HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SHAOLIN WAHNAM ARTS
In these months I explored the Shaolin Wahnam website and read some instructive pages. I remain amazed and fascinated from the variety of arts which can be learned. Thus the idea that I would like to deepen my knowledge of chi kung (not only Tai Chi) took shape quite definitively.
— Massimo, Italy
Many students and even instructors in our school are amazed at not only the wide variety of arts we offer but also the depth of benefits we achieve with these arts. Some are concerned whether they could cope with this wide range of arts and high level of attainment.
A brief explanation of the philosophy and history of our school will make this clear. Our school, Shaolin Wahnam, was founded at a time when kungfu and chi kung were deteriorating to a ridiculous level where most kungfu practitioners could not use their art for combat and chi kung practitioners had no experience of chi! Hence, a main aim of our school is to preserve and pass on to posterity the secret methodologies and wonderful benefits of these great arts.
We started modestly with what we call the fundamental stage. In Shaolin Kungfu and Wahnam Taijiquan this fundamental stage is divided into 12 levels, where we focus on basics, combat application, internal force and basic weapons. In chi kung, we focus on good health, vitality and longevity using patterns from the Eighteen Lohan Hands to generate energy flow and perform self-manifested chi movement.
But because kungfu and chi kung have been reduced to such a ridiculous level where their essence is lost, even our fundamental stage appears very advanced to many people. For example, to those who have never been exposed to the depth of kungfu and chi kung, when we use kungfu patterns to overcome complicated combat situations, develop internal force from stance training, or generate energy flow to overcome so-called incurable illness, many people were amazed. Indeed, some course organizers suggested that we labelled these fundamental courses as masters' courses!
We also faced criticism from sceptics who just did not believe in internal force or such diseases like cancer and diabetes can be overcome, despite first hand testimonies from students who have experienced these benefits. Our policy is not to bother with these sceptics; whether they believe in our attainment or not is their business, and we continue to share our secrets with those who sincerely want to learn from us, irrespective of their race, culture or religion.
We have by now generally covered our fundamental stage, and have moved to our intermediate stage. At this intermediate stage we pass on the treasures of past masters, crystallized in classical sets like Tiger-Crane, Dragon Form, Five Animals, Pa-Kua, Tantui, Eagle Claw, Praying Mantis, Siu Lin Tou, Iron-Wire, Triple-Stretch and Flower Set. In chi kung, we move on to peak performance in daily life and spiritual cultivation, with courses like Cosmic Shower, Cosmic Breathing and Merging with the Cosmos, using techniques from Sinew Metamorphosis and the Small Universe.
A few of our advanced practitioners and instructors have moved on to the advanced stage. Here kungfu practitioners specialize on advanced arts like Golden Bell, chin-na, dim mark and chi kung practitioners on chi kung healing and Big Universe.
Our wide spectrum of arts may bewilder some of our students, especially those practicing Shaolin Kungfu and Wahnam Taijiquan, and they may be anxious that they could not learn all these arts. Actually they need not learn all the arts taught in the school. They can just select those arts that suit their needs and aspirations.
Then, why do we teach so many arts? There are two main reasons. It is an important aim of our school to preserve and pass on these great arts to posterity. We provide a wide range for our students with different needs and aspirations to choose from.
Many of our chi kung students learn from us because they want to overcome their illness, which conventional medicine and other therapies could not overcome. They realize their objective by practicing generating energy flow and self-manifested chi movement which are taught at our fundamental stage. Those who wish to have vitality to enjoy their daily work and play, and to attain spiritual fulfilment progress to our intermediate and advanced stages.
Our kungfu students learn from us because they want to learn genuine Shaolin Kungfu or Taijiquan. Many are satisfied when they can apply kungfu patterns for combat, develop internal force and experience spiritual joys, which they can obtain even at our fundamental stage. Those who wish to progress further and be part of the process in preserving and passing on great kungfu to posterity can move on to the intermediate and advanced stages where they learn classical sets and specialized arts.
The above is taken from Question 1 August 2011 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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