Qin-na is an important aspect of Shaolin Kungfu

(This chapter is selected from Sa Ban Ruo, Hundred Secrets of Force Training, undated, published in Chinese)

Internal Art Training and Silent Sitting

Irrespective of whether cultivators are from Confucian schools or Taoist schools, they pay much importance to silent sitting.

(Editorial Note: “Silent sitting” or “jing zuo” in Chinese is often translated as “meditation” in English. However, the term “meditation” may suggest meditating or thinking, which is exactly what practitioners in “silent sitting” would avoid. Hence, the term, “silent sitting”, is preferred.)

(Editorial Note: “Silent sitting” is literally translated from “jing zuo”. This term, “jing zuo”, is usually used in Confucian and Taoist schools. In Buddhist schools, the term “zuo chan” is usually used, and literally it is translated as “sitting in Zen”, because “chan” is the Chinese word for “Zen”. A classical term, which is neutral in Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian connotation, is “da zuo”, which literally means “strike-sitting”, but figuratively means “the practice of sitting silently”. “Da zuo” is actually the term used in the Chinese passage selected for this chapter.)

In Taoist schools, silent sitting is also known as “nei guan” or “internal viewing”. Cultivators practice “foetus breathing” to attain long life.

(Editorial Note: In Taoist schools, “silent sitting” is often called “internal viewing” because cultivators look inwardly or psychically at their energy flow inside their body.)

In Confucian schools, “silent sitting” is often called “chan ding” or “tranquillity in Zen”. It is to cultivate pacifying the heart to see nature.

(Editorial Note: Although the original Chinese passage mentions “Confucian schools”, what the author described applied to Buddhist schools. This was probably because many Confucian scholars used Buddhist methods of “silent sitting”. It is worthy of note that Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist are philosophical or cultural, rather than religions. A typical Chinese person, for example, can at the same time be a Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian.)

(Editorial Note: “Heart” here means the mind. “Nature” refers to “original nature”, or “original face”, i.e. the “nature” or “face” before the phenomenal world was born. It is infinite and transcendental, without differentiation. In Taoist terms, it is called the Great Void, or Tao. In Western culture, it is God the Holly Spirit. In scientific terms, it is the infinite and undifferentiated spread of energy, or consciousness.)

Although the aspirations and interest of the different schools of “silent sitting” are different, the supreme aim and result are the same.

(Editorial Note: This is a beautiful statement of truth. Although all the known religions of the world are different in their aspirations and interest, the supreme aim and result are the same.)

The purpose of “silent sitting” is to find in its tranquillity the nature of being. Cultivators realize that after silence, they can attain tranquillity. After tranquillity they can attain peacefulness. Its marvels are endless.

Training internal arts is the opposite of training external arts. External arts regard movement as the basic, internal arts regard stillness as the fundamental. This is using “soft” to overcome “hard”, and “stillness” to subdue “movement”.

(Editorial Note: The concept of “soft” is different from what many Westerners may conceptualize it to be. In internal arts, being “soft”, or “rou” in Chinese, can be more powerful than being “hard”, or “gang”. A very important principle in internal art training is “movement in stillness, and stillness in movement”. An example of “stillness subduing movement” is being still when an opponent attacks, then counter-strike him in the midst of his attack or as his attack is just completed.)

As a person exists in this phenomenal world, with myriad things and events, with complex emotions, being constantly affected by forms and sounds from outside, affected by hatred, love and fame from inside, his natural being is gradually eroded, even eliminated. If he at this time wishes to abolish his seven emotions, distance himself from his six desires, remove all emotions of greed, hate and ignorance, to return to his original state, to realize that the four greats are empty, to forget his three lives, to still his six roots, isn’t it an extremely difficult task?

(Editorial Note: The seven emotions are joy, anger, melancholy, anxiety, sorrow, fear and shock. They are the internal causes of illness in traditional Chinese medicine. The six desires result form the six roots of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and consciousness in Buddhist philosophy. Greed, hate and ignorance are called the “three poisons” in Buddhist philosophy. The four greats, also in Buddhist philosophy, are symbolized by air, earth, fire, and water that make up the universe. “Greats” can mean the infinitely small. In modern scientific terms, they are the four quarks of up-spin, bottom-spin, top-spin and bottom-spin. The three lives are the life before, the present life, and the future life. This is in Taoist philosophy.)

