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10 questions on the 72 Shaolin Arts

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  • #16
    It is wonderful how the three 'ultimates' of kungfu or any martial art are authentically taught in Shaolin Wahnam
    ...while the actual spectrum of the Shaolin arts in Shaolin Wahnam goes even farther
    - I wholeheartedly agree, Emiko Sije.

    Here's the second part of Sifu's answer:

    Answer 1, part 2

    The Art of Lightness not only enables an expert to jump high but also enables him to avoid dangerous falls – within reasonable limits. But I don’t think these abilities apply when the heights and falls are extreme, like jumping up to a flyting airplane or falling from one.

    It us worthy of note that no matter how hard some people may perceive an art to be realized, if the “three requirements” are present, that art art can be realized. The “three requirements” are the method, the teacher and the student. The method must lead to an accomplishment of the art. The teacher must be competent. The student must be ready and willing to learn.

    I am happy to say that all the 72 Shaolin arts listed in our Shaolin Wahnam version can be accomplished. Although personally I am not accomplished in a few of the arts, like I have not tried poking my finger through thick buffalo’s hide in One-Finger Gold, or hurting an opponent 108 steps away in Marvelous Fist, I can teach a willing student to accomplish the task. The question is whether it is worth his time and effort, especially when we have better alternatives.

    Hence, for us in Shaolin Wahnam, the question of the “hardest” art in terms of most difficult to accomplish, does not arise as all the arts can be accomplished. But in terms of “hardest” in the sense that it is the most difficult to practice, I would state the Art of Lightness. It is “hardest” because it takes the most time and effort as well as needs to most demanding requirements to be accomplished. It should be noted here that “hardest” is relative. Personally I do not find it “hard” is we have the determination to do it.

    At present I do not see any need nor room for improving our current teaching methodology, nor push our bar higher. In fact, now we have to slow down our teaching methodology or lower our bar so as not to over-train.

    Yes, being the best arts, Smiling from the Heart, Entering Silence and Chi flow are the arts that contribute more holistically in learning the remaining arts, and should preferably be learnt fisrt. This is exactly what we are doing. These three arts are what we teach all our students when they learn from us in Shaolin Wahnam. This is following the Shaolin tradition as passed down by my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, that the best arts are taught first.

    At the least, Smiling from the Heart calms students, apart from making them happy. Students who are calm and happy progress better than those who are not. Students who are angry, agitated, nervous and sad may not progress at all.

    Entering silence is a basic requirement for practicing any internal art. The highest of the Shaolin arts, are internal. Without Entering Silence, students cannot practice any internal art.

    Chi Flow is also another requirement for any internal art, though many masters who have accomplished themselves in internal art may not realize it. How could they accomplish the art if they did not, and still do not, realize that chi flow is a basic requirement? They had chi flow, but they were not consciously aware of their chi flow. Hence, they need much longer time to accomplish the art.

    We are elite and practice a priceless art. Although we practice Smiling from the Heart, Entering Silence and Chi Flow right at the very start of our art, the 72 Shaolin Arts course provides invaluable skills and techniques for us to get more rom our practice.
    Markus Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland


    • #17
      Thank you Sigung for kindly answering my questions. Again I find in your written response a discernable love of life that can't be put on words. So gentle, so sublime.

      Can't wait to learn the Monkey Play!

      With sincere gratitude,


      • #18
        Answer 2, part 1

        Here's Sifu's first answer to Question 2:

        Question 2: (Sifu Nessa Kahila, Finland)

        Could you please elaborate how participants in the 72 Shaolin Arts course will benefit from practicing these arts in their kungfu practice, as well as in their daily life?

        Answer 2, part 1

        The three of the 72 Shaolin Arts I shall teach in Helsinki from 3ed to 5th August 2016 are

        1. Marvelous Fist
        2. Golden Bell
        3. Art of 1000 Steps

        Those who wish to attend these courses should have trained in our school for at lest one year, and be able to “sit” at Golden Bridge for at least 10 minutes.

        These three arts are not only advanced, but are seldom taught to students. It is indeed a rare opportunity to have a chance to learn them. (

        Please note that all these three arts are considered the “three ultimates” in all kingfu. The three arts considered the “three ultivates” in Shaolin Kungfu are dim mark, chin-na and neigong.

        A master with Marvelous Fist can injure an opponent 108 steps away without physical contact! Marvelous Fist is one of the three ultimates in kungfu, the other two being One-Finger Zen and Strike-Across-Space Palm.

