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Legacy of Ho Fatt Nam - 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

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  • #31
    I was watching a great tv show last night, I got to the end of episode 5 and there was a bit of a cliffhanger, meaning I can't wait for episode 6 - and I get the same feeling with this answer, can't wait for the next bit!

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    • #32
      Here you go, Paul. Can't leave you on the cliff-edge for a whole weekend, can we
      (Continued from Part 1)

      I am not sure whether my sifu, when he had started teaching, had professional Muay Thai fighters as his students, but I don’t think so. Some of my classmates practiced Muay Thai before as a hobby, not as a profession. As expected, they had a poor opinion of Muay Thai though most other kungfu practitioners fear Muay Thai fighters.

      I am also not sure whether my sifu learned kungfu before he became a professional Muay Thai fighter. I believed he did, but it was low-level kungfu.

      What I know for sure is that he gave up professional Muay Thai after he had learned Shaolin Kungfu from my sigung, Yeong Fatt Khun. At first he wanted to learn Shaolin Kungfu to improve his professional Muay Thai fighting, but he found Shaolin Kungfu so far superior over Muay Thaii, not just in combat but also in many other benefits, that he gave up Muay Thai.

      Shaolin Kungfu certainly assisted my sifu in Muay Thai and in combat against Muay Thai fighters. Even when he was still a student under my sigung, but probably after he had left professional Muay Thai fighting, he beat a three-time Thai national professional Muay Thai champion who came to challenge my sigung.

      My sifu knew of my sigung through my sigung’s reputation even when my sigung kept a very low profile. My sifu did not get any demonstration of kungfu skills from my sigung. Great kungfu masters in the past normally did not demonstrate.

      All my sigung taught my sifu for over two years was One-Finger Shooting Zen, with some Shaolin patterns very occasionally. My sifu did not know the purpose of practicing this fantastic art. He practiced it daily and diligently because his sifu told him to. He learned an invaluable lesson earlier. He missed the opportunity of learning the Art of Lightness from another sifu, so when he had a rare chance to learn from my sigung, my sifu did not want to miss the opportunity.

      I don’t know for how long my sifu had to practice Shaolin Kungfu before he surpassed his Muay Thai level, but I guess at most it was a matter of months. With my sifu’s intelligence and experience, it could be a matter of days. My sifu was not a national professional Muay Thai champion. He only reached a district level. But he was highly intelligent, and had much kungfu as well as fighting experience.

      All my classmates who were regarded by my sifu as his disciples were very good fighters. Even if they started from scratch, if they trained diligently the way my sifu taught them, they could easily surpass an amateur Muay Thai fighter in six months, or surpass a professional Muay Thai fighter in one year.

      My siheng, Yong, took only a few healing sessions watching my sifu’s students practice while being treated by sifu for his leg injury, to give up a chance to become a top Taekwondo practitioner in the country to learn Shaolin Kungfu from my sifu. Students attending my intensive kungfu courses learn techniques to counter Muay Thai attacks in a few days. But of course they have to practice diligently on their own to have the skills. But others who do not know the techniques may practice for years, and still fear Muay Thai fighters.

      Professional Muay Thai fighters were very powerful, but their training was external and their bones, as my sifu once told me, were brittle and could be broken by another harder object. Suffering broken bones was actually not uncommon amongst professional Muay Thai fighters.

      The training methods of my sifu, which we now learn, were internal, and the internal force generated was very powerful. I believe that in one year the internal force derived from his chi kung training would make him a more powerful fighter than he had been as a professional Muay Thai fighter.

      When compared to us in Shaolin Wahnam, amateur Muay Thai fighters are not very powerful, though they are powerful when compared to ordinary people. Amongst themselves they exchange blows quite generously. If they were powerful, just one kick would fell a combatant, just as one strike without holding back from our students with substantial internal force would damage an opponent seriously.

