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Dispelling ignorance and restoring the glory of Kungfu

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  • Dispelling ignorance and restoring the glory of Kungfu

    I’ve started this thread to address the subject of misinformation leading to the pathetic situation of Kung Fu today.

    I’m sure this discussion will benefit many and everyone’s welcome to present their views as long as they are written clear and concise, no waffle please!

    Jeffrey’s comment below results in some important issues.

    “Your performance on the DVD also made me truly curious to know how Shen Men Tao is used in a combat situation. It seemed to me that you would have to modify quite a lot to avoid hurting yourself (particularly in your hand and thumb positions). As a veteran of real fighting situations, I’m sure that you know better than me how dangerous it is to have your thumb at right angles to the rest of the palm. Please note that I’m not questioning your ability as a fighter but genuinely wondering whether you use the forms I saw on the DVD for combat.”

    A discussion of these issues will be beneficial to many martial artists, especially to those who have been misled by bogus masters. There are many important issues, and I’ll take a few posts to discuss them. I wish to clarify right from the start that my presentation of these issues is not against Sifu Stier or any master. In fact we have to sincerely thank Sifu Stier for without his participation in our forum, which we all value, we may not have this opportunity to discuss these issues which will be of use to many kungfu practitioners as well as help to restore the past glory of kungfu.

    I believe that purposely distorting some forms and performing below one’s level to hide secrets from others are both incorrect and unnecessary.

    It’s incorrect because masters perform at their normal high level. (If someone claims to be a master but performs at a low level, especially in a public demonstration, we’d have good reasons to suspect whether he is really a master.)

    My Sifu, Sifu Wong, goes one step further. I am sure many of those who have trained with him personally would have heard him say, “Make every movement a master-piece”. The reason behind is not to have beautiful forms to please spectators, but to condition ourselves so that perfect forms become our second nature, so that in sparring or real fighting, these perfect forms which give us the best advantages in given combat situations will be manifested spontaneously.

    This is one reason why whenever my Sifu demonstrates on the spot, in private or in public, his forms are beautiful to watch. I am glad to say that many of my brothers and sisters, and even our students, have benefited much from this high-level concept of making every movement a master-piece.

    One manifestation can be found in the picture series of many kungfu sets Sifu has posted on his website for public viewing. If you compare the picture series with their respective video clips, it’s not difficult to see that the pictures are extracted directly from the video clips. What is not so easy to realize is that these pictures posted individually in the website were not taken individually. It was not that the performer posed for a particular pattern, checked to ensure the form was correct, then had the photograph taken. All the patterns were performed continuously in one go as a kungfu set. Later, the pictures were extracted from the movie film as still pictures. Yet, the performers were perfect in their forms. You can find some examples here and here.

    When a practitioner is already proficient in his forms, asking him to perform at a lower level may be a problem. It’d be worse for a master whose perfect form is his second nature. I’m sure some of you have seen kungfu movies where the main actor in real life is proficient in his kungfu forms. In the film, when he acts as a beginner learning kungfu, he purposely performs at a low level for the story. You can easily see how artificial he is.

    Hence, my believe is that if a performance is low level, it’s because the performer is of a low level.

    But even if we presume that the performer is actually of a high level, purposely performing at a low level, it’s unwise and unnecessary. It also indicates his shallow concept. I’ll discuss these interesting topics in my next and other posts.

    Best wishes

    Last edited by Antonius; 15 April 2006, 02:40 PM. Reason: broken links
    "A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts"

    Hui Neng The Platform Sutra

  • #2
    If I may, I think this matter is also appropriately for this thread. The matter I want to discuss is the legacy of Shaolin Kung Fu and the Shaolin Temple. We know that genuine Shaolin Kung Fu is not taught at the Shaolin Temple anymore, what is taught there is wushu.

    Having said that, do we, the Shaolin Wahnam family, have the responsibility to bring the genuine Shaolin arts back to its place of birth? I believe that we have the duty to dispel this great myth that Shaolin Kung Fu cannot be used for fighting and also enlighten the public that there is more to Shaolin Kung Fu, like chi kung, meditation and Zen.

    How do we bring this about? It is not easy to bring a lost art back to Shaolin temple and smash the misconception that Shaolin is all about wushu and demonstrations.

    With Shaolin Salute,
    Lee Wei Joo


    • #3
      'Genuine Shaolin'

      I fully agree with Sipak Ronan.

