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  • 10 Question on "Essence of Shaolin"

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    I'm very happy to announce that Sigung has happily agreed to answer 10 Questions on the upcoming "Essence of Shaolin" course, which
    will be held somewhen at the end of the next year in Malaysia.

    Here is a short background to the "Essence of Shaolin" (Siu Lam Khuen Shuit Jing Wah):

    The Essence of Shaolin is a 108 Pattern Set which contains the best of Shaolin techniques for combat.
    It took Sigung two years to learn every night this glamorous set from his first kungfu teacher, Uncle Righteousness.
    The roots of the set can be traced back until the second Shaolin Temple in the Nine-Lotus Mountain, Fujian Province, South China.
    The set was not well known because it was kept as a secret, one which a master normally transmited to his successor.
    So Sigung was the only person who learned the Essence of Shaolin Set from his Sifu, Sifu Lai Chin Wah.
    Sigung decided to teach the Essence of Shaolin to everyone who is going to attend the course. So dont miss this golden oppotunity
    because Sigung wont teach it again (like the Dragon Strengh)!


    Please limit/compress your question(s) to only one, so that we will give other ones also a chance to ask one.
    If you dont know how to do it, please take a look at some other questions from other 10 Q&A to get a better understanding.
    Thank you for your cooperation.

    So let the questions start!



    With shaolin salute,

    Dimitri.
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
    When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

    -Lao Tzu-

  • #2
    Dear Sifu,

    Sifu has most generously agreed to teach the Essence of Shaolin set, a secret set that was normally only transmitted to a Master's successor. Sifu has said that Uncle Righteousness' eldest daughter said to Sifu that, “Uncle Righteousness treats you better than he treats his own sons”. Sifu treats us like we are Sifu's own sons and daughters, and we are so grateful for this. Why is Sifu so generous to allow everyone who attends the course to learn this secret set when in the past it was reserved only for the most tested disciple?

    Sincerely,

    Mark Blohm
    Last edited by Mark Blohm; 6th December 2016, 11:31 AM.
    少林華南台灣 Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan

    Facebook

    "Then how could chi kung overcome diseases where the cause is unknown or when there is no cure? The question is actually incorrect. The expressions "the cause is unknown" and "there is no cure" are applicable only in the Western medical paradigm. The expressions no longer hold true in the chi kung paradigm. In the chi kung paradigm the cause is known, and there is a cure."

    -Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

    Comment


    • #3
      Great News!

      Dear Dimitri Siheng,

      Thank you for bringing in excellent news and for facilitating a new exciting special Q&A series!

      Honorable Sigung,

      So far you have offered or announced us five different one-off opportunities (Dragon Strength, Weapons Course, Cosmos Palm, Cotton Palm, and Essence of Shaolin) to learn something very special. Assuming pre-requisites are met for all the courses, if a person was given a chance to learn any one of them and no other, on which criteria would you recommend a specific opportunity to the person?

      With sincere gratitude,
      Olli

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear all and honorable Sigung,

        I have re-read my question and I concluded that it is rather ambigiously formulated, so here I present it in better form:

        Assuming pre-requisites are met for all the courses, if a person was given a choice of learning any one of them and nothing else in addition, on which criteria would you recommend a specific opportunity to the person?

        Please excuse my flawed articulation.

        With sincere respect,
        Olli

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear Shaolin family and Sifu,


          What are the benefits of practicing the Essence of Shaolin set, both in kungfu practice and in daily life?



          Once again, the christmas present came early.


          Best wishes,

          Nessa
          Nessa Kahila
          Shaolin Nordic Finland

          www.shaolin-nordic.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Honorable Sifu,

            Originally posted by Nessa View Post
            Once again, the christmas present came early.
            Or maybe it was Sigung's happy birthday gift to all of us? Even the opportunity itself is a fine thing to be grateful for!

            Dear readers,

            In case you weren't aware, Sigung had already made the Essence of Shaolin video and picture series available over a year ago. Hopefully viewing these will enable you to ask even better questions!

            I also launched a new thread in the Shaolin Kungfu section for discussing Essence of Shaolin as a complement to this 10 Questions thread and for giving this opportunity wider exposure.

            With sincere respect,
            Olli

            Comment


            • #7
              Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

              Sigung was so kindly and have already answered the first question. So enjoy the reading (of the second Christmas present) .

