SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
DECEMBER 2015 PART 3
I have some questions regarding Chin Na training. What specialized set would you recommend as most conducive to building chin-na application ability and the force of a skill such as Tiger Claw?
— Ray, USA
The 72 Sequences of Shaolin Chin-Na are excellent to train chin-na techniques. It is very comprehensive and extensive. Actually if you can master any 5 sequences, you would be able to apply chin-na techniques very well.
As the 72 sequences are quite long, I shortened them into a set of 72 patterns, The combat sequences of the 72 techniques can also be found here. Understandably those who have not practiced the Shaolin 72 Chin-Na Techniques may not be able to follow the set or the sequences. Even if they can, they may not know their secrets. The videos on the set and the sequences are mainly meant for those who attended the chin-na course in Sabah in 2008, as well as for preserving the art for posterity.
The tiger patterns in the 36-Pattern Tiger-Crane Set that I learned from Uncle Righteousness are meant for chin-na. The crane patterns are meant for the "no-shadow kicks".
External methods are used to train force for tiger-claw, such as gripping jars and jabbing into beans. However, I learned an excellent internal force method to train tiger-calw from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. It is called "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws".
The internal force developed from "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws" is fantastic. It is much more powerful that the external force trained from gripping jars and jabbing beans, and it takes less time. However, one must know internal force training before he can attempt "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws", otherwise he may derived adverse effects. This page shows some tiger claw force training.
Not many people have the chance to practice "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws". But Shaolin Wahnam students have trained "One-Finger Shooting Zen". It is also a very good method to train the internal force of tiger-claw.
Are there times where one should use a skill such as Eagle Claw or Dragon Claw instead of using Tiger Claw at the meridian or point level?
Yes, although all these different types of claws can be used for chin-na, their functions are quite different. Eagle claw is used to grip an opponent's arm while executing a decisive strike on him. Dragon claw is used to tear apart an opponent's body, like tearing his face from his skull or tearing an arm off. Tiger claw is used to grip vital points.
Their training methods are also different. Externally, to train eagle claw, a practitioner grips Y-shape branches. To train dragon claw, he tears bark off trees. To train tiger claw he grips jars.
The internal force training for eagle claw can be found at this page. For internal dragon force training, a practitioner draws energy from the sun very early in the morning. Of course, the internal force training for tiger claw is "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws".
Is there a method to build chin-na skills within the Tai Chi Chuan tradition or must one venture outside of it?
Chin-na is found in Tai Chi Chuan but most people may not realize it. The whole of "Grasping Sparrow's Tail", for example, can be used for chin-na.
"Immortal Waves Sleeves" can be used to grip an opponent's arm. "Double Dragons Play with Water" can be used to dislocate an opponent's head. "Push Boat According to Current" can be used to break an opponent's wrist. "Black Bear Sinks Hips" can be used to grip an opponent's elbows. "Open Window to Look at Moon" can be used to grip an opponent's ribs.
Unlike in Shaolin Kungfu such as tiger claw, dragon claw and eagle claw, there are no special names for Tai Chi Chuan hand forms for chin-na. There are also no special training methods, like gripping jars or drawing in sun energy. Important force training methods include Lifting Water and Cloud Hands. The internal force is versatile and can be used in numerous ways besides chin-na.
I want to ask if it's OK to practice different forms of chi kung, like Iron Shirt chi kung? Is it OK to mix them up?
— Qasim, Irekand
You should not practice Iron Shirt chi kung without a competent instructor. You are likely to hurt yourself.
You can practice different types of chi kung at the same time. For example, you can practice Soaring Crane Chi Kung, and at the same time practice Eight Pierces of Brocade.
But you should not mix up different chi kung exercises. You should not, for example, take one part of Soaring Crane Chi Kung and mix it with another part of Eight Pierces of Brocade
I am so surprised, I just re-injured my neck! Neck pain has been a huge part of the Lyme Disease, and I have made huge progress clearing it wtih the EFT and qi gong. Long airplane rides typically cause me to get reinjured. Just so surprised this is happening right now!
— Elizabeth, USA
Referring to a question you asked me earlier, the ease you got yourself injured and your belief that you could effectively learn qigong techniques from books or e-mails to overcome your injury or illness, indicate that what you have been practicing is low-level qigong or merely gentle physical exercise.
Please don't misunderstand that I belittle your previous practice. Yours is a common concept amongst people who practice gentle physical exercise thinking it is genuine qigong. They asked me to tell them which exercises they should practice to overcome serious illness, or worse, to tell them so that they could tell their friends or family member to practice to overcome cancer.
