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10 Questions on Cosmos Palm

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  • #31
    Question #5 -
    Cosmos Palm is an advanced Art, just as Golden Bell. However it is not explicitly mentioned as one of the three ultimates of Shaolin (namely Dim Mark, Chin Na and Neigong).

    Could you elaborate on similarities and differences of Cosmos Palm, Golden Bell, Dim Mark, Chin Na and Neigong in terms of skills, philosophy, martial, medical and daily life application and kung fu sets that enhance and complement most the respective skills?

    Sifu Anton Schmick
    Sifu's answer, part 1 -
    As there are 72 Shaolin arts, only three are singled out as the Shaolin ultimates, namely dim mark, chin-na and nei gong. Other Shaolin arts are also important or formidable, though some are more than others. Personal choice and opportunities may also decide why one art is chosen over another.

    Personally I find Cosmos Palm and Golden Bell more important and formidable than arts like Iron Arm, Bamboo-Leave Hand, and Lizard Art. Iron Arm is self-explanatory. Bamboo-Leaf Hand is having flexible palms in attack, and Lizard Art is an ability to climb walls. Amongst other benefits, Cosmos Palm and Golden Bell contribute to good health, vitality and longevity, whereas the other two arts are for combat. There is not much practical use today for Lizard Art. I prefer to take an elevator, rather than climbing up walls.

    One may like , for example, Cosmos Palm more than Iron Arm, but if he does not have the opportunity to learn Cosmos Palm, he may settle for Iron Arm. In this respect, we in Shaolin Wahnam are very lucky. We have a great range of arts to choose from.

    Regarding the three Shaolin ultimates, it is worthwhile to remember that kungfu and chi kung terms are for convenience. They are unlike scientific terms which are definitive, and also restrictive. In this context, dim mark and chin-na are regarded as wai gong, or external arts, because their application is easily visible. Nei gong, or internal arts, concern training that is not visible, like Abdominal Breathing and Sinew Metamorphosis. Generally speaking, though it is not necessarily true all the time, wai gong training is for combat, whereas nei gong training is for health.

    In another context, dim mark and chin-na are nei gong or internal arts. Almost all their training deals with the internal aspects of essence, energy and mind, or jing, qi and shen. For us today, the greatest value of their training in daily life is for our health, vitality and longevity as well as peak performance and spiritual joys. If we use dim mark or chin-na on others, we have to heal them. Without being boastful, we normally do not need to use dim mark or chin-na, we can normally push most attackers away. Yet, it is great to know these arts to preserve them for posterity.

    Although Cosmos Palm is not listed as one of the three Shaolin ultimates, it is one of the three ultimates in kungfu in general, namely One-Finger Zen, Strike Across Space and Marvelous Fist. Cosmos Palm is an art for Striking Across Space.

    There are many similarities as well as differences in the arts of Cosmos Palm, Golden Bell, dim mark, chin-na and nei gong. The training of all the five arts deal with the internal aspects of jing, qi and shen, or essence, energy and mind. It is a main reason, but unknown to most people, why in our school when we are good at one art, we can readily train the others. Even if other people know the reason, they cannot do it. They do not know how to train essence, energy and mind.

    Let us look at the similarities and differences of these five arts in terms of skills, philosophy, martial, application medical application, and the kungfu sets that enhance and complement these skills.

    (Part 2 follows)


    • #32
      Sifu's answer to question #5, continued -
      (Continued from Part 1)

      In term of skills, Cosmos Palm can damage an opponent without leaving any external mark. At an advanced level, it can also damage an opponent from a distance. Golden Bell is an ability to take punches and kicks without sustaining injury. At an advanced level, it can enable a practitioner to take weapon attack. Dim mark and chin-na are skills to stop an opponent from further fighting by stopping his energy flow. Dim mark does so by dotting the opponent’s vital point, and chin-na by gripping it or a few points. If the opponent does not take remedial treatment, the injury can be serious or fatal. Nei gong is a collection of internal arts to develop a practitioner’s essence, energy and mind for good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys. At the supreme level he attains Enlightenment or return to God the Holy Spirit.

