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  • manu
    replied
    Wonderful thread. .

    Leave a comment:


  • Anton S.
    replied
    Originally posted by wonderlusterer View Post
    Will there be some people who never experience vibration no matter how long they train or how much force they build?
    I doubt it.

    Originally posted by wonderlusterer View Post
    Also, can the vibration stage be experienced with any other exercise, like pushing mountains, ba duan jin shooting arrows, lifting water, etc. I've only ever seen the vibration during 1 finger shooting zen.
    it´s not exactly a stage. vibration however can be experienced with internal force, no matter which exercise was used to build it. There is a big variety among practitioners.

    Originally posted by wonderlusterer View Post
    I can only guess that the exercises only build the skill of collecting chi at the palms, and building up the necessary chi, but to actually shoot it would require a separate practice?
    no

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  • wonderlusterer
    replied
    Originally posted by Anton S. View Post
    yes and no.
    vibration is among others a sign of internal force. depending on the practitioner (experience, skills, mind) it can be developed with a traditional or non-traditional method.
    Hi Sifu Anton,
    Will there be some people who never experience vibration no matter how long they train or how much force they build?
    Also, can the vibration stage be experienced with any other exercise, like pushing mountains, ba duan jin shooting arrows, lifting water, etc. I've only ever seen the vibration during 1 finger shooting zen.

    A new question regarding 1 finger shooting zen:
    A master of the art is said to be able to hit a target with his chi from 36 paces away. No doubt we've all seen the videos of Shaolin Wahnam students extinguishing flames with their one finger zen, and the training method at an advanced stage is to shoot the chi out during the "her-it" movement, as Sifu Wong puts it. I can clearly see the "long range" aspect of the art.

    A master of cosmos palm is said to be able to hit a target from a distance as well (72 paces, but I'm sure thats just figurative). Yet in the training methods, there is no mention of shooting chi from the palms. I can only guess that the exercises only build the skill of collecting chi at the palms, and building up the necessary chi, but to actually shoot it would require a separate practice?

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  • Anton S.
    replied
    Originally posted by David Langford View Post
    Is the vibrating a natural development of the traditional force method?
    yes and no.
    vibration is among others a sign of internal force. depending on the practitioner (experience, skills, mind) it can be developed with a traditional or non-traditional method.
    Last edited by Anton S.; 4 November 2015, 11:06 AM.

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  • wonderlusterer
    replied
    WOW! I can't believe Sifu Wong read a thread that I started?! Feels like such an honour
    And of course, very informative

    Leave a comment:


  • wooden shoes
    replied
    Dear all,
    Nice discussion!

    Best wishes,
    Roeland

    Leave a comment:


  • Karol
    replied
    Dear Family,

    I had a rare privilege of reading upcoming Question-Answer. Sigung graciously answered my questions from this thread in the upcoming November Question-Answer.

    Considering the amount of questions coming in from all over the world I would like to thank Sigung for choosing my beginner-questions and answering them so quickly.

    As usual the upcoming Question Answer is worth waiting.

    Sigung allowed me to share the answers with the rest of the students on the forum.

    In the book, "The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu", Sigung explains that in performing One-Finger Shooting Zen, "as you move your hand out and in, tense it and visualize it as charged with internal force" and then "even though you tense your arm and finger, you must never be tensed, especially in your chest"

    So how to tense without tensing? If tensing the muscles is one of the biggest mistakes, how to do One-finger Shooting Zen correctly? http://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/sho...r-Shooting-Zen
    — Karol, Norway


    Editorial Note: This question was summarized from Post 5 of Questions on One-Finger Shooting Zen in the Shaolin Wahnam Institute Discussion Forum.

    Answer

    It is a good question.
    Let us have some fun. In performing One-finger Shooting Zen, you should tense your arm, and not tense your arm. The confusion is due to the limitation of words. Words do not explain exactly what we want to explain.
    The first "tense" in "you should tense your arm" is not the same as the second "tense" in "not tense your arm". Although the meanings are different, I still used the same word "tense" when I wrote the book 20 years ago in 1995 because I could not find another better word.
    After many years of teaching, now I use words that give a clearer meaning. Now I say, "Focus your energy at your index finger, but do not use muscular strength", or "Consolidate your flowing energy at your arm without tensing any muscles".
    In other words, in "tense your arm", I mean "focus or consolidate energy at your arm". In "not tense your arm" I mean "not tense the muscles in your arm".
    When you focus or consolidate energy at your finger or arm, your energy is still flowing, but it is focused or consolidated. The consolidated energy is flowing, not locked up or stagnant. You do not tense your muscles when you let your energy flow. If you tense your muscles, the energy will be locked up and be stagnant.
    Such limitation of words occurs quite frequently in chi kung and kungfu descriptions. For example, after a few repetitions of a Sinew Metamorphosis exercise, we tell students to breath out forcefully but without using force! In developing internal force, we advise students not to use strength and they will develop a lot of strength.
    In the "breathing" example, breathing out forcefully means breathing out with a lot of energy going out of the mouth. Without using force means without breathing out in a forced manner.
    In the "internal force" example, the first “strength” means “muscular strength”, and the second “strength” means “internal force”. If we use muscular strength, we have to tense our muscles. When we tense our muscles, we stop the flow of energy that constitutes internal force.
    The uninitiated will not understand the meaning of the descriptions although they know the dictionary meaning of all the words used. The initiated will have no difficulty understanding the meaning because they have experience of the situations.