Just some common sense could tell how ridiculous this could be. If people suffering from cancer could overcome their illness by knowing which qigong exercise to practice, there would not be so many people suffering from cancer today.
But there is a big, crucial difference. You are prepared to travel half the world to come to learn from me to overcome your illness. But those who suffer from more serious illness are not prepared to learn from me or my certified instructors although they fully know that we have helped many people overcome such diseases.
A first important step to practice genuine high-level qigong is to change your mind-set. It is not which exercises to practice that makes ones qigong low-level or high-level, it is the necessary skills he uses in his practice that matter. In the same way, it is not what techniques a footballer or a swimmer uses that make him high-level, it is the skills, or how well he plays football or swims that matters.
I am really hopeful to get this cleared up before I travel. I have many things to ease these exacerbations, and I would love to use some of your practices. I am assuming "Wise Owl Looks Behind" and "Rotating Winch" would be good?
Don't worry about which exercises to do. Just attend the Intensive Chi Kung Course and learn the necessary skills from me. As an analogy, if you wish to become a high-level footballer or singer, don't worry about what techniques you use or what songs you sing. Learn and develop the necessary football or singing skills.
"Wise Owl Looks Behind" and "Rotating Winch" are not exercises found in the Eighteen Lohan Hands I teach. If you cannot even get the names of the patterns correctly stated although these names are clearly stated in my website, like at http://www.shaolin.org/chikung/lohan.html it shows you lack care or your effort is wasted.
The two patterns you referred to, are called "Drawing Knife" and "Turning Head". If you have the necessary qigong skills, they are excellent in overcoming your neck problem. If you don't have the necessary skills, they can aggravate your problem. As an analogy, if you have the necessary skills, you can play football or sing well employing the techniques used by high-level footballers and singers. If you lack the necessary skills, you make your football playing and singing worse.
I would also like to highlight that at the Intensive Chi Kung Course, a whole range of skills from generating energy flow at a beginner's level, attaining peak performance at an intermediate level, to spiritual expansion at an advanced level are taught. If you wish to overcome illness, you should focus on the beginner's level. You should leave the intermediate level and the advanced level for future progress.
I have never been able to make long flights like I have to make to get to your course. This is the furthest I will ever have traveled, and I have to travel for 24 hours straight!
When you are at the intermediate level of attaining peak performance in qigong, amongst many benefits you can travel long flights and do not have any jet-lags. Traveling for more than 30 hours in a flight is a regular feature for me. And as soon as I land, instead of resting, my students take me out for sight-seeing.
I have been away from home now for about a month. In my first flight I left home at about 1.30 p.m. on 29th October, and arrived at San Juan in Puerto Rico at 6.16 p.m. on 30th October. Taking into consideration the time difference of 13 hours between Malaysia and Puerto Rico, the journey took about 42 hours! Was I tired when I arrived. No, I was fresh like a spring flower.
My longest flight so far took me 3 days. I left Penang for Singapore at night. I left Singapore and arrived at Johannesburg the next morning. I was on transit from Johannesburg to Cape Town where my student met me and took me sight-seeing, including going up the Table Mountain.
In the evening I flew from Cape Town to Madrid and arrived the next morning. My Spanish students took me out for "tapas", which is delicious food in small pieces, and sight-seeing. In the afternoon I took a flight from Madrid to Caracas in Venezuala, and on transit to San Jose in Costa Rica. Interestingly I arrived on the same calendar day although I flew for about 12 hours across the Atlantic from Europe to Latin America because flying westward I lost a few hours local time.
More interestingly, I lost my luggage in the flight. My student had to hurriedly take me to a shop to buy an impromptu kungfu suit as I had to teach a very, very important person two hours after landing. After that I had a night-long qigong seminar with top business executives. I had supper, which was supposed to be my dinner, at eleven that night. Early the next morning, I started two long days of qigong courses. That was my longest flight which I remember as three nights without sleeping on a bed. The long interesting flight enabled me to catch up with some reading.
Are there any others you would suggest that I focus on? I know it is not perfect, as I don't have the energy flow instructions, but with my mind geared toward moving into your practices, I would love to know which of those might help me most right now for the neck injury, and I will just do them to the best of my current ability. So hoping to have a strong neck for the flight!
Your imperfection concerns not that you are unable to tell which qigong techniques to practice but due to your failure to differentiate between techniques and skills. Stop worrying about techniques. Just come to the Intensive Chi Kung Course to learn some wonderful qigong skills.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
- Shaolin 72 Chin_Na Techniques
- Taijiquan for Health, Combat and Spiritual Cultivation
- Don't Become a Slave to Intellectualization
- San Zhan of Wuzuquan
- Beautiful Places