      In term of philosophy, all the five arts develop a practitioner’s combat efficiency as well as good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys to a very high level. There are, of course, very rare, and it is a golden opportunity even to train in any one of them. It is necessary to ensure the arts are, or any one of them is, genuine. An excellent way is to access their results according to what their training is meant to give, If one is trained in dim mark, for example, he should be able to stop an opponent from further fighting by dotting his vital point. In our case, he is healthy, full of vitality, attains peak performance and has spiritual joys, though if he is young he may have to wait for many years to say he has longevity.

      In term of martial application, these arts cause serious damage on opponents, including Golden Bell and nei gong because their training will greatly enhance practitioners’ striking ability. If the practitioners are compassionate, and they usually are if they have the opportunity to train these arts, they can easily push away less skillful opponents without hurting them seriously. It is succinct to mention that when one is trained in any one of these arts, he will also be more powerful in other parts of his body other than that part his art is involved. For example, if he is trained in Cosmos Palm, his kicks will also be more powerful.

      In term of medical application, the training in any one of these arts will help him to overcome his illness, any illness. This is because of chi flow, which is essential in the training. Not many people, however, know of this fact. Very, very few people have the opportunity to train in any one of these arts. If they ever have the opportunity, not only they are already healthy, but also they have trained in kungfu for many years. On the other hand, if a person is sick, it is more cost-effective for him to practice less powerful chi kung to overcome his sickness. These arts may be too powerful for him.

      In term of daily life, these arts will give him good health and vitality, as well as longevity. He is able to do better in whatever he does! He is relaxed, peaceful and happy. These benefits are intrinsic. In other words, he does not need to know how these arts give him these wonderful benefits, or what he should do to have these benefits. Irrespective of whether he knows or does anything extra, because he practices these arts, or any one of them, he will have these wonderful benefits as a matter of course. Nevertheless, he may want to know. These arts greatly enhance his essence, energy and mind, and these three aspects are necessary in whatever he does in daily life.

      (Part 3 follows)


      • #33
        Sifu's answer to question #5, continued -
        (Continued from Part 2)

        So far we talk about the similarities in terms of philosophy, martial application, medical application and dialy life. The differences lie in the different ways of their application and their training. In Cosmos Palm, for example, a practitioner uses his palms to strike. In Golden Bell, he lets his energy radiate to protect himself from attack. In dim mark and chin-na he uses his fingers to dot or grip vital points. In nei gong he uses his trained essence, energy and mind for combat or daily living.

        The training is different. In Cosmos Palm, he trains his palms. In Golden bell he trains his body. In dim mark and chin-na he trains his fingers. In nei gong he practices different methods according to the type of nei gong he trains in.

        There are many kungfu sets that enhance and complement the respective skills in Cosmos Palm, Golden Bell, dim mark, chin-na and nei gong. Over their long history, different masters devised and developed different sets for this purpose. But I shall mention the one that I specially like, and perhaps also mention one or two other sets from our school.

        For Cosmos Palm, of course the one I specially like is the Cosmos Palm Set I specially composed for the course in New Hampshire. It is an excellent set that includes the signature greeting from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam’s lineage that starts energy flowing and the mind focuses, specific methods to train the skills and force of Cosmos Palm, and simple yet profound application that deals with all the four categories of attack. The Shaolin Pakua Set is also a complementary set, but in my opinion it is not as effective as the Cosmos Palm Set.

        Golden Bridge is excellent for both the training and application of Golden Bell. Small Universe and Big Universe, both the phenomenal and the transcendental modes, are also useful. The kungfu sets that enhance and complement Golden Bell are Dragon Strength and Wudang Taijiquan.

        For dim mark, the best training method is One-Finger Shooting Zen. Dragon Strength and Flower Set are also excellent. One-Finger Shoot Zen is for training, and Dragon Strength and Flower Set are for application, though any of the methods can be used for both training and application.