    What are the flow method and the force method?


    Answer

    The flow method and the force methods are two main categories of methods to develop internal force. These terms were coined by me.
    I did not invent the various force-developing methods. These various methods were used in the past. I analysed the principles in the various methods and categorised them into two main types, and call them the flow method, or xing-fa in Chinese, and the force method, or jing-fa.
    In the flow method, we perform the techniques to train force in picture-perfect forms.. Then we perform the forms in a smooth flow, without beginning and without ending to generate an energy flow. When the energy flow becomes vigorous, it produces internal force. The various styles of Taijiquan are good examples of the flow method.

    In the force method, we also perform the techniques to train force in picture-perfect forms. Then we consolidate energy into internal force. The consolidated energy is still flowing, but more focused and concentrated. Iron Wire and Triple Stretch are good examples of the force methods.
    In studying and analysing various methods of developing internal force, I discovered that chi flow was necessary. It was increasing the chi flow or consolidating the chi flow that resulted in the flow method or the force method. This discovery tremendously sped up the process of building internal force. It is incredible but true that our students can now develop internal force in a month what I would need a year during my student’s days!
    The process in the flow method is form-flow-force, and the process in the force method is form-force-flow. It is helpful to note that the crucial part of the processes of both the flow method and the force method is the middle part, and not the end part. In the flow method, we let our energy flow vigorously to develop force. In the force method, we consolidate energy into force and let it flow smoothly.


    Editorial Note: An excellent answer by Sifu Leonard Lackinger can be found here

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark CH
    replied
    Originally posted by Leo Shaolin View Post
    After having taken many courses including both methods in the last years, I’m trying to clear up the confusion about the Force and Flow method.

    Generally those two methods describe how a set or force training exercise is LEARNT and/or PRACTICED.


    FORCE METHOD:

    This is the traditional standard method used in Shaolin Kung Fu. Therefore Iron Wire, Triple Stretch Set and One Finger Shooting Zen make use of it.

    The learning procedure is:
    1. Learn the sequence (of the set)
    2. Get the FORM correct
    3. Practice with FORCE. This is often done in a comparatively slow and sometimes staccato manner.
    4. Over time the force produced earlier leads to a FLOW which results in fast and smooth movement (while still delivering strong and forceful punches).


    Example 1, “Lohan Asks the Way” (set):
    1. Learn the sequence
    2. Get the FORM picture-perfect
    3. Add breathing and later explode FORCE with every pattern.
    4. After some time you will notice that you are FLOWing very well through your set.


    Example 2, “One Finger Shooting Zen”:
    1. Learn the sequence
    2. Get the FORM picture-perfect
    3. Add breathing (including sounds) and focus the FORCE where it’s needed. Explode on appropriate times.
    4. After some time you will notice that your movements are FLOWing very well. For example your hands might move spontaneously on their own.



    FLOW METHOD:

    This is the traditional standard method used in Tai Chi Chuan. Therefore Yang style and Chen style make use of it.

    The learning procedure is:
    1. Learn the sequence (of the set)
    2. Get the FORM correct
    3. Practice in a smooth and FLOWing manner.
    4. Over time the flow will increase and develop internal FORCE which can be exploded out.


    Example 1, “Grasping Sparrow’s Tail”:
    1. Learn the sequence
    2. Get the FORM picture-perfect
    3. FLOW through the set. There’s no beginning, no ending and no stops in between. Increase the FLOW by will and you will move faster, faster and even faster.
    4. When you are ready, explode the developed FORCE on every pattern you like to.


    Example 3, “One Finger Shooting Zen”:
    1. Learn the sequence
    2. Get the FORM picture-perfect
    3. Let the force FLOW and repeat the movements many times (instead of three times). Initially don’t worry about the breathing and the form. Your hands will get faster and faster.
    4. When you are ready, explode the developed FORCE with a shout on appropriate places.



    SOME IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING DISCOVERIERS

    -) Sifu discovered that chi FLOW is the ingredient for internal FORCE and the FORCE method is important for the FLOW method.

    Therefore the first step is to develop chi flow (every time you practice). Only then internal force can be generated. I’ll leave aside what is necessary to develop chi flow, as this is common knowledge in our school. (Ha! That’s why the classics are often misunderstood. )

    An interesting observation I made, which may act as a proof, is that my chi kung students who later pick up martial arts training, get much quicker results from Zhan Zhuang and other force training methods than fresh beginners.

    So, there is no 100% consolidating. There always has to be at least some flow. “Consolidating” gathers / focuses the internal force on specific parts of the body. Therefore the energy must be moving. Imagine that you want to meet up with your friends, but no one can leave their houses/flats (for any reason), everyone is non-moving. The gathering won’t happen.

