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10 questions on the 72 Shaolin Arts

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  • #31
    Answer 6, part 1

    Thanks guys!

    Here Sifu elaborates on a fascinating kungfu concept, “jue zhao” or “ultimate technique”.

    Question 6: (Sifu Leonard Lackinger, Austria)

    My "double-question" is related to techniques and skills.

    In martial arts there is no ultimate technique by itself, except if someone has mastered a technique to an ultimate level. Is this pre-condition for techniques also valid for skills like the 72 Shaolin Arts and how much effort does a practitioner need to acquire such a high level?

    There is always a nemesis to every technique. What is the nemesis to the Shaolin Arts taught at the 72 Shaolin Arts course in Finland?

    Answer 6, part 1

    Thank you for this question which highlights a very important point.

    The term “jue zhao”, which means “ultimate technique”, is often used in kungfu circles. It means that a master is so skillful in this technique that whenever it is applied in combat, his opponents have no chance to escape defeat.

    Although the term refers to a technique, it is actually the skill in applying it that decides victory. If a less skillful practitioner applies the same technique, his opponents may readily counter it.

    In kungfu conversation, normally no clear distinction is made between skills and techniques, although strictly spearing “skills” are referred to as “gong”, and “techniques” as “fa”.

    It is in our school that we make a clear distinction between “skills” and “techniques”. This distinction has brought us much benefit. For example, we have become very cost-effective because we realize the difference between skills and techniques.

    Hence, this pre-condition is also valid for skills. In fact, it actually refers to skills. It is the skill of a master that is “ultimate”, not his technique. “Ultimate” here means that his skill in applying the technique is so high-level that opponents cannot avoid the technique.

    Although skills are crucial, the term “jue zhao” or “ultimate technique” usually refers to the technique. The master uses the same technique every time he executes his “jue zhao”.

    Will he be equally successful if he uses a different technique but with the same skills? He will be less successful, though he may still defeat his less skillful opponents. “Jue Zhao” is seldom used. It is used only when the master find it difficult to defeat an opponents with other techniques.

    In kungfu history, it is well known that the “jue zhao” of Wong Fei Hoong, a famous Southern Shaolin master just about 150 years ago, was “no-shadow kick”. He seldom used it, but if he ever used it, it was a sure hit. His “no-shadow kick” was so secretive that even his inner-chamber disciples did not know it, though they had heard about it.

    One night a few of his inner-chamber disciples, led by his most senior disciple, Leong Fuun, stole into Wong Fei Hoong’s room to “steal” the no-shadow kick. Leong Fuun pretended to assault his master, who gave him a no-shadow kick, sending him many feet away.

    Wong Fei Hoong taught Leong Fuun the no-shadow kick. Later, with the no-shadow kick, Leong Fuun defeated another well-known master called Chow Yen Kit in a public duel.

    (Part 2 follows)
    Markus Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland


    • #32
      Answer 6, part 2

      What are the "nemesis arts" of the three Shaolin arts Grandmaster Wong will teach in Helsinki?

      Answer 6, part 2

      The “jue zhao” of another well known master, Kuo Yun Sheng, was “beng quan” or “crushing fist”. Kup Yun Sheng was a Xingyiquan master who also lived about 150 years ago, But he and Wong Fei Hoong never met because he live in north China and Wong Fei Hoong lived in the south. Kuo Yun Sheng fought Dong Hai Chuan, the modern patriarch of Baguazhang, to a draw in a public duel.

      There was a saying in north China, “ban bu beng quan da tian xia”, which means “Defeat heaven and earth with half step crushing fist”. Why was it called “half step”? It was because the crushing fist was executed in a triangle stance. If an opponent could defend the first crushing fist, Kuo Yun Shen would move forward half a step still in the triangle stance to execute a second crushing fist. He would continue in this manner until the opponent was defeated. Kuo Yun Sheng always won, except a draw with Dong Hai Chuan. Hence, “half-step crushing fist” was his “ultimate technique”.

