July 2008 (Part 3)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Moving into the second month, for the Horse Stance, I felt that I cannot progress beyond 4 minutes, although days before that I could once a while hold my stance for 4.5 minutes. And I did not feel as “vitalized” as in the first month.
I noticed one thing that during Flowing Breeze after the stance, I would end up doing patterns like “Butterfly Dancing In Front of Flowers” automatically.
When I started the practice again, most of the sessions ended satisfactorily. I wanted to write to you so many times to express my gratitude, and also wanted to apply for the April Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course. But I held this until today as I do not want to disturb you with my emails or application which are caused by my petty fancy to chi kung and kungfu.
— Jason, Malaysia
I am not sure whether you learned the Horse-Riding Stance from me or any of our certified instructors, or from my books or videos. If you have not learned it personally from a competent teacher, I would suggest that you do not practice it on a regular basis.
The Horse-Riding Stance is a powerful exercise, but it can bring insidious, serious side effects when practiced incorrectly. Paradoxically, because it is simple, it is easy to practice it wrongly.
Even when you have been practicing the Horse-Riding Stance correctly, it is not uncommon that the time you can stay at the stance varies from day to day. There is nothing to worry about if you can hold the stance for 5 minutes on one day but drop to 4 minutes the next day. Indeed, you need not worry even if you drop to just a minute, though this is uncommon.
There are many possible factors causing the variation. You may be tensed the second day, or you may be intellectualizing. But whatsoever, you should not worry. You should enjoy your practice. Also do not crave for the benefits. Let the benefits come naturally.
You are welcome to my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course, but you must be able to perform basic kungfu forms reasonably well. This course is not for beginners. If you are not familiar with kungfu movements, you will be unable to follow the course. You will get more benefits if you are familiar with the 16 basic combat sequences which will be used for combat application during the course.
I missed many wonderful courses, and some of them I received from the Wahnam Secretary, like the Review Course at the end of 2004, and the Advanced Chi kung Course in Apr 2007.
These courses are by invitation only. As a Shaolin Wahnam student, it is likely you will be invited to other special courses. Those invited are free to accept or decline the invitation.
But non-Shaolin Wahnam members are not accepted. They may, however, apply to attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course, Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course.
When I was reviewing some posts in our discussion forum, I was very, very surprised that, you taught the Small Universe and the Big Universe!!!!!!! I stared at the screen for a few seconds, rubbed my eyes, and became very excited, and very regretful!
I read your Q&A that you mentioned you did not conduct the Small Universe course because students would need to be with you for several months. And you were still not sure in a 5-day course students could achieve the desired result. So, all this while, my plan was to practice enough chi kung, and made the best preparation for the Small Universe course that one day you might offer. I had no certainty that you would offer such a course. Indeed I make Small Universe a goal that is unlikely for me to achieve in my life.
But I missed such a golden opportunity without knowing! And I was receiving the offer from the Secretary!
Many practitioners consider the Small Universe as the ultimate chi kung exercise. Although this concept is incorrect, it shows how great a value chi kung practitioners place on the Small Universe. The thread The Small Universe — A Discussion for Course Participants in our Discussion Forum, which you probably have read, record some comments on the course by some course participants.
Yes, you are right. Although many people asked me to offer a Small Universe course, I did not do so because at that time I was not sure whether I could help students achieve the Small Universe within the few days of an intensive course.
I could successfully teach the techniques of the Small Universe within half an hour. But knowing the techniques and actually attaining the Small Universe are different — a fact, interestingly, not many practitioners realize.
This confusion between techniques and result was highlighted years ago when I first taught regional courses overseas in Spain. I offered two courses, the basic “Generating Energy Flow” course and the more advanced “Massaging Internal Organs” course. Some students wanted to skip the basic course to go straight to the more advanced course, saying that they already had practiced chi kung before.
But to me it was obvious that they had not benefited from their chi kung training as they looked sick and weak. They said they had practiced the Micro-Cosmic Flow. I told them that in our school the Micro-Cosmic Flow was called the Small Universe, and it was a very advanced art in chi kung.
