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Thread: 18 Jewels of Shaolin Wahnam Chikung: 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong

  1. #11
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    Wisdom & Courage!

    Dear Sigung,

    Thank you so very much for having the courage and wisdom to teach qigong/nei gong to the public the way that you do. Sigung's willingness to go forth to not just recover, but research and create qigong exercises for expedient needs to cure illnesses reminds me of the brave doctors who would willingly test their own medicines on themselves before daring to prescribe them to the public. They put themselves "on the front lines" for the sake of healing people.

    Thank you very much!
    I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.

  2. #12
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    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
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    18 Jewels Question-Answer 2

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    Question 2

    Is White Crane Steps on Snow in any way related to the Art of Lightness?

    Tim


    The answer is yes and no.

    The term “White Crane Step on Snow” originally referred to a Shaolin kungfu pattern found in an exclusive kungfu set called “Essence of Shaolin” which I learned from Uncle Righteousness.

    Sometimes I showed this pattern in class when demonstrating combat application. Amongst many functions, it is useful for intercepting a sweeping kick and breaking an opponent’s leg.

    When I taught Praying Mantis in Bern a few years ago, I found the Praying Mantis Seven-Star Stance very effective in combat. I wondered why it was not popularly use in other kungfu styles. After thinking over the question, I cam to a conclusion that there was a nemesis to the Seven-Star Stance, and this nemesis was “White Crane Step on Snow”.

    In other words, if an opponent applies a Seven-Star Stance to break you shin, he would have his own leg broken if you respond with “White Crance Steps on Snow”, and it is difficult, but not impossible, to defend against this White Crane counter. Masters did not want to risk themselves, so the Seven-Star was not popular.

    To meet an expedient need of helping students overcome knee problems, I devised an exercise that resembled this kungfu pattern “White Crane Steps on Snow”. So I call the chi kung exercise “White Crane Steps on Snow” too.

    Hence, in these two aspects of kungfu application and chi kung healing, “White Crane Steps on Snow” is not related to the Art of Lightness.

    I practiced the Art of Lightness for some time in my young days. I could jump up to a height of about 4 feet on the spot. Unfortunately I did not continue the training after sustaining an injury, “White Crane Steps on Snow” was not one of the required exercises.

    However, when I taught the Eighteen Jewels recently )February 2013), “White Crane Steps on Snow” was one of the exercises. When I taught it, I meant it to be an exercise for the knees. But when students practiced this exercise in chi flow, I found that they became very agile. I was innovative and I encouraged them to run and jump using “White Crane Steps on Snow” while in chi flow.

    Jereom, for example, was very impressive. He could spring up a few feet quite effortlessly. I encouraged him to continue practicing with this exercise. Hopefully he may break the world high jump record one day! In this respect, “White Crane Steps on Snow” is related to the Art of Lightness. If I shall teach the Art of Lightness one day in future, I shall include the Art of Lightness in its training.

  3. #13
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    Leo Shaolin is offline Sifu Leonard Lackinger - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Austria
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    um... did Sifu just consider to maybe teach the art of lightness one day?

    Every time you think it can’t get any better, Sifu teaches you otherwise.

    Thank you for another great answer, Sifu!
    And thanks to Tim for asking the question and Daniel Siheng for starting the thread!

    There are still some questions left to fulfill the 10 offered answers, so I hope someone will continue the questioning.

    Best wishes,
    o\

    Leo

  4. #14
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    Dear Sifu,

    Thank you for the answers.

    I would really like to learn the Art of Lightness on day!! Alot of people don't understand the purpose, but I'd love to learn it.

    I can sometimes "think" the Art of Lightness, like the floating and controlling of energy in the body in the the pattern of the Crane when coming down, or focusing the mind to a point at the sky, and running up a wall, and attacking a horde of enemies from the sides this way
    Haha, these are just fantasies, but it's interesting nevertheless.

    Best wishes,
    Tim

  5. #15
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    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
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    Thank you all for your questions...and thank you Sifu for the answers:
    __________________________________________________ ____
    18 Jewels Question-Answer 3 - Part 1

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    Question 3

    If I understand correctly the Eighteen Jewels are relatively speaking of low-level qigong in our school. Looking at the different results/benefits participants have been sharing, they are incredible, far-reaching and profound. Why can so called low-level qigong exercises be so powerful and when and why do they sometimes suit better for healing?

    Binia



    Answer

    Low-level and high-level are relative terms.

    We can look at the relative qualification from three perspectives.

    In the first perspective when we compare different qigong arts practiced in our school, the Eighteen Jewels are low-level in relation to arts like the Eighteen-Lohan Art and Sinew Metamorphosis which are of a higher level.