        “Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claw” is excellent for chin-na. One-Finger Shooting Zen is also very good. The kungfu set that is most suitable for chin-na is the Tiger-Crane Set. Of the three versions I know, the one I like best is the 36-Pattern Tiger-Crane Set. “Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws” or “One-Finger Shooting Zen” is for training, the 36-Pattern Tiger-Crane Set is for application.

        Sinew Metamorphosis is an excellent nei gong set, especially that practiced in our school. Practicing the 12 exercises in the Sinew Metamorphosis set is too powerful. Students need to practice only one exercise. It is simply incredible how much internal force can be generated with just a few repetitions of the one exercise. Iron Wire and Siu Lin Tou are excellent kungfu sets for nei gong training. Students should progress in Iron Wire or Siu Lin Tou gradually.

        Cosmos Palm, Golden Bell, dim mark, chin-na and nei gong are wonderful arts. It is just incredible that students in Shaolin Wahnam have an opportunity to practice them, or just any one.



        • #34
          fantastic news!
          Engage and maintain joyful practice!

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

          Anton Schmick
          Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord


          • #35
            This is all just so marvelous and amazingly incredible! Never a bad time to give profound thanks for Sifu and for these arts!


            • #36
              Dear Sigung!

              Thank you very much for your deep and enlightening answer! And for responding so instantly!
              When I was typing to answer Matt, your answers already appeared!

              With kind regards,
              Engage and maintain joyful practice!

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

              Anton Schmick
              Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord



              • #37
                As I read these answers I'm struck again with how fortunate we are to have a Sifu of the highest caliber in these arts, that also speaks ,reads and writes english.

                It is very rare and extremely good fortune for those of us who only speak english.

                In Gratitude


                • #38
                  The thread continues!

                  Question 6 -
                  Several arts have been in kung fu literature as being useful for both healing as well as combat, especially One Finger Zen and Cosmos Palm. What is it about the force developed by Cosmos Palm that makes it so useful for healing and combat compared to the characteristic force developed by other arts such as Baguazhang, Taijiquan, Golden Bridge, Lifting Water, Golden Bell, or other arts? -

                  Fredrick Chu
                  Sifu's answer, part 1 -
                  When we understand the philosophy of internal force and are able to use it, we can use the internal force of any arts, like Cosmos Palm, One-Finger Shooting Zen and Tiger-Claw, for combat and for healing. It is because internal force can be used for both – if we know how. Internal force can also be used for most other things, like attaining good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys – again if we know how.

                  Let us take an analogy. If we have money, we cau use it to have dinner at an expensive restaurant or to buy a new dress. We can also use it for most other things, like going to a cinema, attending a course, or donating it to charity. Of course, the noney or the internal force must be sufficient. Also important, thou some people may not realize it, we must know how to use the money or the internal force.

                  Most martial artists today may not know how to use their internal force for combat or for healing, though they have internal force. This may not be surprising for healing, but it may be surprising, especially for people outside our school, for combat. First of all, not many people outside our school have internal force. Amongst the few who have internal force, most of them do not know how to use it for combat. They merely exchange blows, and be punched and kicked themselves.

                  But this was not so in the past. Those trained in kungfu, would know how to use kungfu for combat, though most of them might not know how to use it for healing even if they had internal force. Amongst those who could not use their internal force for healing, some of them might know in theory that internal force could be used for healing, some didn’t know.

                  Regarding healing, it is also important to know the amount of internal force transmitted to a patient. A healer who transmits too much internal force to a patient might harm the patient. This is especially so for children and expecting mothers. An untrained person with internal force transmitting chi to an expecting mother, might harm her or her baby. A healer is like a father (or a mother). He must heal within his ability and confidence.

                  <Part 2 follows>


                  • #39
                    Sifu's answer to question 6, continued -
                    (Continued from Part 1)

                    There are a few reasons why the force developed by Cosmos Palm is very useful for healing and combat Firstly, the force is plentiful, compared to arts like Iron Palm and Iron Leg. Obviously, the more force one has, the more effective he is for healing and for combat.