      There are better use of our internal force than damaging an opponent, though we must not be afraid to use it if it is absolutely necessary. Fortunately it is usually not necessary. Even many kungfu practitioners may not realize it, the best uses of internal force is to give us good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.

      < End>
      Sifu Andrew Barnett
      Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

      Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
      Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
      Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

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      • #33
        Thank you Andrew Siheng, for sparing me from suffering all weekend!

        Thank you Sifu for comprehensively answering my question. I think, given the standard of Muay Thai fighting in that part of the world, it is probably safe to say that Sigung Ho must have been very good to get to that level given the competition. Given that, and given Muay Thai's formidable reputation which I believe both Sifu and Sigung agree with, it should be inspirational to think that even in combat terms Sigung found Shaolin Kungfu even better, ie found that it made him way better even than his Muay Thai level.

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        • #34
          A great question with some great insights in the answer!
          Question 4

          Dear Sifu, if you were to decide the 5 most meaningful lessons that you have received from Sigung Ho, which ones would they be?

          Santiago


          Answer

          Without doubt and without any hesitation in answering, the most important lesson I have learned from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, was “sum seong si seng”, whch means, word-by-wod, “heart thinks events materialize”.

          In the Chinese language, “sum” in Cantonese or “xin” in Mandarin pronunciation, though the written word is the same, usually means the mind. The organ inside your body that pumps blood is called “sam chong” or “xin zhang”, which literally means “storage of the mind” or figuratively “heart organ”.

          In Chinese, it is the heart, not the brain, that thinks and feels. It is in English too, before modern science interfere into language. We ask, “How does your heart think”, or “How does your heart feel?”, not “How does your brain think?” or “How does your brain feel?”

          So, consciousness is located in the heart. When a neurologist cuts open a patient’s head in a surgical operation, all he sees is the patient’s brain. Interestingly, many psychologists who are experts in psychology, the study of the psyche, which refers to consciousness, are moving away from the heart to the brain!

          “Sum seong si seng” or “heart thinks events materialize” has long-reaching consequences for me, though at the time I did not realize its far-reaching effects. This invaluable lesson occurred not in formal classes but over leisurely conversation. If I remember correctly, Simu was with me then.

          I asked my sifu, “Sifu, what is the highest art in Shaolin?”

          My sifu thought for a little while. I expected the answer to be something like “Dim mak” or “Chin-na”.

          But he said, “Sum seong si seng.” I was taken back.

          My sifu continued, “Our thoughts are very important. Events materialize according to our thoughts.”

          This is a great, invaluable lesson to all of us. We must always have noble thoughts.

          This lesson was particularly meaning to our school. When I first established Shaolin Wahnam Association, which later evolved into Shaolin Wahnam Institute, my thought was to preserve the great arts of Shaolin and to pass on their wonderful benefits to deserving students all over the world irrespective of race, culture and religion.

          I did not have any idea how this could happen. I did not have any plans, not even immediate plans to expand beyond the then-unknown school out of the little-known town of Sungai Petani. Yet, events materialized according to this noble thought. Now we have more than 60,000 students all over the world, probably the most widely spread chi kung and kungfu school with the largest student population in history.

          The second most meaningful lesson from my sifu was “Koi tau sam chet yow shen ming”, or “When you look up three feet, you can find divine beings all around”.

          I believe Simu was also with me during this most meaningful lesson which also occurred over leisurely conversation, as my wife always was during my leisure time, i.e. apart from my formal kungfu lessons or teaching in schools, or teaching chi kung and kungfu overseas – even now, more than 40 years after this most meaningful lesson.

          I can’t remember what exactly led to this most meaningful lesson. But I can clearly remember my sifu also taught me three crucial steps in having an impeccable conscience.

          My sifu said, “A person may make sure no one knows what evil deed he does. He thinks no one knows, but he is mistaken because there are countless beings just above his head. Even if he could cheat these countless divine beings, he cannot cheat his own conscience.”