      There was a story about how Kuo Yun Sheng trained his “ultimate technique”. He went behind a horse to develop his speed of “half step”. Each time he patted the horse, it went forward, and Kuo Yun Sheng would follow. Soon the horse went trotting quite fast, and the Xingyiquan master followed with his patting. When the horse came to a stream, it could not go further, so it lept over it, with the master following!

      The crushing fist is just a vertical punch. We learned the half step crushing fist at a Xingyiquan course during the UK Summer Camp a few years ago. But it is not my “ultimate technique”, nor that of the participants.

      Past masters took years practicing every day to accomplish their “ultimate techniques”. But due to our cost-effectiveness and given the low level of combat today, course participants at the Selection of 72 Shaolin Arts need only a year of daily practice to attain a high level considered to be “ultimate techniques” for today’s free sparring – if our participants are willing to spend the time and effort, and apply their “ultimate techniques” in combat.

      The three arts to be taught at the Selection of 72 Shaolin Arts are Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Thousand Steps.

      If our course participants are willing to practice daily for one year, and more importantly apply their “ultimate techniques” in free sparring , their Marvelous Fist will be a sure hit for they can injure their opponents witout physical contact. With Golden Bell, they can just walk into their opponents, irrespective of the opponents’ attacks unless the attacks are to the eyes, throat or genitals, and smash down their opponents. With Thousand Steps, they can run away from their opponents if they sense defeat, and their opponents would be unable to catch them. The other hand, if they are confident of victory, they can move quickly into their opponents, provided they alsolden Bell or be able to cover their opponents from attacking.

      The nemesis of Marvelous Fist is Golden Bell. A master of Marvelous Fist can injure an opponent without physical contact, but he may not have any effect on a master of Golden Bell. The internal force of a Marvelous Fist master is bounced off the body of a Golden Bell Master.

      The nemesis of Golden Bell is dim mark and chin-na. Although Golden Bell can withstand the force of a fist, it can be penetrated by dim mark and chin-na which attack energy points.

      The nemessises of Thousand Steps are one of the three ultimates of martial arts, which are One-Finger Shooting Zen, Strike-Across-Space Palm, and Marvelous Fist. The Art of Thousand Steps enables a practitioner to run for a long distance without feeling tired and panting for breath. One-Finger Zen, Strike-Across-Space Palm and Marvelous Fist can injure opponents without physical contact. So while a Thousand Steps practitioners is running, a
      master of one of the three martial art ultimates can injure him without contact.

      The answer here is based on knowledge from classics referring to these arts in the past. It must be realized that the level of these arts today is relatively low. Nevertheless, even when the level now is not as high as that in the past, having a chance to learn these legendary arts is an opportunity not to be missed.
      Markus Kahila
      Shaolin Nordic Finland


      • #33
        Dear Markus Sihing,

        Thank you for posting these incredible answers

        Thank You Sifu for sharing with us such gems.

        Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)


        • #34
          Dear Sifu,

          Thank you for the detailed answers to my questions and the inspiring stories.

          Thank you, Siheng, for posting Sifu's answers and for organizing this marvellous course. I hope that the videos will bring a tiny share of the benefits to those who are not able to attend.

          Best wishes to all attending, to the organizers and of course to our generous Sifu,

          Sifu Leonard Lackinger

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          Shaolin Wahnam Wien
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          • #35
            Answer 7, part 1

            Are the 72 Shaolin Arts to be taught in Helsinki this year useful for a healer?

            Question 7: (Sifu Claudien Scicluna, Malta)

            How would attaining a high level of skill and proficiency in Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness improve the work and results of an energy healer when working with their clients?

            Answer 7, part 1

            The answer can be “yes” or “no”.

            Generally, attaining a high level of skills and proficiency in Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness does not improve the work and results of an energy healer when working with his clients.

            Both in the past and at present, Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness on one hand, and chi kung healing on the other are different skills, and their practitioners work in different disciplines. Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness belong to the realm of martial arts, whereas chi kung healing belongs to the realm of medicine and health care.

            Although many kungfu masters in the past knew kungfu medicine, i.e. treatment of injuries related to felling and being hit, but it is not so nowadays, most martial artists were not, and are not, concerned with healing. On the other hand, most healers, including Western trained doctors, were not, and are not concerned with martial arts. Some healers, including doctors, may practice martial arts, but they do not relate the martial arts to their professional work.

