Reverse Breathing

Question 1

What are the various ways of breathing in chi kung?

— Renuka, Romania


Chi kung, spelt as "qigong" in Romanized Chinese, uses the best ways of breathing. But genuine chi kung is rare today; what most people practice though they call it "chi kung" is gentle physical exercise, and they don't realize it.

Chi kung is the management of vital energy, and breathing is an excellent way to manage this energy. There are, nevertheless, some types of chi kung where there is no conscious management of breathing. The breathing is allowed to be natural; it doesn't mean participants don't breathe.

The various ways of breathing in chi kung include Small Universe Breathing, Big Universe Breathing, Abdominal Breathing and Reverse Breathing. There are some uncommon ways of breathing, like Tortoise Breathing and Toe Breathing. Chest breathing, which untrained people usually do, throat breathing, done by elderly people, and diaphragmatic breathing, where the diaphragm is pushed up and down, are not chi kung breathing.

The usual way of breathing of genuine chi kung practitioner is Abdominal Breathing. It is sometimes called natural breathing. In Abdominal Breathing, the abdomen rises when breathing in, and the abdomen falls when breathing out. The rise and fall of the abdomen is little.

Abdominal Breathing is different from diaphragmatic breathing. In Abdominal Breathing, energy or chi goes to the abdomen; in diaphragmatic breathing, energy goes to the lungs, although the abdoment rises like Abdominal Breathing.

Reverse Breathing is the reverse of Abdominal Breathing, where the abdomen falls when breathing in, and the abdomen rises when breathing out.

It is different from chest breathing. In Reverse Breathing, energy goes to the abdomen; in chest breathing, energy goes to the lungs, although the abdomen also falls like Reverse Breathing when breathing in.

In Small Universe Breathing, which should be learnt from a master, the energy continuously goes round the body in the conceptual meridian and the governing meridian. The flow of energy is never-ending.

There are two types of Big Universe Breathing -- the Medical Big Universe and the Spiritual Big Universe. In the Medical Big Universe, energy flows in the twelve primary meridians going through the twelve internal organs. In the Spiritual Big Universe, energy permeates the body and merges with the Great Void, called differently due to religious and cultural reasons as God the Holy Spirit, Enlightenment, Brahman, Tao and the undifferentiated spread of universal energy.

Question 2

I am retired now and enjoy my retirement. Are you still traveling around the world to teach chi kung?

— Mei Mei, Netherlands


I am happy that you enjoy your retirement.

I would like to share with you a saying. "If you are accomplished in the Shaolin arts, it is better than changing stones to gold by touch."

At first I thought the saying was much exaggerated. But now I find there is much truth in it. Our Shaolin arts, especially our chi kung, give you good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys

I am now more at home, spending more time with Simu, my wife. I believe that spending more than 20 years around the world teaching chi kung is what my sifu meant when he told me to spread the Shaolin arts irrespective of race, culture and religion.

Being healthy, full of vitality, enjoy longevity, having peak performace and spiritual joys are better than changing stones to gold by touch

Question 3

I started feeling electric sensations on my skin and a flow moving inside my body, the sensation become more and more powerful, day after day I started feeling and sleeping better.

I started feeling my body light. When I was going to the gym another amazing thing was happening. I was able to raise much more weight and I could train by much more time without sweat or feel tired.

— Edipo, Brazil


You were practicing correctly at first.

The electric sensation on your skin shows that chi, or vital energy, is flowing strongly.

Feeling well, sleeping better, performing more than before, without feeling tired, and lifting more weights when you go to the gym are common feedbacks when chi kung is being practiced correctly.

Question 4

But the sensation stopped and I started feeling worse than before. I can still feel chi moving inside of my body, sometimes is much powerful but at the same time I feel something trying to stop the energy movement.

It is impossible for me try to meditate and relax nowadays. I feel a strange sensation, the muscles behind my eyes keep pushing, doing pressure and because this is impossible to relax the mind as well.


Feeling chi too strong moving inside your body is an indication of over-training. You may also feel nauseous and tired.

Feeling that something is trying to stop your chi is another indication of over-training. Actually everyone has energy blockage, but it is not serious enough to make him ill. When your chi flow has become stronger than usual and your systems are blocked, you may feel the energy blockage.

One of the wonderful tasks of chi kung is to clear the blockage, and as a result you feel fresh and energetic, and can perform much better than before.

I have warned that some of the exercises you perform are too powerful, and can lead to over-training. I suggest that you attend an Intensive Chi Kung Course, which you can find out more from my website.

Because of various factors, now I offer an Intensive Chi Kung Course about 3 times a year. Please contact my secretary at if you wish to attend, and she will send you more information.

Many people may wonder what can be learned on a few days of an Intensive Chi Kung Course. You can learn a lot, especially things that you normally do not learn elsewhere. You will have good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys, and you will be happy and peaceful every day.

Tiger Claws

Applying qin-na with tiger claws

Question 5

Thank you so much for offering another Small and Big Universe course! It is incredible that you are sharing this art again.

— Sifu Roeland Dijkema, Shaolin Wahnam Netherlands


Small Universe is a wonderful art. It is often regarded as "the chi kung", which means that chi kung practitioners would very much like to practice it.

There is a saying that "accomplishing the Small Universe will overcome hundreds of disease". But in Shaolin Wahnam because of our skills and cost-effectiveness, we can upgrade the saying to "accomplishing the Small Universe will enable us to live beyond a hundred years." The Small Universe will also give us a lot of good luck.

Question 6

I read in your book that your sifu, Sigung Ho, specialised in Tiger Claw and Dim Mark, but also excellent at Monkey style. Could you say that he was more Dragon than Tiger or Monkey as he was a master of mind?


My sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, specialized in tiger claw and qin-na, not dim mark though he also knew it. He was excellent at the Monkey Style, taught by my Sigung, the Monkey God, in my sifu's dreams.

My sifu was more of a Dragon. In his younger days when he specialized in tiger-claw and qin-na, which uses a lot of tiger-claw, perhaps he was a Tiger.

In a similar way, for which I am very proud, I follow my sifu's example. I was a Tiger before, specializing also in tiger-claw and qin-na. But now I feel I am more of a Dragon.

Flower Set

A combat application of the Flower Set

Question 7

I read the Buddha mentioned that he could not change someone's karma. Yet a Bodhisattva can perform miracles if someone in need chants for help. Is this not changing someone's karma? Or is this not what the Buddha meant?


The Buddha mentioned that he could not change someone's karma. For example, if a person has done very well in his worldly life, he will become a heavenly being in one of the many heavens.

A Bodhisattva can perform miracles if someone chants for help. This will improve that someone's karma, but not changing it. He still has to live his karma. Because of favourable conditions, like he has heard of a Bodhisattva's help, he chants the necessary mantra.

Question 8

I practise the Flower Set most often as you recommended. I am very happy that you shared the secrets of the Flower Set with us in 2011. It was a wonderful course. My favourite chi kung exercise is the Small Universe. Can I also specialise in this? Or would you recommend something else?


The Flower Set is wonderful. I am glad that I share its secrets in 2011 and also in 2012 where you were present.

Many kungfu masters, like the unbeatable Ng Mui, Miew Hein, the youngest of the Five Shaolin Elders, and Kam Foong Chi, one of the eight kungfu knights South of the River, specialized in the Flower Set.

Of course you can specialize in the Small Universe. It is a very wise choice. I practice the Small Universe very frequently, now every day.

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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