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Thread: Ireland's Valentine Iron Wire Set 2012

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Great Stuff

    Dear Family,

    So good to hear the tales of this second Iron Wire course - I still treasure my experience of learning it for the first time.

    Thankyou so much to Sigung for transmitting this treasure so generously- I, and I'm sure everyone who has learnt it, will always treasure and uphold it.

    Shaolin Salute,


    P.S - Yaaaaaaarrrrrrr!!! MMMMmmmmmmm.... Chaaaaaarlesssss!!!

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family and Virtual Kwoon Readers,

    The Awesome Iron Wire course has come to an end but the force, skills and experience will carry on for our lifetimes. It is a course that has certainly changed me for the better and given me a deeper apprehension for the arts and experience that Sigung is passing on to us.

    On of the most important things that I have learned during this course is that the state of mind is the most important part of our training and with this relaxed, focused and positive mind we can achieve anything we set out to do, including defending ourselves against an opponent who is really trying to hit us with force and intent. This skill of defending ourselves against an opponent using intent, sets us up to face any experience in life and to be able to overcome it with ease once we have the experience of this.

    The 30 man opponent training and implementation in free sparing competitions is a great opportunity for us to develop as warriors and enhance our training to the point where we can stay relaxed, focused and confident in our ability against aggressive opponents using intent, which can also be applied to our personal and business lives.

    Thank you Sigung for passing on this incredible art, your incredible experience and the confidence to enjoy what ever we do.

    Thank you Sifu for organising this incredible course for us to develop and enjoy.

    Thank you to all the past Masters for passing on the Iron Wire set.

    Thank you to all the course participants for the amazing and fun sparring.

    Shaolin Salute,

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I returned home last night after flying back from Ireland immediately after the Iron Wire course ended.

    I think I will need some time to fully process these very intensive two days, but I do have some thoughts that I would like to share:

    During the course, it became clear to me how important sparring is for traditional kungfu training -- rather than being a nice-to-have optional activity, I realised through Sifu's explanations that Sifu's sparring and real fighting experience is probably one of the keys to his mastery of the art and the greatness of his teaching. For it is only through real combat that the mind, body and energy of a person is tested and forged.

    We could train for years and not know how effective our training is. Regular sparring, however, would quickly and efficiently reveal strengths and weaknesses and enable rapid progress -- like we ourselves experienced in just a few hours with Sifu.

    Sifu explained that the the key thing, however, is to face real opponents who have both the strength and intent to attack and defeat us. Because this is where we can, in turn, overcome our own fears of being hurt or doubts about our skill or the efficacy of the Shaolin arts.

    Of course this sounds daunting, and it is! But that's where the Iron Wire set comes in -- its clear to me just after two days training it, that if one were to keep practising it, in time for sure it would lead to a level of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strength that would enable you to stand firm in front of big and powerful opponents and not be shaken.

    I think this was one of the big lessons of the course. Everybody came thinking they would learn one of the greatest force training sets in kung-fu history, which of course we did. But it was as if Sifu was challenging us -- what use would all this force be if you didn't use it to take on big challenges in life?? -- things you perhaps doubt yourselves capable of?? If you want to learn the greatest force training set around, the you better be prepared to do something great with that force!

    I thought that perhaps this was one of the keys to the concerns that some had about 'mistraining' the set. Sifu showed us how to generate the force then how to utilise the force for sparring. We repeated this cycle many times and each time we did it, we were in a new harmony -- we had first generated so much force we were buzzing with it, then we applied it to breaking through inhibitions and doubts that we had about our sparring abilities. We also used it to achieve mental clarity to understand the sparring techniques and how to apply them efficiently. So the energy was used well and we were left in a state of harmonious tranquillity and joy. My 'takeaway' was that if we applied this same principle in our daily practice, there would be no risk of 'mistraining' because we would be achieving balance. (Of course this implies we follow Sifu's instructions and train the set correctly).

