THE BENEFITS OF UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING KUNGFU PHILOSOPHY

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Besides working out their combat sequence, Sifu Roland, Nick and Charles are discussing the philosophical points underlying their patterns

For convenience, kungfu may be classified into four aspects, namely form, skill, application and philosophy. Most kungfu practitioners today neglect philosophy. This is one main reason they do not derive as much benefit as they should given the time and effort they have spent. Philosophy is like a map — it shows us our destination as well as the routes.

This and the following video series show course participants discussing kungfu philosophy in relation to the combat sequences that they formulate. In particular they discuss the reasons for their choice of patterns, whether there are better alternatives, and what advantages and disadvantages are present. Such a discussion not only enhances their kungfu performance but also enrich their daily lives.

Philosophy should serve us, not enslave us — a trap even some masters have fallen into! Some masters, for example, are captivated by the high-sounding terms of kungfu philosophy, but do not really know what the term means or be able to apply the philosophy to enhance their kungfu. The onus of kungfu training is practical benefit, for combat as well as daily living, not merely intellectual pleasure.

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The Importance of Waist Rotation

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Grandmaster Wong demonstrates the mechanics and effectiveness of waist rotation in releasing a double hand grip on the arm. Rotating the waist is much emphasized in Taijiquan, though many Taijiquan practitioners fail to realize its importance or even perform the movement correctly. It is equally important in Shaolin Kungfu.

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Importance of Kungfu Philosophy

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Philosophy is an important aspect of our kungfu training. Many kungfu practitioners, however, neglect this aspect. This video clip shows course participants discussing the background philosophy of their attacks and responses.

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Making Wise Chose of Attack and Response

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We can derive a lot of benefits from understanding and applying kungfu philosophy. One benefit, as shown in this video clip, is that we are aware of different ways to attack and respond, and are able to make a wise choice as well as why we make that choice. Many other practitioners merely attack and defend randomly.

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Philosophical Discussion Enhances Performance

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Steve, Andy and Eugene Butterworth are discussing how to apply the Tiger-Claw, while Molly, Sifu Innes, Sifu Eigene Siterman, Wuji and Alex are discussing various ways to counter an organ-seeking kick. Such philosophical discussion enhances their practical performance as well as help them to use kungfu principles to enhance their daily lives.

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Philosophy of Patterns Performed

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While the others work in groups, Sifu Anthony has to work alone because he is the only one in this course who specializes in the Shaolin Pakua Set. Does this mean he will miss the benefit of philosophical discussion as well as other team activities? Of course not. In fact this video clip reveals Sifu Anthony working out on his own the philosophy of the patterns he is performing.

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Building up Philosophy from Experience

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In the foreground, Sifu Roland, Nicholas Jones and Charles are working out an effective counter against a kick. They analyze various factors involved, like the advantages and disadvantages of this counter, and the possible responses an opponent would make. These points will build up a sound philosophy for these moves.

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Deliberating on the Choice of Patterns

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Nicholas Kryder and Peter are working out a combat sequence from their Dragon-Form Set. Their movements are smooth, though they are conserving their force, because they have formalize their sequence after satisfactory philosophical deliberation earlier on. Daniel and George, on the other hand, stop at various points of their sequence to deliberate on the choice of their patterns.

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Practical Experience and Benefits

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We must not be tied down by philosophy, as some arm-chair masters have fallen victims to. Some masters attempt to make their arts look grand by highlighting philosophical points, but often without really understanding what these points mean. The fundamentals of any art are practical experience and benefits. Its philosophy is meant to explain and enhance the experience and benefits, not to mystify them.

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Apply Philosophy in Combat Situations

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What would you do if an opponent pulls your arm and simultaneously strikes at your ribs? Eugene is able to respond correctly because he understands, consciously or unconsciously, the philosophy of flowing with the opponent's momentum. Nevertheless, he has to consider how to do effectively, which further contributes to his understanding of kungfu philosophy.

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Benefits of Understanding and Applying Kungfu Philosophy from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.

