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Comments & Experiences from participants of an Intensive Kung Fu Course

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  • Comments & Experiences from participants of an Intensive Kung Fu Course

    If you wonder if it is worth travelling all the way to Malaysia, paying what appears to be a lot of money, training only for 5 days and trying to comprehend what you are meant to achieve in those few days then perhaps a few comments and direct experiences from the people whom have just completed the course will hopefully generate some interest and excitement to know that things like internal force, combat efficiency, great health, happiness and joy can be attained from practicing genuine Shaolin Kung Fu.

    I've invited my fellow classmates to post here and after we've have had a chance to post, those following this thread may have some pre-course questions that these post-course participants may like to comment upon. Hopefully this thread will encourage you to take a course in Malaysia or look for an instructor near you. The Shaolin Wahnam Institute is possibly one of the largest in the world (and still growing) with instructors in many countries dedicated to passing on genuine Shaolin Arts irrespective of race or religion.

    Courses with Sifu are always special, but attending a course in Malaysia is extra special. Thank you very much Sifu, Simu, Wei Fong and everyone for another great experience.
    Michael Durkin
    Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
    www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

  • #2
    This time I came back to Malaysia to repeat the same Intensive Kung Fu Course which I first did in 2002. I didn't repeat the course because it contained new techniques or new forms to learn. The core material of the course was the same as I had attended before, I repeated the course so that I could deepen the skills I had already been taught. It was also great to train with a completely new set of people from around the world, new friends that I hope to train with again in the future. Guys, the Karaoke.....awesome

    It was great to watch complete beginners (in some cases) progress and improve so much over the 5 days. This was only possible due to the way Sifu conducts the course systematically & methodically, moving from one level to another one stage at a time. The skills that you are taught in the first few levels complement the later levels you practice. For example when practicing moving in stances, simply moving our weight from one leg to the other leg before we stepped forward (differentiating yin and yang) allowed us to move smoothly, steadily and safely. The skill of differentiating yin & yang applied to all the later moving in stances levels as well as for the rest of the course. Later levels in our moving in stances involved moving several steps forward compared to just the one step forward. If we hadn't learnt how to differentiate yin & yang to begin with, then taking several steps forward right away would not have been methodical and would have been imbalanced, hap hazard and on the whole clumsy. Sifu's systematic and methodical approach meant that we didn't progress onto higher levels before we were ready. I wonder if before the course any of my class mates had experienced such a systematic approach to develop a skill?

    I also was reminded through direct experience of how important stance training is, and why we place so much importance upon it. Of course the stance training I have done prior to the course naturally gave me an advantage over the beginners. But through deepening my skills I felt the difference between myself and some classmates as my defence was much easier due to their poorer stance. For example over extending too far into a punch to the extent where their back foot comes of the ground allows me to easily guide their attack away. Sifu explained that stance training is a fundamental or basic part of a training, basic here doesn't mean easy or un-important, quite the opposite. Classmates, how valuable do you now place stance training after experiencing the course? Would you throw your stances away in real combat?

    I would like to share an experience I had right at the end of the course where we reached free sparring. This part of the course is always very interesting and was also very special for me on my first course in 2002. Free sparring is the closest stage you can get to actual fighting and is the last stage of our training on the course, this stage is meant as confirmation of the skills we have trained prior, free sparring is not a way to train the skills. There is no set path to follow and anyone can choose what attack/defence they wish to use.

    This time round I was half way through sparring with Warren and I had just executed a 'black tiger' punch to his solar plexus area, he correctly defended this with a 'single tiger' which tamed my attacking hand. Warren then proceeded to execute a 'happy bird' kick to my left ribs. But before Warren's kick, as he was taming my attacking 'black tiger' punch I could see in my mind exactly the move he was going to do before he did it. This enabled me to perform the required defence immediately without hesitation and with far more skill then when I was doing it in pre-arranged practice when it was already decided what was happening. Warren didn't give away any tell tale signs of shifting weight to prepare for the kick, he didn't favour that move heavily nor did he telegraph anything.

