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  • #16
    What a thread! Thank you all for the wonderful information.

    I used to think the Force method was more powerful, especially after training Iron Wire. The consolidated energy was quite apparent around my arms and body after every training session.

    I didn't really focus on the Flow method at the time because to me, it just generated a vigorous chi flow. I couldn't feel the tangible power I felt from training the Force method.

    That all changed after learning Small Universe and Dragon Strength, the pinnacle of the Flow method. The feeling of a powerful, flowing hurricane roaring through my body changed my mind very shortly after. It almost felt as if the flowing force had reached its maximum potential and had to convert to consolidated force as part of the Yin and Yang cycle.

    As for training the Force method, you are not physically tensing your muscles. You are focusing and consolidating your internal force to the point that your body vibrates. As a test, you should still be able to talk if you are correctly consolidating internal force. It would be difficult to talk if you are physically tensing.

    Best regards,
    Stephen
    Last edited by DarkCosmoz; 28 October 2015, 04:26 AM.

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    • #17
      Hey Chiau!

      Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
      For me, there are some patterns in One Finger Shooting Zen that lend itself better to repeating the movements many times, better than others, such as the first pattern.

      Yes, that's because of the innate nature of each of the patterns. The elliptical movement of the first pattern (same like in Pushing Mountains) makes the pattern ideal for the flow method. Double Dragon Emerges from Sea is a straight forward double punch. Initially it doesn't seem suitable for the flow method, but it works well after some time, although it might look a bit funny pumping back and forward in high speed.

      Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
      Secondly, I practice most of my one finger shooting zen sessions in "Force" mode as opposed to "Flow" mode, because I enjoy it more. I am curious if most people nowadays use the "flow" mode more because of the wider list of benefits?
      Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
      (Side question: is it dumb of me to prioritize my enjoyment of "force" mode when Sifu seems to lean towards "flow" mode? Maybe it's a sign I need to let go more when practicing "flow" mode? )
      I don't think most people use the flow method, as not everyone in Shaolin Wahnam had the chance to learn it from Sifu yet. In regular classes we still use the established standard version (i.e. the force method for Shaolin Kung Fu).

      At the courses Sifu never advised us to solely use the flow method from now on. Instead he let us to decide ourselves and encouraged us to make use of breadth and depth via variation.

      Personally, I chose to combine both methods in my One Finger Shooting Zen practice. Most of the times I practice the first three sections with the force method and the last section with Big Boss Offers Wine with flow.

      When practicing Dragon Strength I'm playing around with the methods. So, every time I practice it looks differently. Though I have preferences for each of the patterns.

      So, you are free to enjoy your practice any way you like, but I recommend you give the flow method some more chances.

      Best wishes,

      Leo
      Sifu Leonard Lackinger

      Shaolin Treasure House

      Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House

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      • #18
        Originally posted by DarkCosmoz View Post
        As for training the Force method, you are not physically tensing your muscles. You are focusing and consolidating your internal force to the point that your body vibrates. As a test, you should still be able to talk if you are correctly consolidating internal force. It would be difficult to talk if you are physically tensing.
        I found this a good description by Stephen. What I was wondering, is there a difference between the "force" method that people are speaking of here, and the "jing" method we learned in Wing Choon circa 2010?

        Though I learned how to explode force in One Finger Zen, or from for example Black Tiger Steals Heart, I would call that fa jin. Whereas when Sifu taught us Wing Choon, he separated it into form level, chi level and jing level. In the jing level he exhibited what I have called a sort of "shaking" force, or vibrating force like Stephen said, but I never learned this in other courses such as the Intensive Kungfu Course, Eagle Claw, Tantui etc, however I saw Sifu demonstrate it much, without really commenting on it, during the Xingyiquan course this year.

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        • #19
          Is the vibrating a natural development of the traditional force method?
          Shaolin Wahnam USA

          "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

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          • #20
            >Instead [Sifu] let us to decide ourselves and encouraged us to make use of breadth and depth via variation.
            >When practicing Dragon Strength I'm playing around with the methods. So, every time I practice it looks differently. Though I have preferences for each of the patterns.

            >So, you are free to enjoy your practice any way you like, but I recommend you give the flow method some more chances.

            Of course Sihing Leo comes up with a skillful and reasonable response! Thank you for that. I tend not to "play" too much in my practice so I will permit myself to enjoy experimenting a bit for once

            >Double Dragon Emerges from Sea is a straight forward double punch. Initially it doesn't seem suitable for the flow method, but it works well after some time, although it might look a bit funny pumping back and forward in high speed.
            For me it looks funny, but more importantly it feels funny/clumsy in a way that I can really flow with it. I will work on this a bit and see if I can make it flow better for me.


            Thank you,
            Chow

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
              For me it looks funny, but more importantly it feels funny/clumsy in a way that I can really flow with it. I will work on this a bit and see if I can make it flow better for me.


              Thank you,
              Chow
              With regard to the second portion of One Finger Shooting Zen, I'd suggest you use the entire section, and repeat that, rather than just stick to repeating a single pattern. Because, like you said, it's awkward - all the intent and force are flowing straight forward, and trying to reverse that flow straight back is weird.

              It's much, much easier (and feels better, smoother, more natural) to use the entire sequence as one flowing pattern, and repeat that.