              Question 1


              Sifu has most generously agreed to teach the Essence of Shaolin set, a secret set that was normally only transmitted to a master's successor.

              Sifu has said that Uncle Righteousness' eldest daughter said to Sifu that “Uncle Righteousness treats you better than he treats his own sons”.

              Sifu treats us like we are Sifu's own sons and daughters, and we are so grateful for this.

              Why is Sifu so generous to allow everyone who attends the course to learn this secret set when in the past it was reserved only for the most tested disciple?

              Sifu Mark Blohm



              Answer


              The Essence of Shaolin is a highly secretive set Uncle Righteouesness taught this set only to me, he did not teach it to anyone else. Understandably, many people, including some masters, asked me to teach this set to them. But I declined, saying that I would teach this set only to my chosen successor.

              The Essence of Shaolin is what its name suggests. It incorporates the best techniques in Shaolin Kungfu. Masters can use whatever skills or thpes of force they specialize in, to execute the techniques.

              It is worthwhile to note that different masters many specialize in different skills or types of force. For example, one master may specialize in tiger-claw and applies the force of triple-sttretch for his tiger-claw, whereas another master may specialize in Wuzuquan, and applies the force of Cotton Palm for Wuzuquan. Other masters may have other specialization. Hence it is not practical to compose the best skills. Nevertheless, the training of these different skills or types of force can be found in the Shaolin 72 Arts.

              Techniques are quite different. They are more specific. Hence it is practical to collect the best techniques in an art, or a kungfu style. The Essence of Shaolin contains the best techniques in Shaolin Kungfu. As Shaolin Kungfu is regarded by many masters as the <a href=” /shaolin/greatest.html”>greatest martial art</a>, it can be extended that Essence of Shaolin contains the best techniques of all martial arts.

              Uncle Righteousness’ eldest daughter, Sister Kam, told me that her father treated me better than he treated his own sons and daughters, for which I am very grateful. All his students, friends and other people also commented that I was his best student. Uncle Righteousness’ real name was Lai Chin Wah. He was nick-named “Old Righteousness”, or “Lou Yi” in Chinese (Cantonese), in his young days for his sense of righteousness and his fighting abilities to ensure it.

              Please take not that “Old” here has no reference to age or time, it is an endearing term. When my sifu was more elderly, which was the time when I learned kungfu from him, the public called him “Uncle Righteousness”, or “Yi Sook” in Chinese. The honorable nickname had become so popular that his students also called him “Uncle Righteousness” instead of “sifu”. As far as I know, and following my father’s advice, I was his only student to call him “Sifu”, for which he was very happy.

              The word “sifu” means “teacher-father”. I regard all my students as my own sons and daughters. This, in fact, is what a sifu should regard his students. The term “sifu” carries a heavy responsibility. In modern China today, wushu students call their teachers “lau shi”, which means “old teacher”. “Lau shi” does not have the connotation as “sifu”.

              There are a few reasons why I am generous to teach this secret set, “Essence of Shaolin”.

              This set was taught to a master’s succor. Now I have many successors, not just one. A main reason why I established Shaolin Wahnam Institute was my real concern that the Shaolin arts would be lost. But now, if I were to retire tomorrow, there will be many teachers, including you, who will continue with our Shaolin Wahnam arts and tradition.

              Not all Shaolin Wahnam family members will be successors. Hence, the Essence of Shaolin course will be by invitation only. Those invited to the course can be my successors, or qualify to be successors. Two chief requirements are to practice the Ten Shaolin laws and to have attained a high level in kungfu performance.

              This course will be offered only once. It will be conducted at the end of 2017, probably in late November or early December. In Penang. I have to consult Wei Foong to confirm the dates. It will be held in conjunction with the Small Universe Course, as many people have also asked me for this course.

              <End>
              When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
              When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

              -Lao Tzu-

              Comment


              • #8
                Sifu,


                Is there a signature or essential pattern / patterns in the Essence of Shaolin -set, such as the "Dragon Manifests Miraculous Majesty" -pattern in the Dragon-Form Set?

                If not, can you tell us which pattern or patters are your favourites in the Essence of Shaolin -set, and why?