                    Another reason is that the force is flowing. Flowing force is more effective for healing. Flowing force can be consolidated if needed for combat. A master with Iron Palm may have a lot of force, but it is usually consolidated and localized at his palm. It would be less effective for the Iron Palm master to transmit it to a patient for healing. It would also be less effective for him in many aspects of combat, like making quick decisions, moving about, and applying felling or kicking attack.

                    Thirdly, for want of better terms, the force of Cosmos Palm is proactive, whereas the force in some arts like Golden Bell, Iron Shirt and Thirteen Grand Guards is reactive. Proactive force is more effective in healing and combat. A Golden Bell master, for example, will know the effective of his force when he is hit. And usually he would ward off the attack even when he knows the hit would not harm him.

                    A fourth reason is that the force of Cosmos Palm is focused at the hands, and the hands are usually used in healing and combat. If the force is focused at the head, like in Iron Head, or at the legs, like in Iron Leg, it is not as effective for healing and combat.

                    Cosmos Palm is a special force or skill in Shaolin Kungfu where practitioners draw energy from the Cosmos to focus it at their palms. Other kungfu styles, like Baguazhang, Taijiquan and Xingyiquan, may have force and skills similar to Cosmos Palm, but these styles do not call it Cosmos Palm.

                    Golden Bridge and Golden Bell are also special types of force or skills in Shaolin Kungfu, but are dfferent from Cosmos Palm. Other kungfu styles may also have similar types of force or skills, but again they do not call these arts Golden Bridge and Golden Bell.

                    Lifting Water is popular in Taijiquan, but it is also found in Shaolin Kungfu, though it is infrequently practiced. By practicing Lifting Water, practitioners can develop flowing force. If they can consolidate this flowing force, they have a force that is similar to Cosmos Palm. But not many Taijiquan practitioners can do so. In fact, if they practice Cosmos Palm and Lifting Water at the same time, they may cancel out the force developed from each art. We in Shaolin Wahanm are special. We enhance both arts.

                    Cosmos Palm is an excellent art for combat and healing. But practitioners must learn combat and healing first, before thay can use the force of Cosmos Palm to enhance them.



                    • #40
                      Question 7 is a fun one, and touches on the rare/special/"do these really exist" aspects of Kungfu. Sifu's answer mentions how/why certain arts are named what they are, and reminds us of the importance of skills and results, not just techniques. Sifu's answer is also a great reminder of how versatile genuine internal arts truly can be.

                      Sifu ends with the telling of how he came to learn Cosmos Palm. Sifu's story really is a perfect example of right place/right time. He could easily have missed the opportunity to learn this art. We are very fortunate that special courses, such as the Cosmos Palm course Sifu taught in New Hampshire, are announced in advance. This greatly reduces the chance of missing a right place/right time opportunity. However, even with advanced notice, these are opportunities that can be missed. Once-in-a-lifetime courses like the Cosmos Palm course are a perfect example of such opportunities.

                      Question 7 -
                      Is Cosmos Palm closely related to the arts of Strike-Across-Space Palm, "Kak San Ta Ngow" or 'Hitting a Buffalo through a mountain,' and Diamond Palm; and if so are these natural progressions from the development of skills in training our palms or do they require specific separate training? Aside from these arts/progressions, what is the ultimate potential for training Cosmos Palm in martial and healing application for a master who specializes in it over many, many years?

                      Also, if Sifu would be willing, could you share an experience or two of how Sigung Ho taught you this art or how Sitaigung Yang Fatt Khun taught him?

                      Thank you Sifu, for absolutely every incredible opportunity and generous teaching!! I very much look forward to both the exciting answers to the questions here and, of course, the experiential answers that will come with the courses in October!

                      Sifu's answer to question 7, part 1 -
                      It is useful to realize that kungfu terms are for convenience. They are different from scientific terms which are definitive and restrictive. Hydrogen dioxide, for example, is always hydrogen dioxide, though it may appear in its usual liquid form as water, vapour form as stream, and solid form as ice.