    My defence to Warren's kick was 'lohan strikes drum', but I had already considered my next move after this which was to catch his kicking leg and proceed with a felling technique. I would like to commend Warren on 'keeping it together' as I pinned him down. Well done Warren, you didn't give in easily.

    For me this was a special moment that confirmed what I had heard about past master being able to know what is about to happen before it happens, Sifu explained that this was experiencing Zen. I'm not trying to say I can now predict the future and that I'll never trip over my own shoe lace, but these little instances are comforting reminders that some things are going right.

    Look forward to reading about my classmates experiences and first impressions of the course.

    Take care,
    Michael Durkin
    Michael Durkin
    Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
    www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

    Comment


    • #3
      Beyond Words

      Greetings Friends and Family,

      I had the tremendous good fortune to attend the course in question. At the behest of my Senior Brother, Michael I have attempted to give my own comments.


      I hope it will suffice for me to say that I had never been happier in my life, never felt more powerful or more free.

      I hope you will understand that I am not exagerating when I say that Sifu has helped me to reach heights that I had never imagined possible.
      Charles David Chalmers
      Brunei Darussalam

      Comment


      • #4
        Lovely Post

        Hey Guys,
        I just wanted to say that I really loved the post and I think it will be a great thread. Can anyone pass on there experiences etc........even us old ones .

        Mike great experience there well done

        Mark
        Sifu Mark Appleford

        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Greetings Siheng Michael! It's good to hear from you after all this while.

          I too attended the aforementioned Intensive Kung Fu course. Despite being a new beginner to Kung Fu, Sifu's teachings really pushed me to absorb what could take years for another person to achieve in only 5 days. Sifu has a subtle way of teaching. As Charles has stated before, Sifu transmits the skills to you heart to heart. Learning Shaolin Kung Fu was actually a fun experience; there was no aggression common in other martial arts schools. I really loved the sparring methodology sessions. I have learned alot through it that can be aplied to life as well.

          That is all that can come to my mind at the moment. Needless to say, my quality of life has improved drastically since attending Sifu's course. I hope to see my Wahnam brothers again soon in the future!
          http://shaolinwahnammalaysia.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            All I can say is that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
            After the first session which is about two hours, I said at the time:
            "If this was the only session we ever did on this course then I would go home more than happy and gladly pay twice the money"
            Imagine what the full week is like. It really is life changing.
            Sifu's teaching, his kindness, the profundity of his art and teachings, the kindness of his family and all the friends you make in the Wahnam family, the beauty and hospitality of Malaysia and the Malaysian people.
            For me it is an honour and a privaledge to spend time with Sifu let alone train with him. It is also a privaledge to visit such a beautiful country.

            Take care brethren and bye for now

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow. I would one day love to attend an intensive course of any kind with Sifu Wong.

              For me this was a special moment that confirmed what I had heard about past master being able to know what is about to happen before it happens, Sifu explained that this was experiencing Zen.
              That is truly amazing. A true Jedi master

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Everyone..

                what can I say ... like what Mohammed mentioned , this gotta be the only course which will be a life changing one for me as well.

                I have attended some of those super-hyped, supposedly life-changing, feel good seminars, including Anthony Robbins..Benjamin Zander.
                None of which will really change my life like Sifu's.

                yup, Wei Joo..even the sparring was fun .. and w./o aggression . It was almost like playing chess... if only I had remembered some of the sequences correctly... it'll be even more so ..even then .. when I was sparring ..esp towards the end .. it seems like I am so in tuned, everything else seemed oblivious .. it's like what is mentioned - subtle joy ( Yes, of sparring)

                And of course, the stances.. unlike Michael , I got the lesson the reverse way. Many times when my stances were incorrect, I got de-stablised, lose my footing and everything goes downhill... so real Kung fu is something which .. one can't lie or 'put on a show about'.. and it begins from the stances.
                oh yes, the differentiating ying/yang part... now that Michael had mentioned it, it kinda comes naturally.. thanks to Sifu for instilling that .. it's only then that I understand the urgency in his instructions : - ' Stance !!.. your STANCE !!'