            Even in the past, to have a chance to learn Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell or Art of Lightness was a rare opportunity. But these high-level masters who succeeded in these rare arts, did not engage in healing.

            As a hypothetical example, if they were sick, which actually almost never happened, they would have to take medication. They would not know energy flow to flush out their sickness. If they were injured, which rarely happened because of their high-level martial skills, they would also have to take medication. Some very high-level masters might be able to transmit energy to their disciples to clear injuries, but this was rare.

            I do not mean to be presumptuous, but we have brought chi kung healing to an exceptionally high level. We claim, and we have a lot of evidence to support our claim, that chi kung healing can overcome any illness, including so-called incurable diseases like cancer, heart problems, rheumatism, diabetes, viral infection, depression, anxiety, phobia and many others.

            It is not easy to determine how successful was chi kung healing in overcoming such diseases in the past as these diseases are in Western terms, and traditional Chinese medicine, now as well as in the past, call the same diseases by different names.

            For example, someone suffering from what Western medicine calls high blood pressure would be described differently in traditional Chinese medical terms. Depending on what caused the illness, the disease is described differently, but high blood pressure is usually described as excessive rising yang energy from the liver.

            While high blood pressure is considered “incurable” in conventional Western medicine, if a Chinese trained doctor succeeds in helping his patient reduce the rising yang energy from the liver, the patient would recover. The doctor may use different therapeutic methods, like herbs, acupuncture, massage and chi kung therapy.

            (Part 2 follows)
            Markus Kahila
            Shaolin Nordic Finland



            • #36
              Answer 7, part 2

              ...continued from 1...

              Answer 7, part 2

              In my early years of chi kung healing, I had some difficulty describing the treatment of cancer because there was no record of cancer treatment in traditional Chinese medicine in the past. For a time I even wondered whether cancer existed in China in the past, but later I discovered that there was no mention of cancer because the Chinese described the same disease differently.

              As an analogy, because of our Western education, we classify food as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. But the traditional Chinese do not classify food this way. They classify food as hot and cold. Classifying food as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, or as hot and cold, is a paradigm, a special way of looking at things, and not a statement of absolute truth. In other words, it is not absolutely true that food must be classified as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, or as hot and cold. It is just a way of looking at things.

              In the same way, classifying an illness as cancer, high blood pressure or viral infection is a paradigm, not a statement of absolute truth. Traditional Chinese medicine uses a different paradigm, and classifies illness differently, usually according to physiological or psychological causes. If the physiological or psychological causes are overcome, patients recover. Hence, there is no such a thing as an incurable disease in traditional Chinese medicine.

              The paradigm used in chi kung healing is even more simple and more effective. Chi kung healers look at illness as yin-yang disharmony, and the cause of yin-yang disharmony is energy blockage. If chi kung healers succeed in helping their patients clear the energy blockage, the patients will recover.

              It is so simple, and so beautiful, and I have applied this principle in helping countless people regain good health. However, those used to the conventional paradigm that “incurable’ diseases are incurable, find it hard to believe, and may think it is a big joke. Moreover, the low level of chi kung healing generally available to the public today, render this claim ridiculous.

              Hence, we in Shaol;in Wahnam are in an elite position. Not only we have access to both the highest martial arts and the highest level of chi kung healing, but also we are able to benefit from the transference of one discipline to another, whereas even masters in the past might be unable to. In other words, if we have attained a high level of skills and proficiency in Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness, we can definitely improve the work and results of chi kung healing.

              There are two important reasons why we can do so, namely the magic of energy flow and our understanding of the underlying philosophy.

              Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness are very advanced arts, and demand a high level of energy management. This high level of energy management will improve our work and results as energy healers.

              But why did masters of Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness in the past, and who were of a higher level than us, could not improve their work and results of chi kung healing. In the first place, they were normally not chi kung healers. Secondly, they did not understand the underlying philosophy of these separate disciplines. Thirdly, they did not have energy flow.