      In the Martial Art community, Tai Chi Chuan and Shaolin Kung Fu have bad reputations.

      They are often percieved as being non-effective. Especially against styles such a Muay Thai, Ju Jitsu, Sambo and so on.

      One aim of Shaolin Wahnam is to return these Arts to there former glory. To demonstrate that Shaolin Kung Fu is the greatest martial art.

      Doing performances with a half-hearted approach, is not helping.

      On our website, you will find a video of Sigung doing the 'Dragon Strength Set'. This is an incredible example of Shaolin Kung Fu. Anyone with skill can see what is going on. To have been there in person would have been simply magical, leaving no doubt that Sigung was a genuine Shaolin Grandmaster.

      Whenever Sigung or any of his senior disciples demonstrate, Masters of other styles often become students, either of Kung Fu, Tai Chi or Chi Kung.

      Why? Because there was no doubt.


      • #4
        Let us always perform to the best of our abilities in every moment of our lives.

        Sifu has certainly set the bar high when he says:
        “Make every movement a master-piece”.
        Off to practice.

        Still Ascending,
        Charles David Chalmers
        Brunei Darussalam


        • #5
          Some good feed back guys (and gals! ) Like I said, I wanna keep this thread going because I think it raises one of the most important issues facing Martial Arts today.

          So in my last post I mentioned that it was incorrect to say that masters purposely performed at a low level in public demonstrations to prevent secrets being exposed to the public.

          In this post I'll explain why it is unwise and unnecessary.

          It is unwise because of the following reasons.

          1.It needs double time and effort to practice one level for combat and another level for demonstration.
          2.It mis-represents his art.
          3.It contributes to the degrading of kungfu.

          But more significantly, it's unnecessary. Therefore, if the performer is unaware of all these foolish consequences, which are actually unnecessary, we have good reasons to suspect whether he's really a master of an internal martial art. More probably he may be a master teaching only the forms of the internal arts. He may still be a formidable fighter, but it's unlikely he uses his internal art forms for combat, or has internal force.

          The reason for this conclusion is straight-forward, though those not initiated into internal arts may not realize it. If he is really a master of internal arts, he would know that performing an internal martial art set at a low level or distorting or hiding some of the forms in the set is unnecessary.

          Why? I'll explain it in another post.

          Best wishes

          "A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts"

          Hui Neng The Platform Sutra


          • #6
            In the Shen Men Tao thread we have the opportunity to see a few pictures of presumably internal art practitioners performing their forms with their thumb at right angle to their palm. These were posted in response to a question Jeffery asked about the effectiveness of these forms in real fighting.

            I'm not familiar with faces of internal art masters, so I don’t know whether they're masters or ordinary students. But that doesn’t really matter because it's irrelevant to Jeffrey’s question. Actually if they're masters but can't use their forms for combat, even though they may be formidable fighters using borrowed techniques from Taekwondo, Kick-Boxing or other martial arts, it'd make the situation worse.

            I'll summarize Jeffrey’s points as follows:

            1.How is the internal art used in combat?
            2.It seems that performer would have to modify quite a lot of his forms to avoid hurting himself in combat. (The thumb position is given as an example.)
            3.As a veteran of real fighting situations, he should know how dangerous it is to have his thumb at right angle to his palm.
            4.It is doubtful whether the performer uses the forms demonstrated for combat.

            After listing the points, it'll become easier to see that the pictures showing performers with thumbs at right angle to their palms, are irrelevant. Jeffery asked a legitimate question but instead of concise answers he just got a bunch of pictures The pictures don't answer his interesting and usefull questions, they just show performers with their thumbs at right angle to their palms.

            So in relation to the four points above that were raised in Jeffery's question,

            1.The pictures do not explain how their art is used in combat.
            2.The pictures do not show that the performers need not modify quite a lot of their forms to avoid hurting himself in combat.
            3.The pictures do show it isn’t dangerous to have thumbs at right angle to palms in real fighting situations.
            4.The pictures also do not explain whether the performer uses the forms demonstrated for combat.

            It's significant to remember that Jeffrey was stating his opinions or asking for clarification. He did not make his statements as absolute facts.

            When someone continuously gives irrelevant responses, it suggests two possibilities.