        It is not an aim of the 72 Shaolin Arts Course to achieve this ability of the Marvelous Fist. But it is an aim of the course to learn the skills and techniques of the Marvelous Fist.

        Course participants who have these skills and techniques, even if they may not have Marvelous Fist, will be very powerful with their punches. They may not be able to hurt an opponent 108 steps away, but if they strike an opponent with a punch, even with physical contact, it can cause serious damage. The punch is the most frequently used attack technique in kungfu.

        The internal force developed from training the Marvelous Fist can be used not only for any other attac, it can also be used for any defence. Hence, it has tremendous value in kungfu training.

        Internal force is not just for combat. It is more important in enriching our daily life, though many kungfu practitioners, including masters, may not realize this important fact.

        The three categories of benefits of internal force are to maintain life, to enhance life, and to produce better result no matter what we do. This means that firstly if you have more internal force now than before, you will live life longer. Secondly, your life performance will be better than before. For example, in an epidemic most other people will be sick, but you won’t. It is because of your internal force that overcome possible disease causing agents.

        The third category of benefits is fantastic. Just imagine that after learning the skills and techniques of Marvelous Fist, no matter what you do, you will do better! If you read a book, you will understand and enjoy more. If you perform any physical activity, you will have better result in less time. It is all because of your internal force.

        (Part 2 follows)
        Markus Kahila
        Shaolin Nordic Finland


        • #19
          Thank you Sifu, for your illuminating and inspiring answer!

          I am really looking forward to part 2.
          And of course the King's Road courses themselves!

          Best regards,

          Nessa Kahila
          Shaolin Nordic Finland


          • #20
            Answer 2, part 2

            Here's part 2 to the second question, including some wonderful points about the mental and spiritual benefits of the arts Sifu will teach at the 72 Shaolin Arts course!

            Answer 2, part 2

            With Golden Bell, you can take punches and kicks, and at advanced level, weapon attack without sustaining injury. This will certainly improve your free sparring. You won’t be worried that you will be hit, which is a main reason hampering many kungfu practitioners to perform their best in combat.

            This does not mean you will neglect your defence. You still apply your defence techniques accordingly, but in case they fail and you are hit, the attack will not cause you much damage. You can then move in to strike your opponent while he is focusing on attacking you. In fact, in my younger days, I sometimes used this strategy, especially when I knew opponents’ attacks were not damaging.

            When you have Golden Bell, you are able to attack without sustaining injury because you are being protected by a layer of flowing energy. Besides protecting you, this flowing energy also increases your internal force and performs other benefits.

            The three categories of benefits of internal force are explained above. Golden Bell training adds to the internal force developed at the 72 Shaolin Arts course.

            An obvious benefit of Golden Bell in daily life is confidence – not just confidence that you will not be harmed when being hit, but confidence in whatever you do. Confidence is important in leading to success in whatever you do.

            With the Art of 1000 Steps, a practitioner can run for a long distance without feeling tired and without panting for breath. Hence, practitioners who are trained in such skills and techniques, have good control of breathing and have good stamina which are useful for any kungfu performance.

            Moreover, training the Art of 1000 Steps will improve their agility and flexibility, not just physically but also mentally. Any improvement in agility and flexibility will enhance kungfu performance.

            More significantly, improvement in agility and flexibility, as well as improvement in breath control and stamina are not just for kungfu, but for daily life. No matter what we do in our daily life, better agility, flexibility, breath control and stamina will enable us to have better results no matter what we do.

            The 72 Shaolin Arts course in Helsinki from 3rd to 5th August 2016 not only enhance our kungfu performance but also our daily life. Not only these arts are advanced, they are also not easily available anywhere else.

            -- end of reply --
            Markus Kahila
            Shaolin Nordic Finland



            • #21
              Here's Sifu's answer to question 3!

              Question 3: (Sifu Matt Fenton, USA)

              These three arts, Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell, and Art of 1000 Steps/Art of Lightness, are legendary, and often portrayed in films and spoken of in stories. Because of that, the results from training these arts, as depicted in the films, seems (to me) to be tipping into the realm of fantasy. For instance - Marvelous Fist - striking someone across a courtyard, leaving a fist-shaped purple bruise on their chest, and causing massive internal injury or instant death

              Golden Bell - the practitioner can withstand thrusts from a spear, or be kicked through a brick wall, and sustain zero injury/damage Art of 1000 Steps/Art of Lightness - the practitioner can run across water and barely disturb the surface, jump to a roof top and run from building to building, or jump to a high tree limb and stand on the thinnest of branches.

