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Thread: The 36 Strategies! : 10 Questions

  1. #21
    Charles David's Avatar
    Charles David is offline Sifu Charles Chalmers - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    I am very happy to see Sifu counter the misperception that the thirty six strategies are somehow unsrupulous. The following quote I find especially wonderful:

    "Yet, looking back with hindsight in my healing work I often use the strategy, Deceive Heaven to Cross Sea. The title of this strategy is not quite appropriate here as it connotes a sense of deception. It would be more appropriate to call it Admire Plum Quench Thirst, which connotes a sense of inspiration, and is actually another name for this type of strategy. When someone couldn’t stand unassisted, I told him to imagine how wonderful if would be when he could walk and run unaided."

    Looking Forward to Many More Good Things,


    Charles
    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam

  2. #22
    Joan's Avatar
    Joan is offline Sifu Joan Browne - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
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    A treat for Saturday morning!

    Dear Family,

    Dear Roland and Chas, thank you for your comments, I am glad that you are enjoying Sifu's answers

    It gives me great pleasure to post Sifu's answer to Question 2 from Santi.


    Question 2

    I must be sincere. Before this course was coming I didn't even know that "The 36 strategies" existed. I read a lot about "The Art of War" because it is world famous and very extended. So, What makes "The 36 strategies" so special?

    Santiago


    Answer 2

    In the world the Art of War is more famous, but in Chinese societies both inside and outside China the Thirty Strategies are more well-known. During conversations, Chinese often mention the names of some of the strategies, such as Rob While Fire is Burning or Borrow Knife to Kill Another like common sayings though they may not know about the strategies.

    Strategies in the Thirty Strategies are different from strategies in the Art of War. The 36 strategies are called ji in Chinese, which means tricks for particular occasions. The strategies in the Art of War are called fa, which means overall plans of action.

    The Thirty Six Strategies are special because they consist of 36 different tricks of an extensive variety that spanned across many centuries. One learns not just 36 tricks themselves but the principles behind the tricks that give rise to countless other tricks which because of their extensive variety can be used for any situations. In other words when you are familiar with these 36 tricks and their principles, you can have any tricks for any occasions.

    Let us take an example of the trick, Rob While Fire is Burning. This strategy came from the famous novel, Journey to the West. While journeying to the India to get sutras back to China, the Venerable Tripitaka and his disciple, the Monkey God, stayed a night in a temple in a wilderness. The abbot knew that Tripitaka had a magnificent rob presented to him by the Tang Emperor. He requested Tripitaka to show him the rob. But seeing the robe was so magnificent that he became greedy and wanted the robe for himself.

    He thought of a trick. He said that he was old and feeble and could not see the robe properly. He requested that Tripitaka lend him the robe for a night so that he could admire it in his own room. Being an embodiment of kindness, Tripitaka consented.

    The abbot called his monks together to scheme to have the robe for himself. A monk suggested that they set on fire the room in which Tripitaka and Monkey God were sleeping. While the monks were preparing the fire, Monkey God changed himself into a bee, flew out of the room and discovered the scheme. With a few somersaults he landed in heaven and borrowed a fire-prevention shield from a Heavenly Kings.

    With the fire-protection shield, no fire could harm Tripitaka and Monkey God. Monkey God decided to play a little prank on the monks. He gently blew on the fire with the result that now the whole temple was on fire with the monks busy attempting to stop it.

    In a nearly cave, known as Black Wind Cave, lived a titan called Black Wind Titan. This titan was a friend of the abbot and frequently visited the temple. Seeing the temple on fire, he flew over to help to put out the fire. But he chanced upon the magnificent robe. He too became greedy. He just leisurely took the robe while the fire was burning.

    The temple was burnt to the ground. Of course Tripitaka and Monkey God were safe. Eventually Monkey God got back the magnificent robe for his master.

    Cao Cao, the famous prime-minister-cum-general of the Three Kingdom Period made good use of this strategy, Rob While Fire is Burning. He led at attack on the territories of Yun Tan. Yun Tan sought the help of his younger brother, Yun Xiang. Despite numerous attempts, Cao Cao could not defeat the combined armies of Yun Tan and Yun Xiang. So Cao Cao and the attacking force left.

