Tag Archives: healing

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.

HEART TO HEART TRANSMISSION

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15a/jun15-3.html)

chi kung, qigong

According to chi kung philosophy all diseases can be overcome

Question 1

Can you tell us more about heart to heart transmission?

— Dagmar, Germany

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Heart to heart transmission is self-explanatory. It means the transfer of knowledge, skills, wisdom or realization from the heart of the teacher to the heart of the student. However, like many arts such as chi kung and spiritual cultivation, the uninitiated may still not understand the meaning even when it is clearly explained.

A good example is “chi”, or energy. Students in our school do not ask what chi is because they realize its meaning through direct experience. But many chi kung practitioners still ask what chi is despite having practiced chi kung, or what they think is chi kung, for many years. It is because they do not have a direct experience of chi.

All great arts are not merely taught by a teacher to his students, but are transmitted by him to them from heart to heart. It is failing to appreciate this fact, mainly due to a lack of direct experience, that many people think, mistakenly, that they can learn great arts from books or videos, or that all teachers of these arts are the same.

It is also due to a failure to appreciate this fact that some people ask me what chi kung exercises they should practice to overcome certain illness. It is not the kind of exercises they perform, i.e. the techniques, but how they perform them, i.e. the skills, that are crucial in enabling them to overcome illness. In other words, even when they know the best techniques but lack the necessary skills, they would not overcome their illness. Skills are best acquired from a competent teacher. On the other hand, even when a person has only mediocre techniques but good skills, he may overcome his illness.

It is because of our understanding of this fact about techniques and skills, that we have become very cost-effective in our training. Indeed, we are cost-effective to a ridiculous extent, that our students can attain in one month what it takes even masters a year to attain!

Masters take a much longer time to attain similar results because they do not differentiate between techniques and skills. They practice appropriate techniques dedicatedly and develop the necessary skills unknowingly, which may happen haphazardly. Only when the necessary skills are present during their training that the desired benefits result. Hence, they do not have the great advantage of accumulated benefit even when they practice everyday, because, as they are unaware of them, the necessary skills do not occur every time they practice.

This understanding between techniques and skills constitute a crucial part of heart to heart transmission. It is skills that are transmitted from heart to heart, not techniques.

Let us take Cosmic Shower as an illustration. An excellent technique for Cosmic Shower is Carrying the Moon. Students may practice Carrying the Moon correctly and diligently, but they may not have a cosmic shower. Indeed, most of them do not have even an energy flow. They practice the technique as gentle physical exercise, not as an art of energy.

Some of these dedicated students may eventually, but without their conscious awareness, develop the skills of generating an energy flow. Next, usually after many years, a very few of these dedicated students may experience a cosmic shower after they have unknowingly developed the necessary skills.

Our students are very lucky. When they take a course on Cosmic Shower, the necessary skills are transmitted to them. By applying these skills they can have a cosmic shower in just one day! As I mentioned earlier, this is ridiculous, but true.

How do our students know that they have a cosmic shower? In principle it is the same as asking how do people know they eat an orange or drink some coffee. They know from direct experience. Our students know they have a cosmic shower as surely as those eating oranges or drinking coffee know they eat oranges or drink coffee. Those who have no experience of a cosmic shower, eating oranges or drinking coffee will not know regardless of how well the events are described to them.

The transmission must be from heart to heart, not merely giving instructions from mouth to ear. Let us take an example. A teacher may ask his students to relax, which incidentally is a very important requirement in any internal cultivation. The instruction comes from the teacher’s mouth, and enters the students’ ears. But the students may not be relaxed. No matter how well they perform the techniques, they will not get the benefit of the art.

On the other hand, when a teacher from our school asks his students to relax, it is transmitted from his heart to his students’ heart. He sincerely wants his students to relax so that his teaching is successful, and his students genuinely want to relax so that they derive the benefit of the training. When I teach a class on Cosmic Shower, I sincerely want to impart the necessary skills, and the students genuinely want to follow the instructions so as to get the desired results.

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

HEALING ANA TO WALK AGAIN!

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/video-clips-11/general/ana.html)

Ana Burgui has been on a wheel-chair for more than ten years. She took a special 3-day healing session with Grandmaster Wong from 9th to 11th September 2015 in Alicate, Spain.

On the first day, Ana could hardly stand on her own for a second. Grandmaster Wong explained that according to physics, our feet were too small to support our body weight, but we could stand because of chi flow. He generated a chi flow in Ana.

The video below shows the healing sessions on the second and the third days. Unfortunately, no video was recorded on the first day. As the end of the video shows, from sitting in a wheel-chair on the first day Ana could walk a few steps on the third day on her journey to be able to walk again.


Please click the pictures or the captions below to view the videos
Healing Ana to Walk Again — Part 1 Alicante 2015 from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.
Healing Ana to Walk Again — Part 2 Alicante 11th Sept 2015 from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.

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

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/ans15a/jun15-2.html)

Holistic Health Cultivation Center

Question 1

Sifu I am still unclear about the harm that could be brought by over training or the training is too powerful.

— Dr Foong, Director of Holistic Health Cultivation Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Answer

Your question, or comment, is illuminating, and I would like to give a more detailed answer.

Over-training is a unique problem in our school. By “unique” I don’t mean that no one in the past over-trained. What I mean is that no school as a whole in the past and at present over-train at a scale and depth as we do.

Our over-training is closely related to our unbelievable cost-effectiveness. Our student can attain in one month what most other students would attain in one year — if they are lucky enough to practice genuine chi kung or genuine kungfu.

Most people, understandably, may consider us boastful over this statement, and some may become angry. They may concede that our school is twice better than most schools, or may be even three times better, which is a lot.

When I was a school teacher many years ago, I earned $2000 a month. When a colleague earned $4000 a month, that was a lot. If another colleague earned $6000 per month, that was incredible. (I was, of course, happy for them.)

