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Over-Training and Over-Cleansing

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  • #31
    Thank you for sharing your experience, Santiago.
    I am sure it will bring benefit to many people.

    Best wishes,

    Nessa Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland


    • #32
      Thank you Santi for sharing this aspect of your journey with such clarity.
      It really resonates with me and is a topic of discussion in our class at the moment so very timely.

      Best wishes,
      With love and Shaolin salute /o

      "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

      Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.


      • #33
        Dear family,

        as Sifu has given so many wonderful advice regarding practice in the “Essence of Spiritual cultivation” thread, I decided to add a few lines here, as it closely relates to this thread.

        “We have become so cost-effective that students and instructors do not have to do their best to practice as I have taught. If they practice daily and attain only 30% of what they attained during the courses I taught them, they would have done well. This is almost a joke. “Ku lian”, which means “bitter training”, is the hallmark of all kungfu training, including my own kungfu training when I was a student. But now we tell our students, “Don’t worry! Don’t intellectualize! Enjoy your practice! If you just attain 30% you would have done well. If you try to do your best, you will be over-training.”

        And an another answer:
        “Hence, it is no surprise that many of our students and some instructors over-train.

        What are the signs we can use to say that we over-train?

        Over-training is the result of getting more benefits than our physcial body can cope. The signs are unpleasantlness, nausiousness, tiredness, pain and over-cleansing.

        Over-cleansing, which is a result of over-training, is a process where we clear away rubbish faster than what our physical body can cope. Rubbish includes bad cells, pain, sickness, negative emotions and perverted views.

        The signs or over-cleansing are similar to those of over-training, thus the confusion, such as unpleasantness, nausiousness, tiredness and pain, and may also include rashes, pimples, heavy breadth and body ordour.

        The obvious action to overcome or prevent over-training is to slow down the training. Slowing down the training can be achieved in time or intensity.

        If a student practices an hour a session, he can slow down by prcticing just 15 minutes a session. If he practices two sessions a day, he can now practice one session a day. If he practices everyday, now he can practice once in two days or three days. In this connection,
        it is helpful to remind himself that practicing kungfu or chi kung is to enrich his life and the lives of other people, and never to enslave himself to the art. By reducing the time of his training, he now has more time for other worthy activities, which previously he may mistakenly thought he had no time for, like spending more time with his parents or friends, or just watching clouds passing by in the sky.

        As many of our students and instructors enjoy our training, and also our training time is much shorter than what most other practitioners spend in their training, a more suitable alternative is to reduce the intensity of training to overcome or prevent over-training.

        To make our training less powerful so that we do not over-train, we do not go too deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Instead of spending a minute, for example, to enter into a chi kung state of mind, we just spend a few seconds.

        Or we can just go straight to our exercise without first spending time, even a short one, entering into a chi kung state of mind. Even when we do not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, we are still in a chi kung state of mind due to our habit, so we are still practicing genuine chi kung or good kungfu.

        I tried this method at a chi kung course in Madrid recently, and it worked very well. All students, including some fresh beginners, enjoyed an energy flow. It was not as powerful as other courses, but it was still powerful, and more importantly it best suited the needs of the students. The students were still fresh and energetic at the end of the course, not tired and worn out as in some other courses.

        For some students and instructors in our school, even not purposely entering into a chi kung state of mind at the start of the exercise may still be too powerful. The next step, in a descending order of steps described here, is to purposely perform the exercise at a physcial level.

        This is akin to but not the same as the step described previous to this one. At the previous step, we did not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, but might perform the exerise in a chi kung state of mind due to habit.

        At this step we purposely do not enter into a chi kung state of mind, and purposely perform our chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level. This indeed is what most people who practice genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu do.

        But this is not what most people who say they practice chi kung and kungfu do. They perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu forms as gentle physcial exercise as as kungfu gymnastics. That constitutes more than 80% of chi kung and kungfu practitioners. Less than 20% perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu but at a form level. That was also what I did when I took more than a year to generate an energy flow or to develop internal force.

        When you perform chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level, you are still performing genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu, and therefore still in a chi kung state of mind -- at lease some of the time and not too deeply. Our students and instructors would have no difficulty in understanding what I explain here. But many other people may not understand though they know the dictionary meaning of all the words I have used.

