SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MAY 2019 PART 1
I thank Sigung for the recent article about marketing strategy. I look forward to the other parts so that I can implement the best possible approach to sharing chi kung. I gave a chi kung demo last night to a wife and husband, and the wife gave a great review of the demo on a public website I have here for Houston classes.
When teaching fresh beginners, is it recommended to send chi to students to help induce their chi flow, or is it sufficient just to teach them how to practice?
— Andrew, USA
My marketing articles will help instructors to have successful classes if they follow the articles. The problem is that the instructors do not follow my advice, though they may not realize it, or they do not persist in their effort.
The benefits of our arts are simply wonderful, and there are a lot of people who want these benefits. Marketing is connecting our arts with the targeted population.
Giving a demonstration to just 2 persons is not worth your trouble. You can't start a class even when they say that chi kung is wonderful, but you can use the testimony on your website.
It is not recommended to send chi to students irrespective of whether they are beginners or advanced. Let them clear their own blockage themselves, which is for their benefits. However, when a patient is in need of special help, which is rare, you can send chi to him or her.
How would chi flow help our kungfu?
— David, USA
Chi flow helps our kungfu in many ways.
When we use chi flow to move our forms, we can be very powerful and fast, and we do not become tired even when we spar or fight for many hours. That is why our students in my intensive kungfu courses can spar for a few hours without panting for breath.
Chi flow increases our internal force. Indeed, before one can develop internal force, he must let his chi to flow. This is a fact not many people know. That is why masters take a long time to develop their internal force even when they practice every day. That is also why we become so cost effective that we have to guard against over-training.
Chi flow contributes to our health, vitality and longevity. When chi flow is harmonious, we are healthy. When our chi flow is vigorous, we have vitality. When our chi flows for a long time, we have longevity.
Chi flow contributes to emotional balance. When negative emotions clog our systems, our chi flow flushes the negative emotions away.
Chi flow contributes to our mental clarity. When thoughts trouble us, our chi flow cleanse them away.
Chi flow enables us to be relaxed. Indeed, we need to be relaxed first to have chi flow. If a person is tensed, he blocks his chi flow. The more relaxed a person is, the better will be his kungfu performance.
Chi flow gives us spiritual joys. It nourishes our spirit, making us peaceful and happy.
Chi flow is a very special feature of our school.
Just a bit curious as to this video posted on your website. Aren't these types of kicks generally discouraged in traditional kung fu? Was this video simply meant to display the flexibility feat of your students?
— Nareshwar, India
Yes, flying kicks, round-house kicks and high kicks are generally discouraged in traditional kungfu. This video is meant to show the flexibility feat of my students that they too can perform these kicks if they want to.
Not many people today know this fact. They seem to think that if one can kick high, he is formidable. They are much influenced by such kicks shown in other martial arts, which are actually sports protected by safety rules, like not to attack the exposed groins.
People of older generations believe that if kicks are high, they are exposed. I remember that when I was young, before I knew how to counter these kicks, I thought to myself that Taekwondo exponents with their high kicks were seriously exposed as I was constantly reminded in Uncle Righteousness' class not to do so.
What benefits are obtained from facial massage, point massage and heavenly drums at the end of a practice session?
— Oliver, Ireland
There are three main functions facial massage, point massage and heavenly drums serve us.
They act as a buffer between cosmic dimension and everyday condition. When we practice chi kung, we are in cosmic dimension. If we suddenly open our eyes, we may experience a cultural shock.
Secondly they spread energy that we have developed during our practice session all over our body. By massaging the areas around our eyes, for example, we have sparkling eyes. By massaging our face, we have rosy cheeks.
Thirdly, they contribute to the process of normalization. We do not want to be healthy and happy only when we practice chi kung. We want to be healthy and happy all the time. Performing facial massage, point massage and heavenly drums contributes to this process of normalization.
"Lifting the Sky" is your favorite exercise in Eighteen Lohan Hands. Which is your favorite exercise in Eighteem Lohan Art?
I can answer straightaway that "Lifting the Sky" is my favorite exercise in Eighteen Lohan Hands, as I perform this exercise most often. I should also mention that when I perform "Lifting the Sky", I operate only at about 30% of my potential, which is more than enough to give me good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys.
If I have to choose a favorite exercise from the Eighteen Lohan Art, I have to think for some time. I would settle for "Green Dragon Charges at Face". It expresses "soft" force, which can be very powerful, and does not need muscular strength to perform it well. Besides excellent for combat, it contributes much to my health, vitality and longevity.
How do we instill confidence in chi kung healing?
— Sifu Kevin Barry, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
There are two main ways to instill confidence in our patients. One way is to explain the philosophy why chi kung healing can overcome their health problems. The other way is to give practical examples.
Let us take cancer as an example. Most people would regard cancer as incurable. But from the chi kung perspective, cancer can be cured! Cancer is caused by energy blockage, i.e. energy is blocked to work the natural mechanisms that overcome cancer. These mechanisms work naturally to overcome cancer or any other diseases. It is natural to be healthy.
Practicing chi kung -- genuine chi kung, and not just gentle physical exercise using chi kung techniques -- generates an energy flow that can clear the blockage. The cancer patient recovers as a matter of course.