              Energy flow is crucial. It acts as a link between these two disciplines. In other words, even when masters of these very high-level arts have a lot of energy, if they do not have energy flow, they are unable to transfer the tremendous amount of energy from these arts to chi kung healing.

              Moreover, even if they have a lot of energy and know energy flow, though in practice many masters do not, they are unable to improve their work and results in chi kung healing if they do not know the underlying philosophy.

              In theory, the reverse can also be true. In other words, if chi kung healers are very high-level in their healing, they can also use their energy to improve their performance of Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell and Art of Lightness – provided they know energy flow and the underlying philosophy as well as have the abilities of these very advanced arts. But in practice, this is not so. It is because the amount of energy needed for these very advanced arts is much more than that for chi kung healing.

              As a rough analogy, if you have money to buy a house, a farm or a car in Europe, you can also buy a mansion, an estate or a plane in the United States – provided you can convert euros to dollars and know where and how to buy these goods. But in practice, it may not be so, because the money needed to buy a mansion, an estate or a plane is much more than that for buying a house, a farm or a car.
              Markus Kahila
              Shaolin Nordic Finland



              • #37
                Dear Sifu,

                Thank You for this marvelous and awesome answer. It is so full of mental clarity and depth.

                Thank you Markus Sihing for taking care of this thread and hosting these courses

                Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)


                • #38
                  Answer 8, part 1

                  Thanks Claude, my pleasure! Here's the next answer:

                  Question 8: (Kristian, USA)

                  If I may, I would like to ask about the procedural impact/s of training the skills necessary to attain these arts and their comparative relevance to other arts.

                  What are the unique thematic and holistic effects of the training of the exercises that result in the development of the Art of 1000 Steps, perhaps the specific use of Abdominal Breathing toward this aim, for example, and how does this art compare with the other arts under the umbrella of the “Art of Lightness” (jumping really high, running on water, leaping horizontally, running up walls, etc.?

                  What are the unique thematic and holistic effects of the training of the exercises that result in the development of Golden Bell, perhaps Golden bridge and “Iron Plank Bridge”, for example, and how does this art compare with other arts such as “Thiew Hang Kungh” from Ngok Ka Kung Fu or Iron Body arts and their training methods (“Art of Suspended Training”, hitting oneself daily, etc.?

                  What are the unique thematic and holistic effects of the training of the exercises that result in the development of Marvelous Fist, perhaps 30 punches, for example, and how does this art compare with other arts such as Cosmos or Diamond Palm, Strike-Across-Space-Palm, One Finger Shooting Zen, and Iron Fist?

                  Answer 8, part 1

                  As the techniques are secretive, it is respectful to past mastejrs not to reveal them to the public here. Those who will attend the Selection of 72 Shaolin Arts course will not only learn the techniques, but more importantly the skills and the philosophy.

                  Not many people, including those rare masters who attained proficiency of these very advanced arts, realize that skills are actually more important. But how did these rare masters attain proficiency of these arts if they did not know the skills.

                  They had the skills, or else they would not have attained these arts, but they did not realize it. They also took a long time to develop the necessary skills which they did not realize they had. They thought that if they practiced the techniques for a long time, usually for many years, they would attain proficiency in the arts.

                  Suppose the techniques to attain Marvelous Fist are A,B,C, and the skills are X,Y,Z. The rare past masters who had Marvelous Fist practiced A,B,C which were also kept secretive. They practiced A,B,C everyday for many years. During the long years of their daily practice, they developed the skills of X,Y,X, but they did not realize they had X,Y,Z. It was because of applying the skills of X,Y,Z in the training of A,B,C that the rare masters developed Marvelous Fist, but these masters thought that it was training A,B,C that they eventually had Marvelous Fist.

                  This situation is actually glaring to us in Shaolin Wahnam regarding kungfu and chi kung, but most other kungfu and chi kung practitioners do not realize it, i.e. the underlying philosophy of applying the right skills to the eight techniques in training for a required length of time to attain proficiency in an art.