When asked, they described the techniques of their practice. Their techniques were correct, although we in Shaolin Wahnam use a different set of techniques to achieve the same result. I explained to them that different schools had different policies, and in our school taking the basic “Generating Energy Flow” course was a requirement for other chi kung courses. They were very glad that they did. Some of them told me that it was the first time they really understood what chi was, and that they had never felt so relaxed and energized before.
Over the years I have improved my teaching methodology remarkably. When I was sure I could help course participants to really attain the Small Universe, not merely learn the techniques, I offered the course to selected students. The result surpassed what I had hoped for. Not only the course participants achieved the Small Universe, some of them even achieved the Big Universe, which is even more advanced.
Much of the credit went to the course participants. Actually many of them already had the Small Universe through their many years of chi kung training though they might not be aware of it. I activated and highlighted the Small Universal Chi Flow for them.
Many Shaolin Wahnam members have asked me to offer the Small Universe course again. I thought I could do it again this year, but I have to postpone it due to my tight schedule.
This Small Universe course is undoubtedly one of the three best courses I have ever taught. The other two are the “Merging with the Cosmos” course I taught on the Blue Mountain, and the “Chi Kung Healing” course I recently taught in Penang.
The “Merging with the Cosmos” course was exceptional. The best part of the course was not taught by me; I was only a conduit. It was transmitted by Guan Yin Bodh Satt, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, in whose temple on the Blue Mountain the course was conducted. Understandably some people may think we are crazy but there was no doubt at all that many course participants feft Her presence, and we are forever grateful to this great Bodhisattva.
The “Chi Kung Healing” course was very special. I am very glad that at last I could share with selected disciples the philosophy, skills and techniques that I have used to help many people over the years to recover from a great variety of illness.
Sifu, do I still have the opportunity to learn the material you taught in the Advanced Chi Kung Course from you? I wish you can conduct the advanced Chi Kung course publicly again and approve my application. I hope I can learn such wonderful arts once in a lifetime, and also before your retirement (I know about this in your Q&A).
It is the policy of our school to give the best to our deserving students. If you are deserving and ready, you will be accepted to the special courses. These special courses are not open to the public. They are offered to selected students only.
I am also greatly surprised by your offer of Shaolin 72 Chin-Na course! This art indeed exists! I recall that you call Chin-Na a compassionate way of fighting.
“Chin-Na”, which is a uniquely special way of gripping attack, is one of my specialties. It was also one of the specialties of my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. It is often heard but little understood. One important reason for my offering of the “Shaolin 72 Chin-Na” course is that I wish to pass on this specialty to my selected disciples before my retirement.
Course participants will learn not only the famous Shaolin 72 chin-na techniques and their counters, but the philosophy, the skills, the internal force of the Tiger-Claw needed for successful chin-na as well as the remedial treatment required to help overcome injury caused to chin-na victims.
Yes, chin-na is a compassionate way of fighting. It is also a master's way of fighting. In other words, chin-na can be effectively applied when a practitioner is masterful in his skills and techniques, and compassionate in his heart.
Instead of breaking his skull or bones, or causing him serious internal injury so that a die-hard opponent cannot continue fighting even when he wants to, a compassionate master applies chin-na techniques on him. The injury caused by chin-na is decisive, i.e. it ends the combat, but it is reversible, i.e. the opponent can recover in a relatively short time with remedial treatment.
A combat-ending strike or kick can be executed in just one move, but an effective chin-na technique needs a few. Hence a chin-na practitioner has to be more skilful than his opponent as he has to make a few moves before the opponent can make one move to counter. He also needs to be more forceful, not only that the opponent cannot escape the grip when applied on him but also it is damaging enough, though reversible, to prevent him from fighting further.
Many people think that chin-na grips are just holds and locks. They are quite different. Even when you apply a complicated hold or lock on your opponent, as soon as you release it, he can continue to fight you. But it is not in the case of chin-na. When you release you grip, he cannot fight further even if he wants to.
Answers to Jason's further questions are continued in the next issue of the Question-Answer Series.