        Do you know why? It is because they do not have the experience of what I explain, whereas our students and instructors have. Another way is to say that the problem is due to the limitation of words.

        If a practitioner still finds himself over-training even when he performs the art or exercise at the form level, is to take negative action. He purposely intellectualize or purposely tense his muscles – not all the time but some of the time. When he intellectualizes or tenses his muscles, he brings himself out of the chi kung state of mind. When he is not in the chi kung state of mind, he will not get the benefits of chi kung or internal force which causes over-cleansing in kungfu. At the end of his practice, he must have a short remedial exercise to relax his mind and muscles.

        Besides reducing the level of training so as not to over-train, which is described above in descending order, one can also spend his excess energy in wholesome activiites. He can performs kungfu sets or combat sequences at a form level. He can also spend his time enjoying with his friends, family or with himself, like hiking, swimming, partying, traveling, socializing, reading and writing. He can also spend his excess energy on his work, like moving goods around in a shop or planning a marketing progreamme for his company.

        Deviating is getting harmful effects instead of benefits from one’s training. In a mild form it is not getting the result practicing the art or exercise is meant to give, but not suffering from harmful effects.”
        -end quote

        It is very useful to have a sound understanding of the arts we practice. So that when the situation calls for it, if we find ourselves over-training or over-cleansing, we can take remedial actions and still continue to enjoy our practice and not worry unnecessarily.

        The skill of keeping our practice balanced, so as to get the best benefits of our training, is a skill we can (and should) develop.
        When in need, your Sifu will always help and provide advice on how to best assess your own training.

        Best wishes,

        Nessa Kahila
        Shaolin Nordic Finland


        • #34
          Thank you :-)

          Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

          Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated. :-)

          Hopefully more and more Wahnam members will share their own experiences. I personally always learn a lot from everyone's stories and greatly benefit and enhance my life.

          With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,



          • #35
            It's 30 degrees outside and very hot today, so today is not a day to train, there's already enough hard energy around, no need to ad more


            • #36

              Overtraining is the reason why I ended up at Shaolin Wahnam. I learned qigong from a DVD in December 2012. I felt chi flow the first time after about a week of practice. It was only form based and didn’t have the self-manifested part as our school. It felt great at first, but 6 months and a few flashes of light later the trouble started.

              Today I know the problem with that methodology was remote learning and the time spent in practice. There was no mention of possible adverse effect, the more the better. At first my energy levels dropped. I would come home at 6pm and go straight to bed. I lost my appetite and the desire to pursue my passions and hobbies. Life was all doom and gloom where most of my conversations steered to “the end is nigh”. I refrained from social contact and had chronic flu symptoms for months. My answer was to practice even more. The odd sensations were the worst. I couldn’t even perform the qigong forms correctly anymore since the chi external of my body was so “thick”, like syrup. There were involuntary movements, with the back of my neck in a constant flux of blocked chi trying to displace at random.

              September 2013 is when I realised it to be a faulty methodology. I searched for answers and came upon the website of a Shaolin Wahnam instructor. The emphasis on short practice sessions, overtraining and self-manifested movement made immediate sense to me. Due to my deviation at the time I couldn’t even perform the forms correctly. My body wanted to move at random, and watching videos of Shaolin Wahnam sessions displayed what my body actually wanted to do, yet I prevented in favour of pure form. I cut down my own practice to 15min per day and just allowed chi to flow at random, a revelation indeed. I realised my desperate need for guidance and a mentor. June 2014 I joined the Intensive Qigong Course with Sifu in Hawaii and the rest is history.


              • #37
                Over-Training and How to Deal With It

                Over-training has become a serious issue in our school. It is important to recognise it and to know what to do when it occurs.

                Firstly, it is helpful to understand our working definitions of these terms.

                Over-training means a practitioner has trained correctly according to how an exercise should be practiced, but the benefit is too powerful for his physical body to bear.

                In this sense, overtraining is different from wrong training. Wrong training is when a practitioner has not practiced an exercise according to how it should be practiced. Hence, he has no benefit or he has adverse result.

                Strictly speaking, or to split hair, if a practitioner has no benefit, we can cali it incorrect training. The training is not wrong, but incorrect. Therefore he has no benefit. This is the case of most chi kung practitioners.

