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Baguazhang! @ U.K. Summer Camp

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  • #91
    Thank you all

    Sigung is a very kindhearted and generous person, when it come to helping students learning kung fu. There are not many very high level Chinese martial arts instructors who are willing to give detail answers to the questions asked by strangers, without getting pay (please see some of the Sigung's answers on the questions and answers section) or teach people kung fu. We are very fortunate that he is still willing to travel around the world to teach people kung fu. I am very grateful that Sigung is willing to teach me and correcting me during the summer camp, despite the fact that I was repeatedly making the same mistake in chi flow - I was not flowing. The most important thing I learnt in the summer camp is not baguazhang, but opening up my heart and enjoyed my life.
    Sigung has told us the secret of improving our kung fu is practise it correctly, followed by more practise and more practise.
    Everyone was very friendly and helping each other during and after the summer camp. Thank you all for helping me learning the baguazhang.
    Big thank to Frederick for allowing me to use his lap top and copying his notes, despite the fact that we only met in this year's summer camp.
    Also a big thank you to the people, who organized this year summer camp for us.

    For those people who are unhappy about paying high fee to Sigung. Here is something for you to think about:
    In traditional kung fu training unless the teachers can see that you have the potential in kung fu. They will not waste their time teaching you their inner kung fu secrets, regardless how much money you pay them or how long you have been learning from them. The best example is from Sifu Yip Chun's book 116 wing chun wooden dummy techniques – Bruce Lee asked his own kung fu teacher Grandmaster Yip Man to teach him the latter part of the wooden dummy techniques and allowed him to film him performing the complete set of siu nim tau. In return for his master's favour Bruce Lee offered to buy Grandmaster Yip Man a new domestic flat. However, Bruce Lee emphasized too much about money so as to hurt his own teacher's self respect! Grandmaster Yip Man refused his request.
    Siqung has already broken many of the traditional kung fu rules by teaching people kung fu. He has already passed on the essence of many kung fu system to the people, who have attended his kung fu classes. Therefore you should be looking at the benefit you would get by attending his class and compare it to the benefit you would get from any other martial arts instructors around the world in a 30 hours course. Afterwards you can making up your own mind whether his fee is too expensive or not.
    Finding the money to pay for sigung's class is the easy part, the hardest part is practising what you had learnt from him correctly and regularly afterwards.

    The cost of Sigung class for 30 hours in UK:
    1) member £16.67 - £20 per hour (£500 - £600)
    2) non member £50 per hour (£1500)

    What you learnt in the class were:
    stance training (internal force training)
    application of the techniques (combat sequences)
    history of the baquazhang
    questions and answers
    light sparring and how to apply the techniques in combat
    Enjoy your life and be happy
    Essence of baguazhang
    Sigung correcting your mistakes

    To obtain the same information and benefit from other baguazhang teachers. You will need to spend at least 5 -7 years training under a very high level baguazhang teacher, who is willing to teach and correct you.

    a) £40 per hour (8 hours of training a month)

    5 years £19200 480 hours
    7 years £26880 672 hours

    b) £80 per hour (8 hours of training a month)

    5 years £38400 480 hours
    7 years £53760 672 hours

    c) kung fu classes per month cost about £40 (8 hours of training a month)

    5 years £2400 480 hours
    7 years £3360 672 hours

    Thank you Sigung for teaching me kung fu and opening up my heart.



    • #92
      Thanks for your comments, Kam.

      It was great to meet up on a course again, and to hang out at the beautiful BnB we had coincidentally booked into.

      Summer Camp Bagua Zhang - words cannot do it justice. Learning Bagua kung fu has been an ambition for many years, and to learn it directly from Sifu just unbelievably perfect!