                      It is definitive as it defines that it is composed of an atom of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen. Hydrogen dioxide, or water, is restrictive as other things, like sodium chloride, which is common salt, or ferrum, which is iron, are not water.

                      But Cosmos Palm is not definitive or restrictive. It does not define what exactly it is made of. Other types of force or skills can be quite similar to Cosmos Palm. There are different ways to train Cosmos Palm, and it can be used differently. Indeed, the term, Cosmos Palm, is particular to our school. In other schools, it is often called Red Sand Palm.

                      Why, then, is it called Cosmos Palm? In what ways are Cosmos Palm different from other types of palms, like Iron Palm and Cotton Palm.

                      We call it Cosmos Palm because we derive energy from the Cosmos and focus it in our palms. But don’t we also derive energy from the Cosmos and focus it in our palms in Iron Palm and Cotton Pam? Ultimately, yes, but the training and application are different. As mentioned earlier, kungfu terms are for convenience.

                      In Iron Palm training, practitioners usually hit a bag of sand, beans or iron-filing. When applied on opponents, the damage is usually external and visible. In Cotton Palm training, practitioners perform various movements to generate powerful flow of energy. When applied on opponents, the damage is always internal and not visible.

                      In Cosmos Palm training in our school, we perform Pushing Mountain to generate energy flow, then we perform Forceful Big Windmill to consolidate the flowing energy. Other schools may use different training methods.

                      If we take Iron Palm, Cotton Palm and Cosmos Palm as examples, Iron Palm is “hard”, Cotton Palm is “soft”, and Cosmos Palm is both “hard” and “soft”. This is a usual generalization.

                      At a very advanced level, Iron Palm can be very soft, and Cotton Palm can be very hard. When Sifu Gu Ru Zhang, a famous Iron Palm master, struck a horse, which a foreign master brought in to humiliate kungfu, he gave it a gentle tap without leaving any external mark. The horse collapsed and died immediately. His Iron Palm, which is very “hard”, had become Cotton Palm, which is very “soft”.

                      With this background understanding, the answer to your question becomes meaningful.

                      The answer to the question whether Cosmos Palm is related to the arts of “Strike-Across-Space Palm”, “Hitting a Buffalo Behind a Mountain”, and Diamond Palm is “yes” and “no”. The meaning of “Strike-Across-Space Palm” is literal, though the distance may vary from a few inches to many feet.

                      The strike by Piti (Sifu Piti Parra Duque) on Dr Juan on the Blue Mountain some years ago was an example of “Strike-Across-Space Palm”. Piti stopped his punch a few inches away, but his internal force fractured Dr Juan’s ribs. On another occasion, my “dim mark” on Piti was another example of “Strike-Across Space Palm”. I stopped my sword-finger a few inches in front of Piti’s throat, but it choked PIti and made him dizzy. He had to perform “Lifting the Sky” to relieve the damage.

                      (Part 2 follows)


                      • #41
                        Sifu's answer to question 7, part 2 -
                        (Continued from Part 1)

                        It is interesting to note that Piti used his vertical fist, and I used my sword-finger. We didn’t use our palms. Were those examples of “Strike-Across-Space Palm”? The answer can be “yes” or “no”, depending on ones’ perspective. Kungfu terms are for convenience. But personally, I would consider Piti’s strike as an example of Marvelous Fist, and my strike as an example of One-Finger Zen. One-Finger Zen, Strike-Across-Space Palm, and Marvelous Fist are regarded as the three ultimate arts of kungfu.

                        The meaning of “Hitting a Buffalo Behind a Mountain” is figurative. It is not rally a buffalo behind a mountain. The art refers to striking opponents behind some objects. Again the distance may vary, but it is almost never in terms of miles.

                        I could think of two examples at random.

                        Many years ago a few of my disciples and I were invited by the Moral Up-Lifing Society in Taiping, Malaysia to demonstrate dispersing clouds in the sky. When we were asked about chi, we gave an impromptu demonstration before the main cloud dispersing to the public. Office bearers of the Society were invited into a room. Lim, one of our chi kung instructors, went into an adjacent room and transmitted chi to them, causing them to have a chi flow. Having a chi flow was a first to all of the office bearers. Having chi transmitted to them across a wall was another first.