    Sifu explained that 'combat' may not necessarily take the form of physical fighting, but could also take other forms like business negotiation -- It struck me that the key benefit of force training in general and the Iron Wire set in particular, is that it enables us to have the strength to apply the Shaolin arts to face the challenges that our destinies have pitted us against, not to be afraid and try to avoid them. But most importantly we need to build up our experience systematically, to ensure we are constantly challenged but never overwhelmed.
    Last edited by foxinsocks74; 13th February 2012 at 09:14 PM.

  4. #54
    GreggH is offline Gregg Hartnett - Assistant Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland (2010)
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Just reading over all your posts and it was just amazing to hear what all of ye had to say about the Iron Wire Set.
    It sounds absolutely amazing, wish i was back home for it ha ha.

    hope everyone enjoys the rest of the course's and hi to all my Irish Brothers and Sisters back there...


  5. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Galway City, Ireland


    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    The Iron Wire Course here in Ireland was by far the most fun I have ever had at any course so far. The first day I just giggled and laughed the whole way through. The force is tremendous that we build from it but it can also be very light and free. I really felt my spirit expand so much that the two days and even now is pure joy.

    For any one who is afraid of sparring like I was and the opportunity to learn the Iron Wire set from Sifu comes along please don't let it pass you by. I can gauruntee you it will be one of the best courses you will ever do. The confidence it gave me for the sparring I find it hard to put it into words. First of all I thought I would never see the day where I would say I liked sparring let alone love it. But thats what happened this weekend I loved the sparring so much it was just FUN FUN FUN. The sparring was full on and challenging at times but the force and confidence gained from the Iron Wire and form Sifu made it such a joy.

    We really are very fortunate to Have Sifu/Sigung in our lives to push us in ways where we might not push or selfs otherwise. For his generosity in his teachings to give us two courses in one. I really got the feeling that if we follow Sifus instructions for the sparring that in time what may now seem like challenges with regarding sparring will in fact be childs play in due course.

    From the heart thank you Sifu so much for enhancing my life in so many ways through the shaolin Arts. That words will always fail to say how grateful I am.

    To Sije Joan thank you for being a caring,kind and generous person in my life. As Sifu has said you really care for the Irish people. Thanks for organizing the courses.They just get better and better every year.

    Thanks to Mark Siheng for asking Sifu to do the Iron Wire course here in Ireland. Because of this request you have made to Sifu you have helped towards changing the lives of every one who attended for the better.

    Thanks to each and every person on the course for making it such fun and joy each one of you have affected my life in such a wonderful way. That I will always be very greateful.

    Just to see Sifu practice the set I could of went home a very happy man

    Shaolin Salute,
    Last edited by brendan; 14th February 2012 at 01:04 PM.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    back from beautiful Ireland I like to share a short review.

    On the first part of Day 1, we began with entering Zen and learned the first 2 sections of the Iron Wire Set with some philosophical explanations about the Set and Chi Gung/Kung Fu in general from Sigung. During this part I felt charged with Energy and very peaceful.

    I thought this would continue till the End of the course ( I didnt even bring training clothes with me, because I didnt expect to sweat), but in the afternoon after going through the sections we already learned, Sigung surprised us by saying, lets use the generated Energy for some sparring.Then the course started to become much more intensive.
    We continued with the next section followed by a sparring session followed with the set we already knew followed with a sparring session followed with the next section etc. throughout to the end.

    Firstly, Sigung guided us through the sparring by choosing the best patterns for free sparring against Boxing and Muay Thai, so our job was "just" to apply them.We did this in a systematical way:
    The attacker began with low force, low speed and stopped before the target
    and with various variations it leads to full force, full speed and full contact with the intension to really hit the partner (for his benefit) if he miss the defense.
    I think everybody improved a lot during the course, especially to stay calm, remain the form and not retreat if we were faced with someone who is really threatening and push forward no matter what.

    After a few years of force training I have to say the Iron Wire Set is the most powerful exercise for me so far and like Sigung mentioned we will get the real benefits only after a few month of regular practice. Also he reminded us that we have to improve our form over the time to get the best results.
    After every course with Sigung I am charged with a lot of Energy for a few days if not weeks but this 2in1 2 day intensive course was the most powerful one I attended so far.
    The amazing demonstration of Sigung alone performing each section followed with his "Any Questions?" after he finished was worth the trip.