          (Part 2 follows)
          Sifu Andrew Barnett
          Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

          Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
          Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
          Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

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          • #35
            This lesson was particularly meaning to our school. When I first established Shaolin Wahnam Association, which later evolved into Shaolin Wahnam Institute, my thought was to preserve the great arts of Shaolin and to pass on their wonderful benefits to deserving students all over the world irrespective of race, culture and religion.

            I did not have any idea how this could happen. I did not have any plans, not even immediate plans to expand beyond the then-unknown school out of the little-known town of Sungai Petani. Yet, events materialized according to this noble thought.
            What a wonderful outcome ...and profound teaching for us all

            WSS,
            Sifu Andy Cusick

            Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
            Shaolin Qigong

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            "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
            - ancient wisdom

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            • #36
              Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
              Pavel Macek Sifu

              Practical Hung Kyun 實用洪拳

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              • #37
                Wonderful

                Best wishes
                Mark

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                • #38
                  .... Sifu continues
                  (Continued from Part 1)

                  “There are three steps of being righteous,” my sifu continued. “First, you must be righteous to other people. Second, you must be righteous to heaven and earth. Third, you must be righteous in your own conscience.”

                  This invaluable lesson is very meaningful to me. I am not afraid anywbere, not because I am combat efficient but because I have lived my life guided by righteousness. Except for an occasion in my childhood greediness even before I started schooling when I stole some used cigarette boxes from a friend (but later he took them back and we remain good friends), I have never done any wrong. If some people, including my students or former students, thought I did something wrong, it was because they held different values.

                  I have been righteous to other people, to heaven and earth, and in my own conscience. I owed this invaluable lesson to my sifu, and am very grateful to him.

                  The third most meaningful lesson I learned from my sifu was One-Finger Shooting Zen.. It was the exercise that led me to an understanding and development of internal force. Because of internal force, my combat efficiency improved tremendously, promoting me from what I described in another answer as a student’s level to a master’s level.

                  At this level I could even handle kungfu masters comfortably. I found a qualitative difference between kungfu masters who could spar, not kungfu masters who only demonstrated kungfu forms, and masters of other styles. Kungfu masters who could spar had internal force, though some of them might not realize it as they practiced external arts, and they were careful about their own personal safety. Masters of other styles did not have internal force, and like their own students fought wildly with little concern for their own safety.

                  The combat techniques of kungfu masters were not sophisticated. But their internal force gave them a big advantage. But when I too had internal force, and I knew sophisticated combat techniques, I reversed the advantage.

                  Besides combat efficiency, One-Finger Shooting Zen gave me vitality and mental clarity. One-finger Shooting Zen also gave me longevity, but at that time when I was still young, the idea of longevity did not crossed my mind. But the increase of vitality was very obvious. I was literally bouncing with energy.

                  My next meaningful exercise was Thirty Punches with Stone-Lock. It was an external exercise, but the increase of internal force was remarkable.

                  I sat on a Horse-Riding Stance, held a pair of stone-locks in my hands, and punched out a fist at a time, then three punches in a sequence, then five. I made the stone-locks myself, but modern dumb-bells are more elegant. When I dropped the stone-locks and performed a kungfu set, or engaged in sparring, I was fast and powerful.

                  My fifth most meaningful exercise from my sifu was “yiet hei hor seng” or “executing a sequence of patterns in one breath”. One evening my sifu saw me practicing Four Gates. I performed the set pattern by pattern, like what I used to do while learning from Uncle Righteousness.

                  “Perform a sequence of patterns in one breath,” he said.

                  That was sufficient. My sifu did not have to demonstrate to me what to do. He did not even elaborate. I just acted on his instruction and found my kungfu performance, including combat application, improved tremendously.

                  I could progress quite rapidly because of my earlier training in Thirty Punches with Stone-Locks. When I performed a sequence of patterns in one breath, I was fast and powerful.