                If a practitioner has adverse result, it is wrong practice. It is not only incorrect, it is wrong. Therefore he has adverse result. This is the case of many kungfu practitioners who sustain internal injury in their sparring.

                To split hair further, we can refer to over-training as wrong training. But for our purpose here, we shall differentiate the two. The remedy is different. To overcome over-training, we reduce the training. To overcome wrong training, we correct the training.

                Hence, we have four types of training — correct training, incorrect training, wrong training and over-training.

                Over-training may result in over-cleansing. The former is the cause, and the latter is the effect. As an analogy, you may earn a lot of money, then you become wealthy. Earning a lot of money is the cause, becoming wealthy is the effect.

                Over-training may also result in over-building and over-nourishing, but these are not explained here so as not to confuse you.

                How do you know you have over-trained. One good way is that you experience over-cleansing. Before this happened, you might experience strong benefits. Then you feel tired and sleepy. Sometimes you may feel anxious, fearful or angry. This happens when your negative emotions are flushed out of your body faster than you find tolerable. Sometimes you have rashes, pimples or are smelly.

                There are a few ways to reduce over-training, which will in turn reduce over-cleansing. Please take note that there may be a time-lapse between the two.
                1. Reduce the time of training.
                2. Reduce the intensity of training.
                3. Expend your energy in wholesome activities.
                4. Stop training for some time.
                5. Perform negative actions.

                If you train for half an hour a day, reduce it to 15 minutes. If you train everyday, reduce it to once in two days. But as our training time is short, and we enjoy our training, a more useful method is to reduce the intensity of our training.

                An excellent way to reduce the intensity of training is not to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Please take note that even when we do not want to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind, because of our habitual training, we will still be in a deep chi kung state of mind compared to most other practitioners.

                Another way is to focus on your form, or purposely think of your form. This will distract you from your mind level.

                Spend time on wholesome activities. Go hiking or swimming. Play football or enjoy music. Roll about on the ground and jump about in the sky. Perform kungfu sets or sequences, focusing on form, not on chi flow, internal force or mind power. If you haven’t got a girlfriend (or boyfriend). get one, and focus on making her happy on a date.

                Stop training for a few days, or even longer. Use your training session to spend quality time with your parents. Read some good books, like “The Way of the Master”.

                You may even perform negative actions, like tensing your muscles or intellectualising during your training. But perform some gentle energy flow at the end of the training session to clear out negative effects.

                It is worthwhile to know that over-training is relative. What is normal correct training to a healthy person, may be over-training to someone who is sick. What is normal correct training to a master may be over-training to a student.

                It may also not be easy for some of you to realise how effective we have become in our training. The following facts may help you in the realisation. They are facts, not opinions.
                1. If a practitioner in another school can generate a chi flow after 6 months, it is good result. (I took more than 17 years.) Students who attended my Intensive Chi Kung Course took less than an hour. Roughly this means our students were about 180 times more effective.
                2. If a practitioner in another school can develop internal force after 6 months, it is good result. (I also took more than 17 years, and I was already known as a kungfu genius.) Students who attended my regional courses like 18-Lohan Art and Bone-Marrow Cleansing experienced internal force in a few hours. This means our students were about 180 times effective.

                Many people outside our school may concede that we are more effective. They may think we are 2 times or even 3 times more effective. Translated into income, if they earn 2000 dollars or euros a month, they think you earn 4000 or 6000. They will not imagine we are 180 times more effective. If it is just 10 times, you will earn 20,000 when they earn 2000.

                To have an idea of how much one should train so as not to over-train, I have suggested that he can get just 30% of what he got at an intensive or regional course with me. That would be enough for his purpose of overcoming illness or contributing to good health, vitality and longevity. In case you think that 30% is too little, let us work out how much benefit it is. If an average person earns 2000 euros a month, as you are 180 times more efficient, you will earn 38,000 euros. If you get 30% of that, you will earn 11,400 euros a month. Translated into chi kung benefits, if an average person practicing chi kung gets 2000 units of benefit a month, you will get 11,400 units, which is a lot of benefit.

                Wong Kiew Kit
                16th January 2016
                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


                • #38
                  In this collection of advice and experiences on over-training Emiko Sije's article can't be left out!

                  You can find Sije's wonderfully written reminder here:

                  Best wishes,

                  Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                  Shaolin Treasure House

                  Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House