    Thanks to every one on the course from England, Scotland, Netherlands, Portugal and of course Irland for making it such a rewarding experience, especially Joan Sikujie for the organsation and of course thank you Sigung for teaching us the awesome Iron Wire Set.

  7. #57
    Mark CH is offline Sifu Mark Hartnett - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family

    Thank you Sifu with all my heart for this amazing course. It was a dream of mine to have Sifu teach the Iron Wire Course here in Ireland with many years. Well my dream came through. Thank you Sije Joan for making this happen for your younger brother

    It is great to sit and read over the experiences from the others at the course. After many years of force training, Iron Wire is the most powerful. We must all be careful as Sifu pointed out many times during the two days how easy it is to do the set incorrectly. Relax, chi flow and take our time with the set. Like Sifu says it should be taught over many months, but with our fundamental systematic Shaolin Wahnam training we can learn the set in just 2 days. Amazing really. I am so blessed to have been a part of this weekend.

    And not only did we learn the set to increase our internal force to new levels, we then used the internal force to restore the glory of Shaolin Kung Fu with sparring. The sparring was so much fun, especially when we had to go for it with force to hit our partner. Out of all the participants, besides a few small bruises, there was no injuries. Our kung fu does work and I hope we will continue to be living examples of restoring Shaolin Kung Fu to the height it deserves.

    A wonderful weekend with Sifu and a wonderful time spent with all my brothers and sisters. Hope to see you all soon for more fun.

    Best wishes

  8. #58
    Tim's Avatar
    Tim is offline Sifu Tim Franklin - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Worthing, West Sussex
    Thank you for your inspiring accounts.

    The Iron Wire is a great set and I am very pleased that you also got the bonus of some full contact sparring whilst remaining calm.

    I am glad that it has been mentioned that benefits derived from training, like being able to handle an aggressive fighter, or one with intent, remaining calm and having clarity of mind are all aspects we can use in daily life.

    Sparring with a challenging opponent is like dealing with lifes ups and downs and they are not easy. As said it is important and valuable for us to be able to repeat the skills we learn in training to live life fully.
    Tim Franklin
    A story of finding Courage and Wisdom Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

    Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

    UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Dear Shaolin Wahnam family ,
    well the awesome Iron Wire course definatly lived up to its name .It really was an amazing two days .
    After just the second section the feeling of fullness and expansion that i could feel through out my body was worth the fee alone .
    The sparring that Sifu added was great fun ,its amazing the variety of attacks you can ward of with good stances and a good guard ,despite low skill levels as in my case .
    I learned the Sanchin kata a number of years ago and all the moves were performed while tensing and sqeezing the muscles and althought you would build up tremendous strenght and force from it there wasn't the mental clarity, peace and of course internal force that comes while performing the Iron Wire set .Plus I'm convinced if I had continued practicing this Kata without discovering Chi flows that I would have damaged my internal organs .
    One of the hightlights for me had to be when Sifu performed each section of the form for us ,WOW ,or as Kung Fu Panda might say it was "Awesome .

    It was great to meet so many new people and of course all the old faces .

    Thank you Joan for organising another fabulous Valentines week , I haven't had the opportunity to travel to Maylasia but thanks to you Joan I've been lucky enough to attend some amazing courses here in Ireland .

    Thank you Sifu for sharing your wonderfull arts with us .

    David .
    Dance like no one is watching .Sing like no one is listening .Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth .
    Mark Twain .

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Alicante, Spain

    The Amazing Iron Wire Is a Living Treasure

    Miyagi's father: [upon seeing his son again after so many years] “If I am dreaming, let me never awaken. If I am awake, let me never sleep.” - Karate Kid 2

    This is exactly how I feel after this Valentine’s Course, here, in Ireland. I don’t know if what just has happened was a dream or not. I will probably need some time to absorb the beautiful experiences that I just had.

    But this post is about “The Amazing Iron Wire” so I will just expose the first two days of my experiences here.

    There has been said so much about the Iron Wire that I will write about what I just lived. But words are only words and one must have the direct experience in order to know what the Iron Wire is all about. In Tao Te Ching Words: “ The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”

    DAY 1:

    There is another day to go in this amazing course. If the course was just finishing today, I would have still thought that it really exceeded my expectations.