                With gratitude,
                Markus Kahila
                Shaolin Nordic Finland

                www.shaolin-nordic.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Epilogue answer to Question 1

                  Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                  Sigung is surprising us with an epilogue answer to Question 1. Please enjoy the epilogue:

                  Epilogue to Question 1

                  Many people, including masters, regard some kungfu sets as secrets. I remember that in our Discussion Forum a grandmaster mentioned that some Taijiquan sets were not taught to the public because they were secrets. Douglas once told me that Maro, a kungfu practitioner of another school, went to China every year to learn from his sifu because he was afraid that his sifu might not teach him some secret sets.

                  Some masters purposely distort their sets when they demonstrate publicly so as to hide the secrets. I believe the pattern “Single Leg Flying Crane” went through this process. When I learned this pattern in the 36-pattern and the 108 pattern Tiger-Crane Set, I stood on one leg with both hands at the sides like the wings of a crane. It was only when I learned the 72-pattern Tiger-Crane Set that I realized its hidden secret.

                  This is also the reason why secrets are hidden in the open. In other words, the secrets incorporated in kungfu patterns are performed openly, but only those who know the secrets can see them. Others will see the patterns but miss the secrets. The Three-Harmony Set, which I taught recently in Toronto, is an example of hiding a lot of secrets in the open.

                  Another secret hidden in the open is the hook-spring leg technique, found in the pattern, “Hook-Spring Chop Sword”, in Essence of Shaolin. This hook-spring technique was one of the secrets of no-shadow kicks of Wong Fei Hoong, and is found in the 108-pattern Tiger-Crane Set. I learned the secret when I learned from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam.

                  Once I had this concept of secret kungfu sets. But as I progressed in my kungfu development, my concepts of kungfy changed. While there are secrets hidden in the open, I now regard the secrets not in the sets but in their application and force training. Essence of Shaolin will give many examples how ordinary-looking techniques are used in marvelous ways.

                  This was the reason why Essence of Shaolin, which is still regarded by many masters as a secretive set, is openly posted on my website. People can learn the set from the video, but its marvelous combat applications have to be learned at the course.

                  Our training also makes us generous. This is the reason why we share a lot of secrets with others, including strangers – secrets which many masters would regard as top secrets.

                  We also have many secrets to share. If a master has only 10 secrets, he will be generous to share 5 or 6 of these secrets. If we have 100 secrets, it does not take a lot of generosity to share 30 or 40.

                  Many of these “secrets” are actually established principles known to genuine kungfu practitioners in the past. An obvious example is “safety first”. In kungfu, we always ensure our own safety whenever we attack our opponents. But the standard of kungfu has been so debased today that martial artists generously exchange blows with a shocking disregard of their own safety.

                  <End>
                  When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
                  When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

                  -Lao Tzu-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear Sifu,

                    It is amazing that you will generously share this secretive set with deserving students.

                    The Essence of Shaolin is full of highly developed patterns. What unique benefits can participants expect from this to-be-legendary course? Will they get a chance to learn all the sophisticated applications and maybe also some combat sequences?

                    Thank you for offering Uncle Righteousness’ legacy to us! I will do my best to arrange my attendance.

                    Best wishes,

                    Leo

                    PS: Thanks to Dimitri for always being nosey, for the announcement and for managing this thread.
                    Sifu Leonard Lackinger

                    Wahnam Wien Logo

                    Shaolin Wahnam Wien
                    Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung
                    Southern Shaolin Kung Fu
                    Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan

                    Shaolin Wahnam Wien on facebook
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sifu once said that he would teach this set to his chosen successor(s) and then retire from public teaching and international travel. Could Sifu please comment on this plan.
                      Sifu Andrew Barnett
                      Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

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

                      Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
                      QEA Discussion Forum: www.qea.ch/forum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dear Sigung,

                        as you have modified the Dragon Strength Set, did you also modify the Essence of Shaolin? If yes, could you please explain the differences? If no, could you please explain why?

                        You have mentioned that you specialized in the Dragon Strength Set, then what about the Essence of Shaolin?

                        How did the Essence of Shaolin affect your personal- and kung-fu development?

                        If you would ascribe an animal style to the Essence of Shaolin Set, what animal(s) would it be and why?

                        As in the Essence of Shaolin is no specific internal force part, what kind internal force training, namely One Finger Shooting Zen, Cosmos Palm, Iron Wire, Graspin Sparrow´s Tail, Dantien Breathing, would fit best?