But most people would not believe that we are more than 10 times more cost-effective than others, just as most teachers would not believe that a teacher could earn more than $20,000 a month.

Yet our typical student is more than 10 times more cost-effective than most other students, just as some rare teachers, not necessarily teaching in public schools, earn more than $20,000, though this is a small sum for some high-income earners like doctors and businessmen.

My conclusion that our typical students gain more than 10 times the benefits gained by other students is not made out of imagination, but based on facts.

Our typical students have internal force after practicing for three months. How many other kungfu practitioners have internal force after practicing for three years? Our typical students can use our kungfu for combat after practicing for six months. How many other kungfu practitioners can use their kungfu for combat after practicing for six years.

Your Holistic Health Cultivation Centre has helped many people suffering from so-called incurable diseases, including cancer, to recover after undergoing healing sessions for a few months. How many patients of so-called incurable diseases overcome their illness after treatment elsewhere after many years?

These examples are facts, not opinions. Anyone can find out whether the statements are true.

Hence, when our typical student gets 10 times the result of what other students get in other school, our students are over-training. Over-training means the benefits one receives from his training is too much or too fast for his body to adjust to, resulting in unpleasantness, tiredness, pain or other adverse effects. These adverse effects are a sigh to tell the practitioner to slow down his training so as to allow the body more time for adjustment.

There are two main ways to slow down one’s training — by reducing the time of training or reducing the intensity of training.

When one trains an hour a day, he can reduce the training by training for 15 minutes. But if he trains for only 15 minutes a day, like what our students do, there is not much time for him to reduce, though now, because of our increased efficiency, I advise our students to train for only 10 minutes.

We can also reduce the time of training by reducing its regularity. If a student trains for 10 minutes a day everyday, and still finds himself over-training, he can train once in two days, or once in three days. If he is advanced and powerful and still finds himself over-training, he can train just once a week.

But most of our students enjoy their training. They may not be happy training just once a week. An excellent approach to prevent over-training is to reduce its intensity. This is very effective for our instructors and advanced students who over-train.

An excellent way to reduce the intensity is not to go too deeply into a chi kung state of mind. In fact it is precisely because we enter into a deep chi kung state of mind that we have excellent result.

In theory it is simple, but in practice it may be difficult, even for our students. Here are some suggestions. Don’t take too long, like a minute, to be relaxed and clear the mind of all thoughts, and remain in this heightened level of consciousness. Take just a second or two. Relaxed, clear your mind and perform your exercise.

You can also focus on your form. If you are a beginner, get the outward form correct as best as you can. If you are advanced, aim for picture=perfect form. When you focus on your outward form, you perform the chi kung exercise more on the physical level and less on the mind level. Your result will be less, but it is still a lot compared to what other practitioners get, and minimize the possibility of you over-training.

You may notice that when students begin to learn form me, I ask them to not worry about their form. This is to get them onto the mind level and generate a chi flow. As they become more advanced, they pay more attention to their form.

Another suggestion which is negative but can prevent over-training is to purposely intellectualize and purposely tense your muscles once awhile. Tensing your muscles is not advisable, unless for specific reasons, but thinking of good thoughts while practicing is permissible. The intellectualizing will get you out of or to a shallower level of a chi kung state of mind, thus producing less result and preventing onver-training.

Purposely tensing our muscles can be useful in specific situations. When I sparred with somebody and accidentally hit him, and I sensed that my internal force was going into him, I purposely tense my muscle to prevent the flow of internal force hurting him. When you have over-trained but for some reason you still want to train, you can tense your muscles to prevent a lot of force developing. It can be uncomfortable. You have to do a gentle chi flow to clear the blockage.

Performing physical activities like practicing kungfu sets at a physical level, sparring with classmates, or going out with your family or friends, is a good way to expend energy, thus reducing over-cleansing due to over-training.

Remember that practicing chi kung is to enrich our life and the lives of others, and not to enslave ourselves to it. If you can get benefits in 10 minutes, you don’t have to practice for an hour. Use the time to enjoy other wholesome activities.

Over-training is very important in healing, i.e. teaching patients at a level much higher than they can absorb, or enabling them to recover faster then they can cope with. I shall deal with this topic in the next question you ask.

Question 2

A healer told me that too powerful chi kung would not harm a patient. I told him that it would be harmful. The healer said that he was already an expert in chi kung healing. What is your comment, Sifu?

Answer

You are right and the healer wrong.

Too powerful chi kung is not only harmful to sick people, it is also harmful to healthy persons. It is like asking someone to run a marathon or lift heavy weights.

Even when he is healthy, if he is untrained, running a marathon or lifting weights will be harmful to him. If he is sick, it will aggravate his illness or may even kill him.

It is like taking medication. If a doctor asks a patient to take two pills, the patient must take two pills. If he takes 10 pills, he may be killed.

As you know very well, chi kung for healing is the lowest level of chi kung. The other levels in ascending order are chi kung fro health, chi kung for scholars, chi kung for warriors, and chi kung for spiritual cultivation. Although it is at the lowest level, chi kung for healing is the most useful today. This is because many people today, unlike in the past, practice chi kung to overcome their pain and illness.

If a healer teaches chi kung for warriors to sick people , he may kill them. It is like putting an engine of an aeroplane in a small car.

That healer may be an expert if he knows a lot about chi kung healing, but he may not be a master healer. A master healer is determined not by how much he knows but how well he helps patients overcome their illness.

chi kung in Taiwan

One way to prevent over-training is not to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind

Question 3

Someone told me that as long as a person spent one hundred thousand hours on an art, he became a genius. I don’t agree because there are many other factors involved for one to become a genius or a real expert. What is your opinion, Sifu?

