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Thread: 10 Question on "Essence of Shaolin"

  1. #21
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    Answer 3 part 2

    Let's see more:


    (Continued from Part 1)

    To have picture-perfect form is one of our basic skills in kungfu training. If you have attended my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course, which are a pre-requisite for attending the Essence of Shaolin course, you would have learnt the skill of picture-perfect form.

    But the techniques of Essence of Shaolin are not taught in my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course or Intensive Taijiquan Course. How is it, then, that having attended these courses, you would have the skill of picture-perfect form to perform the techniques in Essence of Shaolin? It is because having picture-perfect form is a basic skill, and once you have the basic skill, you can perform all other techniques, though in some sophisticated techniques you may have to pay particular attention to certain aspects of the skill. Similarly, once you have the basic skill of typing, you can type any documents, though in some sophisticated documents you may have to pay attention to certain aspects.

    You need some force besides picture-perfect form to apply the sophisticated techniques of Essence of Shaolin. Here, you have a big advantage that I did not have before. All our arts in Shaolin Wahnam now are triple-cultivation. Even if you did not practice any special force training methods, by practicing a kungfu set, you can develop some internal force.

    But being a pattern-set, i.e. all the 108 patterns in the set are individual patterns, not part of a combat sequence, Essence of Shaolin is not a choice set to develop internal force. It is a very advanced set for those who already have internal force. Examples of choice sets to develop internal force are “Lohan Asks the Way” for the force method, and “White Crane Flaps Wings” for the flow method, which are basic sets in our school. Examples of special force training methods are zhan zhuang or stance training, One-Finger Shooting Zen, and Lifting Water.

    Besides picture-perfect form and force, you also need speed to execute your techniques successfully. A good way is to be relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the faster you can perform an action. But for those who do not have internal force, they have to tense their muscles to have muscular strength. Hence, it is common for those who want to be fast, do not have strength. What about professional Boxers, they are quite fast? If you observe carefully, they are actually relaxed. They have developed internal force without their own knowing through years of dedicated training.

    But we have the magic of chi flow, which can enable you to be very fast, and also powerful. Those who attended my Dragon Strength course, would have learnt the skill of dragon speed which makes them very fast.

    However, unless you are lightning fast like applying dragon speed, sometimes you may have to slow down to apply your techniques successfully on your opponents. Although your movement may be slow, or slower, you must be flowing, not staccato. Taijiquan provides much practice in this area.

    Fluidity of movement is important in kungfu, and in daily life. I learned this important skill with my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, when performing patterns in the Four-Gate set in a staccato manner. “Perform the patterns in a sequence, use one breath for each sequence,” he advised.

    Without false modesty, I was a fast and smart learner. This statement alone contributed greatly to my kungfu performance and understanding. I was able to defeat many opponents, including professionals and masters, because I overwhelmed them with my combat sequences, which necessitated this skill.

    (Part 3 follows)

  2. #22
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    Answer 3 part 3

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    lets finish today the year 2016 as well as our 3rd answer. Enjoy!

    Happy New Year to you all,

    Dimitri.

    (Continued from Part 2)

    Techniques from Essence of Shaolin are so sophisticated that I could overcome opponents without consciously using tactics and strategies. But tactics and strategies are actually incorporated in the techniques, though practitioners of Essence of Shaolin may not be conscious of them. For example, in the first pattern of the set, “Show Dragon Hide Tiger”, the technique is used when an opponent attacks, especially with a thrust punch. In the second pattern, “Reverse Thunder Roll Heaven”, an attack is used as a feint, and when an opponent responds to the initial attack, the technique is used surprisingly on him.

    On the other hand, if opponents are very skillful, it will be helpful to use tactics and strategies consciously. In the first technique, you leave some openings for your opponent to attack. When he attacks, you strike him with “Show Dragon Side Tiger”. In the second technique, you feint an attack, which can be real if he fails to counter it. When he responds to your initial attack, you strike him with “Reverse Thunder Roll Heaven”.

    The benefits we gain from Essence of Shaolin in kungfu performance can be rewardingly applied to our daily life. As far as I know, we are the only school that does this consciously. Other masters may apply their kungfu benefits to their daily life, usually unconsciously, but they do not teach the beneficial transfer as a school.