“Silent sitting” is an effective way to attain this achievement. Hence, the Taoists and the Confucians pay much importance to it.

“Silent sitting” is also the entry to internal art training because the fundamentals of internal arts are focusing spirit, nourishing energy and strengthening essence. If a cultivator can attain his heart like a bright mirror, not a spec of dust abides, and not a thought is born, then his spirit will spontaneously be focused, his energy will spontaneously be nourished, and his essence will spontaneously be strengthened. The internal art will be accomplished.

(Editorial Note: “The heart like a mirror bright” originated from the story of Hui Neng and Shen Xiu. Their teacher, Hong Jen, the fifth patriarch of Zen in China, wanted to choose a successor. So he asked his disciples to write a Zen poem.

Shen Xiu wrote:

The body is the Bodhi tree
The mind like a mirror bright
Clean it diligently every time
Do not ever let dust alight

Hui Neng responded:

Bodhi is actually not a tree
The mind not a mirror bright
Buddha nature is always tranquil
Wherefore can dust alight?

As Hui Neng’s poem showed his profound understanding of Zen, he was chosen as the sixth patriarch.)

If a person’s spirit is distracted, his energy dispersed, and his essence weakened, it is necessary to employ “silent sitting” to overcome his weaknesses, and then strengthen him. Thus, “silent sitting” has a very special and important place in internal art training.

When people live in the phenomenal world, it is difficult for them to eliminate thoughts. When they first practice “silent sitting”, their thoughts cannot be simply erased. What techniques can be used to erase the thoughts so that their heart is like a bright mirror?

An effective method is to look inwardly at themselves. It is called the triple-observation technique, which is the eyes observing the nose, the nose observing the mouth, and the mouth observing the heart. Before attempting “silent sitting”, a practitioner must perform this triple-observation.

However, there are other techniques besides the triple-observation. Reciting “Amithaba Buddha” or just counting 1, 2, 3, 4 repeatedly are also effective techniques. The aim is to eliminate all thoughts, so that no thoughts arise in the heart.

The heart gradually becomes determined. It becomes determined in a natural state. When one has progressed, spontaneously no thoughts will arise. The cultivator can discard his bodily shell, throw it away outside, then he forgets about everything and forgets himself. He becomes extremely still.

When he has reached this stage, benefits and desires cannot move his heart. Fame and disgrace cannot move his aspiration. His heart spontaneously become glorious, and he feels spontaneously free. It is said he has reached a stage of “thoughtless silent sitting”.

In his tranquillity, there is movement. This is called “real movement”. This movement is more than sufficient to give him good health and strengthen his body. His energy flows vigorously like a radiant rainbow. It can be said that he has been successful in his “silent sitting”.

In “silent sitting”, it is invaluable to be still. Practicing “silent sitting” in a private chamber with a Zen bed is ideal. The shape of the Zen bed is like a piece of plank. Its size is about 2.5 feet square, and is made of wood. It should be hard and solid. When sitting on it, it should not be slanting.

Every day practice “silent sitting” for some time in the morning and at night. Initially the practice session should not be long. Gradually increase the practice time. Then it is easy to have good result.

When practicing “silent sitting”, it is not necessary to control the breath. Let the breathing be natural.

Sit comfortably upright. The mouth and the teeth should be gently close, and the tip of the tongue touching the palate. Hold the hands together gently, and place them below the dan tian.

The sitting position can be single lotus or double lotus. In the single lotus position, one leg is below the other leg. The technique is simple and easy to be performed. In the double louts position, first adopt the single lotus position, then lift the leg below and place it on the other knee. The soles of both feet are facing upwards.

There are two ways to place the hands. The left thumb gently grasps the middle finger, and the right thumb is placed at the left “tiger-mouth”. The right thumb and index finger gently hold the left fourth finger. This way of holding the hands is called “Taiji symbol”.

(Editorial Note: Tiger-mouth” is the small part of the palm between the thumb and the index finger.)

If the two palms, facing upward, are placed one on top of the other, it is called “three-taste symbol”.

Focus the mind, and sit comfortably. First breathe out stale air once through the mouth. Then breathe in fresh air through the nose to replenish the air just breathed out from the dan tian. Breathing out is slightly faster than breathing in. Breathe in completely.

After breathing out and breathing in three times, start the “silent sitting” proper.

There are seven important points to prepare for “silent sitting”.