Answer

I agree with you, and disagree with the person who said that if one practiced an art one hundred thousand hours he would become a genius. If his practice is wrong, he becomes a big fool. Not only he has waste his time and effort, he has harmed himself, often seriously and unnecessarily.

This is the case with many martial artists today. They practice a martial art so as to become healthy and be able to defend themselves. But the more they practice the more unhealthy they become, and they cannot defend themselves. They merely exchange blows and kicks with their sparring partners in free sparring, and their injuries are usually unattended to.

Here is a list of factors a student may work on to get the best benefits from the practice of any art.

  1. Have a sound philosophical understanding of the art.

  2. Define his aims and objectives in pursuing the art.

  3. Find the best available teacher according to his (the student’s) resources.

  4. Practice the art according to the way the teacher teaches, and not according to the way the student thinks the art should be practiced.

  5. Periodically access his result according to his set aims and objectives.

The same guidelines can also be applied to a patient seeking to overcome his illness and attain good health, vitality and longevity.

  1. Have a philosophical understanding of his illness and healing.

  2. Set aims and objectives, like overcoming his illness, and attaining good health, vitality and longevity.

  3. Seek the best healer according to his resources.

  4. Practice the healing procedure according to what the healer prescribes and not according to what the patient thinks to be done.

  5. Periodically access his result according to his set aims and objectives.

Question 4

I’ve been reviewing some videos to further increase my knowledge of what the world thinks about Baguazhang and recently saw a few Baguazhang weapons videos.

— Fredrick Chu, USA

Answer

What you are doing will contribute much to your understanding and attainment in Baguazhang. But it is important to know that what the world thinks of Baguazhang and what videos show on Baguazhang weapons may not be what Baguazzhang and Baguazhang weapons really are. This awareness is even more important in many other styles of kungfu, chi kung and spiritual cultivation.

Indeed, it is shocking how much kungfu, chi kung and spiritual cultivation have deviated from their original purposes and practice as shown in what the world thinks of these arts, and in what videos, even by well known world masters, show these arts to be.

What the world thinks of kungfu is often represented by Bruce Lee, despite the fact that Bruce Lee rejected both kungfu philosophy and methodology. For example, Bruce Lee thought that stance training, which forms the foundation of all kungfu, was ineffective, and his training methods were precisely what traditional kingfu masters warned against.

If you examine videos showing free sparring amongst kungfu practitioners, with the exception of those from Shaolin Wahnam, virtually all of them use boxing and kick-boxing, with hardly any kungfu techniques. If you watch videos on kungfu weapons, again with the exception of those from Shaolin Wahnam, there are hardly any on using kungfu weapons in combat, which is precisely the reason why the weapons are for.

If you watch videos on the demonstration of a Guandao, or the Knife of Guan, which is a long, heavy weapon, you will see that the controlling hand of most demonstrators holds the weapon just below its blade, and that the blade of the weapon is flimsy, which negate its advantage of being a long weapon, and a heavy weapon. Holding the weapon just below its blade would not enable its practitioner to use it on horseback or to cut it through the armour of an opponent, which were precisely what a Guandao was for.

Small Universe

A Small Universe Course where participants attain a “real break-through”

Question 5

One of the weapons that many people mention when discussing Baguazhang is the Deer Horn Knife (I’ve also heard them called the Meridian Knives and the Mandarin Duck Knives). I have to admit, the weapons look rather spectacular, having many cutting edges and sharp points.

I was wondering what are the special characteristics of the Deer Horn Knives? How do they enhance Baguazhang practice? Are certain weapons more conducive to enhancing or bringing out the best of Baguazhang, such as the straight sword, the single knife, or the huge “Bagua dadao”?

Answer

The Dear Horn Knives are so named because diagrammatically they resemble the antlers of a stag. They are also called Meridian Knives and Mandarin Duck Knives because they are always used in pair.

Indeed, they look spectacular. The weapons are just sharp edges and points.

The special characteristics of the Dear Horn Knives are its sharp blades and points, which make them highly destructive. It is almost impossible for an opponent to dislodge the weapons from the exponent. The horns of the weapons can be used to lock or capture an opponent’s weapon.

Any hit of the weapons will cause bloodshed. The main techniques are cutting, slicing and piercing.

Interestingly, while the Deer Horn Knives are closely associated with Baguazhang, their training does not enhance Baguazhang practice. Circulating the hands round the body is a special feature of Baguazhang, but the sharp blades and points of the Deer Horn Knives do not facilitate this feature. But the agility of Baguazhmg contributes to an effective application of these weapons, so long as the exponent does not circulate the weapons round his body and cut himself.

The straight sword is the most conducive in bringing out the best in Baguazhang, and vice versa. In both the sword and Baguazhang, agility and flowing movement are of utmost importance. The swordsman, however, must not use his sword to circulate round his body like what a Baguazhang exponent does with his hands.

The Single Knife, or sabre, is also conducive in bringing out the qualities in Baguazhang, and vice versa. Circulating the sabre or the arms round the body is a frequently used skill in sabre and Baguazhang performance and application.

The huge Bagua Dadao is a large sabre that is quite out of size. Because of its huge size, it is good for training internal force or mechanical strength for those who have no internal force. Personally, I do not favour it because its excessive large size distract its application as a sabre

Question 6

About a week or two ago, I felt the “false breakthrough” of the Small Universe during Baguazhang Circle Walking. It was the first time that I’ve clearly felt energy flowing through meridians (normally, my energy feels more diffuse or like waves passing across my body). I was walking the circle and my posture aligned in such a way that I began clearly feeling pockets of energy flowing along the Small Universe circuit.

I was wondering if Baguazhang, or any other particular martial arts, particularly well known for achieving the Small Universe and Big Universe?

Answer

Congratulations for your break-through of the Small Universe, even though it is “false” or apparent, and not “real” or permanent. A “false break-through” does not mean it is only an illusion and that there is really no break-through.