                  Most other kungfu practitioners have practiced right kungfu techniques, and most other chi kung practitioners have practice right chi kung techniques for many years. But these kungfu practitioners still cannot apply their kungfu for fighting, and many of these chi kung practitioners are still sick and weak, though the fundamental aim of kungfu is for fighting, and the fundamental aim of chi kung is good health.

                  Why is it so? It is because these kungfu practitioners do not have the skills to use kungfu for fighting, and these chi kung practitioners do not have the skills to generate an energy flow which overcomes illness and gives them good health. They do not know the underlying philosophy of kungfu and chi kung training.

                  After many years of dedicated training, a very few of these kungfu and chi kung practitioners attain proficiency in kungfu and chi kung. Respectively, they are able to apply their kungfu for fighting, and they are health and full of vitality. They become kungfu and chi kung masters – real masters, not “masters” by name.

                  (Part 2 follows)
                  Markus Kahila
                  Shaolin Nordic Finland



                  • #39
                    FANTASTIC answers so far, and it looks like all those who are able to attend are in for an out-of-this-world blessing of rare transmissions of priceless arts!!!

                    I just realized I shouldn't have asked about elements concerning the specific techniques and secretive processes in attaining the arts themselves, and apologize profusely!, but am now VERY excited to see what the arts as a whole are doing for the practitioner and especially when compared to other similar arts and their results for true masters who attain them!

                    GREAT thread! Thank you VERY very much for the opportunity to ask questions, and I'm looking forward to the next installments with great fervor!!

                    With boundless gratitude,



                    • #40
                      Answer 8, part 2

                      Continued from part 1!

                      Answer 8, part 2

                      They are able to attain real mastery of kungfu and chi kung because during the long years of their daily training, they have developed the necessary skills to use kungfu for combat, and to generate an energy flow, but they may not be aware of this underlying philosophy. Hence, they take many years. Initially, they did not have the skills. Gradually, they developed the skills unknowingly. Eventually, also unknowingly, they became more habitual in apply the skills to their techniques in their training.

                      If we know the underlying philosophy and have the necessary skills besides the necessary techniques, we can tremendously cut down the length of training. In fact, we have become so cost-effective that we have to guard against over-training. This is what course participants will learn at the King’s Road courses in Scandinavia. More than that, the course participants will have the necessary skills transmitted to them from heart to heart, instead of having to develop the skills themselves.

                      Abdominal Breathing, or any suitable art of breathing, is a fundamental skill in the Art of Thousand Steps. This art enable practitioners to run for long distance without feeling tired and without panting for breath. It is different from other arts of lightness, like jumping really high, running on water, leaping horizontally and running up walls.

                      The training in Abdominal Breathing provides other benefits besides the Art of Thousand Steps. General benefits, which apply to all other types of genuine chi kung, are overcoming illness and pain, good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys. Thematic benefits, which are specific to Abdominal Breathing, include good stamina, ability to speak loudly and for a long time, more internal force, and better respiratory and digestive functions.

                      Golden Bridge is a fundamental skill of Golden Bell. A more difficult skill or technique is Iron Plank Bridge. Golden Bell is superior to “Thiew Hang Kung” or “Art of Suspended Training”, and Iron Shirt. Relatively, “Thiew Hang Kung” and Iron Shirt are external, whereas Golden Bell is internal. Practitioners of “Thiew Hang Kung” and Iron Bridge, like those of Golden Bell, can take punches and kick or even weapon attacks without sustaining injury. But Golden Bell has more benefits.; it also has all the general benefits of chi kung training.

                      Thirty Punches is a basic technique or skill of Marvelous Fist. The special thematic benefit is that practitioners can injury opponents by punching with the fist without physical contact. Of course, if there is physical contact, the injury is more severe. The general benefits are those of chi kung training.

                      Marvelous Fist is different from Cosmos Palm, Diamond Palm, and Strike-Across-Space Palm in that Marvelous Fist uses the fist whereas the other arts use the palm. Marvelous Fist, Cosmos Palm and Strike-Across-Space Palm are “soft” and internal, whereas Diamond Palm is “hard” and external. The focus of the internal palms is one energy and mind training, whereas that of external palm is on physical conditioning (but without damaging or deforming the palm).