                  Executing a sequence of patterns in one breath was very important in combat application. Sequence sparring, which was a crucial factor in winning combat, was possible only when one could execute a sequence of patterns in one breath. If he fought pattern by pattern, his opponent would have time to recover himself.

                  (Part 3 follows)
                  Last edited by Andrew; 17 March 2015, 07:56 AM.
                  Sifu Andrew Barnett
                  Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                  Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                  Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                  Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

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                  • #39
                    Not much to add to Sifu's personal summary.....
                    (Continued from Part 2)

                    This invaluable lesson helped me much in daily life. Instead of performing different parts of an activity separately, often resting in between the various parts, I performed all the necessary parts of the activity in one go. Not only I saved time, I also accomplished the activity more successfully.

                    For example when I gave a public talk to start a chi kung class, I performed all the necessary stages as a sequence and accomplished the task with the formation of a chi kung class. I booked a hall for the talk, bought advertisement in some newspapers, wrote newspaper articles, printed and distributed pamphlets, gave the talk, organized the class, and started teaching it.

                    It did not mean that there was no time lapse in between the different stages. It was necessary, for example, to have a few days between the appearing of my articles in newspapers and the talk, but all the stages were viewed as a sequence and not as individual parts. I did not sent my articles to newspapers to be published as general knowledge, but as part of the sequence leading to my talk. All the stages were viewed and acted upon as a whole, and not as isolated parts.

                    Looking at the five most meaningful lessons I had from my sifu, the third generation successor from the southern Shaolin Temple, regarded by many as the pinnacle of kungfu, it is illuminating that the top two involved spiritual teaching and were taught outside of formal classes. These invaluable lessons, the best of the best, lessons that greatly enrich my daily life, were taught to me unexpectedly, neither by my sifu or me. They were taught at the spur of the moment.

                    The third and the fourth of the five most meaningful lessons involved energy, the second aspect of triple cultivation of form, energy and spirit, or jing, qi, shen in Chinese. They greatly contributed to my internal force, which enhanced my good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance, mental clarity, and spiritual joys.

                    It is worth noting that the fourth most meaningful lesson was an external exercise, operated by jin, gu, pi or muscles, bones and skin, and not the internal features of jing, shen, qi or essence, spirit and energy. Yet, it produced a lot of internal force, dispelling the misconception that internal force is only generated by internal methods.

                    The fifth most meaningful lesson involved form. It was executing a sequence of patterns in one breadth. It made all my kungfu performance, both solo practice and combat application, functional and effective. It was not just external. To have good result, I must also be good at the three internal features of the six harmonies, i.e elegance of movement, presence of mind, and energy flow. Of course, the three external features of hands, body and feet in perfect coordination are necessary.

                    The meaningful lessons were not just how to neutralize a grip or overcome a throw, as some martial artists practicing a mediocre are might think. These combat applications are basic, i.e. anyone practicing a martial art should know them, although the de facto situation today is that most martial artists don’t.

                    Kungfu may be classified into three categories. Mediocre kungfu enables practitioners to be combat efficient. Good kungfu enables practitioners to be combat efficient, and have good health, vitality and longevity. Great kungfu enables practitioners to be combat efficient, have good health, vitality and longevity, and spiritual cultivation. The ironical situation today is that many martial artists not only are not combat efficient, as revealed by the generous blows they receive in free sparring, but their training is detrimental to their health and spirit.

                    My five most meaningful lessons from my sifu show what a great art my sifu taught me, for which I am forever grateful. His legacy is now taught and practiced in our School.

                    < End>
                    Sifu Andrew Barnett
                    Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                    Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                    Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                    Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

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                    • #40
                      Maybe, on a different thread, our students could relate their own 5 most important or meaningful lessons.
                      Sifu Andrew Barnett
                      Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                      Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                      Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                      Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Wow!

                        And now I'm off to research travel costs to Zurich...