The term “false” is used relative to “real”. A “false break-through” does not mean there is no break-through. It occurs when a bubble of energy goes round the Ren and Du Meridians, and the defilements that block the meridians are being pushed through by the bubble of energy, but they may resume their blockage after the bubble has gone through.

A “real break-through” occurs when the Du and Ren Meridians are fully filled with energy flowing continuously and harmoniously round the meridians. A real break-through of the Small Universe enables practitioners to live beyond a hundred years.

Baguazhang being an internal art is more suitable than many other kungfu styles for attaining a Small Universe. But only Baguashang masters who have practiced for many years may have this attainment. It will be faster if they learn the art of Small Universe separately. But Baguashang practitioners who practice only the external aspects of Baguazhang will never attain the Small Universe.

If all other things were equal, Wudang Taijiquan and Dragon Strength would be more effective than Baguazhang to attain the Small Universe. This is because the internal force in these two arts is more flowing than that in Baguazhang.

Your attaining a break-through of the Small Universe, even a “false” one, is remarkable. Congratulations. Such an attainment is not likely to happen in most other schools.

Baguazhang

A historical Baguazhang course at the UK Summer Camp 2012

Question 7

Also, I remember hearing from my Sifu that Reverse Breathing is an important part of Small Universe training. I do know that at some point I would like to open the Small Universe, thanks to you, Sigung, and my Sifu’s writing about its amazing benefits.

I learnt Reverse Breathing at Goat Stance from my old Taijiquan sifu, and I had some good benefits like beginning to build and store energy at my dan tian, but I haven’t practiced it in a long time (mostly because shortly thereafter, I learnt from you and my Sifu in Florida).

Would it be worthwhile for me to begin practicing Reverse Breathing at Goat Stance if I wanted to further pursue the Small Universe, or should I wait until I’m able to spend a fair amount of time with you or my Sifu (for example, at a Small Universe course) to learn how to attain the Small Universe?

Answer

Reverse Breathing is an advanced art. It should be learnt from a competent teacher as wrong practice can cause serious problems.

When I was learning the Small Universe from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, I made a mistake unknowingly while practicing Reverse Breathing. My chi accumulated about an inch on one side of my dan tian (I can’t remember now whether it was on the left side or the right side). It took me about three months of remedial exercise to correct it.

Many people mistake Reverse Breathing as Chest Breathing. They are different, though they look alike. In both cases, a practitioner’s chest rises as he breaths in. It rises more in Chest Breathing than in Reverse Breathing.

But in Chest Breathing it is air that goes into the chest. In Reverse Breathing it is energy, not air, that goes into the dan tian, or flows in a small universal circuit.

You should not attempt Reverse Breathing on your own. You can learn it from your sifu if you spend a fair amount of time with him, or learn it from me at a Small Universe course.

Question 8

I was talking with Sifu recently and he told me that at my level I really needed to begin practicing regularly with other people to further refine my sparring and fighting skills. Funnily enough, shortly after the Legacy of Wong Fei Hoong Summer Camp (which I was unfortunately unable to attend), I was lucky enough to find a good school of Hoong Ka Kung Fu.

One of the things I liked immediately was the fact that the school does a lot of Asking Bridge in preparation for free sparring. Even though I haven’t had more than a handful of opportunities to train with and spar with people in the past two years, my stances, footwork, and internal force served me very well; I was routinely driving back and out-flanking people who had been in this school for about four or five years. The sifu complimented me on my solid stances and how my footwork always seemed to cut off my partner’s avenues of escape. I wanted to thank you again for teaching me those skills in Baguazhang, they are coming in handy a lot here!

Answer

This is no surprise because we pay a lot of attention on stances and footwork, but many other schools don’t. And Baguazhang is well known for footwork.

Question 9

I did have a question about Asking Bridge and “bridging” in general. I noticed that this school and many others (which I’ve seen mostly in documentaries and on YouTube) use the One Finger Zen hand-form (which they call “Bridge Hand”) and their forearms for initially contacting with an opponent’s arms, especially during or immediately after defending against a strike.

What is it about this hand-form that makes it so popular in Hoong Ka schools compared to, say, the thread hand, Tiger Claws, or open palms? I personally feel more comfortable and sensitive with the thread-hand and open palms, but that may just be my Baguazhang background.

Answer

“Bridge Hand” or “kiew sau” in Chinese (Cantonese) refers to the forearm, not the One-Finger Zen hand form. The forearm is called a “bridge” because it is the part that is usually in contact with an opponent.

The term “Bridge Hand” is usually used in Hoong Ka Kungfu, and other styles derived from Southern Shaolin. It is seldom used in internal arts like Taijiquan, Baguazhang and Xingyiquan, or styles derived from Northern Shaolin like Praying Mantis, Tantui and Wuzuquan.

Besides in our school, the One-Finger Zen hand form, which is different from “Bridge Hand”, is now found mainly in Hoong Ka Kungfu, and rarely in other kungfu styles. It is mainly used to develop internal force, and at advanced levels for dim mark, i.e. dotting energy points. However, I suspect that most students today just perform the external form of One-Finger Zen hand form without knowing its inner significance.

I once asked my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, why the One-Finger Zen hand form was used to develop internal force. He told me that it activated the lung meridian. I followed up asking why was the lung meridian in particular activated in developing internal force. He said, in Cantonese, “fai wei hei zi fu”, which in Englsih means the lungs are the organs for energy. As developing internal force needs flowing energy, activating the lung meridians using One-Finger Zen is a very cost-effective hand form

In Hoong Ka Kungfu the One-Finger Zen hand form is used to develop internal force, though many Hoong Ka practitioners may not know how to do so, or may not even realize it. They perform the hand form because it is found in their sets, just as most kungfu practitioners of any style today perform their patterns because the patterns are found in their style, but they do not know the significance of these patterns.