    Soon disagreement broke out between Yun Tan and Yun Xiang. It became so bad that Yun Tan sought the help of Cao Cao to protect him. Cao Cao exploited the situation. Pacifying Yun Tan, Cao Cao led his attacking force against Yun Xiang and vanquished him. Later, using an excuse he also vanquished Yun Tan.

    In the Art of War, Sun Tzu described this principle as “luan er bai zi”, which literally means “troubled, then defeat it”. When a state is in trouble, it is good time to vanquish it. Sun Tzu categorized three types of trouble – internal disorder, external attack, and combination of internal and external trouble. I learned an invaluable lesson while studying ancient world history in Form Six. The great Roman Empire fell because of internal disorder and external attack. Internal disorder was the more important factor. External attack just sealed its fall.

    We should all learn an invaluable lesson from here. In future if Shaolin Wahnam ever crumbled, it would be due to internal disorder. We must all guard against this.

    END

    below is picture of Cao Cao
    Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


    Valentine's Smile from the Heart Festival 2017 IRELAND with world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

    A magic week of Chi Kung, Internal Force Training and Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan
    Generating Energy Flow
    Bone Marrow Cleansing
    One Finger Shooting Zen
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    Sifujoan@gmail.com

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  3. #23
    Mark Blohm's Avatar
    Mark Blohm is offline Sifu Mark Blohm - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Taiwan
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    Dear Sijie,

    It is a wonderful treat.

    Thank you Sifu.
    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

  4. #24
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    Great thread!!!

    Thank you, Sijie.

    Thank you, Sifu!
    Jeffrey Segal

  5. #25
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    Thank You very much Sifu and Sije for this thread.

    I am really looking forward to this course.
    I remember Sifu's teaching and the way he taught at the Healing Course and was really blown away by it.
    I get the feeling this will be no different.

    What a privilege it will be to attend the 36 Strategies Course.

    Shaolin Salute,
    Brendan

  6. #26
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    What a great thread! Thank you Sifu, and thank you Sije for these posts. Thanks everyone for asking the interesting questions.

    I feel so lucky to be attending this special course! What a year this will be!!!

    Best regards,
    Tim

  7. #27
    Joan's Avatar
    Joan is offline Sifu Joan Browne - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
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    Question/Answer 3

    Dear Family,

    Thank you for your very kind comments.

    I am also learning a lot by doing this and I am very grateful to Sifu for teaching these strategies in Ireland in February.
    As you can see from Sifu's answer to Dominic's question, these strategies have been used by 'All great strategists in warfare, government, business, industries, professions, home and all other aspects of life from ancient times right to the modern world'.

    and what we will learn on the course:

    'Great strategists in the past as well as in the present, in war, business and all walks of life have used the 36 strategies in numerous ways. The answer here gives some applications of just one strategy. At the course participants will interact and deliberate how these strategies can be used to enrich their lives'.



    How very blessed we are to learn directly from Sifu!


    Question 3

    My question is what famous strategists would have used the 36 Strategies in the past?

    Dominic.


    Answer

    All great strategists in warfare, government, business, industries, professions, home and all other aspects of life from ancient times right to the modern world have used the 36 strategies.

    Let us take the second strategy, Surround Wei to Save Zhao.

    It originated with the real even of the Qi army besieging the state of Wei to save the state of Zhao in the 3rd century before the Common Era, and it involved Sun Tzu, the author of the Art of War.

    Sun Tze was not the real name. Sun was the surname, and Tzu was a polite address for a highly respected master. There is a debate still going on whether the real person for the title Sun Tze was Sun Wu or his grandson, Sun Bin.

    This story of besieging Wei to save Zhou concerned Sun Bin. When the state of Zhao was attacked by the army of Wei, the King of Zhao asked help from his ally, the King of Qi. The King of Qi amassed his troops and was about to set out for the state of Zhao. The great strategist, Sun Bin, intervened. “My Lord,” he said, “you should not go to Zhao!”

    “We have to save our ally from being vanquished,” the King of Qi said.

    “We can achieve this objective not by going to Zhao but by besieging the capital of Wei,” Sun Bin advised. As Sun Bin had proven himself to be a great strategist, the King followed his advice.