    Even Golden Bridge will have a ratio of at least 99:1 (consolidating:flowing) while Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan has at least 1:99. In more recent comparison lists, Sifu even changed to 10 or 20% of flow for standard Iron Wire, which was before regarded as only being consolidating.

    Even if we use the force method and by will consolidate by 99.9% percent, the chi flow afterwards will direct the energy to more important regions, like our internal organs. Therefore even Golden Bridge, whose main purpose is to develop a lot of martial force and mental clarity, can be used to fight illness, though using exercises from the 18 Lohan Hands or 18 Jewels will be more cost-effective and also enjoyable for most people.

    -) By will we can choose any of the methods for any set after learning and training both of them.

    Sifu also discovered that we need to learn the force method first before applying the flow method to Shaolin Kung Fu sets or force training methods. That’s why Sifu always starts with the traditional force method for Iron Wire, Triple Stretch, One Finger Shooting Zen, …

    But, normally, practicing a flowing set with the flow method and practicing a force set with the force method is most cost-effective. Though there might be an exception with the force method, which will be explained in the next paragraph.

    -) The flow method is safer, often stronger and more beneficial.

    By asking students to compare their results with both methods at his courses, Sifu was initially surprised that most students found the flow method produced stronger results.

    The flow method is dependent on chi flow and vice-versa enhances chi flow. Therefore it is more beneficial for our main aims of nurturing health and vitality, while still developing a lot of force for martial arts purposes.

    If the force method is practiced incorrectly (like tensing the muscles or having a non-focused mind), it can develop more serious deviations. The flow method is much safer in this respect.

    -) Spread and depth

    Traditionally the flow and force methods would cancel each other out, because one keeps the energy moving while the other focuses the energy on specific parts of the body.

    Through the magic of our chi flow, by practicing both methods in Shaolin Wahnam, we are not only freed from this effect, but we even enhance our results and therefore speed up our progress!

    Personally, I made one of my biggest steps in force development when I practiced Triple Stretch and Flowing Water Flowing Clouds daily for some time after attending Sifu’s respective courses in Frankfurt.


    So, that is my interpretation of what we call force method and flow method in our school.


    As for the often mentioned “tension” in this thread, I will only repeat two very beneficial and often heard advices from Sifu:

    “The more you relax, the more force you develop.”
    &
    “If you want to have force, don’t use strength!”


    I will close with an important reminder for force training. Our methods are VERY POWERFUL! Take care not to over-train! More on that here: http://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/sho...Over-Cleansing

    Best wishes,

    Leo
    I like this Leo

    Best wishes
    Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • Grimlock
    replied
    Flow vs. Force: Why not both?

    My own experience of the Flow method vs. the Force method is quite similar to Leo's. My natural tendency historically has been to use the Force method. Maybe it's part of my character, maybe it's because that's what I learned and practiced for some time before learning about the Flow method, or maybe it's a combination of those and some other factors. I have no doubt that for me, the time spent on and force developed with the Force method has helped "power" the Flow method (giving it a greater flow than I'd otherwise have). The Flow method has helped smooth out my application of force, so it has also enhanced the Force method. Now that I have spent significant time with the Flow method, I simply use whichever one I feel like using in the moment.

    Lately, it has been a lot of Flow method since I have been working long hours at my computer. I noticed that when I practiced the Flow method, I felt much better than when I practiced the Force method. When I listened a little closer to my body, I could clearly see that it was crying out for more circulation. Now that I have addressed that deficiency, both methods feel good again.

    One powerful benefit I have received from developing my skill with the Flow method is another level of letting go. If you want to feel force and have preconceived ideas of what that means, you are likely to not only gravitate to the Force method, but to not be as relaxed as you should be and thus not get the full benefits. You may also not trust the Flow method to truly give the benefits it does, leading you to unintentionally practice it incorrectly (when you do practice it). After spending some time with the Flow method, I realized I had been falling into this trap a bit. Luckily for me, I did trust the Flow method (that Flower Set Winter Camp made it kinda hard not to...), and the direct experience I gained from practicing it helped me not only get better benefits from practicing it, but also relax more when practicing the Force method (enhancing the quality of that practice, too).

    I am very interested to hear the experiences of students who have started out with the Flow method and then spent some time with the Force method.

    One thing that's interesting and also loops back into One and Two Finger Zen is the difference felt in practicing the force training section of the Flower Set vs. Triple Stretch. It's an especially interesting comparison because many of the force training sections are the same, but they feel so different, even when using the same method to compare identical sections of the two sets. The effect extends to the non-force-training sections of the sets, too.

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  • Mark CH
    replied
    Great thread

    Best wishes
    Mark

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  • Karol
    replied
    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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  • Fabienne
    replied
    (I did NOT expect that GIF. This is hilarious omg !)

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  • drunken boxer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Chiahua
    replied
    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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  • Grimlock
    replied
    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.

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