In combat or even in solo performance, the thread hand using the dragon hand form, the tiger claw and the open palm are equally popular. In fact, when deflecting an opponent’s attack, like a thrust punch, Hoong Ka practitioners seldom use the One-Finger Zen hand form; they use the thread hand, the tiger claw or the open palm.

As an analogy, the Horse-Riding Stance is usually employed when developing internal force. But in combat it is seldom used.

Why is the One-Finger Zen hand form found in Hoong Ka and not in other styles. This was probably because the One-Finger Zen hand form was widely used in developing internal force in Southern Shaolin, and Hoong Ka Kungfu was the moist typical of Southern Shaolin. In fact, Hoong Ka patriarchs like Wong Fei Hoong and Lam Sai Weng called their kungfu Shaolin, and not Hoong Ka.

Then why is the One-Finger Zen hand form not found in other Southern Shaolin styles like Wing Choon and Choy-Li-Fatt. This was probably because the first patriarchs of these styles used other methods of force training. Yim Wing Choon, for example, used Siu Lin Tou which did not have the One-Finger Zen hand form. Chan Harng, the founder of Choy-Li-Fatt used a wooden man.

Editorial Note: Fredericks other questions will be continued at June 2015 Part 3 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

RISKS OF SELF-LEARNING AND UNQUALIFIED TEACHING

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

chi kung

Many people wrongly and unknowingly think that chi kung is just gentle physical exercise

Question

I am a teacher at a senor citizens’ home. After reading your book, “The Art of Chi Kung”, I decided to try it myself. I tried both the Moon and one of the other momvements to induce chi. I found nothing happening. The only thing that happened was that I started to fall forward as if I was loosing my balance. After two or three times like this I finally started to sway. I am not sure if I consciously started to sway or it was from the movement.

Larry, USA

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

It is difficult to tell from an e-mail description whether your reaction was due to induced chi flow, or due to your loss of balance, or due to your conscious attempt to sway. But even if your sway was due to chi flow, it did not necessarily mean you were practising chi kung. Chi kung is not merely swaying.


Question

I decided to try it in my class of 8. I had the class close their eyes and I said to them if they started to sway they were to go with it. (in accordance with the instructions in your book). Out of the 8 only one started to sway. Is this sway something that is consciously brought on, or is it just supposed to happen?
Answer

Yours is a typical example of how little knowledge and respect many Westerners have of chi kung. Many Westerners (and modern Easterners) think that they can just read from a book, try some exercises on their own, and then start teaching others. Especially if they are unemployed, they may continue teaching so-caled chi kung for a living, and after a few years they may call themselves, or others may call them, masters.

You have done yourself, your students and the art a great dis-service. You have not learnt or practised chi kung properly, yet you have started to teach others. This is unprofessional. You do not understand the effect chi flow has on your students, and despite my warning in my books that incorrect practice may lead to serious harmful effects, you have decided to try it on others. This is unehical.

The sway may or may not be brought on consciously. Whether it should or should not happen, depends on numerous factors. But swaying itself is not chi kung


Question

Also, I am very interested in your intensive courses on healing incurable diseases. However, financially it is impossible for me to travel to Malaysia. Are you planning by any chance to bring your classes to the United States, or can someone learn what you teach through a video? And do you have such videos available?
Answer

Merely being interested is far from sufficient. Before you think of becoming a healer or a teacher, be a student first. The large number of people, especially in the West, who imagine that they can become healers or masters, without having to make the minimum effort to learn and practise the art first, really amazes me.

I sometimes teach in the United States.

People may learn external forms from videos, but these are actually not what I teach in my chi kung or kungfu classes. What I actually teach in my chi kung classes are skills to manage energy, and in my kungfu classes skills for combat efficiency, internal force development and spiritual cultivation. Anyone who thinks that such skills can be learnt via videos do not know what chi kung or kungfu really is. Hence, I have not produced videos for the purpose of self-instructio


Question

I also had a lady whose heart started to beat fast after the exercises in your book. Does this have any significance, as she was starting to get a little nervous?
Answer

Luckily she did not collapse. Your unprofessional teaching could have killed her.

The heart starting to beat fast during a chi kung exercise may or may not be good. It depends on various factors. In my teachng, many students with serious heart problems had their heart beating very fast during their practice under my supervision. I had to be extremely careful, and observe them and their reactions closely.

On one occasion I was about to ask a student to slow down and stop when she exclaimed how wonderful she felt. She as well as the other students soon recovered from their illness. But a less experienced instructor might have killed them in similar situatons.

Teaching chi kung to those with heart problems must be done by a master. Even trained instructors may not be competent enough to handle students with serious heart problems. In such cases, it is best for the instructors not to teach these students.

responsibility of chi kung teacher

To be a chi kung teacher calls for great responsibility

LINKS

The question and answer are reproduced from Questions 11 to 14 of the January 2000 Part 1 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

TO PROVE THAT QI IS REAL AND QIGONG NOT A FAKE HEALING ART

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

Dr Yan Xin

The Qigong Grandmaster, Dr Yan Xin of China

Question

Why will no masters come forward to conclusively prove once and for all that qi is real and that qi-gong is not a fake healing art. It seems to me a lot more Westerners would be willing to accept and try qi-gong if there was a demonstration, a scientifically designed study that conclusively demonstrated qi-gong’s effects.

Paul, USA

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Numerous experiments were carried out under strict scientific conditions both inside China and outside which proved conclusively that qi is real, and that qigong, besides having other uses, is a genuine healing art.

For example, the Qing Hua University in Bejing, one of the most prestigious universities of China, conducted many experiments with the great qigong master, Yan Xin, which showed that qi is real and has measurable influences on matter. These scientific experiments were supervised by top Chinese scientists, including Professor Qian Xue Sen, the father of the Chinese rocket.