              For those lucky enough to attend this course, what results (or even "wow" moments) can participants expect during the course itself? And also after 1 year of training, and 3 years of training?

              Additionally, how would these results compare to the results of training the Shaolin Wahnam syllabus? For instance, I have heard that students/ instructors have developed some degree of Golden Bell by training Horse Riding Stance or Golden Bridge. And I personally have experienced some degrees of the Art of 1000 Steps/Lightness by directing my flowing Chi to my legs to run and jump.

              Answer 3, part 1

              These arts are indeed legendary. We are very fortunate to have them in our school, and those who value legends and make an effort to obtain them, have a chance to learn them at the Scandinavian King’s Road courses.

              Some of the effects of these arts shown in films or spoken in stories are exaggerated, but basically the marvels of these arts are real. For example, during a demonstration Piti (Sifu Piti Parra Duque) gave Dr Juan a strike at his ribs but stopped an inch or two away. Dr Juan was in pain, and a day later when he had an x-ray in his specialist hospital, he found that his ribs were fractured! Although it was not a hundred steps away but just an inch or two, Piti could fracture Dr Juan’s ribs without touching them! It was a manifestation of Marvelous Fist.

              During the Dragon Strength course in Penang in a demonstration of dim mark, Kai (Sifu Kai Uwe) dotted an energy point at the collar bone of Roland (Sifu Roland Mastel). An inch or two away before touching, Roland felt numb, exactly like the effect of dim mark. Roland had to perform an energy flow to clear the injury. In a course in Frankfurt, while teaching a weapon course, I sliced a sabre near the “tiger-mouth” (between the thumb and the index finger) of a student without touching the “tiger-mouth”, but blood oozed out. In both cases, injury was caused without physical contact, which was a manifestation of Marvelous Fist.

              Many of our instructors and some of our senior students have Golden Bell which has resulted from their regular training, though they have not tested it or demonstrated it in public. Chun Nga, Mark Appleford and Barry (Sifu Wong Chun Nga, Sifu Mark Appleford, and Sifu Barry Smale) demonstrated being hit with sharp choppers without injury and without prior formal Golden Bell training. It will be the first time I shall formally teach Golden Bell at the King’s Road courses.

              (Part 2 follows)
              Markus Kahila
              Shaolin Nordic Finland



              • #22
                Answer 3, part 2

                Interested in light body skill?

                Answer 3, part 2

                The Art of Thousand Steps is one of the arts of lightness. Many of our Shaolin Wahnam family members would have heard of stories of my sigung jumping up a wall of about 10 feet. I did not see this myself, but my sifu who told me the story never lied. I also heard from a community leader in Sungai Petani that his uncles and aunties in China in the past used to jump over high walls at night to “do their business” of robbing the rich to help the poor.

                But I had personal experience of the Art of Thousand Steps in my younger days to run up a stairs of about 30 steps to save my small niece from tumbling down just two steps. I also used the Art of Thousand Steps to run up a four-storey building to meet my sijie, Uncle Righteousness’ eldest daughter, in lightning speed before she could open the door after answering my call from a window! These interesting stories are found in my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”.

                In some of my Intensive Chi Kung Courses, I taught course participants to use chi flow to make them run round a training hall about 10 times, which was about the distance round a football field. They were not tired and not panting for breath after running. In my schooldays, I would be very tired and heavily panting for breath just running half a football field.

                Using chi flow to run is different from the Art of Thousand Steps, but the way we use chi to run is one of the arts of lightness. The Art of Thousand Steps will be first taught at the King’s Road courses.

                During the respective courses, these marvelous arts will be formally and systematically taught. Course participants will acquire the necessary skills, techniques and philosophy in just a few days what others, if they are very lucky enough, may take many years. Course participants can expect many “wow” moments during the courses themselves of insights and experiences that other people may think impossible and which they themselves may not have dreamt of before. Amongst many other benefits, they will realize that if they have the skills, techniques and philosophy, they can achieve feats that others may consider impossible.

                After one year of daily training the way they have been taught at the King’s Road courses, course participants will be able to perform the feats I myself performed, and probably what are described in my autobiography. I myself took less than one year to practice the methods that enabled me to perform the feats, which I shall teach at the courses. It is worthy to remember that remember that course participants are more cost effective than I was at that time.