One is intention, i.e. with the intention to perform “silent sitting” with a mind free from thoughts, and gentle breathing. Two is “cross feet” i.e. in a single lotus position or a double lotus position. Three is “cross hands”, i.e. holding the hands and placing them just below the dan tian. Four is “link bridge”, i.e. place the tip of the tongue at the palate. Five is “drop jaw”, i.e. slightly drop the jaw. Six is “focus at dan tian”, i.e. focusing the intention at the dan tian effortlessly but without leaving it. Seven is “harmonize breathing”, i.e. harmonize the breathing to let it be continuous without end.

Start with a suitable time, and gradually increase the time until about an hour. Successful training of “silent sitting” is when not a thought arises, the heart is clear and the nature seen.

Important Principles in Internal Art Training

There are three levels in internal art training.

At the highest level, it is harmonizing “gang” and “rou” or “hardness” and “softness”, regulate spirit and energy according to intention with nothing impossible.

“hardness” is not totally “hard,” there is “softness” in the “hardness”. “Softness” is not totally “soft”, there is “hardness” in the “softness”.

Editorial Note: “Hardness” and “softness” in the internal arts, known as “gang” and “rou” in Chinese, are not what many Westerners conceptualize them to be. In Shaolin Kungfu, for example, a master with Iron Palm can break bricks easily, but his palms are soft and gentle. The arms of a Taijiquan master can be soft like silk, but they are at the same time hard like iron.)

Its silence is boundless, like one spread of energy without any limit. Its movement is agile and flexible, changeable beyond imagination. A master can channel his internal energy to strike an opponent within a hundred steps without touching him!

(Editorial Note: The ability to strike an opponent with internal energy without touching the opponent sounds unbelievable, but it is true. In a special Dragon Strength Course from 6th to 12th December 2014, for example, when I taught the almost lost art of “dim mark”, or the art of dotting energy points, Sifu Kai Uwe of Germany used his hand to apply “dim mark” on the shoulder of Sifu Roland Mastel of Switzerland, but before touching him, Sifu Roland felt his shoulder numb. In another example, during a Taijiquan course Sifu Piti Parra Duque struck at a famous heart specialist, Dr Juan, without touching him, and broke the doctor’s rib.)

There is nothing too small to reach, and nothing too hard to penetrate. When facing opponents, a master makes changes on the spur of the moment to suit the combat situation. Even when opponents are stubborn, they cannot avoid being hurt, and they often do not realize where they are struck, or if they are thrown away, do not know how they are thrown. It is like a heavenly dragon, people can see its head but not its tail.

(Editorial Note: “Seeing a dragon’s head but not its tail” is a Chinese idiomatic expression meaning that people are confused and they do not know what is happening.)

Hence, even without using the hands and legs, a master can subdue other people. This type of kungfu is the highest of internal art training. Rare swordsmen in the past, who were regarded as sword immortals because of their exceptional skills, could channel their internal energy to their swords to injure opponents within a hundred steps without touching the opponents.

This is the highest art, extremely unfathomable, transmitted only to specially selected disciples, and not to other people. It is, of course, not attainable in a few years; masters had to endure many difficulties, trained diligently and persistently for a very long time before they could attain such result.

At the middle level, “hardness” and “softness”, “movement” and “stillness” are mutually changeable. Spirit and energy are focused and plentiful. Although practitioners may not channel energy to strike opponents from a distance, they can use spirit to direct energy, and energy to generate internal force which circulates all over their body, strengthen their internal organs.

The nature of energy is originally “soft”, but its circulation makes it ”hard”, and it can protect the exponents so that not only punches and kicks cannot hurt them, but also sharp axes and heavy hammer cannot injure them. Such art can also strengthen their body and provide good health, vitality and longevity, which actually are the main reasons for their training. Its accomplishment requires at least 6 or 7 years of diligent training.

At the lowest level, although the art may not be applied to injure opponents from a distance, nor protect oneself from weapon attack, it enables spirit and energy to be integrated, circulate energy inside the body, strengthening and harmonizing internal organs so that no illness can occur. Good health, vitality and longevity are its aims.

Its techniques are simpler and training time shorter. With persistent training, the aims can be achieved. About 3 years of training will produce good results.

The lowest level is actually the elementary stage of internal art training. It is also a good way to overcome illness. But to progress to the middle and the highest levels, practitioners must ensure that they are healthy. If their internal organs are not pure, external evil will enter.