      Stances, Circle Walking, the Swimming Dragon Set, Combat Applications...all brought to life by the secret of Chi Flow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

      Thank you Sifu for teaching us,

      Thank you Robin and Fleur for organising the events,

      Thank you everyone who was there for such a great course and experience!
      Sifu Andy Cusick

      Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
      Shaolin Qigong


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      "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
      - ancient wisdom


      • #93
        Ok Guys,

        For those of you who don't use Facebook (where I've just uploaded these)


        Picture time!

        Let's kick it off with some of Sifu teaching
        "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


        • #94
          Here is a few more of Sifu teaching Baguazhang...

          As you can see I am quite keen on capturing the 'table turning' moments where Sifu turns a disadvantage to an advantage.
          "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


          • #95
            Some group images from the Bagauzhang course
            "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


            • #96
              And some Baguazhang partner work..
              "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


              • #97
                More partner work..

                Hope you enjoyed them!
                "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


                • #98
                  Beautiful! I'm sorry I've missed it...but I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to attend Sifu's incredible Bone Marrow Cleansing course!

                  Thank you for the pictures!



                  • #99
                    Thank you for the photographs, Sisook! Looking at them brings a grand smile to my face

                    My pals have noticed me smiling and laughing a lot more (and I was already a pretty laugh-filled individual) and asked if I felt vindicated in going "all the way across the pond" to learn kung fu. I had to give an enthusiastic, "YES!" to them, ha ha!

                    One aspect that stood out to me in this morning's practice was just how powerful Circle Walking feels to me now compared to before the course. Before, when I was practicing the Mother Palms as zhan zhuang, I would feel solid and powerful, and when I practiced the Mother Palms for walking, I felt swift and agile. Now, when I practice the Mother Palms for either zhan zhuang or walking, I feel both powerful and agile. I do need to work on properly settling into my stances and my balance, though (my cat, Ozzy, is a rigorous coach ).

                    I've also noticed that my other qigong (i.e. Lifting the Sky, Lifting Sun & Moon, and Art of Flexibility) have improved quite a bit. I'm feeling amazing, thank you Sigung once again!
                    I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.


                    • thanks Robin, some great action shots, really brings it back, are there more?
                      "Cool" said my 17-year-old daughter, and I found it interesting how people notice the contrast with the surroundings - rather genteel English. Hardly occurred to us I think, you just don't see it once you get going!


                      • Alright, now that it's been a short time since the course ended, I can finally put together some of my thoughts!

                        As everyone else has said, the course was truly fantastic. I went because, like many others, I've always been fascinated with Baguazhang. In that regard, I went despite knowing that the art isn't Sigung's best. The first powerful lesson I learnt was that with Sigung's level of kung fu genius, along with his dedication to transmit high-quality teachings, saying that Baguazhang isn't his best art is like saying one priceless piece of art isn't as nice as another. In the end, both are priceless, and you would be incredibly lucky to have either! Furthermore, Sigung uses the art he's teaching to transmit core skills that can be applied anywhere. Other attendees frequently talked about how dragon-like they felt when practicing Baguazhang, and I'm sure that deeper level of dragon will transform how we practice the Dragon set, Taijiquan, or anything else we wish to make "dragony".

                        I had a great but hard time on the course. I felt great on the first day, pretty awful on the second day, and slightly less awful on the third day, but that helped make my feeling of re-emergence on the fourth day all the more wonderful. Interestingly, how I felt at any given time didn't seem to affect my efforts on the course itself. Even on Tuesday, I still felt full of energy with a clear mind. And I was surprised that I was learning and retaining the sequences much faster than on previous courses. The best way I can think to describe it is that everything we did just made sense.

                        It was also a great help to be surrounded by so many wonderful members of our kung fu family, and I really enjoyed the meals, drinks, and general time spent together outside of course sessions. Spending time like that with such wonderful people is *almost* as nice as learning from Sigung! It's a big, less-spoken-about reason to attend these sorts of courses.