            One, the responder lacks mental clarity. As mental clarity is a resultant benefit of practicing internal arts for many years, his lack of mental clarity leads me to question whether he really practices internal arts, or he merely practices the external forms of internal arts.

            The second possibility is that he does understand the questions, but chooses to give irrelevant answers to mis-lead other people. Why? I believe it has a lot to do with the mis-conception regarding kungfu secrets, which in turn has contributed greatly to the degrading of kungfu to its pathetic situation today where even “masters” don't believe internal force exists, or kungfu can be used for combat, and where even world known masters fought like children in public demonstration.

            I'll discuss these points in my following posts, which will also show why purposely performing a set at a low level or hiding some patterns in public demonstration is unnecessary.

            By now it should be obvious that raising these issues isn't done out of vengeance or antagonism, it's a sincere effort to bring better understanding which hopefully can help to arrest the shocking degradation of kungfu today.

            I mentioned to a friend the other day that there are so many talented people in the world that are dedicated to what they practice, football, music, gymnastics. There's an extrodinary amount of talented wushu performers in the world. If only they had the option to focus that talent and dedication towards genuine Shaolin Kungfu or Tai Chi Chuan, who knows what they could contribute to humanity. So many future Masters out there, "diamonds in the rough" that aren't being offered the opportunity to reach their full potential. It's up to us to offer them that opportunity. Inform the world as best we can and let them make their own mind up.

            Best wishes

            "A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts"

            Hui Neng The Platform Sutra


            • #7
              Excellent thread

              Hi all,

              What an excellent thread, and a brilliant opportunity to discuss issues that trouble many of us.

              I also find it an odditty that a practitioner would perform a pattern one way and use it in a completley different manner, as Ronan mentioned it is not and effective use of training time.

              This is clearly not why Kung-Fu patterns evolved. It seems to me quite pointless that a practitioner would practice patterns for hundreds of thousands of times and then when it actually came to use it you would throw it them to the wind. Even when I had not met Sifu, I had every intention of trying to use my Tai Chi Chuan patterns for sparring, although I remember suspecting it would take many years.

              Again a great thread, that I am sure will be of benefit to many

              "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"


              • #8
                Big hellos and spinning high fives to everyone! I'm feeling especially good today, the weather's rough and rugged and very beautiful and it's bank holiday Monday!

                Continuing on from my last posts I'll be fairly brief because we've a big game of football organized this afternoon which should be a blast and a half so I can't miss it! There're two main points I'd like to address in this post.

                1.A practitioner purposely performs his forms at a low level.
                2.He purposely takes out some forms in his performance. These forms are those he considers holding some kungfu secrets.

                Do you know why he believes that by doing this he can hide his secrets?

                The reason is that he believes (mistakenly) that the secrets are found in the forms. This is a big mistake many people make. The secrets aren't found in the forms, they're found in the applications. They're also found in the skills involved in performing the forms. (Actually, revealing this fact is revealing a big secret.) Hence purposely performing the forms at low level or purposely leaving out some patterns in a performance to hide secrets is unnecessary and irrelevant, because the secrets are'nt found in the forms!

                Why is he mistaken in his belief?

                Because practicing forms is the main, and sometimes the only, thing he does in his training. This is also a big mistake most kungfu practitioners today make. They start their kungfu career by learning forms. They continue their career by learning more and more forms, and they also reach the peak of their kungfu career by learning forms. They seldom, or never, develop internal force or use their forms to train combat application.

                As a result they resort to mechanical training for muscular strength, like running and weight lifting, instead of employing traditional kungfu methods like stance training and chi flow to develop internal force. If they ever try sparring, they either spar like children or resort to bouncing about and punching and kicking like Kick-Boxers, instead of using the kungfu forms which they can perform beautifully in solo demonstrations.

                I was at a recent All Britain Open Taijiquan Full Contact Competition to see my brother, Sifu Robin Gamble, compete. It was genuinely saddening to see that except for Robin, none of the other competitors used anything that even remotely resembled Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan. They just used Kick-Boxing. Robin was the only one to use Taijiquan skills and techniques, and he won.

                It was saddening because the other fighters genuinely thought that what they were doing was how real Tai Chi Chuan Masters in the past fought. If they just admitted that they were doing kickboxing then I wouldn't feel sorry for them, but as it is I felt bad that they couldn't see the real depth of Tai Chi Chuan. If they did there is no way that they would fight like they that. Tensed up, head down, furiously swinging punches and kicks with no regard for Tai Chi Chuan, principles, strategies, techniques or stances. I saw one guy who was a good kickboxer and he used good tactics and had good kick boxing form, but that was about it.