(Editorial Note: The sentence above means that if the internal organs are sick, diseases will enter.)

It is not advisable for sick people to practice internal arts at the middle or highest levels. Their energy may be dissipated, and their spirit injured. They should first overcome their sickness, so that their spirit and energy are intact.

However, the lowest level of internal art training is useful for overcoming illness. It purifies internal organs, eliminating diseases. The more they train (at the lowest level) the better will be the result of regaining good health. Thus, those who train internal arts will also purify and strengthen their internal organs.

Irrespective of what type of training, there are obstacles. The obstacles in internal art training are more and complicated. One must overcome all these obstacles to be successful. In external art training, the emphasis is on strength. Overcoming obstacles with strength is easier. In internal art training, the emphasis is on applying energy flow to generate force, and it involves membranes inside tendons. Hence the obstacles are more difficult to overcome.

At the beginning when students practice Eighteen Lohan Hands, they may feel that their body does not follow their hands, or their hands do not follow their body. The fault is not that they do not have sufficient strength, but that they do not loosen their muscles sufficiently. This is an obstacle. But if they persist, the obstacle can be overcome, and their body and hands can move accordingly.

Next, they practice the Five-Animal Set. The movements of their body and hands can be performed according to the intention of their heart.

However, difficulty may occur. They may feel that when their strength arrives, their energy has not arrived. Or their energy arrives, but their spirit has not arrived. These factors fail to co-ordinate., and cannot mutually interact. Externally the form may be correct. Outwardly there may not be any mistakes. But the fault is internal. This obstacle is more difficult than the one concerning Eighteen Lohan Hands. It is a factor students practicing any kungfu set should consider.

(Editorial Note: The obstacle in Five-Animal Set is more difficult than that in Eighteen Lohan Hand because the former difficulty involves the external and the internal, whereas the latter involves only the external. In Eighteen Lohan Hands, the obstacle lies in physical co-ordination. In Five-Animal set, the obstacle lies in the co-ordination amongst the internal factors of spirit, energy and essence on one hand, and the external factors of feet, body and hands. Students practicing any kungfu set should pay attention to this factor. They will be helped by the concept of six harmonies, that is harmonies of essence, energy, spirit, feet, body and hands. When a student makes a movement in solo practice or in combat, for example, not only his feet, body and hands are in harmony, but also his movement must be elegant, and his energy and spirt must arrive.)

To go into some details, those who emphasize on external strength, should ensure that there is external strength. Those who emphasize on energy flow, should ensure that their energy flow has arrived. Different people focus on their different emphasis and result. Their heart and intention are one. Their obstacles will be overcome.

At the third stage when students practice the first part of Sinew Metamorphosis, they must ensure that both their strength and their energy move together, and that there is no destination their strength and energy cannot reach. Eventually they can arrive at a marvellous stage. Initially they might experience occasions when their strength arrived but their energy did not arrive. But if they apply intention to spirit, and apply spirit to energy, so that both strength and energy move together, they will eventually succeed.

This obstacle is not easy to be overcome. It requires the personal teaching of enlightened teachers, and the dedicated practice of students.

Progressing further, students practice the later part of Sinew Metamorphosis. Here the obstacles are more difficult. It involves energy flowing in internal organs. Further, it involves energy flowing to whatever organs directed by intention. This is not easy.

Practitioners can let energy to flow amidst tendons and muscles, meridians and organs, without any hindrance, all according to intention. Isn’t it a very difficult task? Initially, from the foundation of energy flowing in internal organs, after its action, let energy flow wherever the intention leads it to. The method of this skill can be said in eight words: “let spirit direct energy, let energy move force.”

What is “let spirit direct energy”? This is using intention. For example, if you wish to direct your energy to flow to your back, before energy has arrived, spirit has arrived. If you focus your intention on your back, energy will gradually flow to your back. This is what is said to be “energy follows the direction of spirit”. This is a very difficult skill. Here is when the mind thinks, events materialize. This truth applies not just to internal art training; it applies to everything.

When this skill is first practiced, just focus on a small area. Practice diligently and consistently. First, intention arrives. Then, spirit arrives. Finally, energy arrives. When you are successful, change to another area and follow the same procedure. In this way, gradually you can direct energy to flow to any part of your body without any hindrance. This is a great success.

