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  • Wing Chun internal training


  • #2
    What we do in our Wing Choon

    Thank you, Sifu McIlwrath, for posting your video on internal training in Wing Choon. It got me interested in reviewing the Wing Choon videos of my Sifu and my Shaolin Wahnam classmates.

    All Shaolin Wahnam instructors and students train internal force the way we are taught by our Sifu, and should not have been surprised at the manifestation of internal force by our family members. But this performance of the classic Choe Family Wing Choon sets blew me away.



    To borrow (and mangle the meaning of a legal phrase), this is the quintessential case of res ipsa loquitar (the [performance] speaks for itself), but I will still state the following obvious points:

    1) Observe the visible internal force, seen in Tim's "vibrating" hands (as well as in all other aspects of his performance). It is easy for the uninitiated to think this "shaking" results from forced tension. Those of us who have experienced it know better.

    2) Tim's movements get faster and faster as he progresses in the set, and yet he remains calm and relaxed throughout. Recalling Sifu's excellent answers on the Dragon Strength set, the parallels cannot be missed (in fact, I would say that what Tim is demonstrating is indeed Dragon force). It goes without saying (but today is the day of obvious), he is not out of breath.

    3) What seems like a camera trick at the end, when Tim goes impossibly fast, in cadence with the music reaching a crescendo, is real. He IS going that fast, his movements directed by his powerful qi flow and internal force.

    Right, now I am truly inspired. I will ask my classmate to go through with me the Wing Choon sets he learnt at the Wing Choon course in Penang. For those of you as fired up as me now, here's the page: Special Wing Choon course
    百德以孝为先
    Persevere in correct practice

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    • #3
      How we develop internal force in Wing Choon in our school

      I was interested in watching Sifu Michel Mc Ilwrath video on training internal force to compare the differences in the training methodology to our school. And there are quite a few.

      As many of you know in Shaolin Wahnam I have much interest in this subject. I spent the first 15 years of my martial arts training without developing any internal force. When I was lucky enough to learn from our school I was simply astonished at how wrong I had been getting it. That was after I wrestled with my ego for some while.

      Some years later I was fortunate to attend the Choe Family Wing Choon course Sifu held in Malaysia. This became one of the most important breakthroughs in my training development.

      Namely I realized and experienced that you could develop a lot of internal force when you led the chi with the mind. This had nothing or very little to do with how you breathed, or the length of time in which you breath in or out, which is a common belief and mentioned by Sifu Michel in his video.

      At the highest level it is not the breath that leads the chi, nor the focusing or concentrating or watching the finger that develops the internal force, but the focus of mind and energy. In my experience there is a distinct difference.

      In Sifu Michaels’s video he looked relaxed and focus, but I did not see internal force. In my opinion this video does not demonstrate internal force or internal training, it demonstrates the beginners level of how to relax your body and time your breathing. This is an important part of training for a beginner who does not know how to relax their body or control their breathing.



      When I learnt the Wing Chun we practice I was taught two ways to develop the internal force:

      1: The soft method
      2: The hard method

      These are just terms and can easily be misunderstood. You could think that the soft method means just being relaxed or the hard method means tensing. Which is what a lot of the Wing Chun people I have met did. They knew it was important to relax, but when it came to combat they tensed as a way to bring force. But neither actually developed internal force.

      Tensing locks the chi inside the muscle and hinders speed and internal force. Just relaxing lacks force.

      The hard method I learnt was a way to consolidate force. This is not tensing but the ability to bring force to a given area, and when struck with it, it feels hard. Connect with the arms and they feel like a piece of iron.

      The soft method is helpful in need of speed or Fa Jing. It looks innocent but on the receiving end it feels like iron wrapped in silk.

      For me tracking is not important, unless you are trying to learn how to focus your mind. It is a technique, not a skill. The skill is leading the chi with mind.

      I think that this is quite a common mistake actually, that practitioners get stuck at the form or technique level because they don’t understand or feel the chi at a deep level.

      The following I find is helpful:

      Techniques lead to skills, skills lead to outcomes.