Numerous hospitals in China, particularly the People’s Hospital of Shanghai, conducted many scientific experiments which conclusively showed that practising qigong enables many patients to recover from their diseases.

Numerous scientific experiments were also conducted outside China. Dr Kenneth Sancier of the United States, whom I had the pleasure to meet at the Second World Qigong Congress in San Francisco in 1997, is a leader in this field, and he has tirelessly collected volumes of scientific reports on qigong, gallantly attempting to bring its wonderful benefits to the Western public.

At this Second World Qigong Congress, Professor Fang Li Da of China, a medical doctor trained at the world-famous Harvard School of Medicine, provided convincing evidence from her many years of research that practising qigong can overcome cancer. For her brilliant research, she was named “Qigong Research Scientist of the Year”.

There were many top scientists and qigong masters at this Second World Qigong Congress. A special committee edited the findings and reports of the Congress and submitted recommendations to relevant authorities at both the United States government and the United Nations Organization.

The question remains. Why is qigong not widely used to overcome diseases, especially so-called incurable diseases like cancer, cardio-vascular disorders, diabetes and asthma, against which qigong is said, in fact has been proven, to overcome?

There are many answers, and different people will give different answers according to their perspectives. To me, there are two important answers, the relevance of which may not be easily understood by the public. One, genuine qigong masters are basically qigong masters, not marketing experts. They do not have the means, or the interest, to let the world know of their abilities to cure illness. Two, marketing experts who are already enjoying handsome rewards for their effort, may not like qigong to disrupt the de facto situation.

At the International Congress for the Unity of Science held at Seoul in the year 2000 where Nobel Prize winners and top practitioners of their respective fields were invited, I was honoured to speak on qigong. Answering a request from the Congress committee on alternative medicine, I recommended a simple, direct yet scientific approach to test the effectiveness of qigong in overcoming so-called incurable diseases as follows.

Let a medical committee selects a group of patients with a so-called incurable disease. Also selects a control group. Let a genuine qigong master work with the group of patients for six months. Examine the health conditions of the patients at the start, the middle and the end of the six-month period using standard medical tests. Compare the results with the control group.

I knew my proposal was only an academic issue. As expected, no one has thought it worthwhile to implement the recommendation.

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit at the International Conference on the Unity of Sciences, Seoul 2000

LINKS

Reproduced from Question 1 in the July 2001 Part 3 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

HOW CHINESE MEDICAL PHILOSOPHY CAN ENHANCE WESTERN MEDICAL PRACTICE

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/chinese-medical-philosophy.html)

good health

Harmonious energy flow results in yin-yang harmony which means good health and happiness in Western terms.

Question

Western medicine kills 250,000 people per year and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Death caused by Western doctors has been called iatrogenocide. Ignoring this fact, many Chinese doctors want to integrate Western and Chinese medicine. Do you think that Chinese and Western medicine should be integrated or combined into a single system?

Marcus, USA

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

I admire your brave and honest statement, made with sincerity and hope that something could be done to overcome a big problem facing modern societies regarding health and illness.

To me this situation is pathetic on two points. One, traditional Chinese medical philosophy and practice can be used to overcome this big problem of numerous so-called incurable, and sometimes fatal, diseases facing modern societies, but this is not being done due to ignorance, prejudice or vested interest.

Two, instead of introducing traditional Chinese medical philosophy and practice into modern societies to overcome this urgent problem, even those in a position to do so are turning to conventional Western medicine. In China, for example, there were hospitals where traditional Chinese medicine and conventional Western medicine were offered side by side on an equal footing, and patients could choose which medical system to use.

But the trend now is that traditional Chinese medicine is becoming a secondary system, with traditional Chinese physicians fearing that they would be phrased out eventually. Most decision makers in hospitals as well as in governmental health care bodies are trained in Western medicine. Against such a background, your question becomes the more important.

Many people, including most Western trained doctors and some mediocre traditional Chinese physicians, view health and medicine from only one perspective, and it is usually the Western medical perspective. In practical terms it means that if a Western doctor who is sympathetic to traditional Chinese medicine, could not overcome a particular disease, he may look for a traditional Chinese medical method, such as acupuncture or herbs, to treat the disease. To most people, this is only logical. This is because most people view health and medicine from only one perspective, the Western medical perspective.

On the other hand, when a Chinese physician treats his patient, he may take his patients’ temperature and blood pressure, and recommends Western medical drugs in his treatment. This is often regarded as an improvement, and the Chinese physicians is regarded as more advanced than his traditional counterparts who do not know how to use Western medical instruments.

Such enterprising Western doctors and Chinese physicians may be successful in individual cases, but for Western medicine as well as traditional Chinese medicine as a whole, it is not a good development. The reason is that Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine employ different paradigms and methods which are often incompatible. Hence, Chinese medicine and Western medicine should not be integrated or combined into a single system. This does not mean that they cannot work together. They can work together side by side, but they cannot work together as an integrated, single system.

Suppose you live on a river bank and you wish to travel to the river mouth. You can reach your destination by car or by boat, but you cannot use your car as a boat or your boat as a car. You may, if desirable, make part or parts of your journey by car, and part or parts of your journey by boat, consecutively or in any order, but you cannot drive your car on the river or sail your boat on the road.

This gives a rough idea of the incompatibility of integrating Chinese and Western medicine into a single system. In your effort to help a patient make the journey from illness to recovery, you may, if desirable, make part or parts of the journey using Chinese medicine, and part or parts of the journey using Western medicine, but not using Chinese and Western medicine as an integrated, single system. This can’t be done simply because Chinese medicine and Western medicine use totally different philosophies and approaches.