                        Was this “Strike-Across-Space Palm”? The answer can be “yes” or “no”. Chi kung terms, like kungfu terms, are for convenience.

                        Was the experiment on dispersing clouds successful? Of course, it was. We are scholar-warriors. We do things when we know we can be successful. You can read about cloud dispersing in my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”.

                        The next example of “Strike-Across-Space Palm” was more like striking, but it was with One-Finger Zen, and not with the palm. It was in Portugal. I lined up 7 volunteers, and told the class that I would shoot chi pass 5 volunteers to hit the sixth. I stood a few feet in front of the line and aimed my One-Finger Zen at the volunteers. The sixth person sprang a few feet away. He happened to be Luis (Sifu Luis Morgado ), our expert in intelligent robots. He did “Lifting the Sky” to generate a chi flow to remove the injury.

                        After the chi flow, Luis told us that he felt like a sharp knife piercing into his heart. You can ask Dr Riccardo Salvatore or Luis to tell you the details. Or you can read about the feat in my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”.

                        Diamond Palm is sometimes called Vajra Palm, or “jing gang zhang” in Chinese. In Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy, “vajra” is considered the hardest substance. Thus, Vajra Palm is called Diamond Palm in English.

                        Vajra Palm is a secretive art. Its hard, external training is similar to that of Iron Palm, but it also consists of a lot of internal training. Some high level Lama Kungfu masters have Vajra Palm.

                        Cosmos Palm refers to a special type of training. Although there may be different methods, the general principles are similar. The principles involve generating powerful energy flow and consolidating the energy. The palms of Cosmos Palm masters are soft and gentle.

                        Strike-Across-Space Palm and Hitting a Buddalo Behind Mountain refer to application. In Strike-Across-Space Palm, a master can injure an opponent without physical contact, and from a distance. In Hitting a Buffalo Behind a Mountain, a master can injure an opponent with obstacles in between, usually without harming the obstacles. These two applications are similar, but not the same.

                        One may use Cosmos Palm for Striking-Across-Space Palm or Hitting a Buffalo Behind Mountain, or one may use other arts. On the other hand, he may not use his Cosmos Palm for Striking-Across-Space Palm or for Hitting a Buffalo Behind Mountain. We may use his Cosmos Palm on physical contact, and directly without any obstacles in between,

                        We have an analogy in Eighteen Lohan Hands and Bone-Marrow Cleansing.. Is Eighteen Lohan Hands related to Bone-Marrow Cleansing? The answer is “yes” and “no”. We can use any technique from Eighteen Lohan Hands to attain any level of Bone-Marrow Cleansing – if we know how. On the other hand, we can use any technique in Eighteen Lohan Hand for other purposes other than Bone-Marrow Cleansing. We may, for example, use Carrying the Moon, which is a technique from Eighteen lohan Hands, for Cosmic Shower.

                        (Part 3 follows)


                        • #42
                          Sifu's answer to question 7, part 3 -
                          (Continued from Part 2)

                          Generally, it is a matter of progression. At an early stage, a practitioner may perform Eighteen Lohan Hands to generate an energy flow. At an advanced level, he may use Eighteen Lohan Hands for Bone-Marrow Cleansing. At an early stage, a practitioner may use Cosmos Palm to injure an opponent on physical contact. An an advanced stage, he may injure an opponent from a distance, or with obstacles in between, as in Striking-Across-Space Palm and Hitting a Buffalo Behind Mountain.

                          But this profession is not always so. At an advanced stage, a Cosmos Palm master may not use his Cosmos Palm to injure opponents at a distance or behind obstacles. Most probably he did not know the methods. But sometimes even when he knows the methods, he prefers not to.