                After three years of daily practice, course participants can be “guardians” or “hu fa” in Chinese, of the respective arts. Not only they know the skills, techniques and philosophy of the arts, they can perform their respective feats very well. This is what I hope will happen. These arts are marvelous, and we want them to be preserved for posterity.

                In a personal and practical manner, training of these arts will give course participants good health, vitality and longevity, which I believe are some of the best benefits any art can give. They will also have spiritual joys, attain peak performance in their daily life, and have mental freshness and clarity.

                For those who do not attend the respective courses but train the fundamental Shaolin Wahnam syllabuses, will not have the specific skills, techniques and philosophy for these legendary arts, but they will still have the general benefits of good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance, mental clarity and spiritual joys. If they ever develop abilities of these arts, it is co-incidental and will take a much longer time.
                Markus Kahila
                Shaolin Nordic Finland



                • #23
                  Can't wait!!

                  Thank you Sifu for your answer. I am sure this will be a wonderful course.

                  Best wishes,

                  Nessa Kahila
                  Shaolin Nordic Finland



                  • #24
                    Answer 4, part 1

                    What is ku lian, or "bitter training"?

                    Question 4: (Sifu Markus Kahila, Finland)

                    The training descriptions for the 72 Shaolin Arts as recorded in classics often depict extremely hard and demanding training. Occasionally you've mentioned that the norm for kungfu training in the past was "bitter training", ie. hard and often punishing training with benefits sometimes accumulating only slowly over time.

                    However, in Shaolin Wahnam we emphasize cost-effectiveness and always enjoy our training.

                    Could you describe to us how the systematic training of these three arts was in the past, and how it will be under your teaching for us in Shaolin Wahnam? What are the differences for these different ways of training in terms of our daily practice, progress and attainment?

                    Answer 4, part 1

                    The hallmark of training in the past as well as now is “ku lian”, which means “bitter training”. Practitioners daily endure difficult and often tedious training for many years, and eventually derive some remarkable results, like being able to take punches and kicks without injury, causing serious damage on opponents without outward marks, and being able to run fast or jump high.

                    There is a saying that “three years constitute small success, ten years constitute big success” , which is “san nian xiao cheng, shi nian da cheng” in Chinese. In the past, if a practitioner was lucky enough to learn a special art and trained diligently everyday for three years, he would attain a small success in the art. If he trained diligently for ten years, he would attain a big success.

                    It should be noted that “ku lian” or “bitter training” does not mean harmful training, which unfortunately is not uncommon among many martial artists today. The training is enduring and demanding, but it does not bring adverse effects. This is a very important principle in genuine kungfu training, and is linked to the philosophy of “seen keong sun, hou fong sun” (in Cantonese), which means “first be healthy, only then think of combat”. Many martial artists today harm themselves in their training, resulting in deformed hands and displaced hips.

                    To many people, kungfu training in Shaolin Wahnam is like a big joke. We tell our students to enjoy their training, not to endure. Yet, we have better results! Others may be angry at this statement; that is their problem. I am just telling the truth. While other students try to get the best from their training, we tell our students to work at about 30% of what they could get, otherwise they might over-train!

                    This is because we have become ridiculously cost-effective. If a typical Shaolin Wahnam student today do not train below his potential, it is likely that he will soon over-trained. Over-training is bad; it will bring adverse effects. In some ways, over-training is even worse than wrong training.

                    Let us look at some quantified examples to examine our cost-effectiveness and our risk of over-training. Suppose a practitioner needs 10,000 units of benefits to be successful in the art he trains.

                    Suppose he trains Golden Bell. He needs 10,000 units of energy to protect himself from hits and kick without sustaining injury. If he trains Marvelous Fist, he needs 10,000 units of internal force to hurt an opponent without contact. If he trains Thousand Steps, he needs 10,000 units of flowing energy to run fast over a great distance without feeling tired and without panting for breath.

                    Suppose that for each successful training session, he develops 100 units of benefit. Of course, when he is successful, he may develop more or less than 100 units of benefit, and it is not necessary that 10,000 units mark success. But giving some quantification gives a clearer picture of the process of training, and choosing 100 units and 10,000 units makes calculation easy. Any figures may apply, but the principles are the same.