    Learning that the Wei capital was being besieged, the Wei general withdrew his attack on Zhao and hurried back to Wei. Sun Bin had laid an ambush in a steep valley on the way, and the Wei army was devastated.

    In modern time, this strategy of Surround Wei to Save Zhou was employed in the annexation of the Sinai Peninsula by Israel. In 1956 Egypt nationalized and controlled the Suez Canal, which was earlier built by British and French capital. This resulted in serious conflict between Britain and France on one hand and Egypt on the other.

    Israel sent her defence minister and foreign minister to London and Paris to form an alliance. In October 1956 Israel attacked the Sinai Peninsula but was fiercely resisted by the Egyptian army. A few days later British and French bombers attacked many cities close to the Egyptian capital. This forced the Egyptian army to retreat to defend the capital, leaving Israel easily annexed Sinai in just a few days.

    The strategy is also skillfully employed in business. The making of huge profits by the housing industry in Singapore was a good example. Before 1990 the increase in housing prices was normal, about 3%. But by a skillful application of Surround Wei to Save Zhou, company strategists of the housing industry could raise housing prices to 41% in 1993!

    How did they do it? Did they raise the price of houses and market them in beautiful brochures? No, they artificially jacked up the price of land. They got sellers to sell their land, especially small pieces, at high prices, and they bought it! This created an impression that land was becoming scarce, with the result that people rushed to buy houses. The demand pushed housing prices rocketing high.

    Great strategists in the past as well as in the present, in war, business and all walks of life have used the 36 strategies in numerous ways. The answer here gives some applications of just one strategy. At the course participants will interact and deliberate how these strategies can be used to enrich their lives.

    End

    Below a picture of Sun Bin's Art of War
    Last edited by Joan; 14th January 2013 at 12:27 PM.
    Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


    Valentine's Smile from the Heart Festival 2017 IRELAND with world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

    A magic week of Chi Kung, Internal Force Training and Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan
    Generating Energy Flow
    Bone Marrow Cleansing
    One Finger Shooting Zen
    Pushing Hands .


    Sifujoan@gmail.com

    00 353 (0) 871212249

  8. #28
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    Wow, what a thread!
    Truly Grateful to Sije and Sigung for this & for the sharing.

    Can feel great things in this Thread!
    Thank You!
    Aaahhhhh!

  9. #29
    Joan's Avatar
    Joan is offline Sifu Joan Browne - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
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    Question/Answer 4

    Dear James,

    Thank you, I am glad that you are also enjoying it. The remaining answers are even more fantastic, if that is possible

    I feel that it wil be the 'sell out' course for this years Valentine's and I am very happy that students are not missing out on this fantastic opportunity provided by Sifu. It will enhance every single thing we do in life and business!

    So to Question 4! Thank you Leo and Thank you Sifu for another truly wonderful answer.


    Question 4

    The 10 Shaolin Laws teach us to be compassionate, helpful and fair to others.

    The 36 strategies aim at personal advantage and could be interpreted as “dirty tricks” and betrayal in a paradigm of high moral standards.

    How can the tricking of the 36 strategies be harmonized with the moral values of the 10 Shaolin Laws and does a morally aim (like helping oppressed people) legitimate dirty means

    Leo.


    Answer

    Like money and power, strategies or tricks are by themselves neutral. It is the intention and result of their application that are moral or immoral. Whether the 36 strategies aim only at personal advantage or at others’ advantage, whether they are dirty or clean, and whether they lead to betrayal or loyalty depends on the intention of the strategist and the result of his action.

    But it is true that for many people, money and power as well as the great advantage that comes with skillful use of strategies can easily corrupt. It is important that first we know this fact, and then guard against their corruption.

    Our Ten Shaolin Laws provide an excellent basis against such corruption. Everyone must follow the Ten Shaolin Laws before he (or she) can start learning our arts.

    One of the compliments paid to me for which I am proud of is a student (who is also an instructor) telling me, “Sifu, you are rich, but you haven’t changed.” Of course, what he meant when he said that I hadn’t changed was that I hadn’t become corrupted by money.