                        Now that I'm back home in the real world, I'm training lightly and sleeping a lot! I'm regularly sleeping 10-ish hours a night, and a couple of nights ago, I slept for 16 hours! When I practice Baguazhang, I feel a new, deeper level of stillness, relaxation, and power. I frequently feel my energetic body more distinctly, and it extends a bit beyond my physical body. I can feel how my energetic body flowingly changes shape to match the intention and postures of the Baguazhang patterns I'm performing, which makes it feel all the more dragon-like. Honestly, it's a little strange, but a lot wonderful. And sometimes it feels like I'm going about my day in a perpetual cosmic shower. (No wonder I'm sleeping so much )

                        I'm really looking forward to months if not years spent integrating Baguazhang into my regular kung fu practice. The stances require a bit different movement, but flow nicely into and out of the deeper Shaolin Kung Fu stances. The sequences are incredibly complete and somehow feel like an improvement of Asking Bridges. Practicing the mother palms feels similar to practicing Grasping Sparrow's Tail. What an amazing art, and a big thank you to Robin, Fleur, Tim, and any other organizers I'm missing, of course to Sigung, and to my family that attended and helped make this course such a wonderful experience. I hope to see you again soon!
                        Chris Didyk
                        Shaolin Wahnam USA

                        Thank You.


                        • Reflections on a Landmark Course

                          Dear All,

                          The course has had a chance to "soak in" and I feel ready to add to my summation

                          I needed a training break after the excitement of the Summer Camp and San Shou and rested up for two weeks or so.

                          Going back to my kung fu, my experience parallels closely some of the observations made by Sifu Chris above.

                          Getting Hungry!

                          First up, my appetite has been growing steadily since I started practicing Bagua in the run up to the Course itself. After the Course, I've been eating like a horse and it shows no signs of going away

                          Sleepwise, I've been sleeping normal hours due to busyness, but feeling very tired in the evenings and sleeping deeply.

                          Subtle Qualities

                          Post-course, the stances and circle-walking feel much more powerful than pre-course - perhaps an obvious comment and an expected benefit but very noticeable indeed.

                          The feeling of chi has a noticeably different quality when practicing Baguazhang, Shaolinquan or Taijiquan. For me:
                          • Shaolin - Mind still, Chi focused at the dan tien, emitted explosively and flowing through the strike.
                          • Taijiquan - Chi flowing deeply (meridians?), deep flowing mindset.
                          • Bagua - Chi flowing diffusely (collaterals?), collecting in the "aura" around the body (especially hands and arms).

                          Sifu has already spoken of the spread and depth benefits of practicing both Wahnam Taijiquan and Shaolin, and I am sure there will also be synergistic benefits currently unrealised with the addition of Bagua training. It feels exciting to be part of the 'experiment'!

                          Levelling Up

                          I have been practicing Bagua and Shaolin on alternate days as Sifu advised ...and when I came to my first regular Shaolin practice post-course I was amazed at the benefits:
                          • My stances more solid and more agile
                          • my footwork more flowing
                          • my kungfu more flowing, more spontaneous and more powerful

                          The only way to describe it is as levelling-up!!!

                          There is always a levelling up after a course with Sifu but after this course it was most noticeable for me.

                          A Masterwork of Kung Fu

                          I've always wanted to learn Baguazhang since I first read about the mysterious circular art when travelling in China. Learning from Sifu is more than a dream come true as I never expected it would happen! Sifu modestly admits that Bagua is not his speciality but even so we were admitted in to majesty during the course. A lifetime could be spent working on what Sifu gave us in those five days - it really feels like a seed has been planted that will blossom throughout the rest of our lives. I also feel that Sifu only touched on the basics of what he could initiate us into with this wonderful art form...

                          Please Sir, Could I Have Some More?