Shaolin Kungfu is usually described as an external art, but much of Shaolin Kungfu practiced in Shaolin Wahnam is internal

Discussion on Internal Art and External Art

There are many different styles of kungfu. But there is not a kungfu style that does not talk about energy. Energy training, or qigong, is an internal art.

(Editorial Note: Qigong consists of two parts, “qi” and “gong”. “Qi” is “energy”, and “gong” is “art”. Qigong is the art of energy. Please note that “qigong” is pronounced like /ch’i kung/ in English, and not as /ki gong/. The Romanized Chinese “q” is pronounced like the English “ch”, the Romanize Chinese “g” like the English “k”, and the Romanized Chinese “o” like the English “u”.)

Qi, or energy, is the forerunner of strength. Without energy, there is no strength. Because there are different styles of kungfu, the methods of energy training are also different. There are methods to store energy at the dan tian, and there are methods to circulate energy over the body. These are the two dimensions of qigong training, namely “yang qi” and “lian qi”.

(Editorial Note: “Yang qi” means “nourish energy”. The main purpose of this dimension is to accumulate energy at the dan tian. Please note that “yang” in “yang qi” is different form “yang” in “yin-yang”. The two words are written differently in Chinese characters, and are pronounced differently in tones, although their Romanized Chinese spelling is the same. “Lian qi” means “train energy”. It is also called “xing qi”, which means “circulate energy”. The main purpose of “lian qi” or “xing qi” is to circulate energy. The difference between “yang qi” and “lian qi” is a matter of emphasis. While energy is accumulated in “yang qi”, it also circulates. While energy circulates in “lian qi”, it also accumulates.)

In “yang qi”, or “nourish energy”, like Taoist silent sitting, energy is accumulated, without being dispersed, and not taken away by external things. Meng Tzu said he was good at nourishing lively energy.

(Editorial Note: Meng Tzu is known in English as Mencius. He lived from about 372-269 BCE, and was regarded as the most important Confucian besides Confucius himself.)

In “lian qi”, or “train energy”, like the qigong practiced by martial artists, energy is circulated to various parts of he body. When a kungfu master wants his arm to be powerful, he channels energy to flow to his arm. If he wants his waist to be powerful, he channels energy to his waist. If he wants his four limbs or his whole body to be powerful, he channels energy to his four limbs or whole body.

Energy can also be classified into breathing out, and breathing in. Breathing out is yang, and breathing in is yin. Breathing out is mobile, breathing in is quiescent. Breathing out is “gang” or “hard”, breathing in is “rou” or ‘soft”. With harmony of yin-yang, mobile-quiescent, hard-soft, energy can accomplish its functions.

(Editorial Note: If a person only breathes out without breathing in, he will be out of breath. If he only breathes in without breathing out, he will be suffocated. Only when there is breathing out and breathing in, energy serves its most important function of ensuring life go on.)

When energy circulates, it must not move in a reverse direction. Energy must move in a smooth direction. When energy flows smoothly, internal organs are comfortable. If energy flows reversely, internal organs are harmed.

When trained to an advanced stage, a qigong practitioner can be light like a feather, but he may not know he is light, and he may be heavy like a mountain, but he may not know he is heavy. Qigong training gives practitioners the force to stick, to shoot out, to attract, to be hard or soft. Hence, qigong is much valued by those who practice martial arts.

(Editorial Note: To stick, shoot out, attract, be hard or soft are kungfu terms. When an opponent attacks you, after warding off his attack, you place your hand on his to sense his movement and intention. This is “sticking”. When an opportunity arises, you push him to fall backward. This is “shooting out”. He neutralizes your push, and punches at you. Without moving your feet, you shift your body backward to avoid his punch, and at the same time you hit his punching arm. This is “attract”, and your hit is “hard”. He moves his punch away and grips your arm with his two hands. Instead of resisting, you relax your arm and flow out of his grip. This is “soft”, which is also flowing and forceful.)

Qigong is also the factor that enables masters to defeat their opponents in marvellous ways. They are experts in qigong, called internal art masters, and all of them talk about energy at the dan tian, and circulating energy over their body.

(Editorial Note: These marvellous ways are incredible but true. I shall give an example or two from personal experience. During a special Qin-Na course from 8th to 14th June 2008, for example, I applied a qin-na technique, which was a technique to grip an opponent in a special way, on a student. Immediately he felt numb and his mind went blank. Answering a question from Dr Damian Kissey, a well-known radiologist, I laid spread-eagle with my face down on the ground, and let five able-bodied men gripped my arms and legs and sat on me. I just got up effortlessly. I could perform these feats because of my qigong training.)

