SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MARCH 2018 PART 2
Could you tell us more about Cotton Palm?
— Sifu Tim Franklin, Shaolin Wahnam UK
Cotton Palm is a very advanced art. It is taught to an inner-chamber disciple after he has proven his worth after many years of kungfu training. It is simply ridiculous that we offer it in our UK Summer Camp 2017.
But participants to the Cotton Palm course must prepare themselves well. They just practice everyday the Cotton Palm set I posted on my website. They must be in a chi kung state of mind and not use any muscular strength in their practice. Students in our school should have no difficulty doing this, but other people may not be able to do so.
In the past it took many years to develop the internal force for Cotton Palm. But we are ridiculously effective. We can do so in a few months. If students start practicing the Cotton Palm set now, they would have sufficient internal force by the time they attend the Cotton Palm course.
Editorial Note: This and subsequent questions were asked before the Cotton Palm course at the UK Summer Camp in June 2017.
What does Cotton Palm do in terms of general everyday benefits, martial benefits, healing benefits, and health benefit? What is its origin and training? Can you tell as a typical story of Cotton Palm?
In terms of general everyday benefits, Cotton Palm will give us a lot of vitality and mental clarity, which enable us to attain peak performance in whatever we do.
In terms of martial benefit, we can cause serious injury on an opponent without leaving any external mark.
The internal force of Cotton Palm is excellent for healing. But the person must first of all be trained in healing. It can speed up recovery by a high proportion.
Cotton Palm gives good health, vitality and longevity. A Cotton Palm practitioner will not be sick at all, yet full of zest in whatever he does, irrespective of his age.
I don't know the origin of Cotton Palm. I believe it originated at the Shaolin Monastery and developed on Wudang Mountain.
There are many methods to develop Cotton Palm. The main principle is that chi must be flowing. The more chi there is and the better the flow, the more powerful is the Cotton Palm.
Pak Mei was reputed to have not only Cotton Palm but the Cotton art for his whole body. He could suck in an opponent's attack and send him flying back many feet on release.
Watching the video of the Cotton Palm set it appears that you use flowing force and fa-jing, instead of flowing and consolidating force like in the Cosmos Palm set. Is this correct observation or put another way, what force methods are you using for Cotton Palm?
You are right in your observation. Relatively, Cosmos Palm focuses more on consolidation, though flowing force is important. Relatively, there isn't much consolidation in Cotton Palm.
In Cotton Palm I mainly use flowing internal force, like by training "Wave Sleeves Light Breeze", "Cloud Hands" and "Garments Receive Flowing Breeze". This is not difficult for those who know chi flow, but is quite impossible for those who don't.
Can I continue to train Cosmos Palm and train Cotton Palm?
Yes, you can. Indeed they will enhance each other. But it is not recommended for other people as the two arts may cancel each other. This is a great advantage that we have. You can read more about it in my articles on breadth and depth, like here for example.
Now I have been here for almost 3 weeks, things are going well. I love Dr. Foong's healing sessions. He gives a great boost to my inner potential for recovery.
As usual I am looking for your wise guidance. At moments it seems to me during the last week that my bad health symptoms are worsening. Dr. Foong says I shouldn't pay attention to such feeling but it is easier said then done. I am also afraid that such thoughts impede the healing process.
— Gabriella, US
I am glad that you are undergoing chi kung healing at Dr Foong's Holistic Health Cultivation Centre, and are doing well. Kuala Lumpur is a lovely city. Spend time visiting interesting places as a normal person. This will actually help you recover faster from your illness.
There are three possible reasons why your symptoms seem to be worse than before.
- You are cleansing. The chi kung healing is clearing the bad things in your body.
- You have over-trained. The benefit from the healing is too much for your physical body to bear.
- Your illness is worsening.
Here are the remedies for the above possibilities.
- You need not worry about the symptoms appearing to be worse. A good way is to keep yourself busy, like visiting interesting places, shopping or window shopping, meeting new friends, and chatting with old ones, and engaging yourself in hobbies.
- Reduce the time or intensity of your chi kung training. If you practice for half an hour a session, practice for only fifteen minutes. If you practice 3 times a day, practice 2 times or only once.
Besides reducing the time of your training, an excellent way is to reduce the intensity of training. Do not go too deeply into a chi kung state of mind. You need not spend time entering a chi kung state of mind at the start of your training session, and during your training, perform your exercises as if for fun.
- If the illness is worsening, of course one must seek treatment. From my experience, the best treatment is chi kung healing. But do not seek chi kung healing from any chi kung healers. Most of them do not produce good results. You must seek healing from the best chi kung healer you can find who has a good record of helping patients overcome their illness.
I believe in your case the reason is the first one, i.e. your symptoms appear to be worse because chi kung healing is cleansing them out. Dr Foong is an excellent healer. He has helped many people overcome cancer and other so-called incurable diseases.
We only practice forms in our kungfu training. How can we use our forms for fighting?
— Albert, France
Many people today practice only kungfu forms. Strictly speaking, merely practicing kungfu forms is not kungfu training, which include internal force and combat application.
If they need to spar, they would borrow techniques from other martial arts, like from Karate, Taekwondo and Boxing.
If you wish to learn to use your kungfu forms for fighting, you have to learn from a master who can use kungfu forms for fighting. If you learn from books or videos, unless you are already accomplished in kungfu fighting, you are unlikely to be successful.
Using kungfu forms for fighting include many aspects which are very difficult to be shown in books or videos. These aspects include good timing, good spacing, picture-perfect forms, element of threat, force and stamina, and experience in fighting.
What are the benefits of entering into a chi kung state of mind?
— Verina, Germany
There are many levels in the chi kung state of mind, but the most fundamental, which also means the most important, is to be relaxed and focused at the same time.
When a person is relaxed, he has better result no matter what he does than when he is tensed. When he is focused, he bas better result than when he is distracted.
Because of exponential progression, when you are relaxed and focused at the same time, you are not only twice but four times better in whatever you do! Entering into a chi kung state of mind is essential for performing chi kung, otherwise you may be performing chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise.
If you have practiced chi kung regularly for a year, being relaxed and focused will have become habitual to you. In other words, no matter what you do, you will do better by 4 times.
Is having a chi flow the same as entering into a chi kung state of mind?
No, they are different. But one must be in a chi kung state of mind to have a chi flow.
If he is not in a chi kung state of mind, he might have performed chi kung techniques, like "Lifting the Sky" and "Carrying the Moon", but he performs them as gentle physical exercise, and not as chi kung or energy exercise.
Similarly, many people perform genuine Taijiquan techniques as an external dance and not as an internal martial art.
Indeed, I believe that more than 80% of chi kung practitioners today perform chi kung techniques as gentle physical exercise, and they are unaware of it. They may be angry at my statement, but actually it is meant to help them. Of course, whether they will learn to enter into a chi kung state of mind so as to practice chi kung, is their business, not mine.
While entering a chi kung state of mind is an essential condition for performing chi kung, one may not necessarily practice chi kung when in a chi kung state of mind. He may be doing other things, like enjoying his meal, talking to a friend, or planning a marketing project. Whatever he does, he will have better result.
Indeed, all the great things achieved by men (and of course by women) were done in a chi kung state of mind. When Leonardo da Vinci painted his Mona Lisa, when Newton discovered his Laws of Motion, when Cervantes wrote his Don Quixote, they were in a chi kung state of mind. They probably had not heard of the term "chi kung state of mind", but they were relaxed and focused at the same time. In Western terms, they were in a heightened state of consciousness.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
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