                And my kung fu brothers were great !! .. There's almost no one here I can talk to ( abt kung fu ) like the way we converse !! ..And my colleagues/friends think I'm nuts...

                The other areas of my life had improved greatly too ! .. I'm more efficient at work , more energetic and surprisingly I'm eating lesser now ! getting hungry less often.

                OK , man.. think I got a little too carried away ...

                Looking fwd to meeting my Kung fu brothers again..

                Now... where are the rest ? ..
                Calvin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Charles (cha muir), it's interesting to hear how attending a martial arts course can lead to such happiness. I think you could quite effectively enlighten some people who seem to think that martial arts and Kung Fu are negative to ones spiritual progression, or that you become aggressive or angry. I would like to say Charles was great to train with as he was constantly in such a peaceful flowing state, no wonder you felt powerful and yet free at the same time. As this was your first Kung Fu training with Sifu, were you surprised at what was achievable from the course?

                  LeeWeiJoo, good to here that you are still benefiting from the course even though it finished weeks ago, or has it?

                  As Mohammed has stated that the first session left him more happy and glad to pay twice the money. The first class really sets the precedence for the rest of the course. You learn how to relax and generate an energy flow, these skills allow you to practice throughout the course without feeling tired once the course has finished, in fact you leave with more energy that when you started the course.

                  Darkcosmoz, even though you haven't attended an intensive course with Sifu, you may be surprised at what you can achieve with a local instructor. For example the Scottish students of Sifu Darryl had achieved quite a high level, at a beginners level, before they attended the Intensive Kung Fu course last November. They were already able to defend themselves with the skills and techniques they had learnt, they were also able to relax and experience joy from their training. With this prior training with Sifu Darryl, they were able to deepen their skills from the intensive course.

                  dra9on, is that you Calvin? A quick Karaoke check with 'Hotel California' should clarify
                  Michael Durkin
                  Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
                  www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael Durkin
                    dra9on, is that you Calvin? A quick Karaoke check with 'Hotel California' should clarify
                    yup that me ..

                    karaoke ? what karaoke ? ..hey .... that's closed door, inner chamber stuff ..
                    Calvin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=dra9on]There's almost no one here I can talk to ( abt kung fu ) like the way we converse !! ..And my colleagues/friends think I'm nuts...
                      QUOTE]

                      Well, you could try the rest of Sifu's non-kungfu students in Singapore and Malaysia I don't know, Calvin, would you be OK with sparring with Taijiquan tongmen if none of your SIngaporean brethren do Shaolin Kungfu? OK, let's continue this on the other thread "Singapore and Malaysian students".
                      百德以孝为先
                      Persevere in correct practice

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zhang Wuji
                        Well, you could try the rest of Sifu's non-kungfu students in Singapore and Malaysia I don't know, Calvin, would you be OK with sparring with Taijiquan tongmen if none of your SIngaporean brethren do Shaolin Kungfu? OK, let's continue this on the other thread "Singapore and Malaysian students".
                        Yes, that'll be great ! .. in fact it did come across my mind. You've got PM
                        Calvin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Durkin
                          Charles (cha muir), it's interesting to hear how attending a martial arts course can lead to such happiness. I think you could quite effectively enlighten some people who seem to think that martial arts and Kung Fu are negative to ones spiritual progression, or that you become aggressive or angry. I would like to say Charles was great to train with as he was constantly in such a peaceful flowing state, no wonder you felt powerful and yet free at the same time. As this was your first Kung Fu training with Sifu, were you surprised at what was achievable from the course?

                          Dear Siheng Michael,

                          Thank you for your kind words. One thing I would like to comment on now is the importance of our relationships with our kung fu brothers and sisters. Indeed it was a great pleasure to train with all of you. It was during a sparring session with you, Michael, that I realized I wasn't in chi flow and that I was worried or tense about my performance: I looked across at you and I saw how focused and calm you were, in such a different state of mind than myself, and I was immediately able to enter a chi kung state of mind myself. Indeed it was a great help practicing with everyone, and from everyone I learned something different.