                      Marvelous Fist is also different from Iron Fist. Marvelous Fist is “soft” and internal, whereas Iron Fist is hard and external. Practitioners of Marvelous Fist can injure opponents without physical contact, but practitioners of Iron Fist need physical contact. Practitioners of Marvelous Fist have general benefits of chi kung training, but practitioners of Iron Fist may not.

                      Marvelous Fist is also different from One-Finger Zen, and from One-Finger Shooting Zen. Practitioners of both Marvelous Fist and One-Finger Zen can injure opponents without physical contact, but the former uses the fist, and the latter uses the index finger. One-Finger Zen may be used for healing, but Marvelous Fist may not.

                      One-Finger Shooting Zen is the technique and skill to develop internal force, both flowing and consolidated. It is the fundamental technique and skill for One-Finger Zen, and may sometimes be used for Marvelous Fist though Marvelous Fist often use Thirty Punches.

                      The King’s Road courses where these very advanced arts will be taught, will be historic. It is rare for any martial artists to have an opportunity to learn these arts. It is rarer still to learn them in just a few days.
                      Markus Kahila
                      Shaolin Nordic Finland



                      • #41
                        Dear Sigung,

                        Thank You so much for Your generous teaching and sharing with us so many secrets.

                        Dear Sifu and Sipak, thank You for organizing such amazing event!

                        Only 4 days left!


                        • #42
                          Answer 9

                          What is "The Art of Hei Sai"?

                          Question 9: (Sifu Kevin Barry, Ireland)

                          The list of 72 Arts of Shaolin practiced in Shaolin Wahnam ( makes for quite extraordinarily reading. Thank you for very much for kindly posting it.

                          My question relates to one of the arts listed: The Art of Hei Sai (energy spirit): What is the relationship between the Art of Hei Sai and Shen training?

                          How has the Art of Hei Sai evolved in the very long history of Shaolin in terms of methods of training the art, and the attainment of, and benefits to practitioners of the Art?
                          Answer 9

                          I am glad you have found the list of 72 Arts of Shaolin practiced in Shaolin Wahnam extraordinary reading. It is a good reference to what we teach in our school, as well as for students as well as instructors to review.

                          It is a loose list, i.e. the 72 arts are chosen quite arbitrarily and some arts take a relatively short time to accomplish compared to other arts. It also reflects that the lists in other sources were arbitrarily chosen, and different sources may provide different lists.

                          “Hei Sai; is in Cantonese Chinese. In Mandarin. although the written words are the same, the pronouncement is “qi shi”. “Q” means “energy”, as in qigong. “Shi” means “technique” or “form”, as in “zhao shi”. Literally the two words means “energy technique”. But I have translated “hei sai” or “qi shi” as “energy spirit”, which is closer to what is meant by the term. A practitioner performs a technique in such a way that the spirit of the technique is manifested as vibrant energy.

                          Some students attending a course with me, sometimes heard me saying, “Don’t do opium smoking,” when a student performed a pattern listlessly. He should perform the pattern with “hai sai”, or at least perform it as a kungfu pattern with good form, some force and vitality.

                          Many Shaolin patterns can be manifested in Shaolin animals. For example, “Traveling Dragon Plays with Water” takes the form of a dragon, and “Black Tiger Steals Heart” takes the form of a tiger. When performing these patterns, practitioners should manifest the spirit of the patterns. Hence,, when perform “Traveling Dragon Plays with Water”, they should manifest the spirt of a dragon, and when perform “Black Tiger Steals Heart”, they should manifest the spirit of the tiger. They should have “hei sai”. If they perform the patterns like a worm or a ***** cat, they are “doing opium smoking”.

                          Some Shaolin patterns may not take the form of Shaolin animals, like “Second Brother Offers Wine” in Tantui, and “Lohan Strikes Drum” in Eighteen Lohan Fist. This does not mean they have no :hei sai”. Practitioners should perform them with good form, force and vitality, which demonstrates their spirit. If practitioners perform the pattern listlessly, they “do opium smoking”. It is the same with all other styles of kungfu, and in fact with all other styles of martial arts.