If all kungfu styles talk about energy at the dan tian, and circulating energy throughout the body, and energy training is an internal art, can we call all kungfu styles internal style?

No, it is not so. There is a difference between an internal art and an internal style.

The difference lies in the art, and not in energy. All kungfu practitioners talk about energy, but not all who talk about energy practice internal styles. It is easy to know about energy, but difficult to practice an internal style.

The energy of the Eagle Claw master, Chen Zi Zheng, flowed through his body like lotus threads when he practiced kungfu. His breathing was natural. When he met opponents, his energy flowed inside his body. When he defeated them, his energy was manifested outside.

(Editorial Note: Sifu Chen Zi Zheng was a master of internal art, but Eagle Claw Kungfu, the style he practiced, was an external style.)

Even in external styles, energy is the principal factor, blood is secondary. Energy is the forerunner of blood. So, when energy is abundant, blood flows smoothly. Blood is the agent that provides nutrients. So, when blood is plentiful, the person is healthy.

A popular kungfu saying mentions that “Internally train a mouth of energy, externally train muscles, bones and skin.”

(Editorial Note: This saying is an effective way to decide whether a particular kungfu style is internal or external. Taijiquan, for example, focuses much on energy training, like directing energy flow with Taijiquan movements. So, it is an internal style. Eagle Claw Kungfu, focuses much on training muscles, bones and skin, like gripping Y-shape branches to strengthen muscles, striking poles to strengthen bones, and punching sandbags to strengthen skin. So, it is an external style.)

Training muscles, bones and skin is physical exercise. To enable certain parts of the body to be hard and tough, a practitioner may first use internal art, channelling energy to these parts to strengthen them. The energy flow, followed by blood, brings nutrients to the muscles, bone and skin. Eventually, through appropriate training, the practitioner may develop “bronze skin iron bones”, with the ability to withstand sabres and spears. This is the marvel of external training.

External art training is easy at first, difficult at the end. It is light at the beginning, heavy later on. It can also be harmful, though the public may not know it, like punching on a wall, or hitting the head against bricks. Other people may be amazed at the result, but the training brings harm to the practitioners.

External art training must follow a proper procedure, and proper methods, as follows.

Firstly, practitioners should train internal art to nourish their energy. Secondly, if they condition their palms, they must activate their blood flow. Thirdly, if they hit themselves with wooden sticks, they must first strengthen their bones and muscles. If they strike themselves with their palms or with wooden sticks, they must first strengthen their muscles and skin. Fifthly, if they hit themselves with sandbags or steel wire, they must first strengthen their body.

Otherwise, their energy and blood may be injured, their internal organs weakened, their meridians disturbed, their ears and eyes affected. These are common happenings in external art training. Students must be careful.

Regarding the merits and setbacks of internal art training and external art training, their advantages and disadvantages, their methods and benefits, have been long debated by the public. There are also misunderstanding. Some regard that whatever that trains energy and blood as internal art training, and whatever that trains muscles, bones and skin as external art training.

Actually internal art training and external art training are complementary. If there is only external training and no internal training, it is difficult to “reach the summit and create the extreme”.

(Editorial Note: “Reach the summit and create the extreme”, or “deng feng zao ji” in Chinese, is a popular expression in qigong, kungfu and other arts. It means a master has reached the summit of attainment of his art, and is in a position to create new features to extend the limits of the art.)

If there is only internal training but no external training, there is “risk of being crashed and hit”.

(Editorial Note: “Risk of being crashed and hit” figuratively means the person is clumsy, not flexible, not agile, that he risks being crashed or hit upon.)

Internal art and external art should be mutually trained, and spontaneously applied in daily life, so that practitioners naturally can be solid like iron, soft like cotton, hard and soft together, outside and inside as one, and both internal and external training can be integrated. This is the wonders of internal art and external art training.

Training for Various Organs

Martial art training is different from scholarship training. As long as scholars understand language, they can find wonders in books. It is different from those who practice a martial art. Martial artists may know the ways and techniques of their art, but without the enlightenment of teachers, it is difficult for martial artists to experience the wonders of their art.