                          Hence, it requires special methods to do so, besides being advanced in the art. It is simply incredible that at the Cosmos Palm course in New Hampshire in October 2016, course participants not only learned the rare skills of Cosmos Palm but also the methods to “hit a buffalo behind mountain”. Due to the short time available, they might not be very skillful yet. But if they keep practicing, they will be successful. More importantly, Cosmos Palm gives them good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.

                          All internal force training also gives us good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys. But most other internal arts do not give as much benefit in all these respects as Cosmos Palm.

                          I would take this opportunity to mention a very important point. These benefits of good health, vitality, longevity. peak performance and spiritual joys are wonderful, and naturally many people would like to train internal force to have these wonderful benefits. But internal force has to be learnt from a master, at least a competent instructor. If one learns internal force from books or videos, it is likely to bring harm rather than benefit.

                          There is also another important point many people may not realize. Some schools or teachers may claim to teach internal force. But are the schools and teachers genuine? Is the internal force genuine? An excellent test is to access the result of the internal force training with what internal force training is supposed to give. If it takes 3 years to produce desirable result, a smart student may not spend the three years in training. He can observe other students who have trained for 3 years.

                          I don’t know how my sigung taught my sifu Cosmos Palm, but the story of how my sifu taught me Cosmos Palm is quite well known by now amongst many in our Shaolin Wahnam Family.

                          My sihengs, or senior classmates, were training Iron Palm, which was a secretive art, though now we call it a buffalo’s art. I trained Iron Palm on my own from a book for about 2 years, yet could not break a brick though the book mentioned that the training would enable a practitioner to break a brick in 100 days. I believe this claim was true because real mature never lied, and the author of this hook was a well known real master.

                          So I asked my sihengs whether I could join them. I did quite well in hitting a bag of iron-filing, but from a corner of my eyes I saw my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, approaching. I thought I would get a scolding from my sifu. I didn’t ask his permission, I only asked my sihengs. But my sifu smiled and nodded. Then he asked me to show him my hands.

                          “You have a lady’s hands,” he said.

                          My heart sank. I though I had lost an opportunity to train Iron Palm.

                          Then my sifu continued, “I’ll teach you Cosmos Palm.’”

                          He led me aside from my sihengs, and asked me to perform Pushing Mountain.

                          After a few repetitions, my sifu said, “That’s good. Now practice this every day.” Then he walked away.

                          I was a good student. I practiced Pushing Mountain every day, always without my sifu watching.

                          After some time, my sifu asked me, “How is your Pushing Mountain?”

                          “I practice it every day as Sifu has instructed,” I answered. I showed him Pushing Mountain.
                          “Very good,” my sifu said. “Now, I’ll teach you the next step.” He taught me Forceful Big Windmill,

                          It was not called Forceful Big Windmill then. I gave it a name because the movement resembled a pattern from the Eighteen Lohan Hands called the Big Windmill, which is performed gently. The movement my sifu showed me was performed with internal force.

                          “Practice it every day,” my sifu said. Then he walked away.



                          • #43
                            Question 8 deals with the potential cross-over benefits of training two high level arts at the same time (which in itself is an amazingly rare opportunity). Sifu's answer helps fine tune the understanding of the difference between techniques, skills, and results.

                            Question 8 -
                            Does the training of Marvelous Fist, or any of the other specialized arts available in our school (from One Finger Shooting Zen, to Golden Bridge, Lifting water, Triple Stretch, Iron Wire, Dragon Strength, etc...) develop or enhance the power of Cosmos Palm?

                            If so, more specifically, is there a way to add to the Marvelous Fist training some methods by which to develop both Marvelous Fist and Cosmos Palm?"

                            Sifu's answer to question 8, part 1 -
                            Yes, in our school the training of Marvelous Fist or any of the other specialized arts develops and enhances Cosmos Palm. But it may not be so in other schools. In tother schools, these two arts may contradict each other.

                            The training of all these specialized arts involves internal training, i.e. the training of jing, shen and qi, or essence, mind and energy. We understand the philosophy of the training. Hence, we are able to transfer the training gained in any one art to both the development and enhancement of another art.