Take for example a patient suffering from an illness that Western medicine calls high blood pressure. Western doctors define the illness from its symptoms. Thus, to overcome the illness, doctors overcome the high blood pressure. This is normally done by taking drugs to dilate the blood vessels which will them reduce the pressure of blood flowing through them. Western doctors are satisfied with this treatment because from their perspective they have done their job, i.e. lowering the patient’s blood pressure. But for the development of medicine, this is unsatisfactory because the treatment only eliminates the symptoms but not the illness.

An enterprising Western doctor employing Chinese medicine as an integrated system, may incorporate Chinese therapeutic methods like herbs and acupuncture (if they are permitted by their medical authorities to do so). But this is also unsatisfactory because actually he is still using the Western system although he substitutes herbs or acupuncture for pharmaceutical drugs. Basically, his attempt is still eliminating symptoms, and not the illness itself, although the therapeutic agents he now uses are herbs and acupuncture.

Chinese medicine operates in a different paradigm. In Chinese medicine an illness is defined not by its symptoms, but by the patient’s reaction to disease causing agents. Often it may not be necessary to know what the disease causing agents are! This fact may appear ridiculous to those who only view illness from the Western medical perspective, but paradoxically it is one of the crucial differences between Chinese and Western medicine that will help Western medicine to overcome its present impasse.

In traditional Chinese medicine, a high blood pressure patient will not be described as suffering from high blood pressure! The description depends on his reaction against known or unknown disease causing agents, and in this case it is usually “rising yang energy from the liver”. In other words, a patient described by Western doctors as suffering from high blood pressure, is likely to be described by traditional Chinese physicians as suffering from “rising yang energy from the liver”. The crucial difference is that “high blood pressure” is a symptom, whereas “rising yang energy from the liver” is the cause of the illness.

When Western doctors succeed in eliminating “high blood pressure”, they eliminate the symptom, but the illness remains. When Chinese physicians succeed in eliminating “rising yang energy from the liver”, they eliminate the cause, and the illness disappears.

There are different ways to eliminate “high blood pressure” and “rising yang energy from the liver”. In their historical development, Western doctors have found pharmaceutical drugs useful for eliminating “high blood pressure”, whereas Chinese physicians have found herbs, acupuncture, massage, chi kung and other means useful for eliminating “rising yang energy from the liver”.

The use of pharmaceutical drugs, herbs, acupuncture, etc are means, whereas “eliminating high blood pressure” and “eliminating rising yang energy from the liver” are principles. People often identify a medical system by its means, and seldom by its principles.

In my opinion, while both are important, principles are more important than means. Principles come first, means follow. When we have decided on the principles, we find the means to realize the principles.

The impasse faced by Western medicine today, I believe, is that many of its therapeutic principles may not be valid. In the example of high blood pressure above, Western medicine mistakes the symptom for the disease. Thus, although the means are excellent, the disease still cannot be cured because the therapeutic principle is faulty.

Another example is the case of SARS. The principle underlying research today in finding a cure for SARS is that if doctors understand the SARS virus they can cure patients of SARS. In my opinion, this principle may not be valid. If out of 100 persons infected with the virus, 98 of them could overcome it, the problem lies not with the virus but with the 2 persons who succumb. The question then is not how the virus kills people, but why the 2 persons could not overcome the virus when the other 98 could. The onus of the research, therefore, should be on the patients, rather than on the virus.

Research scientists could ask “What went wrong in the natural working of the two persons who succumb to the virus?” In other words, the Chinese physician attempts to find out the patient’s conditions in relation to the disease causing agents. If, for example, the patient’s condition is “weakening of the lung system”, by strengthening the lung systems by appropriate therapeutic means the Chinese physician can help the patient recover.

As shown in the two examples above, due to the different philosophy between Chinese and Western medicine, these two systems cannot be integrated into a single system. The greatest contribution Chinese medicine can make towards Western medicine, I believe, is its philosophy.

According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, a person becomes ill because one or more of his natural systems are not working properly. If we restore the natural working of these systems, the patient will recover as a matter of course. Therefore, the onus of medicine — in diagnosis, pathology, therapeutic, research, etc — should be on the patient, finding out what went wrong inside him due to the influence of outside factors, and not on the outside factors like cholesterol and virus that cause the changes inside him.

Good health

Doctors can apply Western medical practice to implement Chinese medical philosophy

LINKS

The question and answer are reproduced from Question 1 of the May 2003 Part 1 issue of the Question-Answer Series.

LOOKING AT DISEASES FROM THE CHINESE MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/chinese-perspective.html)

It may sound ridiculous to many people but according to the chi kung perspective all diseases are caused by energy blockage. Hence, when the blockage is cleared the patient will regain health as a matter of course. High-level chi kung is excellent to generate chi flow to clear blockage.

Question

Further tests and detail examination have failed to identify a correctable cause for my patient’s illness. Sifu’s reply is indeed very much welcome and has restored our hope in helping him.

Dr Lim, Malaysia

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

I have many successful cases of helping patients to recover from diseases where conventional medicine could not identify the cause or site. This in fact is common.

If the cause or site of a disease can be identified, and if a remedy is available, conventional medicine is usually more effective, or at least speedier. But when the cause or site is unknown, chi kung provides an excellent alternative.

You would probably have read my explanation on why chi kung can succeed in overcoming such diseases when conventional medicine may not. Nevertheless, I shall explain it again here.

From the Chinese medical perspective, there is only one disease, called yin-yang disharmony. There may be countless symptoms, and conventional medicine names the disease, or its many manifestations, according to its symptoms.

Chinese medicine also names the various manifestations of the one disease, but the names are given not according to its symptoms but to its cause according to Chinese medical philosophy. Hence, while conventional medicine calls such disease manifestations as high blood pressure and bronchitis, traditional Chinese medicine calls them as “rising yang energy from the liver” and “excessive heat in the lungs”.