                    So, if a practitioner derives 100 units of benefit everyday, he needs to train for 100 days to be successful in his art. But most practitioners, except those in Shaolin Wahnam and which will be explained later, are not successful everyday although they train everyday.

                    (Part 2 follows)
                    Markus Kahila
                    Shaolin Nordic Finland



                    • #25
                      Answer 4, part 2

                      "In our case, our practitioners understand the underlying philosophy of the arts. They are taught the techniques, and the skills are transmitted to them. Hence, our practitioners will attain the same accomplishment in a much shorter time."

                      Answer 4, part 2

                      Why? It is because, like me in my student’s days, they do not differentiate between skills and techniques. They think, wrongly, that if they have the techniques, they will eventually obtain the result the practice is meant to give. This is so glaringly untrue, but many people may not realize it. The techniques practiced by kungfu practitioners are genuine, but most kungfu practitioners cannot use their kungfu for combat. The techniques practiced by chi kung practitioners are genuine, but many chi kung practitioners are still weak and sick. These kungfu and chi kung practitioners do not have the necessary skills although they have the right techniques.

                      For the first few months, although a practitioner of another school uses the right techniques in his training of an art, he has not developed the necessary skills. He may accidentally have the right skills once a while, but it happens too far apart between training sessions that benefit is not accumulated.

                      Suppose that after six months of daily training, he can obtain 100 units of benefit after every 10 days. So for the 7th month, he has three successful days of training. . But he does not have 300 units of benefit for that month, because as the successful days are 10 days apart, some of the benefit he obtained on the first successful day would have dissipated by the time of the second successful day.

                      Suppose he has accumulated 150 units of benefit on the 7th month, and each month for that year he adds 150 units of benefit. So by the end of the year, he would have 900 units of benefit. If he were to add 150 units every month, he would need more than 100 months, or more than 6 years to acquire the 10,000 units of benefit to be successful in the training of the art.

                      But he will take less than 6 years because as he continues to train, he becomes more skillful, the successful days become closer and closer until they are continuous, and the amount of benefit per successful day has increased. Normally he will take about 3 years.

                      Our Shaolin Wahnam practitioners are extremely lucky. Not only they differentiate between skills and techniques, they have the skills transmitted to them. In other words, our Shaolin Wahnam practitioners will get 100 units of benefit on the very first day of their training, and will continue to get 100 units if they train. Hence if they train everyday, they will obtain 10,000 units of benefits in 100 days, which is slightly more than 3 months, whereas others will need about 3 years.

                      As we have become so cost-effective, the question we need to address is whether our physical body can bear the tremendous amount of internal force within a short time, i.e. 3 months instead of 3 years. To be save, it is advised that our practitioners work at only 30% of their potential. So, they will take about one year to accomplish success when others will need three.

                      In the past the three arts – Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Thousand Steps – were trained according to their appropriate techniques. By practicing the techniques, practitioners gradually develop the necessary skills, but they normally did not realize it. Hence, they took a much longer time to acquire the same result as we do.

                      In our case, our practitioners understand the underlying philosophy of the arts. They are taught the techniques, and the skills are transmitted to them. Hence, our practitioners will attain the same accomplishment in a much shorter time. Our practitioners have to take care not to over-train, and such practice to prevent over-training will be taught at the courses.

                      The different ways of training the same arts also bring different effects. It was a very rare opportunity to learn these arts in the past. Hence past practitioners valued these arts highly, and they were willing to put in time and effort to practice these arts dedicatedly. Practice became a norm, and they would eventually succeed.

                      Although our practitioners have a great advantage of opportunity and resources, these arts come to them relatively easily. Hence, they are less dedicated than past practitioners in their practice. Hence, they may or may not succeed in accomplishing the arts, despite the great advantages they have.
                      Markus Kahila
                      Shaolin Nordic Finland



                      • #26
                        Answer 5, part 1

                        This is a great one! You're in for a treat...

                        Question 5: (Davy, Germany)

                        Sigung has always amazing and inspiring stories to tell. Can Sigung please tell us some stories (personal or from some famous Kung Fu masters of the past) related to Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and The Art of 1000 Steps? Can Sigung also tell us some personal experiences about how he learned these arts from Sitaigung?

                        Answer 5, part 1

                        One of the most interesting stories my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, told me was about striking without physical contact. My sifu spent some time visiting famous masters. I didn’t ask how old was my sifu then, or whether he had become an established master. I did the same thing many years later. I was not an established master then. It was before I set up Shaolin Wahnam Association, the fore-runner of our school, Shaolin Wahnam Institute.