                            In other schools, because they do not understand the underlying philosophy, and do not have the skills to make the transfer, the training of any one art may contradict that of another art. Hence, practitioners are advised by their masters to train only one art at one time. This, in fact, is the norm. We in Shaolin Wahnam are the exception.

                            Let us take an analogy. If a person plays tennis, his skills in playing tennis may unfavorably affect him in playing football, because the skills in playing tennis and playing football are different. But if you understand the philosophy of skills, and are able to make the transfer, your playing tennis will both develop and enhance your playing football, and vice versa. But most other people do not understand the philosophy and do not know the transfer.

                            Let us take an example of Marvelous Fist and Cosmos Palm. Both are very advanced arts. At a very advanced level, both these arts are regarded as two of the three ultimate arts in kungfu. The other art is One-Finger Zen.

                            When you train Marvelous Fist, you learn how to relax, focus your mind and generate an energy flow. These three factors are the basics of any internal force training. Not only you and other practitioners in our school know the philosophy, but I make sure that all practitioners are relaxed, focused and have an energy flow. I also transmit the skills to do these basic requirements of force training.

                            Students in other schools may not have this advantage. They are taught the right techniques, and by practicing the techniques they develop the skills of being relaxed, focusing their mind and generating an energy flow. They may take many months to develop these basic skills, but our students can do so in one day.

                            So, when you and other students in our school practice Cosmos Palm, you do not have to start afresh. You already have the basic skills. But other practitioners will have to learn afresh. The techniques for Cosmos Palm are different from the techniques for Marvelous Fist. They will have to practice the techniques for many months before they can have the skills.

                            (Part 2 follows)


                            • #44
                              Sifu's answer to question 8, part 2 -
                              (Continued from Part 1)

                              In Marvelous Fist training, practitioners in our school perform 30 Punches to generate an energy flow. Then they punch with stone-locks to increase the energy flow. In Cosmos Palm training , practitioner perform Pushing Mountain to generate an energy flow. Then they perform Forceful Big Windmill to consolidate their energy, but it is still flowing. For us in Shaolin Wahnam, the energy flow in Marvelous Fist will contribute and enhance the training in Cosmos Palm.

                              Reversely, the flowing energy and consolidated energy in Cosmos Palm will also contribute to the development and enhancement in Marvelous Fist. The consolidated energy, but still flowing, in Cosmos Palm is like punching with stone locks in Marvelous Fist.

                              Practitioner in other schools will not have this advantage. They only learn the respective techniques, thinking that the techniques are the ones that bring the effect of Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm. As the techniques of the two arts are different, they may contradict one another.

                              Even when we have the skills as well as the techniques, we must develop the necessary energy gradually. We must guard against over-training. But other practitioners will take years, whereas our practitioners only take months.

                              For us in Shaolin Wahnam, our concern is not to find a way to add to the development of both Marvelous Fist and Cosmos Palm. Even if there were a way, we should not use it. Our concern is to avoid over-training.

                              In the first place, it is a very rare opportunity to learn just Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm. Even when one has the rare opportunity, he takes years to develop Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm. It is simply ridiculous that we in Shaolin Wahnam have the opportunities to learn both Marvelous Fist and Cosmos Palm, though many students and instructors do not make good use of these very rare opportunities.

                              Other practitioners take years to develop Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm, and they will be very happy when they are finally successful. I myself also took years. Our students and instructors only take months. They still have to practice everyday for these few months.

                              The techniques passed down by past masters for Marvelous Fist and Cosmos Palm are the best. Tney are established techniques, which means that if practitioners practice these techniques correctly, and consistently, they will have Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm.

                              However, if I have to name just one technique or skill that will eventually develop Marvelous Fist or Cosmos Palm, or any specialized art, it is chi flow. Chi flow not only contributes to the development of Marvelous Art or Cosmos Palm, it also makes it safe for us to practice these arts. More importantly, it gives us good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.



                              • #45
                                Dear Sigung,

                                Thank You so much for answering my question.

                                Thank You for teaching us so advanced and precious arts!

                                With Shaolin Salute.