                          I hope the Bagua Course comes up again, and I wouldnt hesitate to repeat it. It is another instant Wahnam classic, just as I imagine Taijiquan was when Sifu first started teaching it. There are so many great kung fu practitioners in the school that just shouldn't miss out on the opportunity if it becomes available again.
                          Whether you practice Shaolin or Taiji (or Qigong ) - it really will have a special benefit on your kung fu

                          Shaolin Salutations to Sifu, the Summer Camp team and the Past Masters,
                          Sifu Andy Cusick

                          Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
                          Shaolin Qigong


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                          "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
                          - ancient wisdom


                          • Thank you again for your wonderful accounts!
                            "From formless to form, from form to formless"

                            26.08.17-28.08.17: Qi Gong Festival with 6 courses in Bern:
                            Qiflow-Triple Stretch Method-12 Sinewmetamorphisis-Bone Marrow Cleansing-Zen Mind in Qi Gong



                            • Hello again, everyone!

                              Baguazhang has become my "core" training art for sequence and force training since the UK Summer Camp. I've not had much opportunity to practice sparring with any local martial artists, but I feel that Sigung's advice from the UK Summer Camp to practice the sequences in flow has brought my ability to a higher level than before. My brother recently began training Xingyiquan with a sifu in the Chicago area and we've been having fun practicing some of our applications on one another when we meet up once every couple of weeks. Baguazhang stance training has been very fun for me. I've been focusing on Green Dragon Stretches Claws since Sigung mentioned after the San Shou tournament that Green Dragon Stretches Claws and Golden Bridge, among a few other stances, provided the most general benefits, compared to more specialized benefits like Double Dragons at Bow Arrow. I find it particularly intriguing how subtle differences in the angle of the forearm, wrist, and fingers seem to concentrate force in different parts of the body; I think Sifu Tim mentioned at the course how holding the arm in one way focused energy at the arm, while holding it in the way that Sigung told us on Day 1 focused energy at the palm. It's been a very nice correcting factor in my practice.

                              I've been focusing on the initiator's mode of Combat Sequence 1 since the end of the course (it's tied with the seventh combat sequence as my favourite combat sequence) and this past month or so of focusing on one sequence, I feel, has really increased my sparring level. I feel so much more flowing and forceful than before. I went back to my notes from the course to practice the first three combat sequences just to keep them fresh in my mind (I must admit that I forgot to follow Sigung's advice of training the other combat sequences once a week) and the agility and flow from the first sequence really made sequences two and three flow very well, despite my not having practiced them much in a month. I've also been more flowing in the Basic Shaolin Combat Sequences (which I've only practiced once or twice times since the Summer Camp).

                              It's also getting much harder to be "lazy" in my training, I've noticed. Before the course, I'd practice patterns such as Lifting Sun & Moon and Lifting Water when I felt lazy or tired, or felt like I just wanted a "light" training session before my evening practice session and didn't want to practice more powerful methods like Golden Bridge and Two Finger Zen. Now I feel so much energy and force from even my "lazy" force training methods that I can't help but feel amazing and lively afterwards. Funnily enough (and to the confusion of my mother, who is used to not being able to sleep after exercising), I can still sleep just fine.

                              My daily life has definitely been enriched by Baguazhang. I just moved into my new apartment a few days ago and after six or seven hours of moving furniture and boxes around the block and up a flight of stairs, I didn't feel very tired at all (a little sore in the ankles, but that went away shortly thereafter). I've been sleeping much more soundly, though had much less of an appetite (I eat when I'm hungry, but I'm just not that hungry! Saves a little bit on my grocery bill, I guess ) My boss has noticed my energy and he's getting a little curious about "the chi kung thing"; I noticed him browsing Sifu's website on lunch break a few days ago.

                              I, too, hope the Baguazhang course (or an opportunity to train Baguazhang under Sigung's purview) comes up again. I second (third, fourth...) any recommendations to learn Baguazhang from Sigung. Thank you once again to Sigung for the course and to the organizers for making it possible!
                              I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.


                              • Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it's wonderful to read and learn more about something I didn't know much about (Baguazhang)!