                        My sifu met an old master. I could not remember the details, but I think my sifu asked the old master about advanced Shaolin arts many people had thought were lost. Instead of describing in words, the old master decided to demonstrate in action. There were some banners hanging near the celling some distance away. The banners were still as no wind was blowing. The old master struck across space towards the banners. Each time he struck the banners moved.

                        The old master asked my sifu to stand behind one end of a long, low wall. The old master struck at the other end of the long, low wall, and each time he struck my sifu felt a gush of force hitting him.

                        These two examples showed internal force traveling though empty space, which was a key factor of Marvelous Fist, Strike-Across-Space Palm as well as One-Finger Zen. The old master did not use his fist, but used his palm. So it was not Marvelous Fist but Strike-Across-Space Palm.

                        My sifu had trained One-Finger Shooting Zen by then. So while speaking with the old master, my sifu used his One-Finger Zen to make circles across the master, who felt his stomach ichy.

                        My sifu told me that he used dim mark in real fighting, applying the force of One-Finger Zen, only once. A huge man insulted his mother. So my sifu dotted an energy point near the throat of the huge man. He dropped to the ground immediately and white foam came out of his mouth. My sifu had to carry him to a suitable place to retrieve him.

                        Before learning from my Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, when I was undergoing teachers’ training at the Malayan Teachers College in Kuala Lumpur, a college mate told me a story about Marvelous Fist, though both he and me did not know it was called Marvelous Fist then. He told me that an old master punched against a wall which was a few feet away from him. Each time he punched, my college mate could clearly hear a loud echo coming from the wall.

                        (Part 2 follows)
                        Markus Kahila
                        Shaolin Nordic Finland



                        • #27
                          Answer 5, part 2

                          Some more real-life examples of the benefits of 72 Shaolin arts!

                          Answer 5, part 2

                          I repeated a similar feat on the Blue Mountain a few years ago, not with fists but with double palms in the pattern “Double Worshipping of the Buddha”. At that time I was preparing to teach a special Wing Choon course. I was lying in bed at night, and recalled that Ng Mui, the teacher of Yim Wing Choon who invented Wing Choon Kgngfu. had tremendous internal force, and I knew she developed her internal force from “Double Worshipping of the Buddha”.

                          So I got up from bed and practice this pattern. I can clearly remember that each time I thrust out my double palms I could hear a loud echo coming from a wall. I decided to stop practicing in case some people thought there was an earthquake.

                          My most unforgettable story of Golden Bell was when a chi kung student chopped me with a sharp chopper with full force. He was the same student I helped to overcome serious heart problems some months ago. He swung the chopper in readiness for a chop on me, but I thought he was joking in his exaggerated movement. But before I realized it, the chopper was coming full force at me, hit my stomach and was bounced off about 20 feet away. I am sure that someone who did not have high-level Golden Bell would have his stomach open and the insides pouring out.

                          Golden Bell saved some instructors from serious injury, though most of them did not train Golden Bell formally. Eugene and Dr. Foong, for example, respectively fell from a first floor and from skiing. If not for their Golden Bell, they would be seriously injured, but they just stood up as if nothing had happened.

                          Golden Bell also saved a student from Scotland his life, although he did not undergo formal Golden Bell training. Those who were present thought he would be dead from the way he fell. But he only sustained minor fractures and was out of a hospital soon. Later he resigned from our school due to some flimsy reason. Honestly I am glad he left our school. I would not want an ungrateful student in our school. The reason for his resignation was unreal, but even if it were real, if learning from our school had saved his life, which he publicly acknowledged, the least he could do was to remain a dormant student.

                          The Art of Thousand Steps also saved my niece, who was only about five at that time, from serious injury. She tumbled down a stairs of about 30 steps. I was at the front door of the house away from the stairs. I raced to the stairs, and up the stairs to catch her before he tumbled down only 2 steps. This was before I set up Shaolin Wahnam Association in Sungai Petani.

                          Once I ran back from Shaolin Wahnam Association, which is about 6 kilometers from my house in Sungai Petani, because I could not drive my car due to flooding. A senior student of the Association, who was a marathon runner, ran with me. The student was considerate, asking me a few times whether I would need a rest. I completed the run back to my house without feeling tired and without panting for breath. The student did not know I had trained the Art of Thousand Steps.