    My great lesson came when we were doing some combat application (yes, Sifu surprised us all with a very nice present and let us had an amazing and enjoyable time doing lot of sparring).

    We did combat applications for overcoming Boxers, Kick boxers and Muay Thai fighters. We followed encounters in 3 different stages ordered by difficulty and explained below:

    - First Stage - Slow speed movements, low force and no element of threat.
    - Second Stage - Average speed movements, medium force and no/some element of threat.
    - Third Stage - Full speed movements, full force and full element of threat.

    Why was the element of threat included in the training? Sifu wants to train us for real. If we know that the opponent is going to stop just 3 inches before the hit, how would we be trained in order to avoid a real opponent that want to hurt us?

    After sparring 5 opponents, it came the best lesson I have ever had in combat in my entire life. I actually got a real hit in my lip.

    Sifu is a Grandmaster by many reasons. When he does something, it is for the benefit of his students. He decided to stop the whole class sparring and he put me in the middle of the room until I was able to defense myself properly.

    I was moving back when my opponent was attacking me. I couldn’t keep my stance when the element of threat was part of the training. The fact of being hitted made me react. Made me react not only with my opponent but in my life. I felt that I was also moving backward when adversity was arising.

    Something shifted in my mind and deep inside. I was not feeling hate towards my opponent, just the opposite. I know it sounds crazy but I was feeling gratitude for that hit in my face. It was my fault because I forgot about “Safety First.” In just 5 minutes, I have improved more about fighting than in my entire life. Only a Grandmaster can do that.

    Things that I have learned in those 5 minutes (not only for fighting but for life):

    - How important is too be rooted.
    - The importance of sinking back.
    - The importance of the “element of threat.”
    - The importance of “Safety First.”
    - The advantages of keeping stances.
    - The use of those advantages for winning a combat.
    - The importance of timing and spacing when dealing with an opponent in a real fight.
    - The importance of going with “the momentum.”

    I have read thousands of times about this but, only by direct experience, I was able to really learn it. Thanks Sifu for those 5 minutes.

    DAY 2:

    It is amazing that I have achieved so many goals in only 2 days! Only a Grandmaster like Sifu can do that. Below, I describe the most important ones:

    - Enormous increase of Internal Force.
    - Skills to beat boxers, kick boxers and Thai boxers.
    - Fear reduction to realistic combat encounters (Element of Threat).
    - How to arrive earlier by starting later.
    - How to beat an opponent before he even attacks us.
    - How to follow the momentum.
    - How to be safe at first place and then search for victory.
    - How to deal with opponents of different sizes, weights, skills and force.
    - How to use element of threat for winning a combat.
    - How to win the combat choosing the best technique for each situation.
    - How to be powerful but relaxed at the same time.
    - The importance of Internal Force for winning a combat.
    - How to reverse the situation.

    It is the most cost-effective course that I have ever done so far. Sifu has chosen the best techniques in order to encounter these 3 different kinds of fighters. He has been really generous offering us the crystallization of his entire career as a Kung Fu & Taijiquan Grandmaster. That is what I call ZEN: “Simple, Direct & Effective.”

    The tremendous force that The Iron Wire has given me was crucial for being courageous and able to encounter opponents with much more experience and force than me. That also kept me safe from injuries. As an interesting fact, my arms were full of bruises by Saturday and, on Monday, they were all gone (Amazing). As far as I know, no one got hurt in those two days (Amazing too).

    In order to summarize, I will ask myself this question: Has the course changed me? The answer is YES.

    How did I feel when sparring after The Iron Wire training? I will use a famous quote for that:

    "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." - Muhammad Ali.

    Thanks so much Sifu for sharing this living treasure and for keeping it alive. Joan Sije, what can I say? Thanks so much for the organization. You are another living treasure. Thanks Peter and Dominic for being part of the organization, thanks to Mark Siheng for asking Sifu to teach it in Ireland and thanks to all the Shaolin Wahnam Family members for making this course memorable.

    Shaolin Salute,

    Last edited by sancrica; 15th February 2012 at 09:45 PM.

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