LINKS

How to Think and Act as a Master

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. Returning to the Basics
  2. Form, Force, Flow and Element of Threat
  3. Reviewing the Basic Combat Sequences
  4. Devising Strategies Using Combat Sequences
  5. Applying Strategies for Effective Combat
  6. Free Sparring with Prescribed Conditions
  7. Combat Sequences to Train Spontaneous Attacks and Responses
  8. Using Strategies and Tactics in Attack and Defence
  9. It is Heartening to see so Many People Using Kungfu in Free Sparring
  10. Felling and Gripping Techniques in Shaolin Kungfu
  1. How Sequence Training and Chi Flow Enhance Combat Efficiency
  2. The Tiger-Crane Set — Manifesting the Hard and the Soft in Shaolin Kungfu
  3. The Dragon-Tiger Set — Crystallization of Two Wahnam Traditions
  4. The Dragon-Form Set — Demonstrating that Softness Can be Very Powerful
  5. Shaolin Monkey Set — Symbolizing Spiritual Path from Cheekiness to Enlightenment
  6. Shaolin Five-Animal Set — Gist of Shaolin Forms and Essence
  7. Shaolin Pakua Set Set — An Exclusive Set Fit for Kings and Generals
  8. Combat Application pf Pakua — Sharing Secrets for Combat Efficiency
  9. Beginning to Learn some Monkey Tricks
  10. Refining Techniques in Combat
  1. Some Examples of High level Combat
  2. Collective Effort for Greater Benefits
  3. Can Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques be Used in Combat?
  4. Skills are usually More Important than Techniques
  5. One-Finger Shooting Zen — the Treasure of Shaolin Wahnam
  6. Raising Levels of Techniques and Tactics in Combat
  7. Bringing Combat Skills to More Sophisticated Levels
  8. Monkey Techniques are Flowing and Agile but can be Very Devastating
  9. Flowing with the Opponent's Momentum
  10. Beware of the Monkey Tricks
  1. Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
  2. How to Raise your Level of Combat
  3. How you can Defeat your Opponents
  4. Employing Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques to Enhance Combat Efficiency
  5. Systematic Training is Essential for Combat Efficiency
  6. Raising Combat Efficiency from Basic to Advanced Levels
  7. Kungfu Philosophy and Swaying Willows
  8. Hands Pave the Way, Kicks to Clinch Victory
  9. Six Harmonies of the Double Tiger Claws
  10. The Amazement and Effectiveness of Monkey Kicks
  1. A Bag Full of Monkey Tricks
  2. Gentle and Flowing, yet Very Powerful
  3. Can your Responses still be Correct and Spontaneous in Real Fights?
  4. Incorporating Kicks into Combat Sequences
  5. Elaborate Patterns to Meet Complex Combat Situations
  6. The Benefits of Understanding and Applying Kungfu Philosophy
  7. Our Kungfu is a Training of Energy and Mind
  8. Ensuring Own Safety when Felling Opponents
  9. The Beauty and Profundity of Shaolin Felling Techniques
  10. Felling Techniques of the Dragon and the Monkey
  1. Felling an Opponent Without him Realizing What has Happened
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Tiger-Crane Set
  3. Tiger Patterns for Chin-Na, Against Kicks and Countering the Shoot
  4. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Tiger Set
  5. Revealing the Secret Tactic of Leak Hand
  6. From the Level of Techniques to the Levels of Tactics and Strategies
  7. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Form Set
  8. Effective Techniques for Fighting on the Ground
  9. Pattern Analysis of the Monkey Set
  10. Soft Techniques and Internal Force in Monkey Kungfu
  1. Interesting Monkey Patterns that are Deadly for Combat
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Pakua Set
  3. Pattern Analysis of the Five-Animal Set
  4. Variety of Techniques in Shaolin Five Animals
  5. Investigating the Combat Applications of Some Patterns
  6. Similar Patterns but Different Applications
  7. Effective Counters against Kicks, Grips and Knee Jabs
  8. Secrets of Skyward Cannon Punch in Continuous Attack
  9. Cannon Punch Towards Sky and Fierce Tiger Crouching on Ground
  10. Flowing Monkey Techniques against Powerful Tiger Claws
  1. Sophisticated Grips and Sophisticated Counters
  2. Breaking an Opponent's Elbow and Wrist
  3. Neutralizing Wrist Lock and the Three Harmonies
  4. Advanced Chin-Na Techniques and Counters
  5. Two Stories about Kicks
  6. How to Respond to Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  7. Can Beautiful Patterns and Flowing Movements be Effective in Combat?
  8. Linking Combat Sequences into a Set
  9. From Pre-Arranged Sparring to Combat Efficiency
  10. Crystalization of Combat Techniques from Past Masters
  1. Hei Sai or the Spirit of Energy
  2. Manifesting the Energy and Spirit of your Form
  3. Manifesting the Spirit of the Form
  4. Kungfu Practice is not just Physical Training but also Spiritual Cultivation
  5. Fluidity of Form, Energy and Spirit
  6. Shaolin Kungfu is Chi Kung and Meditation
  7. Revealing the Secrets of Shaolin Masters
  8. The Profundity of Shaolin Combat Application
  9. It is Easy to Fight against Boxers
  10. Avoiding a Boxer's Strong Points and Attacking his Weaknesses
  1. Some Effective Tactics against Boxers
  2. The Strategy of Not Allowing an Opponent to Escape
  3. The Strategy of Letting Trick Manifesting Trick
  4. The Strategies of Interception and of Striking Form
  5. Standardized Routines of Kick-Boxing Attacks
  6. Some Effective Counters to Kick-Boxing Attacks
  7. Felling a Kick-Boxer when he Kicks
  8. The Secrets of Two Tigers Subdue Dragon
  9. Shaolin Counters against Kick-Boxing and Karate
  10. Some Important Combat Philosophy and Principles
  1. It is Relatively Easy to Handle Karate Attacks
  2. Good Spacing When Executing Kicks
  3. A Variety of Taekwondo Kicks
  4. Effective Shaolin Counters against Taikwondo Kicks
  5. Trapping Legs and Subduing Opponents
  6. Making Expedient Changes to Surprised Attacks
  7. The Legacy of Sigung Ho Fatt Nam — Planting Willow in Front of Camp
  8. Having Fun in Throws and their Counters
  9. Sharing the Secret of Move Stance Change Step
  10. Some Unorthodox Felling Techniques Not Commonly Seen
  1. Felling Opponents with your Stances!
  2. Beware of Monkeys; they are Expert at Plucking Peaches
  3. Sophisticated Footwork and Leg Techniques of Monkeys and Gorillas
  4. Wrestling Throws are Found in Shaolin Kungfu Too
  5. Real Fighting is Different from Martial Sports
  6. Who Says there is no Ground-Fighting in Shaolin Kungfu
  7. An Incredible Secret of One-Finger Zen
  8. Understanding Muay Thai Fighting Strategies and Techniques
  9. Various Strategies to Counter Muay Thai Fighters
  10. Responding to Muay Thai Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  1. Avoiding Opponent's Strength and Attacking his Weakness
  2. Effective Ways to Counter Sweeping Kicks
  3. Effective Counters against Knee and Elbow Strikes
  4. Crouching Tiger against Grab Neck Elbow Strike
  5. Shaolin Kungfu for Combat Efficiency, Good Health and Spiritual Development

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