Hence, to practice martial art, it is necessary to have the art transmitted by his teacher. From the time they start practicing the art to their success conclusion, they have to depend on their teacher to enlighten them. The students must progress systematically and gradually. They cannot be hasty in their attainment. They must not be greedy to want more than necessary.

The Art of the Heart

When training, practitioners’ heart must be clear, and not be troubled by any thoughts. They should eliminate all emotions to protect their original spirit.

The Art of the Body

When seated in the single lotus or the double lotus position, prevent any escape of essence and energy. The body must be upright and relaxed. After completing the training session, loosen the body and limbs.

The Art of the Head

Hold the ears with both palms with the fingers behind the head. Place the index finger on the middle finger of each hand, and drum on the back of the head. With hands holding the head, turn to left and right. Then turn to look backward. The hands and the head press against each other.

The Art of the Face

Rub the palms together to warm them, then massage the whole face.

The Art of the Ear

Massage the lobes of the ears. Stretch out one leg, and push out the palms like opening a door. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 7 times with each leg.

The Art of the Eyes

When waking up from sleep, but not opening the eyes, use the back of both thumbs to massage the eyelids 14 times. Then, still with the eyes close, rotate the eyes 7 times each side. Keep the eyes close for a short while. Then open the eyes. Use the bent of the thumbs to massage the corner of the eyes 27 times.

Use the fingers to massage above the eyes towards the ears 30 times. Stroke the head from the middle of the eyebrows to the back of the head 27 times. Swallow the saliva irrespective of the number of times.

Place the fingers at the inner corner of the eyes near the top of the nose. Hold the breath gently. Then resume normal breathing. Next, knee on the ground with the palms on the floor. Look back 5 times each side.

The Art of the Mouth

Close the mouth. Then open the mouth wide and breath out. Repeat about 10 to 20 times

The Art of the Tongue

Touch the tip of the tongue at the palate. This creates saliva. Swallow the saliva. Repeat numerous times. Move the tongue inside the mouth, and swallow the saliva. Repeat numerous times.

The Art of the Teeth

Bite the teeth 36 times. This can focus the original spirit. When urinating, bite the teeth hard.

The Art of the Nose

Use the back of the thumbs to rub against the ridges of the nose 36 times.

The Art of Six Sounds

Every day after zi-period (11.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m.) and before wu-period (11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.), go to silent sitting, and recite the following six words:

he, xu, hu, si, chui, xi.

(Editorial Note: The Romanized Chinese “he” is pronounced like the English “her” and not the English “he”.)

These six sounds can eliminate sickness at the internal organs. The words should be recited softly, with the ears not hearing the sounds.

There is a song of these six words according to seasons, as follows:

Spring xu brightens eyes and helps liver
Summer he heart fire spontaneously vanishes
Autumn si stabilizes metals nourishes lungs
Winter chui water is plentiful kan is well
Triple-warner long palace xi removes heat
Four seasons hu spleen above transforms
Don’t make any sound to disturb the ears
Their effects are better than immortals’ pills

There is another six-word song as follows:

Liver uses xu eyes become bright
Lungs with si hands out-stretch
Heart he upward hands are lifted
Kidneys chui knees even on ground
Spleen hu brings benefit to the mouth
Heat at triple-warmer xi at peace

The methods described above belong to the “soft’ art. They are similar to the Twelve Pieces of Brocade. Practice them diligently and they will bring marvellous results.

(Editorial Note: Arts may be classified as “hard’ and “soft”. Arts like Sinew Metamorphosis, which produce a lot of force, are described as “hard”. Arts like Eighteen Lohan Hands, which are relatively gentle, are described as “soft”. Twelve Pieces of Brocade is a set of qigong exercises, and is described as “soft”.)

Internal Style Kungfu and External Style Kungfu

The two major branches of kungfu are Shaolin and Wudang.

(Editorial Note: “Wudang” is pronounced like /wutang/ in English. The Romanized Chinese “d” is pronounced like the English “t”.)

Shaolin Kungfu was transmitted by monks who had renounced their family life. Hence it was called “wai jia” or “outside family”. Wudang Kungfu was transmitted by masters of the art of elixir, or internal art. Hence, it was called “nei jia” or “internal family”.

Also, it was said that Shaolin Kungfu emphasized external forms, and not internal training. Hence, it was called “external”. Wudang Kungfu emphasized circulation of energy, and not on external forms. Hence, it was called “internal”.