    I have changed for the better. Previously I could only encourage poor students to study hard. Now I can give them scholarships. Previously I can only give sympathy to poor people, now I can give them money on a routine basis.

    It is also worthy of note that it is good to aim at personal advantage. It is doing good. When one is sick and practices chi kung to get well, he is aiming at personal advantage, and it is doing good. When you develop internal force, you are aiming at personal advantage, and it is doing good.

    The 36 strategies not only give us personal advantage but also enable us to bring advantage to other people.

    Let us take an example of the strategy “Borrow Knife to Kill Another”. At surface meaning, it is evil, mainly because of the connotation of killing. And it is mean. Not only the strategist does not do the killing himself, but he gets someone else to do the killing.

    But the onus of the Thirty Six Strategies is not the actions themselves, but the principles underlying the actions. When a person employs an agent to sell a house or any product, and earns a profit, he employs this strategy. In this case, everyone benefits. A lot of companies use this strategy.

    There is another strategy that is similar, but has favorable connotation. It is Borrow a Body to Reincarnate, and it originated from the story of Immortal Li, our patron immortal.

    Immortal Li was a handsome scholar named Li Xuan. He practiced Taoist spiritual cultivation. One day he had to travel to heaven to meet Tai Shang Lao Jun, or the Supreme High Old Lord, a very high-level Taoist deity. He asked a disciple to look after his physical body while his spirit travelled to heaven. He told his disciple that if he did not return in seven days, the disciple could cremate the body.

    On the sixth day a messenger came to inform the disciple that his mother was critically sick and desired to see him before she died. At first the disciple hesitated, but persuaded by the messenger, he cremated his master’s body and left to see his mother.

    When Li Xuan came back on the seventh day, he had no body to enter. A lame beggar just died on a street. In his desperation, Li Xuan entered the beggar’s body and eventually became Immortal Li.

    Whle I was training with Sifu Ho Fatt Nam and Immortal Li often came down to help people, I was tempted to ask the immortal whether the story was true. My siheng, Ah Heng, who practiced Taoist cultivation, warned me seriously, “Don’t ever mention this story in front of Immortal Li!”

    “Why?”

    “It will make him very sad.”

    But this strategy of Borrow Body to Reincarnate has made many people very happy. In terms of national reserve, China is reputed to be the richest country in the world today (although many Chinese are still very poor). China has become rich because of this strategy. China does not have the capital or technology to industrialize, but she has a lot of land and people. So she opens to multinational corporations, which has a lot of capital and technology but lack cheap land and cheap labour.

    It is a win-win situation. Not only China and the multinational corporations benefit, you and me too. Now you can buy a shirt made in China for one-fifth the price it cost in Europe.

    END

    Below: The Ten Shaolin Laws

    1.Required to respect the master, honour the Moral Way and love fellow disciples as brothers and sisters.
    2.Required to train the Shaolin arts diligently, and as a pre-requisite, to be physically and mentally healthy.
    3.Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young.
    4.Required to uphold righteousness, and to be both wise and courageous.
    5.Forbidden to be ungrateful and unscrupulous, ignoring the Laws of man and heaven.
    6.Forbidden to rape, molest, do evil, steal, rob, abduct or cheat.
    7.Forbidden to associate with wicked people; forbidden to do any sorts of wickedness.
    8.Forbidden to abuse power, be it official or physical; forbidden to oppress the good and bully the kind.
    9.Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people.
    10.Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.
    Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


    Valentine's Smile from the Heart Festival 2017 IRELAND with world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

    A magic week of Chi Kung, Internal Force Training and Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan
    Generating Energy Flow
    Bone Marrow Cleansing
    One Finger Shooting Zen
    Pushing Hands .


    Sifujoan@gmail.com

    00 353 (0) 871212249

  10. #30
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    Dear Sifu,

    Wow what an incredible thread. The answers are simply amazing.

    I love the story of Guan Yin Bodhisattva using one of the strategies on Monkey God.

    It is beautiful to know that it is the intension behind the strategies that make them noble and it is great to see how much benefit they bring.

    I am so looking forward to this course.

    Thank you Sigung for these beautiful answers.

    Thank you Sifu for sharing them with us.

    Shaolin Salute,
    Dominic.

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