              -Matt

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Frederick_Chu View Post
                Thank you very much for clarifying, siheng! The idea of tension in kung fu was a curious one to me ever since reading Sifu's work on internal force training and later experiencing it for myself. The question crossed my mind a while back regarding why tension and "using strength" was and still is so popularly recommended in various kung fu schools. As we know in Shaolin Wahnam, open secret is that relaxation brings the best result. For a while, I entertained the hypothesis that some teachers purposefully taught using tension to at least develop external strength, and would later give the "secret" lesson of relaxing to their initiated disciples in order to develop internal force, haha. I have no evidence for this, just the observation that there are so many sets for developing internal force that are popularly practiced, but seeing them performed in a way that would build internal force is a rare treat. Perhaps the most infamous example of this is the Iron Wire set.
                I know the idea of masters keeping secrets from all but the best of their students is pretty popular in Kungfu lore, but I suspect it's much less intentional than that.

                When you pick up something heavy, your muscles tense. The heavier it is, generally speaking, the more your muscles tense. Pull harder = more tension = heavier thing moves = you're stronger. That's easily repeatable, and makes logical sense. If I'm stronger than you, I'll have a better chance of winning the fight. If using tension makes me stronger, than that would logically be a good thing to do for training martial arts.

                Martial arts were taught to build groups/armies/gangs/neighborhoods of people who could fight. If I was teaching a group of people how to fight, and their ability was directly related to my own survival, I would certainly teach them how to be the best. It doesn't make sense to think that I'd teach 90% of them something mediocre, and only teach 10% the good stuff. Of course I'd tailor the teachings to squeeze the most potential out of each individual, but I'd be setting up my own demise if I intentionally taught what I knew to be inferior.

                Today, teachers teach what they know. I suspect it has always been like that. And most people have experience with physical/body/tension only. So, that's what they teach.

                -Matt

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                • #23
                  Force method vs. physical tension -

                  Picture a container filled with gas (a basketball filled with air, for example). As it sits, there is a specific amount of pressure within the container. There are two ways you can easily increase that pressure. #1 - squeeze the container to make it smaller. #2 - increase the amount of gas within the container. In both cases, you're altering the volume of the container vs. the volume of gas inside. But one approach is from the outside, and the other is from the inside.

                  In my own practice, I have noticed that using muscular tension feels like approach #1. I can feel the compression, squeezing, and contraction. There is a general feeling of increased pressure in my arm, for example, and it feels hard. However, I can also feel energy/force getting squeezed out of it.

                  Using my mind to consolidate energy in my arm, the force method, feels like approach #2. I can feel an expansion, filling up, and fullness. Again, there is a general feeling of increased pressure in my arm. But rather than squeezing energy/force out of my arm, I am using my focus to pack the energy into my arm.

                  I use that sensation as a helpful gauge to determine if I'm using the force method or just physical tension. If the increased pressure is coming from the outside-in, then it's physical tension. If the pressure is coming from the inside-out, then it's internal force.

                  -Matt

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                  • #24
                    Wow, only a day or two and I've been left far behind on this thread.
                    Thanks a lot to all the advice, especially Sifu Leo for the very detailed explanations
                    I especially enjoyed your video on one finger shooting zen, though I feel like my eyes are going to water every time I see your hands vibrating so much, I dont know why!

                    Well, I've had all my questions answered, thanks to every one again, so I'll just quietly follow the thread for now and see what else I can glean from the conversations

                    -Daniel

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                    • #25
                      Thanks

                      Although I practice One Finger Zen regularly and I have no questions about it (I am just happy with my practice and let the answers come by itself) I am thankful to read so good information and details from people with more experience and knowledge than me. I have learnt a lot reading this thread.

                      With a smile from the heart

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
                        For me it looks funny, but more importantly it feels funny/clumsy in a way that I can really flow with it. I will work on this a bit and see if I can make it flow better for me.
                        Hi Chiahua,

                        In line with what Leo and Matt have said, you can also "play" with the second section itself to flow in different ways. Like you can flow through each pattern several times in turn, the whole section in turn, or some chunk of the section in turn. For instance, I sometimes like to flow between Golden Scissors and Double Dragons Emerge From the Sea as a unit using the double tiger claws as a period (exclamation mark?) to mark the end of a round of flowing through the section.

                        As an aside, breaking down what you practice into chunks can be helpful for sequence work, too. Sometimes it's helpful (and feels good) to spend some time just flowing through applying a couple of patterns from a sequence. Then when you practice the sequence itself, that part of the sequence will flow and feel better, and you will find it easier to apply in sparring.
                        Chris Didyk
                        Shaolin Wahnam USA


                        Thank You.

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                        • #27
                          I like all those suggestions. I did in fact give the double fist pump another go... after I got over my mental blockage it felt pretty rad.
                          Sihing Matt I'll try flowing up the entire pattern as well. Pic related.

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                          • #28
                            Just to say, when I personally have been talking about and thinking about the "Force method" I think I might have been confusing it with the "Jing" or "Hard Force" method we learned on Sifu's Wing Choon course in Penang back in 2010, which I think is not the same thing?

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                            • #29
                              (I did NOT expect that GIF. This is hilarious omg !)


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                              • #30
                                This thread cleared all my doubts connected to my practice. It feels like a cleaning of a mental blockage. Confidence during practice allows me to focus even more. Than You so much for all the information. This forum is just awesome
                                Last edited by Anton S.; 4 November 2015, 10:41 AM. Reason: link removed :)

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