      The outcome we are looking for is developing internal force that can be used, not just for combat, but for everyday life as well.

      I agree that Sui Lin Tao is not just physical movement, it is developing internal force at the level of mind.

      If you watch the following clip you will clearly see that internal force is present. The video demonstrates the first part of Siu Lin Tau using consolidated force (as described above) and then leads to free flow movement with the mind leading the chi. The movements are quite fast as I am both relaxed and leading my chi at mind level.

      Tim Franklin

      http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
      A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

      www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

      Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

      UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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      • #4
        Thank you Wuji for your kind words. I was also quite amazed how fast I can move now at 42 compared to when I thought I was at my pinnacle at 20. How wrong could I have been.

        It is a Sifu says, when you reach the level where mind leads the chi you can move quite fast and powerfully.
        Tim Franklin

        http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
        A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

        www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

        Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

        UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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        • #5
          Not sure why my video link did not work, but no matter as you can see it in Wuji's thread.
          Tim Franklin

          http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
          A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

          www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

          Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

          UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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          • #6
            Something else I wanted to mention about Wing Chun training is that I have had a number of Wing Chun guys complain to me that they get shoulder and joint problems. When I have observed them I noticed that in the Tan Sau they were locking their energy in by the internal rotation of the elbow which in turn impedes the flow of energy through the shoulder. This is a problem on a number of levels.

            It's not their fault as it is the form they have been shown within their system and is correct to their system. However, in our Wing Chun we pay attention to how our chi flows and try to avoid creating blockages and practice to enhance our chi flow and quality of life. Good form = Good Chi.

            But what happens if you think you are doing good form, but actually you are impeding chi flow and causing harm?

            Well the obvious thing to do is stop doing what you are doing. But that is not easy when you are respectfully training and honouring your art. That does not mean stop your art, but honestly ask yourself if what you are doing is enhancing your chi flow, health and vitality or actually doing you unintentional harm.

            Impeding chi flow creates a number of issues.
            1. It can lead to ill health, irritability and other stress related issues
            2. It can lead to physical harm
            3. It lessens the power of the movement

            Often strength is then used in place of flowing force.

            You would also need the skills of knowing how energy flows and the skills to train and enhance it.

            Again this is just my observation and experience.
            Tim Franklin

            http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
            A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

            www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

            Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

            UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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            • #7
              I should also point out that I have been working as a therapist for around 20 years. My speciality is observing how energy flows and then helping to get it flowing again. My comments are not theoretical but experiential.

              Working as a therapist has helped immensely in my development and teaching the Shaolin Arts and in turn the Shaolin Arts have enhanced my therapy.

              One of the reasons why the two work so well is the training of Jing (essence), Chi (energy) and Shen (mind). If you only work at the physical level, in either therapy or martial arts, then you are missing two important parts of the puzzle. If you work at the physical and touch on the energy then you are still missing the most important element - the mind.

              A lot of people talk about mind training, but fewer actually understand how to apply it. When you get it, it becomes obvious, the same applies to training internally.
              Tim Franklin

              http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
              A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

              www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

              Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

              UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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              • #8
                Thanks, Tim, for that excellent exposition of internal force in post #3, which is one of the best I have read anywhere.

                I thought I recognises the movements in the first 2 minutes of the performance as selections from Siu Lin Tao and Phiew Chee but am not sure about the rest. For the section against imaginary opponents and the thrilling climax, can you share with us where those patterns came from?
                百德以孝为先
                Persevere in correct practice

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                • #9
                  The free flow movements were taken from Cham Kiew and Phew Chee mostly. The idea was to give an idea of the whole set with flow and force.
                  Tim Franklin

                  http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
                  A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

                  www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                  Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                  UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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                  • #10
                    Another important part of developing internal force is entering a 'chi kung state of mind'.

                    Without entering a 'chi kung state of mind' the ability to develop chi flow is much harder and takes much longer, if they are lucky to develop it at all. If a person relaxes for long enough then they may develop some internal force, but this is nothing compared to a person who has the skill of entering a 'chi kung state of mind'.

