SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
OCTOBER 2021 PART 2
These last few weeks have really made me realise how fortunate I have been to spend most of my life learning the Shaolin Arts from you, travelling the world visiting many wonderful places and sharing great experiences with Joel and my Shaolin Wahnam family.
I was in the process of beginning to create the chi kung classes for Shaolin Wahnam Wales when Joel and I have intuitively felt it's time to start having our own children. I know that this will also be part of my journey to share the teaching with other women who are wanting to become mothers in the future.
— Parveen, England
AnswerBeing pregnant is one of the best things to happen to any woman. It is wonderful to bring life and joy to this world.
I remember when my wife first conceived her first baby. She was so excited. She loves her children very much, even when the children have their own children.
Here is one of the best exercises you can do. Go into a chi kung state of mind, and imagine that the baby is developing beautifully and healthily. When the time is right, have a happy and pleasant delivery. It will always be.
You can do the above exercise many times. Three times is right -- once in the morning, once in the evening and once at night, but do not perform it at noon. Perform the exercise for about 5 to 10 minutes. Your chi kung baby will always be healthy and happy, full of vitality and have longevity.
When you teach, you will bring happiness and health to many women. Always speak from the position of strength, and charge high fees. Remember you are giving health and happiness, which any woman will love to pay; others merely perform physical exercise. Meanwhile, just enjoy your baby.
I plan to write an article about the various hand forms in Kung Fu.
Is there a difference in outer form between the Mantis Hook and the Monkey Paw?
Another similar hand form is used in Drunken Kung Fu, like in the pattern "Lift Cup to Heaven". Is the hand form correctly called "Drunken Fist"? Is it correct that the index finger and the thumb do not touch each other, like in a loose monkey paw?
— Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Shaolin Wahnam Wien
In the Mantis Hook, the index finger points forward, whereas in the Monkey Paw the fingers are close together.
Yes, the pattern you mentioned, i.e. "Lift Cup to Heaven", is called Drunken Fist. The knuckles are used in striking. Without internal force, the Drunken Fist is quite useless.
In the orthodox position, the index finger and the thumb do not touch each other. But use it in any way suitable; remember that kungfu forms are for convenience.
So far, I have collected the following hand forms:
- Level Fist/Cup Fist
- Snake Hand
- Leopard Fist
- Dragon Hand Form
- Dragon Palm
- Dragon Claw
- Tiger Claw
- Eagle Claw
- Phoenix Eye Fist
- One Finger Zen
- Sword Fingers
- Hook Hand/Crane Beak
- Mantis Hook
- Monkey Paw
- Drunken Fist
- Elephant Fist
In the list that you gave, the level fist is for most practitioners, and the cup fist for those with internal force.
The snake-hand is for those with internal force; without internal force a practitioner may sprain his fingers.
The leopard fist is useful for striking the spine, the throat, the temples, the ribs and the groin.
The dragon-hand form is like the whistles of a dragon. It is for those with internal force. A practitioner without internal force may strain his index or middle finger.
The dragon palm is also for those with internal force. For ordinary people, the fist is more powerful than the palm, and the fingers are the least powerful. For those with internal force, it is the reverse, i.e the fingers, the palm and the fist are the most powerful in descending order.
Dragon claw, tiger claw and eagle claw are for chin-na, which is a special way of gripping. Dragon claw are internal, drawing in the early morning the sun's energy. Tiger claw and eagle claw are external, like holding jars and iron balls for tiger claw, and riping barks for eagle claw. But I use an internal method for my tiger claw called "Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws", which is about 3 times as effective than an external method.
The phoenix-eye fist can be external and internal. Sifu Li Hoong Pieo could make a hole with his external phoenix-eye fist on a tin can. Choe Family Wing Choon, the Wing Choon we practice, is internal, and is very useful.
One-Finger Zen is for dim mark, i.e. striking energy points to prevent energy flow. Many instructors and senior students who attended the Dragon Strength Course know this art, which is generally lost.
The sword finger is for using the sword. I use this often in chi kung healing.
My sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, told me a secret of the crane beak. The fingers are slightly open when piercing into the eye, the throat or the testicles. When the eye-ball, the Adam's apple or a testicle is gripped, the crane beak is pulled out with the fingers close. It is barbaric, and we don't do it as Shaolin disciples, but we must we careful that an opponent, especially in the past, might do it.
My sifu also showed me the hook hand. I now know why it is easy to grip an opponent's testicles from behind.
The mantis hook, the monkey paw and the drunken fist are quite similar. One must have internal force, which is rare today, to use them.
The elephant fist is very powerful. It is external and has the middle knuckle protruding out from the fist.
I believe you have covered all the hand forms except the willow-leaf palm and the tiger-claw palm.