                          Many of these stories are found in my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”. Secrets of the training as well as principles for happy living are also found.

                          (Part 3 follows)
                          Markus Kahila
                          Shaolin Nordic Finland



                          • #28
                            Answer 5, part 3

                            How did Sifu learn Golden Bell, Marvellous Fist and The Art of 1000 Steps?

                            Answer 5, part 3

                            The very first things I learned from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, were “Lifting the Sky” and “One-Finger Shooting Zen”.

                            I remember my sifu telling me, “One-Finger Zen and Tiger Claw are two of the most advanced skills in Shaolin. We teach them right at the start so that students have sufficient time to practice these skills. Practice One-Finger Shooting Zen everyday.”

                            Little did I know at that time that one day I would develop two of the most advanced arts of Shaolin, dim mark and chin-na, and these two of the three ultimates of Shaolin depend on the skills in One-Finger Shooting Zen. My sifu did not explain the Shaolin arts the way I now do in Shaolin Wahnam. But I was a good student, and I followed my sifu’s advice, for which I am very grateful.

                            The third ultimate of Shaolin, neigong or internal art, comes from “Lifting the Sky”. Although I had been learning Shaolin Kungfu for about 15 years then, and had heard of internal force, and actually experienced it on the receiving end when I learned Wuzuquan from my other sifu, Sifu Chee Kim Thong, I owed much of my internal force from “Lifting the Sky”. “One-Finger Shooting Zen” also gave me a lot of internal force.

                            The internal force came slowly but surely. My sifu did not explain to me the philosophy of internal force, but as I said earlier, I was a good student, and I just followed my sifu’s instructions. I also made sure I practiced correctly.

                            My first evidence of internal force, this time not on the receiving end, was when I broke a brick. I trained Iron Palm on my own for about two years from a modern classic. This was after learning from Uncle Righteousness, and before learning from Sifu Chee Kim Thang and Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. But I could not break a brick. Then one day, after having trained One-Finger Shooting Zen for many months, I broke a brick with my palm.

                            I kept on training One-Finger Shooting Zen everyday. Later I could break a bottom brick, i.e. the bottom of two bricks laid one on top of the other, without breaking the top brick. This was a manifestation of Strike-Across-Space Palm.

                            Years later I could also employed One-Finger Zen for dim mark without physical contact. More importantly, I used One-Finger Zen for healing, usually without contact.

                            My introduction to Marvelous Fist was incidental. I did not know of Marvelous Fist then. One day my sifu saw me performing “Cross-Roads at Four Gates”. I performed the set pattern by pattern.

                            “You should perform the set in sequences,” my sifu said.

                            When I could perform “Four Gates” in smooth sequences, my sifu told me to increase my force.

                            “Sifu, how do I improve my force?” I asked politely.

                            “Make two stone-locks and punch with them,” my sifu said. My sifu then taught me how to make stone-locks. It is now easier for modern students to use dumb-bells.

                            My sifu did not teach me Golden Bell formally, but I knew I could take punches and kicks. Nevertheless, I wanted to learn Godlen Bell formally. So, after I graduated from my sifu’s school, I read up as much as possible on Golden Bell, and also enrolled in a special Golden Bell course by correspondence. I followed the methods prescribed diligently, like staying at the Lifting-Water Stance for more than an hour, and hitting myself with beans, rods and pebbles.

                            Learning Thousand Steps from my sifu was over meals and tea. My sifu described the methods clearly to me, and because of my understanding and experience I could practice the methods correctly. I also practiced diligently. Every morning for many months I ran round the area I am still staying using the methods of Thousand Steps.

                            Those in Shaolin Wahnam today are very lucky. They just spend some money and attend the King’s Road courses from 27th July to 7th August 2016. But they may not value the knowledge and training the way I did, because I obtain them the hard way.
                            Markus Kahila
                            Shaolin Nordic Finland



                            • #29
                              Dear Sigung,

                              Thanks for the wonderful answer. The stories are really amazing and inspiring. I hope I can cherish the arts we learn in our school as it should be done. I hope also always to have the maturity to live in such a way that I deserve and honour the arts. Looking forward for the incredible and exciting King´s Road courses in Helsinki.

                              Shaolin Salute


                              • #30
                                Wonderful and inspiring Q&A
                                I wish I could be there
                                Engage and maintain joyful practice!

                                May all of you get the best benefits from what you do.

                                Anton Schmick
                                Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord