SPARRING AND INTERNAL FORCE

Sifu Wong and his disciples

Sifu Wong and his disciples


Taijiquan Sparring posted by Jeffrey Segal in the Shaolin Wahnam Virtual Kwoon and Discussion Forum on 12th April 2003.

Sparring and Internal Force

Jeffrey Segal
Shaolin Wahnam Australia
12th April 2003

Dear Master Montaigue,

Welcome to the forum! I think it's wonderful that you are taking the time to share your vast experience with us and that you are willing to post in a public forum. As a Wahnam Taijiquan instructor I'm delighted that “our” section of the forum has sprung to life.

Recently I organised a special get-together in Switzerland for Shaolin Wahnam instructors from all over Europe. It was a memorable meeting of Shaolinquan and Taijiquan and the order of the day was sparring. I believe that the following incident is quite relevant to the discussion at hand.

We paired off and began free sparring. I would like to point out that in our Wahnam School, free sparring is the last step in a long process that begins with learning the forms and a dedicated cultivation of internal force. Anthony already gave a link outlining these methods in his post on page one of this thread.

Anyway, after only a few minutes, one of the Shaolinquan instructors gave one of the Taijiquan instructors a very light tap on the chest with his foot. The Taijiquan instructor dropped to the floor, reeling as if he'd been struck a mighty blow. We recorded most of the day on video and it really was little more than a tap.

Luckily, Sifu Wong quickly opened his vital points, and asked him to perform some remedial Qigong exercises. When Sifu Wong met him some days later in Spain, not only had he recovered from the kick but he had been able to clear some other blockages as a result of the Qi cleansing.

This story raises several points.

  1. I don't think that protective gear is effective against strikes delivered with internal force. Kai has amply illustrated this in his post.
  2. Sparring without protection is safe as long as one trains correctly. Indeed, had the Taijiquan instructor been used to sparring with protective gear, he may not have noticed the impact of the strike. The internal damage that would have resulted had he not performed some remedial Qigong may have been quite severe.
  3. It's not realistic for an instructor of an internal martial art to attack his students with full force.

I'm looking forward to hearing any comments you might have on my little story and also to your answers to Dan's question “do you not find if you use Fa-Jing you risk causing them serious energetic injury that results in emotional or physical symptoms?”

Best regards,

Jeffrey Segal
Shaolin-Wahnam Zurich

Stance Training

Zhan zhuang, or stance training, is an effective way to develop internal force. Here, during a regional Shaolin Kungfu class in San Leonardo, Spain, Sifu Wong led his students in Golden Bridge.

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