                    This is also why so many Chi Kung practitioners today do not develop a chi flow. If they practice meditation and are able to relax their mind then they are more likely to develop the skill. However, in our school we do not have to practice meditation separately as entering a chi kung state of mind and practicing chi kung is meditation.

                    We find this a very cost effective way of attaining the benefits.
                    Tim Franklin

                    http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
                    A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

                    www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                    Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                    UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Apologies Sifu Michael for the wrong spelling of your name in #3.

                      Out of interest what types of force do you train and how do you apply them to some of your patterns?
                      Tim Franklin

                      http://www.theguardianlions.co.uk
                      A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

                      www.zenarts.co.uk Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                      Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                      UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Tim Sihing, for some really amazing points on building internal force

                        All the best,
                        Claude
                        Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

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                        • #13
                          Dear Tim Siheng,

                          Thank you for sharing your experience with internal force training so profoundly. I still remember your amazing performance at the Tribute to Sifu show, which I was able to witness live, very well.

                          I also remember clearly that your vibrating arms at the Flower Set course 2011 (which was my first Wahnam Kung Fu course) were one of my first obvious impressions of internal force.

                          Some time later the same manifestation started happening to me too. Now I can witness the same in my students regularly. Isn't our training in Shaolin Wahnam incredibly fast and efficient?

                          Coming from a hard and external style too, it also took me some time to re-program my tensed movement and - most importantly - my mind set. Once this process was done, progress came very quickly.

                          Now, I'm able to develop internal force within seconds of performing any movement at any speed, be it consolidated in Hoong Ka Kung Fu or flowing in Tai Chi Chuan. Or, at will, consolidated in Tai Chi Chuan or flowing in Hoong Ka.

                          Huge thanks to Sifu for transmitting these wonderful skills and our great training methodology!

                          Best wishes,
                          o\

                          Leo
                          Sifu Leonard Lackinger

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tim View Post
                            Apologies Sifu Michael for the wrong spelling of your name in #3.

                            Out of interest what types of force do you train and how do you apply them to some of your patterns?
                            In the beginning the student can work on building himself through exercises like stance work, which include punching and kicking exercises. this i taught to all the beginners for about a year. Then we work more with the body structure,rooting and fa jing, the structure training takes about 3 years as there are a few levels to pass through. the first level is what I call the static level. Meaning the student has only body connection to his root in certain position and can not move it at will. Leter he will be able to do this at will.At this level I call it the flowing state which is similar to the way Tai Chi people do push hands. After that the mind or chi level is used to replace the phyical struture. After that level I can not say as I'm not qualified to talk on it. A lot of these levels a students goes through can be practiced through Chi Sao then applied to sparring. In Wing Chun we do not use any pre arranged movements like other styles so our force is used in all our patterens.
                            Last edited by stonecrusher69; 14th November 2014, 03:55 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Dear Sifu Michael,

                              Thank you for posting. A few things are unclear to me after reading your post. Could you explain what you mean with the word 'root' in this sentence:
                              Meaning the student has only body connection to his root in certain position and can not move it at will.
                              In our Chi Kung and Kung Fu training, we let our chi flow down to root us to the ground. We can experience this on the first day of training. But that is obviously not what you mean with the word 'root'.

                              Also, could you elaborate on this:
                              At this level I call it the flowing state which is similar to the way Tai Chi people do push hands.
                              Do you mean that at this stage, your students perform the movements relaxed and flowingly, using Chi instead of muscular strength? If so, why not begin with this? When my Sifu teaches Wing Choon (or any other Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan style), he stresses that you should use internal force and not muscular strength from the start. If a practitioner tenses his muscles to generate muscular strength, he blocks his chi flow. Teaching him to use muscular strength first will make it not only more difficult to generate and use Chi later on, it also causes blockages.

                              After that the mind or chi level is used to replace the phyical struture.
                              I don't know what you mean by this. Could you talk about what you mean with replacing the physical structure with mind and chi? In our school, we learn to use the mind to direct energy, which in turn leads forms. But I think that is also not what you mean.

                              Looking forward to hear from you.

                              Roeland
                              www.shaolinwahnam.nl
                              www.shaolinholland.com

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