    A progressive range of the arts practiced in our school from low-level to high-level is as follows:

    1. Eighteen Jewels (formerly called Eighteen Therapeutic Exercises)
    2. Eighteen Exercises for Health and Vitality
    3. Eighteen Lohan Hands
    4. Eighteen-Lohan Art
    5. Zhan Zhuang or Stance Training
    6. Abdominal Breathing
    7. Dan Tain Breathing
    8. Sinew Metamorphosis

    Please note that the above arts relate to techniques. Eighteen Jewels, for example, refer to 18 techniques, which have form and are visible.

    Arts like Generating Energy Flow and Cosmic Shower relate to skills. Generating Energy Flow, for example, refers to the skill of generating a chi flow, which has no form and is invisible, i.e. the chi flow has no definite form and we do not see the chi flow though we can see the bodily movement manifesting the chi flow.

    The difference between techniques and skills, which are directly relevant to whether an art is low-level or high-level will be explained later.

    In the second perspective when we compare Eighteen Jewels practiced in our school with qigong arts practiced in other schools, our Eighteen Jewels is high-level, producing incredible, far-reaching and profound results. This is probably the reason that prompted your question.

    Understandably, other people may be angry at my statement that our Eighteen Jewels, which we consider low-level compared to other arts in our school, is high-level compared to arts practiced by other schools. Honestly we never mean to be insulting, but this is a fact, and pointing out this fact is relevant and important in this question.

    Let us take two arts, A and B. By practice art A, practitioners can overcome illness like cancer and heart problems, but by practicing art B practitioners cannot over illness. Obviously art A is of a higher level than art B.

    By practicing art A, even if they are smaller in size, old or are female, practitioners have more vitality than others who are bigger in size, younger or are male, but by practicing art B practitioners do not have these benefits. Art A is of an even higher level than art B.

    By practicing art A practitioners who were previous stressful become relaxed, who were previously depressed become happy, who were previously angry become peaceful, but practicing art B practitioners do not have these benefits. Art A is further more higer level than art B.

    Eighteen Jewels have all the benefits credited to art A, but most other arts practiced in other schools do not have these benefits. They are like art D.

    The third perspective is skills. Not many practitioners differentiate between techniques and skills. By differentiating between techniques and skills, and apply this understanding to our training, we become incredibly cost-effective. Applying appropriate skills enables us to make a relative low-level art in our school like Eighteen Jewels to become high-level in its results.

  6. #16
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    Joan is offline Sifu Joan Browne - Chief Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
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    Dear Daniel,

    Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to ask Sifu questions on the 18 Jewels. Sifu taught them at the Healing course and OH BOY, did I love them

    I would encourage anybody who hasn't taken them before to do so.

    Dear Sifu,

    Thank you for this opportunity to gain more from your vast wisdom. The answers which you have already given have been truly wonderful and inspirational.

    Question:

    When I learned Shaking Fingers at the Healing course, I felt my scalp deeply massaged. It was deeper than my scalp, it went deep inside to the nerve endings and everything else that is in there. It also became incredibly itchy My students get the same effect!

    Would it be true to say that this 'simple' exercise would be good for people who suffer from Multiple Scleoris and Parkinsons and perhaps even Alzheimers?

    Thank you Sifu, Daniel and to everybody who has already asked great questions!

    With deepest respect,
    Joan
    Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


    Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2018 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

    A magic week of Chi Kung, Internal Force and Shaolin Kungfu
    Generating Energy Flow
    18 Lohan Arts
    Internal Force
    The Shaolin Pakua set- transmitted to Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit by his Sifu -Ho Fatt Nam .

    Sifujoan@gmail.com

  7. #17
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    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
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    18 Jewels Question-Answer 3 - Part 2

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    (Continued from Part 1)

    A progressive range from low-level to high-level of arts based on skills practiced in our school is as follows:

    1. Generating Energy Flow
    2. Self-Manifested Qi Movement
    3. Directing Chi Flow (to various parts of body)
    4. Massaging Internal Organs
    5. Developing Internal Force
    6. Cosmic Shower
    7. Cosmic Breathing
    8. Small Universe
    9, Big Universe (Merging with Cosmos)

    Normally the level of technique corresponds to the level of skills. For example, a low-level technique like one from the Eighteen Jewels will result in a low-level skill like generating energy flow. A medium-level technique like one from zhan zhuang will result in a medium-level skill like developing internal force. A high-level technique like dan tian breathing will result in a high-level skill like Small Universe.

    This has been the case of all practitioners since the past. This was the case when I learned qigong from my sifus and when I taught qigong in my early years. Indeed practitioners in general, including masters, do not differentiate between techniques and skills. They just practice the techniques and are usually unaware of the skills. For example, they practice Eighteen Lohan Hands and subsequently experience an energy flow, but they may not be aware of it like we do, and they do not give a name for it. They just practice dan tian breathing, and may pulsate with the Cosmos, but they may not be aware of it like we do, and they do not give a name for this skill.