                          Shen training , or mind training, is a set, and “hei sai” or “energy spirit”, is a sub-set. In other words, “hei sai” is part of mind training. There are other methods of mind training, like meditation, set practice and combat application. When we perform a set, for example, we must have presence of mind. If the prescence of mind is outstanding, we have “hei sai”.

                          There is no record of “hei sai” in the long history of Shaolin or any other kungfu styles. As in life, some people perform their tasks listlessly, some ordinarily, and a few with gusto Those who perform their kungfu movements with gusto have “hei sai”.

                          I was lucky. All my four sifu had “hei sai” when perfroming their kungfu. They exhibited excellent examples for me to follow.

                          I was not sure whether my sifus made any special effort to have :hei sai”. But I believed their performance of kungfu with “hei sai” was habitual, without any conscious effort. Indeed, the term “hei sai” was not often mentioned in the schools I learned from. This means that my sifu did not specially teach “hei sai”.

                          How would you develop “hei sai”. Very simple. Perform each pattern – individually, in a set, in a sequence, or in combat – with picture-perfect form, energy flow which gives force and speed, and presence of mind. You may have to put in effort initially, but gradually it becomes habitual. Eventually, not only you have “hei sai” in your kungfu performance, but also in daily life.

                          With the attainment of “hei sai”, the benefits are tremendous. You may recall my statement to make every movement a masterpiece, not just in kungfu but also in daily life. It means that no matter what you do, you will get the best results. Just imagine: no matter what you do, you will get the best result when you have :hei sai”, i.e. when you perform every task with picture-perfect form, energy flow and presence of mind. This is, I believe, an unprecedented benefit of training our arts.
                          Markus Kahila
                          Shaolin Nordic Finland



                          • #43
                            Answer 10, part 1

                            Question 10: (Jas, UK)
                            -- Questions in quote, Grandmaster's answers unquote --

                            I did some one-off running a while back for about 30 minutes. I did no running for many years before that. I didn't get tired at all, I just ran in a bit of a chi flow without regulating breath. I think I only ran 10-20 steps per breath though I didn't count.
                            You were able to run for about 30 minutes without getting tired because you had practiced chi kung with us. You were able to use your chi flow for running. Most other chi kung practitioners from other schools would be unable to do that. They could not even generate a chi flow.

                            Not regulating breath allowed me to release much volume of energy from the mouth. I tried abdominal breathing for many steps but it didn't feel as good, i couldn’t let go as much, generate as much flow and release as much waste. Why abdominal breathing wasn't as effective? How will learning the method properly benefit me?
                            Trying abdominal breathing was less effective because you were focusing on performing abdominal breathing, instead of letting your chi flow do the running for you. After learning the method properly, you will be able to run better and do other things more efficiently.

                            Does the Art of 1000 Steps concern speed of running? How do you increase speed? Usain Bolt ran 100 m in 9.5s. As we hear of masters doing crazy things, is it possible to run it in 7 or maybe 5 seconds? What training and other factors would be necessary to do that?
                            The Art of Thousand Steps does not concern speed of running, though with regular practice after you have learned the art properly, your speed will increase.

                            An effective way to increase speed is to let your chi flow faster.

                            I don’t know whether it is physically possible to run 100 meters in 7 seconds or in 5. But energetically it is possible. If you look at the video of me performing Dragon Strength more than 30 years ago the movements were so fast that it was quite impossible to see them. The video is shown in real time. At a Dragon Strength course in December 2014, some course participants also performed the Dragon Strength patterns very fast.

                            The training at the Dragon Strength courses was meant to achieve this. Course participants just followed my instructions.

                            What about running on water? How can you train Art of 1000 Steps for that?
                            The Art of Running on Water is called “shui seong tang peng” in Cantonese or “shui shang deng ping” in Mandarin, and it means “from water land on shore”. I don’t know this art.

                            The Art of thousand Steps is for running on land, not on water. You can’t train the Art of Thousand Steps for that.

                            Given 3 years after the course, how would one train Golden Bell to withstand punches from a top pro boxer without harm? Is it realistic or even possible?
                            If a course participant trains Golden Bell daily for three years according to what will be taught at the Golden Bell course, he will be able to withstand punches from a top professional boxer without harm. It is realistic and possible to do so.