                So why do some “masters” say there are secrets in the forms? Some are ignorant and simply don't know, while others do so for personal motives, like making themselves look profound to their students and the public. But the harm they cause is widespread and insiduous. Because these “masters” are accepted as authorities, they can easily mislead the public in general and kungfu students in particular, causing them to continue thinking mistakenly that kungfu is just kungfu forms.

                The misled practitioners will indulge themselves in kungfu forms, perhaps hoping to find some secrets within after having practiced the forms for many years, but neglecting combat application and internal force training which were actually the main factors that made kungfu great and glorious in the past.

                In my next posts I'll explain that the secrets are found in the application and skills, and not in the forms. Knowing this fact will enable you to understand why most kungfu practitioners can't fight, and those who can fight – some very well, like Bruce Lee – use techniques of other martial systems, especially Taekwondo and Kick-Boxing, and not genuine kungfu patterns.

                Best wishes

                "A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts"

                Hui Neng The Platform Sutra


                • #9
                  My experiences

                  Dear Ronan Sipak

                  I agree with many of my brothers that this is a very useful thread to have started. I look forward to hearing more of your points, but for now I would like to share some of my past experiences.

                  Before training Shaolin Wahnam I studied a traditional style of Shaolin Kung Fu (I won't mention the name as the case is the same with many styles I experienced, and so the name isn't relevant). I was drawn in by the beautiful forms and all the romantic ideals of Kung Fu Masters, which I believed I would find in this art.

                  They practiced many similar methods to Shaolin Wahnam ie forms, stance training, some chi kung, sticky hands/push hands, weapons to name a few. But when it came time for sparring we would just use kick boxing, everything else would be thrown out of the window. I tried to use techniques from the sets but as there was no systematic training I would get beaten and have to resort to the apparently "faster" kick boxing techniques. I stayed with the style because of two main reasons:

                  1. I trully believed in the internal and combat efficient side of Kung Fu, and believed it would come in time.
                  2. We were constantly told that once we reached black sash (there was a grading system) that our real training commenced with the Master of the lineage.

                  Apart from the contrast in using kickboxing to spar as opposed to Shaolin Kung Fu, other contrasts with our Shaolin Wahnam training were stances were practiced about once every few months (and not encouraged between) and would be an endurance battle, the chi kung was gentle exercise with little or no effect, the forms were flowery with no essence, there was an incomplete combat methodology, the skills and benefits did not manifest in any of the students daily lives infact more often or not it nurtured undesirable qualities. All this from a once magnificent and glorious Kung Fu style which had degraded.

                  I only moved on from this style when I came across more deadly (yet not internal) styles when I moved to university. I realised my development was going no where in the previous style and so focussed on these new styles.

                  Along my path to Shaolin Wahnam I came across a few other styles which had degraded in the same way, making claims with no substance (tai chi styles, japanese styles, other Kung Fu styles etc).

                  Luckily I found Shaolin Wahnam and in my first lesson witnessed a Kung Fu style which remained the same in sparring as in training, experienced the internal from the beginning and most importantly enhanced my daily life from my first lesson onwards.

                  I agree that there are many dedicated and focussed students out there that have not found what they are searching for, I was one of them, and we at Shaolin Wahnam have a responsiblity to promote and show these arts to potential good students and prevent the further degeneration of the Internal Arts.

                  All the best


                  • #10
                    As much as I think wushu has damaged the reputation of kung fu everyone has to right to practice what they want. The same with tai chi dance.

                    As Jamie said in another similar thread; the test of a martial art is in fighting.
                    Those who don't want to fight, let others judge them. We can only change the current situation by leading by example. By that I mean, not that we should all be cage fighters, but that we should live out the claims made by Wahnam, i.e health, vitality and ability to defend ourselves using kung fu.

                    On the same topic of judging DVD's and the like, at present we have two examples of Wahnam holding back; the kick mentioned in the yielding thread and the staff techniques on Sigung's site. Could someone who knew the more advanced application think that what we showed was low level?

                    On the subject of thumbs, doesn't using the tiger claw expose fingers and thumb? Strangly enough in my old style finger injuries were quite common despite the fact that in sparring we were meant to use closed fists. During my time in Wahnam I can't think of one injury. So maybe we shouldn't judge from appearances alone.


                    Shaolin Wahnam South London


                    • #11
                      On the subject of thumbs, doesn't using the tiger claw expose fingers and thumb?
                      I don't think the thumb thing is a huge deal, but no. The tiger claw doesn't extend the thumb at a right angle. The thumb is bent. Try the tiger claw with the thumb extended at a right angle, and you can feel the difference. Similarly, try One Finger Zen with the thumb at a right angle and see if you can feel the difference in energy. Or try this. Do "False Leg Hand Sweep" a few times with the correct hand posture. Then try it a few times with the thumb at a relaxed angle. Can you feel the difference? Can you feel how, with the thumb bent, the chi focuses at the knife-edge of the hand?

                      So bending the thumb is not only about protecting it, but also about focusing the chi. Of course, people who don't bend the thumb (and I've seen many, particularly in Baguazhang) may have a different perspective.
                      Sifu Anthony Korahais
                      (Click here to learn more about me.)


                      • #12
                        Of course you are right Siheng. I was just playin devil's advocate and thought the spread fingers of the tiger claw was an example of a practice which might be seen by others as unsuitable for combat because of the risk of injury.

                        While I was writing my last post both Ronan and J-say themselves posted. Both good posts.
                        So is the big 'secret' of Wahnam it's combat sequences?


                        Shaolin Wahnam South London


                        • #13
                          Sidai (Simon), did you feel the difference with the thumb at a right angle? Can you feel how the chi moves differently with the thumb bent?

                          Actually, I think many of you can probably feel the difference. And this is a valuable skill! It may be hard for you to believe, but many masters do not even have this skill. They cannot feel their own chi, so the empirical exercise I posted above is meaningless to them.

                          I think this is terribly important. The sad situation today is that the blind are leading the blind. If a master says to hold the hand in a particular way because of "the chi," a student just follows. After all, how are they to know if the master is right or wrong? Many students today are told that it will take them a decade to feel their chi anyway. So it will be ten years before they can decide if the master is BSing.

                          Wee are lucky. We can self correct. We can adjust from the inside out because we can feel our chi. For example...

                          When I teach my students "White Snake Shoots Venom," I tell them not to put their thumb on the side of their hands the way they do with "False Leg Hand Sweep." Try this yourself. For "White Snake", the thumb comes underneath the palm a bit. But why?

                          I don't have to tell you why. You can feel it for yourself. This means that if some master tells you to put your thumb on the side of your hand for a pattern like "White Snake," you can smile and say, "No thanks."
                          Sifu Anthony Korahais
                          (Click here to learn more about me.)


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Antonius

                            When I teach my students "White Snake Shoots Venom," I tell them not to put their thumb on the side of their hands the way they do with "False Leg Hand Sweep." Try this yourself. For "White Snake", the thumb comes underneath the palm a bit.
                            Dear Siheng,

                            I tried it. The strike felt more contolled and focused with the thumb tucked in a bit. I also felt more chi flowing in my hands afterwards.

                            少林華南台灣 Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan


                            "Then how could chi kung overcome diseases where the cause is unknown or when there is no cure? The question is actually incorrect. The expressions "the cause is unknown" and "there is no cure" are applicable only in the Western medical paradigm. The expressions no longer hold true in the chi kung paradigm. In the chi kung paradigm the cause is known, and there is a cure."

                            -Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


                            • #15
                              Hi everyone, quick post before I hit the sack...repeatedly.... untill I fall asleep!

                              Simon said

                              As much as I think wushu has damaged the reputation of kung fu everyone has to right to practice what they want. The same with tai chi dance
                              That's true, of course people have the right to practice what they want, the point is that there's plenty of people out there who actually want to practice genuine Kungfu and Taijiquan but don't have the opportunity. Either because they've been misinformed as to what real Kungfu is or they just havn't met a decent instructor.

                              Many practitioners believe that just practicing some forms for flexability and fitness constitutes real Kungfu practice. They may talk a lot about application and internal force but actually have very little experience in either. I'm sure a lot of these people would be very happy and relieved to come accross the Aladin's cave of information on this forum. So it's our responsibility to keep offering (in our opinion) helpfull and correct information as best we can for people who are looking for it. It's all well and good looking out for number one, but we need to be compassionate and help others too.