I wrote to you a while ago regarding depression, a continuous heavy bloated feeling in my gut and not being able to form relationships with people. You kindly responded but the situation has become a lot worse.
— Aaron, USA
You case seems serious, but chi kung healing or practicing high level chi kung can overcome it.
I can't remember what did you ask me and what advice I gave you. But the most important thing is for you to follow my advice. Obviously, if you just read my advice but did not take action, it would not help you to solve your problem.
If you followed my advice but had no result or had adverse effects, you should report to me as soon as possible. You need to provide a copy of your initial e-mail and my reply, or retell me your problem as well as my advice. I receive literally hundreds of e-mails asking for advice. If you do not provide me with relevant information, it would be difficult for me to remember your case.
I have now been hearing voices for several years and am close to complete despair. They say I am evil and such things, and are there whenever there is any silence. It is hard to live.
The voices started after some years of cannabis use, which I have now stopped, but in the past I have got so depressed at my inability to relate to people, the voices and my continual bloated feeling that I alternated between sitting in front of the TV and going back to it.
You should see a psychiatrist and follow his medication. If the first psychiatrist couldn't help to solve your problem, you should see a second psychiatrist for another opinion. If that doesn't help too, you can see a genuine chi kung master for chi kung healing. Yours is a serious case. You have to receive healing directly, not via e-mails.
What is important is not what the voices say about you, but what you yourself actually are. Are you evil? If you are, you have to change your evil ways immediately and do good. If you are not evil, you need not pay attention to what the voices say.
Each time you hear voices saying that you are evil, breathe out gently, relax and kindly tell the voices, “I'm sorry, you are definitely wrong. I am a very good person.” You should not be angry, nervous or afraid. You should feel pity for the voices for making such glaring mistakes. If you correct them each time they tell you wrong things, they will soon keep quiet.
I am not sure what you mean by relating to people. Do you mean that you find it hard to have friends and have conversations with them? It can be overcome quite easily.
Listen to people. Ask them to tell you their likes and dislikes. Ask them what they do in their free time. Listen attentively. Try to learn from what they tell you. It is more interesting if you try these techniques on girls.
When these techniques work, when girls love to talk to you because you listen to them attentively, ask them for dates. Be kind to them on your dates. Then tell your voices, “Listen, voices. I am such a good person. I am taking a girl out for a date. I shall be very nice and kind to her.”
Don't just sit in front of the TV. Go out with your friends, male and female. If you do not have any friends yet, join a Shaolin or Taijiquan class taught by a Shaolin Wahnam instructor. If there are no Shaolin Wahnam centres in your area, join any good kungfu or martial art class. A condition for the class to be called “good” is one where classmates do not routinely hurt one another in sparring.
I am 26 but feel doomed, like I will never have a family or get a job. All my life people have come to dislike me after a while and the voices are terrifying. Have you any ideas about hearing voices - what they are and more importantly how to get rid of them - and feeling bloated? I really need help.
26 is a golden age when one blossoms. When I was 26, I went hiking, camping, dancing, swimming and traveling, played chess and table tennis, read novels and philosophy, wrote letters and poetry, enjoyed music and good food, practiced kungfu and performed lion dance, besides dating a beautiful girl who is now my wife. At 26, there are so many things you can do besides sitting in front of a TB set and feeling doomed.
If you want to have a family, first of all you must get to meet some girls. Then choose a good girl and marry her. If you want a good job, you have to prepare yourself well for the job. Sitting in front of a TV set and feeling doomed will not get you a wife or a good job.
An effective way to have people like you, is for you to like them first. When you start to like people in a wholesome way, you will have less time for your voices.
The voices you hear may be real or imaginary. But irrespective of whether they are real or imaginary, if you lead a busy, fruitful life like what I have suggested, you will have little time for the voices, and they will probably leave you without you realizing it.
You certainly need help. There is a lot of help in this answer. But most important, you have to put the advice into action.
- Incredible but True — Dispersing Clouds
- From Pre-Arranged Sparring to Combat Efficiency
- Combat Applications of Shaolin Sword against Sabre and Samurai Sword
- Beautiful Carolina
- What is a Martial Art?