                        During the Dragon Strength Course we have learned Dim Mark, Dragon Force and Lightning Speed. What skills will be taught during the Essence of Shaolin Course?

                        With kind regards,
                        Anton.
                        Last edited by Anton S.; 21st December 2016, 11:02 AM.
                        Engage and maintain joyful practice!

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

                        Anton Schmick
                        Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord

                        shaolinwahnamchina.com
                        http://chikunghamburg.wordpress.com
                        http://shaolinwahnam-nord.de
                        http://kungfu-luebeck.de

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Question 2

                          Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                          Dear Olli,


                          Here comes the early christmas present:

                          Question 2

                          Assuming pre-requisites are met for all the courses, if a person was given a choice of learning any one of the following: Dragon Strength, Weapons Course, Cosmos Palm, Cotton Palm, and Essence of Shaolin, and nothing else in addition, on which criteria would you recommend a specific opportunity to the person?


                          Olli

                          Answer

                          So far I offered two once-in-a-life-time courses, which were Dragon Strength and Cosmos Palm. The third once-in-a-life-time course I shall offer is Essence of Shaolin. I won’t offer these courses again. Those who miss them, just miss them.

                          It is incredible that I offer these courses. These are arts that masters only teach to their very special disciples. Some masters didn’t even teach to their very special disciples, their arts just left the world with them.

                          Dragon Strength is my specialty. It includes three very rare and privilege arts, that many people think have been lost. These three arts are dragon force, dragon speed and dim mark (or the art of dotting energy points). It is simply ridiculous that course participants succeeded in learning these three very rare and prestigious arts in just five days of the course. But then we in Shaolin Wahnam are used to being ridiculous.

                          If a master could learn any one of these three arts in five years, he would jump with joy. But our course participants, many of them are masters in their own right, learn three rare and prestigious arts in five days! It was true that our course participants had prior kungfu experience. But it was also true that masters did not become masters over night; they also had prior kungfu experience.

                          The Cosmos Palm course was quite an accident. Matt asked me, in my very relaxing mood, whether I would teach Cosmos Palm. As I always agreed to the suggested courses put forward by our course organizers, I casually answered “yes”, without actually realizing it was Cosmos Palm. Matt was very fast in making full use of the opportunity. He quickly post an announcement on our Discussion Forum, giving me no chance to change my mind.

                          But not only I did not regret the decision to teach Cosmos Palm, but I am actually grateful to Matt for organizing this wonderful course. All those who attended the course were deserving students (including many masters), and I am happy that I passed on a rare art so that it would not be lost to posterity.

                          The Special Weapon Course which I taught in Kuala Lumpur this year (2016) and the Cotton Palm Course which I shall teach at the UK Summer Camp next year (2017) are also very special. But I did not explicitly say that they were once-in-a-life-time opportunities. I may, or may not, teach them again.

                          In the Special Weapon Course we learned eight weapons in five days. The big trident and crescent-moon spear are weapons rarely practiced today. The guan dao, or the Big Knife of Guan Yu, is prestigious. The Ho Family Flowing Staff is one of the four famous staff sets in all kungfu. The soft-whip must be learned from a master; students learning it from books or videos will hurt themselves.

                          The Cotton Palm was a specialty of my second sifu, Sifu Chee Kim Thong, who was known as a living treasure of the Peoples’ Republic of China. Sifu Chee Kim Thong was famous for his internal force, which many martial artists today think is a myth. The Cotton Palm is an excellent manifestation of internal force, as the master applying it seems to ordinary people that he leisurely moves his palms.

                          Different masters, understandably, will choose different arts to specialize in. Many of the masters might not have a choice. They just had to practice, and later specialize, in what their teachers had taught them, often determined by environmental conditions. A particular master, for example, might want to specialize in Cotton Palm, if he had a wide knowledge of kungfu philosophy, but he might have to specialize in Iron Palm, which in my opinion is far inferior to Cotton Palm, if that was what he had been taught.

                          Of the arts you have mentioned -- Dragon Strength, Weapons Course, Cosmos Palm, Cotton Palm, and Essence of Shaolin -- being able to specialize in any one of them in their essence is already a rare accomplishment. Most people just learn the external form; they miss the essence. If they ever specialize, they will perform “flowery fists and embroidery kicks” to please spectators.

