SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MARCH 2010 PART 2
I am writing to you for your advice on creating a program of Chi Kung practice for my entire life. I have been quietly investigating a few Chi Kung exercises for a number of years, such as "Lifting the Sky", but with little focus.
— Daniel, New Zealand
From your e-mail, it is obvious that your concept of chi kung training is a modern one based on intellectualization which is very common in Western societies, but which is very different from traditional chi kung practice that has been proven successful and beneficial through the centuries. Unfortunately this modern, Western concept is unlikely to produce good results. It also has, despite the good intention of those involved, resulted in chi kung being debased into an external form of exercise, instead of an internal art it actually is.
To avoid misunderstanding, please take note that I myself am a great admirer of modern, Western culture. The benefits we get from modernization, which is mainly Westernization, like air travel and dissemination of information through the internet for example, are unthinkable even a century ago.
I would also like to emphasize that my comments are made in good faith. They are not meant to belittle you or those idealist dreamers like you. In fact the comments are meant to help you. It is also obvious that you have good intentions and are sincere in hoping to help others through chi kung. But because you start with a wrong concept, not only you are unlikely to be successful in your aims, but also you are going to waste a lot of your time as well as the time of other people.
Why is your concept faulty? The reasons can be found in the few statements you have made above.
You have little understanding and experience of chi kung, yet instead of learning and benefiting from the rich legacy of chi kung philosophy and practice passed down by generations of masters, you think yourself capable of recreating a programme of chi kung for your entire life As an analogy, instead of buying a car and use it beneficially, you try to re-invent the wheels.
Secondly, you have been investigating a few chi kung exercises without focus for a number of years. Do you know what is wrong with this? You have been wasting your time. Firstly, you do not have sufficidnt background knowledge to carry out any fruitful investigation. Secondly, you have been doing so without focus, which means you are unlikely to have good results despite spending a lot of time. Thirdly, chi kung is not meant for theoretical investigation, it is meant for practice to derive benefits.
I have learnt traditional Wing Tsun Kuen for 3 years. I also studied the standard Taiji 24 set.
The manner of my Sifu's training was a careful and gentle one -- an emphasis on stances, slow and methodical form practice, cultural and historical awareness, and development of good character, which I believe to be in line with the Ten Shaolin Laws. Chi Sao came after 2 years of practice, and sparring only after 8 years of constant practice.
You are lucky to have a sifu who teaches in a traditional way that covers all important aspects of kungfu training, including emphasis on stances, combat application and character development. Many kungfu schools today train as if they practice kick-boxing, often with students sustaining much injury and with little or no emphasis on cultural awareness and good character.
I recently left the school as I found my initial reasons for beginning to practice were different than my reasons now, as I have grown a lot in the last year as a person. At least for now, I would like to dedicate myself to more fundamental Chi Kung practices.
Many people start learning kungfu or any martial art without being aware of their purpose of doing so. Were you like this too?
Different people may have different personal reasons for learning a martial art, but the main general reasons (as oppose to personal reasons) are to be healthy and able to defend themselves.
It is alarming that after many years of training many martial artists today are unaware they have failed to achieve the two main aims of being healthy and able to defend themselves (otherwise they would not be routinely hit during sparring). Worse, they have actually become more unhealthy than before they started their martial art training, and they continue to subject themselves to be hit during sparring for no good reasons.
If we presume that your personal reasons for learning a martial art are the same as those for learning chi kung, i.e. to spread its benefits to other people, you will also be doomed for failure for the same reasons I have explained above, namely you started with a faulty conception and have little or no knowledge of what genuine kungfu is.
My aims in life are to be a good person, husband, father, teacher, and artist. I see my practice of Chi Kung to run alongside these things, interrelated, and benefiting all aspects of existence.
I am glad that you have noble aims in life. Setting your vision is the first step, which is also a very important step as it determines the type and amount of effort you have to make and the direction you have to follow.
The next important step is to find good teachers who can show you the way to achieve your goals. The third important step, which demands the most time and effort, is to follow the teachings of good teachers towards your vision.
Your statement that practicing chi kung runs alongside your noble aims is only correct if you practice high-level chi kung from a great master. Indeed, it is not just chi kung, any noble arts like Shaolin Kungfu, Taijiquan, yoga or good education will lead you to your vision.
However, the fact is that today if you practice chi kung or any other noble arts, you may not necessarily reach your goals. This fact can easily be verified. Pick at random 30 people who practice chi kung or any martial arts. How many of them are good husbands, fathers, teachers and artists? Some of them are, but more likely their being so is due to other factors and not due to their practicing these arts.
This does not mean that these noble arts do not lead you to your goals. In fact, they do. So, what has happened? These noble arts have been grossly debased. They are no longer what they were. And to a large extent, the degradation of these arts was effected by people like you who had good intentions but little understanding of the arts, and were eager to teach the world before they themselves had become good students.
Editorial Note: Daniel's other questions are posted in the March 2010 Part 3 issue.
I have never practiced Kung Fu but have been quite fascinated by it. I love Kung Fu movies and would spend hours just watching. I am 47 years old and would love to be able to practice some Kung Fu, not really for fighting but just for mental development and physical development. Can you help please? I am not even sure that at my age I will be able to do this kind of training.
— Mortimer, Jamaica
There are many styles of kungfu, but in my opinion the best is genuine, traditional Shaolin Kungfu. Please see my webpage Why Shaolin Kungfu is the Greatest Martial Art for the justification of my claim. The hallmarks of genuine, traditional Shaolin Kungfu are internal force, combat efficiency and spiritual cultivation.
