in our school that those who are not exposed to other kungfu schools may mistakenly think these kungfu accomplishments are the norms. Although we are not unique in having these abilities, they are certainly very rare. Most kungfu practitioners today, including some masters, do not have internal force, and do not know how to use kungfu for combat.

One of the crucial factor that enables me to discover methods that enable our students to develop internal force and to apply kungfu for combat was differentiating between skills and techniques. This itself was a remarkable discovery. In my students’ days, I did not know the difference between skills and techniques, Most kungfu practitioners today, including masters, do not differentiate between skills and techniques.

The techniques used by all kungfu practitioners to develop internal force and to apply kungfu for combat are genuine. But most practitioners (outside our school) do not have the necessary skills, and they are unaware of it. Those who persist in the techniques for many years and eventually succeed, become masters, and they form a very small proportion of the starting population. The others fail, or give up half-way.

From our perspective, the most important discovery is to transfer our chi kung and kungfu training to enrich our daily life. We do so purposefully and systematically, and I am very happy that we have been very successful.

Previously I thought that the biggest group of people who wrote to thank me would be those whom I helped to cure from so-called incurable diseases. But this was not so. The biggest group of people, by a very big margin, who wrote to thank me were initially healthy. They thanked me for sharing our arts that enabled them to enrich their lives as well as the lives of other people.

Like other discoveries, this discovery was, and is, not common in kungfu circles. Many past masters, despite their high chi kung or kungfu attainment, did not lead happy lives. Some of them, due to their training, were more efficient in their work than had they not trained chi kung or kungfu, but unlike us they did not consciously apply their chi kung or kungfu training to enrich their lives.

Today’s situation is worse. Many chi kung and kungfu masters are sick, physically or emotionally, and some have to take medication on a routine basis. A world known surgeon told me some shocking news — more than 75% of his patients were top martial artists, and their most frequent treatment was hip replacement. These top martial artists practiced their arts as hobbies, which ware meant to give them pleasure!

We in Shaolin Wahnam are indeed very lucky. We have good health, vitality and longevity — though some of you may have to wait 30 years to confirm this benefit. We have mental freshness and mental clarity as well as spiritual joys, irrespective of religion, like being peaceful and happy.

I wish all our Shaolin Wahnam family members and all our guests good health and happiness.

Wong Kiew Kit
1st January 2016.

Grandmaster Wong demonstrating a chin-na technique