                          How many martial artists outside our school you know who can use dragon force to damage an opponent, capture an opponent’s weapon with their crescent-moon spear, cause severe injury with Cosmos Palm or Cotton Palm without leaving an external mark, or overcome a seemingly impossible attack using a sophisticated kungfu technique like one from Essence of Shaolin? A generous estimate is less than 10%. It means more than 90% of martial artists have no chance to specialize in what you have mentioned.

                          If a participant to any one of the above courses has met all the pre-requisites, he can attend the course. But I still can recommend the criteria he can focus on.

                          The most important criterion for learning any one of the courses mentioned above, is to practice the Ten Shaolin Laws. This is the requirement not only to learn any of the courses mentioned above, but also to learn any art taught in our school.

                          It is important to emphasize that the Ten Shaolin laws are not restrictive or punitive, but to enable practitioners to get the best benefits from their training and to live a meaningful life. If they practice the Ten Shaolin Laws in their daily life, they are deserving student.s

                          Practitioners should also know quite well the prescribed set for the course so that time at the course can be more rewardingly used to learn other things, like developing skills. For example, if a practitioner is to attend the Essence of Shaolin course, he should know before attending the course, the Essence of Shaolin set.

                          Many people think that certain sets are top secrets. I had this idea in my earlier years. But as my knowledge and experience of kungfu improved, I realize that the secrets lie not in the set, which you can learn from the internet, but in combat application and skills, including various types of internal force.

                          Another important criterion is that course participants must be willing to learn.. This criterion may appear odd to many people, but a lot of participants, luckily not in our school, attend courses with preconceived ideas or, worse still, they think they are smarter than their teacher. If they come with pre-conceived ideas or think they are smarter than the teacher, the course participants place a huge handicap on themselves.

                          Although this criterion is not common in our school, I still like to mention it. Some of our students, without their own realization, think they know more than the master. If the master asks them to perform a certain combat sequence every day for a period of time so as to develop the necessary skills, they perform it whenever they like. .

                          It is only logical to follow the advice of the master if course participants want the best results, after making sure that the master is genuine and produces the results they want. If they do not want to follow the master’s advice, they should not learn from him.

                          Although all our family members will like to attend all the courses mentioned, different people will have different choice if they have to choose only one. Personally I would choose Dragon Strength. This is quite obvious because Dragon Strength is my favorite, and dragon force and dragon speed are my specialty. Although dim mark may not be my specialty, as I prefer chin-na, practicing Dragon Strength can enable me to perform dim mark well.

                          Attending the Dragon Strength Course would enable course participants to develop dragon force, dragon speed and dim mark. There are wonderful skills. But they still need techniques to implement the skills.

                          In today’s low level of combat, when practitioners have advanced skills, they can use ordinary techniques. But if their opponents are advanced too, the practitioners will need advanced techniques.

                          The best techniques are found in Essence of Shaolin. As Shaolin Kungfu is the greatest martial art – please see http://shaolin.org/shaolin/greatest.html for the justification of this statement – by extension the best techniques of all martial arts are found in the Essence of Shaolin.

                          As mentioned earlier, this Essence of Shaolin course is once-in-a-life-time course. Those invited to attend the course should not miss it.


                          <End>
                          When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
                          When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

                          -Lao Tzu-

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dear Sifu,

                            If I may I would love to ask you one question:

                            If there is the essence of Shaolin, what is the essence of Shaolin?

                            Thank you.

                            Best regards,

                            Roland
                            "From formless to form, from form to formless"

                            26.08.17-28.08.17: Qi Gong Festival with 6 courses in Bern:
                            Qiflow-Triple Stretch Method-12 Sinewmetamorphisis-Bone Marrow Cleansing-Zen Mind in Qi Gong

                            Website: www.enerqi.ch

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Honorable Sigung,

                              Thank you for your illuminating and in-depth answer! As a whole it was very lucid and helpful. The story of how the Cosmos Palm came about was ticklish.

                              I must have completely mistaken myself to assume that the recent Special Weapons Course and Cotton Palm were also one-timers. Good to know that there may be more chances to pick these teachings from you.

                              With sincere gratitude,
                              Olli

                              Comment

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