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Matt F. View Post
                          And now I'm off to research travel costs to Zurich...
                          This is great news, Matt
                          Sifu Andrew Barnett
                          Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                          Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                          Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                          Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Thank you :-)

                            Dear Sifu,

                            Thank you so much for answering my question. Another beautiful and inspiring answer full of wisdom and very useful guidelines for improving and progress safely in this wonderful path.

                            Thanks for always giving so much and with such an open heart.

                            Thank you Siheng Andrew for starting this amazing thread.

                            With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

                            Santiago

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                            • #44
                              With Sifu having published another extract from the book "Your True Nature: Wisdom of Living Masters" with the title "Heart Thinks Events Materialize", it seems like a good time to release Sifu's answer to Binia's great question.

                              Question 5

                              Sigung kindly once shared with us a teaching of Sitaigung which says that it is important to always have good thoughts; mind thinks, events materialize. This has helped me indeed already a lot and I am very grateful for it. Nowadays I can also feel very quickly and strongly if I am having a bad thought which helps me to correct it accordingly.

                              Also I start to experience and realize how my thoughts have not only an impact on myself but indeed also on the happenings and people around me. I would appreciate if Sigung could tell us a little bit about the depth and breadth of this teaching.

                              Binia



                              “Mind thinks, events materialize” is the greatest lessons I have had from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. This teaching has helped me and many other people to have a happy and meaningful life.

                              This teaching is taught in both ancient wisdom and modern science. The Buddha has taught that the most important factor contributing to karma is thought. In other words what a person thinks will materialize as events.

                              Modern sciences teaches the same lesson. When a scientist looks at an electron, where it turns out to be a particle or a wave depends on what he thinks. If he thinks of measuring the electron as a particle, it will always turn out to be a particle. If he thinks of measuring it as a wave, it will always turn out to be a wave.

                              Thus, in terms of depth, this cosmic truth is taught in both ancient wisdom and modern science. Long before modern science has established itself as a respectable disciple, the Buddha has taught that the phenomenal world is a function of thought. In other words, the world is what we think it is!

                              Spend a few minutes to reflect on this cosmic truth. The world is what we think it is.

                              Not many people can really comprehend the depth and breath of this cosmic truth. Most people regard the world as objective. A table is a table, and a mountain is a mountain, no matter how they think. But this is not so.

                              The cosmic truth implies that a table is a table because we think of it as a table, and a mountain is a mountain because we think of it as a mountain.

                              Will a table become a cat if we think of it as a cat? Will a mountain become a mouse if we think of it as a mouse? No, this won’t happen on an individual basis. If an individual thinks of a table as a cat, or a mountain as a mouse, the table and the mountain will still remain as a table and a mountain.

                              But if all human beings throughout millennia think of a table as a cat, and a mountain as a mouse, then the table and the mountain will become a cat and a mouse! This phenomenon was well explained by the Buddha using the concept of “six entries”.

                              Everything in the world is energy. How we and other sentient beings perceive this energy depends on how the energy enters us through our five sensory organs, namely eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and interpreted by our alaya consciousness or collective consciousness. Because of the ways our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin are constituted, and the way our collective consciousness operates, a mass of energy may be perceived by us humans as a table or a mountain. Other sentient beings, like bacteria and fairies, have different sets of “six entries”. So they perceive the same mass of energy, which appears to us as a table or a mountain, very differently.

                              There are also many things in the world that we cannot see or perceive because the range of energy perceptible to us is grossly limited. We cannot, for example, see bacteria and fairies, as well as the countless waves of energy that zigzag across the world and manifest on your computer as information.

                              When I was teaching in South America, a few students told me something very interesting. They said that the early natives did not see the Spanish fleet at sea because the natives never thought of it. A well-known scientist said, seriously, that the moon in the sky was not there when no one looked at it. This is similar to a Zen story that when a huge tree in a forest fell down, it did not make any sound if no one was present to hear it.

                              (Part 2 follows)
                              Sifu Andrew Barnett
                              Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

                              Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
                              Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                              Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

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                              • #45
                                Wonderful

                                Best wishes
                                Mark

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