                            I recall seeing in an old kungfu magazine a Ng Mui kungfu master from Singapore taking punches from Mohamed Ali without harm. I don’t know how long the master trained Golden Bell, but I don’t think he had trained for 30 years. Given our cost effectiveness, where our student can gain in one year what a master might need ten, something that others may laugh at us, the above estimate is reasonable.

                            If one trains Marvelous Fist intensively after the course for 3 years and throws some punches at an opponent from 5 steps away what would happen to the opponent?
                            The opponent would be injured, unless he has high-level Golden bell.

                            (Part 2 follows)
                            Markus Kahila
                            Shaolin Nordic Finland



                            • #44
                              Thank you Sigung for another wonderful answer!

                              And thank you Sisook Markus for facilitating the thread. Really looking forward to (hopefully!) seeing some videos from the course!

                              All the best,



                              • #45
                                Answer 10, part 2

                                ...and just in time for the course starting tomorrow, here's the last answer!
                                -- Questions in quote, Grandmaster's answers unquote --

                                (Continued from Part 1)

                                In the use of Golden Bell how much is passive and how much is active energetically and mentally? For example, in my experience if I get hit and I think or feel before that I’ll be unhurt, it doesn't hurt as much. If I think it's going to hurt or am worried, then it hurts a lot. This leads me to believe that the active mental part in that moment is important. What is the reality?
                                In Golden Bell, being active energetically and mentally is very important. Knowing that a Golden Bell practitioner can take powerful hits without injury, and if he has trained diligently, he would have an active mind set, and his energy will automatically flow to protect him.

                                For the sake of theoretical discussion, if he is passive energetically and mentally, or worse he is negative energetically and mentally, he will still be unhurt because that is what Golden Bell is meant for, unless his opponent has high-level Marvelous Fist.

                                How does Golden Bell compare to other protections like a chi kung shield, or just being in a chi flow in terms of strength, ease of use for physical and energetic purposes?
                                It is incomparable. Golden Bell is exceptionally high-level protection. It is also easy to use. Once you have Golden Bell, your protection against being hit is automatic, even when the hits come unexpectedly.

                                A chi kung shield and chi flow protect a practitioner from negative energy, but not physical hits.

                                Will practicing these cause over-training or will converting excess internal energy into external skills (using and spreading energy) cause more balance and reduce over-training, or somewhere in between depending on how you train them.
                                Over-training can occur irrespective of what art is involved.

                                When these arts are practiced correctly, including following my advice, over-training will not occur. Even if it occurs, we have remedies to overcome it.

                                Converting excess internal energy into external skills, like performing kungfu sets at a physical level or playing games, will enable practitioners to have more balance and reduce over-training.

                                Of course, the training is correct. If the training is wrong, adverse effects may occur. Indeed, from our perspective, many other kungfu and chi kung practitioners train wrongly.

                                For example I think if you just do 30 minutes of Golden Bridge alone will likely be overtraining. But if we then add 10 minutes of Marvelous Fist and 10 minutes of running and you over-train less even though it is double the time. Is this true or false or something else depending on different types of person?
                                What you have said can be true or false, or something else depending on different types of persons.

                                If you force yourself to perform Golden Bridge for 30 minutes, it is over-training if you do it correctly, or wrong training if you do it wrongly. If you gradually increase you time, and perform Golden Bridge correctly, it is right training.

                                If you have over-trained, and perform an additional 10 minutes of Marvelous Fist and another 10 minutes of running, both at a physical level, and you perform all the exercises correctly, you will reduce your over-training.

                                If you increase your internal force while practicing 10 minutes of Marvelous Fist, and tense yourself while running, you increase your over-training.

                                Hence, different persons doing the same things may have different results because of various different factors. Over-training can also happen at a physical level. Most other people perform Golden Bell, Marvelous Fist and Art of Thousand Steps at a physical level. If they have over-trained, practicing further, even at a physical level, will increase their over-training.

                                Markus Kahila
                                Shaolin Nordic Finland