                          This was my first "kung fu" course with Sifu, but since I had completed the Intensive Chi Kung course with Sifu last year I was not surprised at how surprised I was during this course. As Sifu often emphasizes, our Kung Fu allows us to return to a natural state of being. So in some ways the achievements and discoveries seemed perfectly normal and definitely Right.

                          One of my course goals was to be able to perform Kung Fu patterns in a chikung state of mind and to be able to more effectively transfer my chi kung skills to everyday life. Whereas in the Intensive Chi Kung course we finished our exercises by gently rubbing our eyes and following other procedures to help ease us back into "mundane Reality", in the Kung Fu course we were taught to move from our Chi Kung exercises into the "real world" instantaneously, thus allowing us to bring our heightened awareness into everything that we do.

                          Again, it is a pleasure to recount these experiences and to hear from my Kung Fu Brothers.

                          All my best to all our Friends and Family
                          Charles David Chalmers
                          Brunei Darussalam

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DarkCosmoz
                            That is truly amazing. A true Jedi master
                            It was nice that it happened because it is an encouraging sign that what I am practicing, and what Sifu has said is achievable, is actually real and possible. But it doesn't matter if this doesn't happen again.

                            These moments are fascinating in themselves, but it is important not to become wrapped up in them and think about them too much. I enjoyed the experience when it happened and I am happy to let it come or go, not to grasp hold of it. I believe if I did that and became fixated with some of my experiences then my training would possibly regress as I would become distracted. Rather I should return to my regular practice, stay focused and of course enjoy my current training.


                            Dear Calvin (dra9on),

                            If your colleagues think you are nuts, you may like to show them this forum and this thread. After all the aim of this thread was so that the public can read comments from regular down to earth people who have actually taken a course, and that they're not crazy, deluded, but have shared with other regular people that genuine Kung Fu and Chi Kung does give you these great benefits and your not the only person benefiting from it. Genuine is the key factor here, they probably don't believe you because they simply haven't experienced something genuine or of a high level.

                            Your colleagues would also have the opportunity like everyone else on this forum to ask questions openly. You would be doing your friends and colleagues a great deed by sharing this with them. If we in Shaolin Wahnam only talk to our fellow members inside, then the greatness of genuine arts like Shaolin only grow within and won't really spread. I'm not saying put a speaker phone on top of your car and travel through your neighbourhood shouting out loud. But approach your friends sincerely and those who want to listen, will. But don't force those that don't, this is their choice, perhaps one day they will come round, but in their own good time.
                            Michael Durkin
                            Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
                            www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Michael

                              Well said .. it's the regular practice... there's simply no short cut to this.. when I spar with you and some of the more establised SiHengs.. I can feel the solidity in stance and strikes .. oh and blocks too .. all these could only come from regular practice + good guidance.

                              Yes I did show some of the younger colleagues this forum and they were like making fun of the nicks and topics but I know some will review this forum again.. heheh...
                              in fact .. 1 of them asked me to show them something .. so I showed them 'Lifting the Sky ' till he was making a joke outta it .. made some comments like ..
                              "Woa !! is this the 'Buddha's Divine Palm' "(as depicted in some Chinese Kungfu Novels') .. So I just walked away .. not wanting to throw pearl before swines ..

                              As for the older folks their main concern is their kids and how well they do in school .. but I did tell them, in a very serious manner.. (1 of the 1st thing I told them when I'm back at the office).. that qigong is a highly valid alternative to some of the illness that conventional medicine may not have an answer too. Exactly , those who will listen ,will.

                              Originally posted by Michael Durkin
                              I believe if I did that and became fixated with some of my experiences then my training would possibly regress as I would become distracted. Rather I should return to my regular practice, stay focused and of course enjoy my current training.

                              If your colleagues think you are nuts, you may like to show them this forum and this thread. After all the aim of this thread was so that the public can read comments from regular down to earth people who have actually taken a course, and that they're not crazy, deluded,
                              Calvin

                              Comment

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