Another rarely used hand form came to my mind, the Crab Pincers like in "Second Auntie Catches Crab".
I would describe them as similar like an Eagle Claw, but the fingertips closer together. Is this correct or do you have anything further details on the hand form?
Yes, the crab pincer is like the eagle claw with the fingertips close together. Sometimes the thumb and the index finger are used, like gripping the throat.
You may also like to add the willow-leaf palm and the tiger-claw palm. The willow-leaf palm is formed with the fingers close, and the palm is flat and straight.
The tiger-claw palm is like the tiger-claw but used as a palm strike instead of gripping with the fingers. The fingers are more open, quite like the dragon palm.
The thumb in the willow-leaf palm is bent in. It is very popular in Northern Shaolin, like in Tantui and Seven-Star.
It is also used in Taijiquan and Xingyiquan, although in Taijiquan it is called the Taijiquan palm, and in Xingyiquan it is called the Xingyi palm.
The Bagua palm in Baguazhang often has the index finger protruding out. The willow-leaf palm in the Shaolin Pakua Set is typical, with the fingers close and the thumb hooked in.
We also forget the leopard punch is sometimes called the ginger punch. It is often used in Choe Family Wing Choon and Choy-Li-Fatt Kungfu, and is excellent against the spine, the ribs, the groin and the throat.
It is popular in Choe Family Wing Choon, which is useful for the small sized person against the physically strong and big. I often wonder why the popular style of Wing Choon from Hong Kong does not have the leopard punch.
In kungfu there are a lot of hand forms. It is so different from other styles of martial arts where the fist is usually used.
When we mention the fist, there are different ways of holding and using the fist, whereas in other styles of martial arts it is used mainly for punching.
In kungfu, the fist is the least powerful, the palm is the next and the fingers the most powerful. One can access a kungfu practitioner by viewing how he holds his hands. This is understandable as internal force, which is used in the fingers, is not found in other martial arts.
Is it possible to be always happy surrounded by unjust and immoral people?
— Paz, Spain
Happiness is a matter of perspective. We in Shaolin Wahnam are always happy, and am I glad to say that this is much due to my teaching. Besides teaching the genuine arts, I also teach a philosophy of life.
There is no doubt that the world is full of unjust and immoral people. But we see only the good side of things, though we realize that there is much ugliness in the world.
Let us take sickness as an example. Luckily for us in Shaolin Wahnam, we are never sick. But there are a lot of sick people in the world. Even when they may not be physically sick, they are emotionally sick. They are full of anxiety, fear and worry.
If a person is sick, we sincerely wish him (or her) well. We influence him to practice chi kung. But if he does not want to practice chi kung, we let him live his own life, but we sincerely hope he will get well. If he dies, that is not the end of him. We wish that he will be born in a better situation of life.
What would be the best way to deal with people who are continually trying to challenge and provoke others?
It is excellent to have good thoughts. Smile from the heart often. When you smile from the heart, you open your heart and set your spirit free.
I am often challenged and provoked by other people. They don't challenge or provoke me directly, but they do so behind my back. They say our arts are useless, and we cannot fight, though we have many international champions in our school.
But I have made known that we teach only the deserving. If we have to fight, we shall fight well. But we do not glorify fighting, and hope not to fight at all. We give priority to good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance, and being peaceful and happy.
Would the "Small Universe" be a good way to be above all that?
The "Small Universe" is an excellent exercise. I practice it often. It contributes to good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys. It makes a person very lucky.
You can practice the "Small Universe" more often. It will enhance every aspect of your chi kung and kungfu.
Personally, I check myself frequently to do good, avoid evil, and cultivate my spirit. But I feel a lot of pain when I see bad actions around me. And I see many, very often. Could it be a matter of my karma in other lives? Or is this world just like this?
You are one of my proudest students.
While we are peaceful and happy, we must not forget that there are a lot of bad actions around us. We do not mean to forget them, but we acknowledge them and still remain peaceful and happy.
I remember that when I was much younger, I went through these bad actions. I helped others, like giving them money when I myself was quite poor, and saved some from dying, but they went against me.
I remember I asked the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion and other divine beings what wrongs had I done, and concluded that it was part of my training to become a great master. Hence, I can now readily forgive, and be peaceful and happy.
The world is such. There are a lot of bad people. But we recognize them, and have good thoughts.
Your karma is good. But karma is flux. We can make our karma better. Have good thoughts, be peaceful and happy, and practice your chi kung and kungfu. They will certainly give you good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.
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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- Wonderful Benefits of the Shaolin Five-Animal Set
- Frequently Asked Questions of Taijiquan
- On Forgiveness
- From the Humble to the Majestic