Different chi kung techniques produce different types of energy flow. A trained chi kung healer knows which types of chi kung techniques are suitable for which diseases.
A second way is to give practical examples of people who have overcome cancer. I have many examples myself. I was awarded "Qigong Master of the Year" in 1997 at the Second World Qigong (Chi Kung) Congress more than 20 years ago because of my work in helping cancer patients recover.
But if a new chi kung healer does not have sufficient examples himself to give to the cancer patient, he can quote real examples from our school. These examples, of course, must be real and can be verified by the patient if he or she wants to. Sifu Joan from Ireland itself, Sifu Laura from Spain, Dr Foong and Sifu Wong Chun Nga from Malaysia, for example, have a lot of real cases.
We have mentioned confidence for the patient. The healer himself or herself must also have a lot of confidence in helping patients to recover from their illness. If he (or she) lacks this confidence, he must not take up the case. He should recommend the patient to a competent healer who has proven his success in helping patients regain good health.
We are the only school I know that openly say that so-called incurable diseases can be overcome, and we have a lot of cases to prove our success. There are literally countless people suffering from so-called incurable diseases. These two facts alone will give our chi kung healers confidence.
However, if patients do not believe in us, that is their problem. We have no right to force our healing on them.
How does practicing the Shaolin Pakua Set enable you to have an "enlightenment in kungfu combat application"?
As you and many others know very well, it was the Shaolin Pakua Set I learned from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, that gave me an "enlightenment in kungfu combat". Before this, my kungfu combat was simplistic, like using "Single Tiger Emerges from Cave" to defend against a side kick.
The Shaolin Pakua Set opened a new vantage of combat application. I learned, for example, that when someone gave me a side kick, I could avoid his kick and simultaneously catch his leg, and then throw him off if I want to be merciful, or kick his groin with my toes if I want to be drastic.
I also learned tactics. I could, for example, execute a double punch to let an opponent grip my arms, then release the grip and strike the opponent at his solar plexus. I learned this the hard way, i.e. before I had learnt the tactic, I was put out of action for 6 months by my siheng who applied this tactic from the Pakua Set.
I also learned strategies from the set. I would let my opponent attack me, and then retreat with a tiger-tail kick, then a jumping thrust kick, and catching his hand and sending a punch at his ribs, using "Lazy Tiger Stretches Waist", "White Horse Presents Hoof", and "General Leads Horse".
We shall learn all these at the coming Pakua Set course. We shall not only learn the techniques for combat, but also tactics and strategies. It is mind-blowing to know that we can learn all these in 3 days when most other practitioners would take many months just to learn the routine of the set, and many years to have just some understanding of the combat application of a few simple patterns. (This question was asked before the Pakua Course in Ireland in February 2018.)
An excellent method of the course is group work where course participants work out the combat application of every pattern in the Pakua Set. Instead of telling the combat application of the patterns, I teach them how to work out the combat application themselves, i.e. instead of giving them a fish, I teach them how to fish.
The tremendous improvement in understanding combat application from the Pakua Set, of course, is not just limited to Shaolin Kungfu. It can be applied to any styles of kungfu, indeed any martial arts. It is not just knowing the techniques, indeed not even just knowing the tactics and strategies, but knowing the underlying principles which can be applied to all martial arts and daily life itself.
Do you think you would also have an "enlightenment in kungfu combat" if you were taught another set instead of the Pakua Set by Sitaigung Ho Fatt Nam?
Yes, I think if my sifu taught me another set instead of the Pakua Set, I would also have an "enlightenment in kungfu combat". It was his special way of teaching that enabled me to have the "enlightenment". But certainly the Pakua Set increased my combat efficiency tremendously.
It started with "Four Gates", the first set taught at the school and also the first set taught at the southern Shaolin Monastery at Quanzhou during the time of the Venerable Jiang Nan, but it accumulated with the Pakua Set. My sifu's teaching was special, which I believe was what was done at the southern Shaolin Monastery.
My sifu did not just teach me the set. He emphasized on internal force training and combat application. When I learned "Four Gates" I learned how to use one arm to control an opponent's two arms. When I learned the Pakua Set there were a great variety of combat applications which I did not realize before, and which opened for me a wide vantage point of how to use kungfu techniques for fighting.
Earlier, when I learned from Uncle Righteousness and Sifu Chee Kim Thong, I did not have such understanding. When I went out to look for sparring partners during the time I was learning from Uncle Righteousness, my kungfu techniques were simplistic. I tried to draw from the kungfu sets that I had learned to meet various combat situations, like using a tiger-claw to block a kick, which was actually not effective.
When I learned from Sifu Chee Kim Thong, I did not know the combat application of San Zhan, the set I arduously practiced at the school. I thought, wrongly, that the set was used to develop internal force, which my classmates were known for.
But after learning from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, my understanding of using kungfu techniques for combat increased beyond recognition. I became so combat effective that I did not have to look for sparring partners as I had proven to myself that I was combat efficient. Instead, advanced martial practitioners, like masters and professional fighters, sought me for sparring.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to Grandmaster Wong via his Secretary at stating your name, country and e-mail address.
- The Wonderful Benefits of Chi Kung
- Why Shaolin Kungfu is the Greatest Martial Art
- Should Chinese and Western Medicine be Integrated into a Single System?
- Really Amazing
- Onward to the Interior