                              Well getting back to what I mentioned about the secrets in Kungfu. If secrets that enable combatants to be more efficient in combat are found in the kungfu forms, then kungfu practitioners should beat other martial artists easily right? But the sad fact is that the reverse is generally true. Typically, a Taijiquan master or master of any kungfu style who may have practiced his so-called internal art for 20 or 30 years is readily beaten badly by a first-dan Black-Belt in Karate or Taekwondo, or a Muay Thai fighter or Kick-Boxer who may have practiced his “simplistic” art for just 2 or 3 years. The situation has become so bad that when you say you practice kungfu, you become a laughing stock.

                              For me, the last straw was when I saw a video clip of a public match in Hong Kong between a world-famous Taijiquan patriarch and another famous kungfu master. Not only they threw away all their secrets when they need the secrets most, they also threw away all their kungfu forms. Without meaning to be disrespectful, I honestly believe that if they'd met a Karate or a Taekwondo Black-Belt, a Kick-Boxer or a Muay Thai fighter, the Taijiquan patriarch and the kungfu master would've been beaten badly.

                              I want to make it clear again. I don't mean to insult or antagonize that Taijiquan patriarch and that kungfu master. In fact we in Shaolin Wahnam have great respect for these two masters. (My Sifu won't be slow to correct me, and I'll announce that correction in this thread, if I'm wrong in this statement.) Although we're sorry that they couldn't bring out their kungfu forms in fighting, we sincerely have great respect for their courage, honesty and generousirty – values that we ourselves cherish in Shaolin Wahnam, and which we consider more important than mere fighting abilities.

                              They were courageous in accepting to fight in public, exposed to thousands of live spectors, and now millions of viewers all over the world through video recording. They were honest to themselves and to their students. They didn't, for example, tell their students and the world that they purposely fought below their level to hide some secrets. They were generous during as well as after the fight. They never attempted to brutalize or verbally insult their opponents. When the referee announced the fight was a draw, both they and their students accepted the decision graciously. There was no shouting, no booing or grooving, and no challenging the referee’s decision, which aren't uncommon nowadays in many competitions. And there was no animosity between their schools. They were masters, and we have great respect for them and their schools.

                              Yet, we feel tremendously sad that even these two world-known masters could not apply their kungfu forms in fighting. If you appreciate how we in Shaolin Wahnam feel about this, you'd understand why we're dedicated to arresting this degrading of kungfu, and why we are even willing to share our sparring methodology with other kungfu practitioners irrespective of the styles they practice. We urge you to join us in this noble task, irrespective of whether you wish to train in our arts. One effective way to do so is to dispel ignorance.

                              Kungfu forms, with or without their secrets, are more sophisticated than the typical forms of other martial arts. If the secrets of effective combat were found in these forms, martial artists of other systems would be nowhere near kungfu form performers.

                              I don't mean to me disrespectful or antagonist or boastful, but just being honest and sincere in wanting to bring back the past glory and combat effectiveness of kungfu when I mention the following.

                              Today when even kungfu grandmasters and masters themselves with all their secrets normally can't match a Kick-Boxer or a Muay Thai fighter, or even a Karate or Taekwondo black-belt (and it's significant to point out that having a black-belt is actually not a high level. In most arts it merely marks the beginning of their training, many students already had their black-belts in other styles when they first learned from Shaolin Wahnam), the immediate task at hand if we are sincere in wanting to arrest the shameful debasing of kungfu is not about secrets but about using basic kungfu skills and techniques in defending against basic punches and kicks.

                              Of course there are secrets, but the immediate task at hand is not to worry about the secrets yet (though I shall reveal some later on, and in fact mentioning one right now) but to learn how to use your basic kungfu forms to defend against basic attacks, so that you will not be hurt in friendly sparring. This is the most fundamental reason for learning a martial art. Yet, incredibly that many kungfu practitioners, including masters, can do this. In almost all free sparring today, both sparring partners routinely get hurt. This simply is not correct.

                              This also shows that the secret of combat efficiency lies not in the forms, but in combat application and internal force training. In my next post I'll talk about “the three secrets” in Kungfu training.

                              Best wishes

                              "A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts"

                              Hui Neng The Platform Sutra