Actually these statements show a failure to understand the history and philosophy of kungfu. The statements are not correct..

Since the Six Dynasties (220-589), after the arrival of Bodhidharma at the Shaolin Monastery in 527, Shaolin Kungfu was very famous. Zhang San Feng was a Shaolin master and had received the secrets of Shaolin Kungfu. After settling down on Wudang Mountain, he focused on energy training, cultivated the real and nourished nature.

(Editorial Note” The real means the Great Void. Merging with the Great Void is the supreme aim of Taoism. Nature means Original Nature. Seeing Original Nature is the supreme aim of Zen Buddhism. This was a legacy of Zhang San Feng’s training at the Shaolin Monastery.)

The school initiated by Zhang San Feng was called Wudang. Shaolin Kungfu was regarded as “gang’ or “hard”, and noted for force in subduing opponents. Wudang Kungfu was regarded as “rou” or “soft”, and famous for energy flow and being natural. Subsequently, people regarded Shaolin Kungfu as external, and Wudang Kungfu as internal. They did not understand the difference between external training and internal training.

Internal and external do not apply to these two schools. These two schools are characterized by “gang” and “rou”, or “hard” and “soft”. “Hard” is represented by yang, and “soft” by yin. Yin and yang are mutually dependent, and their transformation results in life.

(Editorial Note: Internal and external do not apply to Shaolin and Wudang. Both internal training and external training are found in Shaolin Kungfu and Wudang Kungfu. Shaolin Kungfu and Wudang Kungfu are characterized by “gang” and ‘rou” or “hard” and “soft”, and not by internal and external. Shaolin Kungfu, when compared to Wudang Kungfu, is characterized by “hard”, which is represented by yang, but “soft” and yin are also found in Shaolin Kungfu. Wudang Kungfu, when compared with Shaolin Kungfu, is characterized by “soft”, and is represented by yin, but “hard” and yang are also found in Wudang Kungfu. “Soft” and “hard”, represented by yin and yang are mutually dependent. Their transformation which involves both yin and yang, results in life.)

Yin alone will not grow; yang alone will not develop. This is a universal truth. All things are like this, i.e. with both yin and yang interacting.

Martial arts are the same, i.e. there are both yin and yang in any martial art. Shaolin Kungfu manifests yang, and hides yin. Energy, which is represented by yin, is hidden when Shaolin Kungfu is applied to strike opponents. Hence, “hard” and “soft”, yin and yang, are both applied. It is a high-level art. Thus, both internal art and external art are found in Shaolin Kungfu and Wudang Kungfu.

People who practice Shaolin Kungfu point to Wudang Kungfu and say that it is a “soft” art, but ignore its external training. People who practice Wudang Kungfu point to Shaolin Kungfu and say it is a “hard’ art, but ignore its internal training. Both people are mistaken. They only know themselves but do not know others.

(Editorial Note: When a practitioner performs a simple pattern, and energy flow is generated, his energy flow is internal training, and the physical movement of his pattern is external training.)

Some people they say that martial arts first originated from Shaolin Kungfu. They are mistaken. Some say that martial arts first originated from Wudang Kungfu. They are more mistaken. Martial arts already existed long ago, before Shaolin and Wudang were established. At the time of Huang Ti or the Yellow Emperor (26 centuries BCE) there were already martial arts. Much later but still much earlier than Shaolin or Wudang, during the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE), there were already martial arts.

There are some special features about internal styles. Those that are regarded as internal, usually do not exhibit the external. Their application does not depend on form; the application is usually formless. Energy is infused in their application, force is manifested outside.

Stillness is their primary factor. Movement is used in surprise. When movement is used, it is movement in stillness, not movement in movement. Subtle techniques are frequent, obvious techniques are seldom. Their attack is sophisticated, seldom overt and pressing.

(Editorial Note: For example, before an assailant attacks, an exponent, especially of a non-kungfu martial art, may move about often with some shouting. Then he responds to the opponent’s attack. This is movement in movement. The response of an internal art master is different. He remains still. And as the attack approaches, he deftly steps aside to avoid the attack, and simultaneously dots an energy point of the assailant, often without the assailant knowing. This is movement in stillness.)

Since ancient times, those who were expert in internal arts, hurt their opponents without their opponents knowing. The attack of internal arts was formless. This was unique, and exceptionally high-level.

Combat application of Wudang Kungfu


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