This difference of perspective gives traditional Chinese medicine a big edge over conventional medicine. When the cause of a disorder cannot be determined, or when there is no known remedy as in the case of viral infections, conventional medicine is quite helpless. It is not a question of conventional medicine being less effective; it is a situation where conventional medicine becomes a victim of its philosophical limitation.

Basically the therapeutic principle in conventional medicine is to define the disorder according to its cause, then prescribe the appropriate remedy. Such a philosophy works well when the cause is known and where a remedy is available. But when the cause is unknown or where a remedy is unavailable, treatment becomes impossible according to this philosophy.

Such problems become irrelevant in traditional Chinese medical philosophy. This is because traditional Chinese medicine (1) defines a disorder by its cause, and (2) all causes are correctable as their reference points involve the known conditions of the patient’s body. The following example may make this philosophical discussion clearer.

Suppose a patient suffering from what in conventional medicine would be referred to as high blood pressure, consults a traditional Chinese physician. After a thorough diagnosis, the physician concludes that his patient suffers from “rising yang energy from the liver”.

Why does he call the disorder “rising yang energy from the liver”? The answer is straight-forward. He finds yang energy rising from his patient’s liver. Had his finding been different, say excessive dampness in his patient’s stomach or insufficient heat in his patient’s gall bladder, he would define the disorder as “excessive dampness in the stomach” or “insufficient heat in the gall bladder”.

Now, when a disorder is defined as high blood pressure, a conventional doctor only knows the symptoms of the disorder; he has no clue to what the cause is or what a possible remedy can be. Hence, he does his best according to his philosophy and training, which is to relieve the high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is actually not the disorder, it is only the symptom of the disorder. The patient therefore has to take medication for life.

When a disorder is defined as “rising yang energy from the liver”, or “excessive dampness in the stomach” or “insufficient heat in the gall bladder”, a traditional Chinese physician knows exactly what the cause of the disorder is and how to remedy it. If he can lower his patient’s rising yang energy at the liver, or reduce dampness at the patient’s stomach, or increase heat at the patient’s gall bladder”, his patient will recover. The physician can achieve these objectives with the use of herbs, acupuncture, massage, chi kung exercises or other means.

Hence there is no such a thing as an incurable disease in traditional Chinese medical philosophy. One major objective in my writing “The Complete Book of Chinese Medicine” is to convey this philosophy to conventional medical scientists, in the hope that it may help them to overcome their present philosophical limitation.

This point is not generally realized. Most conventional doctors today interested in traditional Chinese medicine, only seek to borrow suitable therapeutic techniques from traditional Chinese medicine, such as what herbs, acupuncture points or chi kung exercises may be useful to overcome what disorders. They do not usually appreciate that major break-throughs in conventional medicine can be made by overcoming their philosophical limitation in viewing disease.

There is, however, a big problem traditional Chinese physicians have to face, that is, their diagnosis must be accurate. If their diagnosis is incorrect, such as mistaking “excessive fire in the liver” to be “rising yang energy from the liver”, their treatment logically would be wrong.

Hence, I believe medicine is more of an art than a science. It is the skill of a doctor or therapist in making right judgment and winning the patient’s confidence that are often more crucial than the knowledge of anatomy and pathology he has.

Chi kung does not even have this one big problem. There is no need for diagnosis in chi kung! This is simply because chi kung works on the most fundamental level, the level of energy flow. Other medical or healing systems work on higher levels.

When we define a disorder as high blood pressure or “rising yang energy from the liver”, for example, we operate at the levels of organs or systems. From the chi kung perspective, whatever factors that cause high blood pressure or “rising yang energy from the liver” are intermediate factors. The ultimate factor or cause of disorder is disrupted energy flow.

In other words, to a conventional doctor or a Chinese physician, his patient may have taken too much alcohol or has been exposed to too much anger. Due to his excessive alcohol or anger, he has high blood pressure or “rising yang energy from the liver”.

To a chi kung master, the excessive alcohol or anger may (or may not) have caused the high blood pressure or “rising yang energy from the liver”. But as a result his energy flow is disrupted.

It actually does not matter if the cause of the patient’s disorder may not be alcohol or anger but something else. It is also not relevant, according to this chi kung perspective, whether the patient has high blood pressure, “rising yang energy from his liver”, “excessive dampness in his stomach”, viral attack in his spleen, certain chemicals lacking in his system, or other pathogenic factors. All these are intermediate causes. The crucial point is that one, some or all of these intermediate causes result in his energy flow being disrupted.

In other words, a chi kung master has only one consideration, that is, whether the energy flow in his patients or students is harmonious. Harmonious energy flow is a Chinese medical jargon. In simple language it means the energy that flows to all the cells, tissues, organs and systems is making all the cells, tissues, organs and systems working the way they are supposed to work.

This energy flow may be interrupted by intermediate factors like excessive alcohol, anger, virus, inadequate chemical supplies, etc and the disruption or blockage may occur at the liver, blood system, a minute cell deep inside the body, or anywhere else. But irrespective of the intermediate causes and sites, once the energy flow is restored to be harmonious, all the cells, tissues, organs and systems will work the way they are supposed to work, which means the person will regain his good health.

How does the energy flow know the blockage is at the liver and not at the stomach, or in one particular cell or not in another? It is a natural characteristic of energy flow, like water flow, to flow from high levels to low levels. Areas of energy blockage are areas of low or no energy levels. If one practices chi kung sufficiently and regularly, energy flow will clear all areas of blockage, starting with the most serious areas (lowest or no energy levels), then the next, and so on.

This takes time, and the energy flow generated must be adequate. This explains that chi kung is not suitable for acute illness, but excellent for chronic disorders where the cause or sites may not be known.

Good health

Practicing chi kung and kungfu generates a lot of chi flow. Hence chi kung and kungfu practitioners exemplify good health.

LINKS

The question and answer are reproduced from Question 1 of the January 2005 Part 2 issue of the Question-Answer Series.