    Now we have progressed to a ridiculous level where we can use a low-level technique to attain a high-level skill, or reversely use a high-level technique to operate a low-level skill. For example, we may use a low-level technique like Touching Toes from the Eighteen Jewels, and attain the Small Universe. We may use a high-level technique like Flicking Fingers from Sinew Metamorphosis to operate a low-level skill like self-manifested qi movement. It is ridiculous but true. I believe this is unprecedented in qigong history. Qigong geniuses in the past would have done this, but it was never taught as a coherent system in a school.

    It is because of our ability to use low-level techniques from the Eighteen Jewels to attain high-level skills that these exercises become so powerful and that we produce incredible, far-reaching and profound results like developing a lot of internal force and mental clarity, and expanding into the Cosmos.

    The Eighteen Jewels are also very suitable for healing because we can also operate the techniques at relatively low-level skills like generating energy flow, self-manifested qi movement and massaging internal organs. In fact these were the skill level the techniques were meant for when I first invented them. It was later that I operated them at higher skill levels, and taught students how to do so.

    These techniques are more suitable that other techniques because it was precisely when I found the other techniques insufficient in meeting certain needs of patients that I invented them. For example when I used techniques from the Eighteen Lohan Hands, which I normally did, it took my patients a longer time to enter self-manifested qi movement, and the movement was not vigorous. So I invented “Double Dragon” and “Fish Flip” for this purpose. The self-manifested qi movement came faster, and it was more vigorous.

    When I wanted to help patients push out blockage down their legs, I could use “Three Level to Ground” or “Deep Knee Bend” from the Eighteen Lohan Hands. But I found that these techniques focused more on the knees rather than on pushing blockage down the legs. So invented “Bear Walk” which p[rodced the effect more efficiently. I am very happy that I invented “Bear Walk”. I have used “Bear Walk” frequently to help patients on wheel-chairs and walker to walk and run again unaided.

    These technique are actually more valuable than real jewels even when operated at a relatively low level of skills!

  8. #18
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    Thank you very much for your answer(s) Sigung. It is heart-warming and inspirational to realize how the 18 Jewels came to live and how they can change our own lives for good in becoming healthy and happy persons. I do hope that many more may experience the beauty and depths of the Jewels by themselves. Thank you to everyone for asking questions relating to these wonderful techniques!

  9. #19
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    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
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    Another Jewel from Sifu:

    18 Jewels Question-Answer 4 - Part 1

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    Question 4

    If students practice techniques from the 18 Jewels, and afterwards don't have a chi flow but just stand still, is there any harm? And does this apply to other types of Chi Kung and also to performing Kung Fu sets?

    Sifu Mark Blohm



    Answer

    Firstly we need to be clear of the term “chi flow”.

    For convenience we may define the term “chi flow” under two main categories, its wide interpretation and its narrow interpretation.

    In its wide interpretation, the term is self-explanatory. Chi flow refers to chi flowing in a person’s body.

    Actually, chi is flowing in every living person, irrespective of whether he practices chi kung. If the chi flow is interrupted, he becomes sick or in pain. If the chi stops flowing, he is dead.

    But this is not the meaning we refer to even when we use the wide interpretation. We refer to an increase in the flow as a result of his chi kung training.

    The increase of flow may be just a little or a lot, and it may take a long time or a short time. If the increase is just a little and takes a long time, as in low-level chi kung, it is not obvious, but we still regard it as chi flow in its wide interpretation.

    If the increase is a lot and occurs in a short time, as in high-level chi kung, it is usually obvious and is manifested as chi flow movements. Sometimes the movements are gentle, like swaying about while standing on a spot. Sometimes the movements are vigorous, like jumping about and rolling on the floor.

    Irrespective of whether the chi flow movements are gentle or vigorous, so long as we can see the chi flow movements, we refer to this as chi flow in its narrow interpretation. In fact, this is how we generally use the tern “chi flow”.

    It is also possible that chi is flowing powerfully inside a practitioner’s body but it is not manifested outwardly as chi flow movements. In this case we refer to it as chi flow in its wide interpretation.

    To sum up, if the chi flow is not manifested outwardly as chi flow movements, we refer to it as chi flow in its wide interpretation. If it is manifested outwardly as chi flow movements, we refer to it as chi flow in its narrow interpretation. Until we have new terms to denote these two different types of chi flow, we have to be the term chi flow in its wide interpretation or narrow interpretation.

    We take some time to explain how we use the term “chi flow” because the term is widely used by us but seldom used by other practitioners, now as well as in the past! If you check classical Chinese chi kung literature, you will not find the term “chi flow” described as a genre in Chinese, which is literally “qi liu”. If you check modern chi kung literature in English, apart from ours, you will also not find the term “chi flow” described as a genre.