However, while there are many schools teaching Shaolin Kungfu, genuine traditional Shaolin Kungfu is quite rare today. Internal force and spiritual cultivation are absent in most of the Shaolin Kungfu taught nowadays. Some of these Shaolin practitioners are good fighters, but they use Kick-Boxing or other martial art techniques rather than Shaolin Kungfu in combat.
At 47 years of age, you are not too old to practice genuine, traditional Shaolin Kungfu. My oldest student, Robert Trount, started learning Shaolin Kungfu from me when he was 87, two years after I cured him of a serious heart problem at 85.
If you just wish to learn any form of Shaolin Kungfu, you can find many schools teaching it. But if you wish to learn the type of Shaolin Kungfu where you can use Shaolin techniques for free sparring, where you can spar for a few hours and not be panting for breath, where at 47 and beyond you can be stronger and fitter than people half your age, where your kungfu training will give you mental clarity and spiritual joys (irrespective of religion), I would recommend that you learn from any one of our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors , and later attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course.
If there are no certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors near where you live, you can learn from a good local kungfu instructor first or even from my books. Please remember that the local instructor is unlikely to teach you internal force, free sparring using Shaolin techniques or spiritual cultivation. But you can learn some good kungfu forms from him. When you are familiar with some basic kungfu forms, you should attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course.
My father was diagnosed with cancer and recently had surgery to cut part of his stomach. He found that Sifu Wong Kiew Kit treats cancer by Chinese methodology. How can you help us? Is our case curable in your office? Your soonest response is appreciated.
— Nodir, Kazakhstan
I am sorry to hear of your father's cancer, but the good news is that cancer can be cured! Many people have overcome their cancer by practicing chi kung learnt from me or our certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors.
However, to say that cancer can be cured does not necessarily mean that every cancer patient will recover. This is because recovery depends on a few other factors, like whether the patient practices the chi kung therapy correctly, the amount of disease-causing agents he may still be exposed to, and whether the disease has passed a certain threshold.
To understand how practicing high-level chi kung can overcome cancer, it is necessary to view it from the traditional Chinese medical perspective. Viewing it from the conventional Western medical perspective, as most people today would do without realizing the difference, does not make sense. It is like using English grammar to describe the Chinese language, which, for example, does not have tenses or conjugation.
In traditional Chinese medical philosophy, all diseases, including cancer, are due to energy blockage. Smooth energy flow is the norm. Disease-causing agents are attacking us all the time, but as long as our energy flow is smooth, it will flush out or inhibit the disease-causing agents and enable healthy living to carry on.
In your father's case, the agents that cause cancer also attack other people. More significantly, they also attacked your father in the past before the disease occured in him. Why do other people not have cancer and why did your father not have cancer in the past? It is (was in your father's case) because the smooth chi flow flushes out or keeps in check the cancer-causing agents as well as all other disease-causing agents like viruses, stress and negative emotions.
Hence, if your father, or any sick person, can restore his normal smooth energy flow, he will restore his good health. An excellent way to do so is to practice high-level chi kung learnt personally from a master. It is important to note the three key words in the above statement, namely "practice", "high-level" and "master".
If he does not practice regularly, it may not be sufficient to restore the smooth energy flow. If the chi kung is not of a high-level, it may not be poweful enough to have the desired effect. If he does not learn from a master, he may only know the chi kung techniques but not acquire the necessary skills to practice them correctly.
Many people are at fault with the thrid point above. They think, erraneously, that if they know the techniques, like learning them from any instructor or even from a book or an e-mail, they can perform high-level chi kung. It is like thinking that if they learn swimming or driving techniques from a book, they can competently swim or drive.
I would suggest that your father attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. Please click Intensive Chi Kung Course for details. Or he can learn from one of our Certified Shaolin Wahnam Instructors or Certified Chi Kung Healers. As he now has removed the tumour or symptom, which sometimes can be more life-threatening than the cause of the disease itself, he has more time to practice high-level chi kung to clear the root cause itself.
It is interesting to note that in chi kung philosophy one does not even need to know the cause, yet he can clear it with energy flow and restore his good health. In other words, the cause of your father's cancer can be a or b or c which causes energy blockage, resulting in the symptom in the form of a tumour in his stomach. When you father practices high-level chi kung regularly, the powerful energy flow will clear the energy blockage, irrespective of whether it was caused by a or b or c, and he will not only overcome his cancer but more significantly regain good health. You can find more information about chi kung and cancer cure in this paper presented at the Second World Qigong Conference.
I notice that when one does Iron Palm training, he attempts to brick a brick with his right hand. Is it safe to attempt breaking a break using the left hand?
— Michael, Australia
A good Iron Palm practitioner can break a brick safely with either hand, though it is easier with the right hand, unless he is a left-hander or he chose to train with his left hand. In fact, in the past some masters purposely trained with their left hand, leaving their right hand free for everyday activities.
I heard that bricks aren't the same in hardness. Is it true that bricks are layered are different from bricks in a hardware store? Is it also that red bricks are harder to break than long gray bricks?
Yes, bricks are of different hardness.
Red bricks, which are made of baked clay, are harder than gray bricks, which are made of dried sand.
The type of clay as well as the amount of baking also determined the hardness of a brick. The redder the bricks and the longer they have been baked, the harder they become. Hence, bricks that are left in the open or layered but exposed to the sun, are harder than similar bricks in a hardware shop.
Generally, bricks in Europe, North America and Australia are harder than those in Southeast Asia, which in turn are harder than those in China. If you can break an Australian brick, you should be able to break two Chinese bricks.
A good way to tell the hardness of a brick is to hear its sound by gently hitting it with another brick or gently dropping it on a cement floor. It it gives out a metalic sound, like "ting". it is very hard. If it gives out a muddy sound, like "tug", it is not so hard.
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