    Why is this so? It is because chi flow is a phenomenon very common to us. It has become a hallmark of our chi kung as well as kungfu training. But chi flow manifested with chi flow movements, i.e. chi flow in its narrow interpretation, seldom happens now and seldom happened in the past to other practitioners!

    There is a type of chi kung with outward manifested chi flow movements, now as well as in the past. But its practitioners do not call it chi flow, they call it self-manifested chi movement, or zi fa dong gong in Chinese. This is a modern term. In the past, it was called by the name of the art it was practiced, namely Five-Animal Play, or wu xing si in Chinese.

    When I first wrote “The Art of Chi Kung”, I described this phenomenon, which was very effective in helping students overcome pain and illness, as self-induced chi flow. Students often moved about vigorously, sometimes making interesting sounds.

    The movements as a result of self-induced chi flow appeared to be spontaneous. For example, some students might jump about, hit themselves hard but without any harm, or roll on the floor. The students did not voluntarily make these extra-ordinary movements. The movements spontaneously came about due to vigorous chi flow inside their body. But the practitioners had control over these movements. They could slow down or stop the extra-ordinary movements if they wanted.

    (Part 2 follows)

  10. #20
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    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
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    18 Jewels Question-Answer 4 - Part 2

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    (Continued from Part 1)

    Self-induced chi flow occurred as a result of performing techniques from the Eighteen Lohan Hands. Later I devised some exercises, which formed part of the Eighteen Jewels, to speed up these extra-ordinary movements and make them more vigorous.

    A senior student commented that other chi flow movements, which were gentler and less extra-ordinary, like swaying gently after practicing Abdominal Breathing, were also self-induced. Hence he suggested that self-induced chi flow did not refer just to these spontaneous, extra-ordinary movements.

    This prompted me to change the term to self-manifested chi movement, which was a translation of the already existing “zi fa dong gong”. Since then I have used the term “chi flow”, without the qualifier “self-induced”, in a wider sense to include any flow of energy, with or without outward manifested movements.

    The closest term in Chinese classical chi kung literature for chi flow is “xing qi”, which means “circulating energy”, in contrast to “yang qi”, which is “nourishing energy”. Please note that the “yang” in “yang qi” is different from the “yang” in “yin-yang”. However, “xing qi” or circulating energy is not exactly the same as “chi flow” as we often use the term, especially with outward manifested chi flow movements.

    With this background knowledge, we can now answer with some insight the questions asked.

    If students practice techniques from the 18 Jewels, and afterwards do not have a chi flow but just stand still, irrespective of whether “chi flow” is taken in its wide interpretation without outward manifested movement, or in its narrow interpretation with outward manifested movement, there is no harm.

    When chi flow is taken in its wide interpretation, which means there is no energy flow inside a practitioner’s body, the techniques are performed not as chi kung but as gentle physical exercise. This indeed is the situation of more than 80% of chi kung practitioners the world over, regardless of what chi kung techniques they practice.

    The techniques are correctly and sometimes beautifully performed according to their form, but the practitioners lack the skills to generate a chi flow. Recently I discovered that it is the chi flow, not the techniques, that give the benefits of practicing chi kung. In other words, if they do not have chi flow, even when the techniques are correctly performed according to their form, the practitioners will not overcome pain and illness, and not attain good health, vitality and longevity regardless of how long they may have practiced their exercises.

    Hence, if there is no chi flowing inside the practitioners’ body, there is no harm, but there is also no benefit. This is true provided, of course, the practitioners perform their techniques correctly. If they practice the techniques wrongly, like straining their muscles or over-working their organs, there will be harm.

    The harm is not due to their not having chi flow, but due to their wrong training. But if they have a chi flow, especially a vigorous one with manifested movements, the harmful effects due to their wrong training will be overcome by the chi flow.

    There must be chi flow in its wide interpretation before chi flow in its narrow interpretation can follow. In other words, if there is no chi flowing inside a practitioner’s body, logically there will be no outward manifestation of chi flow movements due to the internal chi flow.

    If there is chi flowing inside a practitioner’s body, and if he is relaxed and not thinking of any thoughts, outward chi flow movements will be manifested. In classical terms, this is expressed as “extreme quiescence generates movement”. Usually, but not always, the more vigorous the internal chi flow is, the more vigorous will be the manifestation of external movements, unless the practitioner controls or modify the movements.

    Is it harmful if after practicing techniques from the Eighteen Jewels or any chi kung exercises, students do not go into chi flow manifested with external movements but just stand still? No, is no harm.

    Indeed, this is the normal way people practice chi kung. As a result of performing any chi kung techniques correctly, chi flows inside their body. The chi flow inside their body normally does not manifest as vigorous outward movements. Sometimes it may manifest as gentle movements, like swaying gently, but not as vigorous movements like swinging their arms wildly, hopping about or performing graceful dancelike actions, often with making interesting sounds.

    (Part 3 follows)

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