    When we have attained picture-perfect form in our kungfu, we can also have picture-perfect form in whatever we do in our daily life. If your form is not picture-perfect in your daily activities, you can improve the form with the understanding from your kungfu training. For example, if you have been sitting slackly on your chair, you can now sit upright in a relaxed manner. If you have been using muscular strength of your arms to lift a heavy object, you can now do so by raising your stance. First you hold the heavy object firmly and lower your stance in picture-perfect form. Then you raise your stance, without raising your arms.

    Force is necessarily in our daily activities. Most people use mechanical strength in their daily activities, and they soon become tired. You can use chi flow and work well for a long time.

    Speed is also a necessary factor in daily life. A lot of people have missed their opportunities because they are slow. Sometimes, they are too hasty. You can apply “right timing” from your kungfu training, and in more sophisticated situations from Essence of Shaolin, to achieve success and happiness in your daily life.

    Fluidity of movement is very important in daily life. I have applied this principle to enhance many things I do in my daily activities. Many people have asked me how I can achieve so many things in my daily life. I usually reply that I apply kungfu and chi kung principles. Looking back, fluidity of movement is one of these important principles.

    The use of tactics and strategies is very beneficial in our daily life. We do not wait for others to make changes if situations are less than satisfactory. As we are so blessed to be trained in Shaolin Wahnam arts, we are leaders, ot followers, and we apply tactics and strategies in a win-win manner.

    If, for example, you find that a chair at your work place is misplaced, you don’t wait for others to place it back properly; you do it yourself. If you find that your wife, husband or housemate is depressed, you don’t wait for him or her to be cheerful again, you cheer him or her with appropriate words or actions.

    These are minor examples, but if you work on them, you will be habitual in changing problems into opportunities for improvement, and major problems in daily life will become simple.

    The Essence of Shaolin course will give opportunities for such improvements in daily life.

    <End>

  3. #23
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    Answer 4

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    lets enjoy Answer 4.

    With shaolin salute,
    Dimitri.

    Question 4

    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?

    Sifu Markus Kahila


    Answer

    There are no signature or essential patterns in the Essence of Shaolin set because all the patterns are special. All the patterns are selected to be included in the Essence of Shaolin set because of their special, sophistivated or marvelous combat application.

    If any one of the 108 patterns is used in an ordinary set in the same way as it is used in the Essence of Shaolin, that pattern will become a signature or essential pattern.

    Take the first pattern of the Essence of Shaolin set, “Show Dragon Conceal Tiger”. This pattern is found in many other kungfu sets in an ordinary way. Most practitioners regard it as a poise pattern. So it is not a signature or essential pattern. But if it is used in the way in Essence of Shaolin, it becomes very special. It will become a signature pattern of that set.

    Let us take another pattern, “Dragons Return to Den”, which is found in every kungfu set, often called “Two Tigers at Ready”. It is bringing two hands of a practitioner to his waist after completing a pattern, like bringing back his two hands after a Shaolin greeting at the start of a Shaolin kungfu set. There is nothing special about this movement, so it is not a signature pattern.

    But if this pattern, “Dragons Return to Den” or “Two Tigers at Ready”, is used in a special way like in Essence of Shaolin, it becomes a signature pattern. All the patterns in Essence of Shaolin are signature patterns as they are used in very special or sophisticated ways. But because all of them are special by themselves, they become normal when considered as a whole.

    We can have an analogy using our school, although other people may think we are being arrogant. As I have mentioned often, that is their problem.

    Having chi flow or having internal force is normal in our school. It is nothing special. Every student in our school has chi flow. Every student in our school has internal force.

    If a student of our school goes to another school, he comes very special. No other students in another school have chi flow. No other students have internal force. He is the only one to have chi flow and internal force.

    It is the same with Essence of Shaolin. Every pattern in the set is special, but because all the patterns are special, they become normal or common.

    In the same way it is not easy for me to identify my favorite patterns in Essence of Shaolin. Because every one of the patterns in the set can be used in a special way, it is not easy for me to say which one is more special.

    Moreover, and I really don’t mean to be boastful, I didn’t have to use these patterns in a special way to defeat my opponents in sparring or actual fighting, except in some special occasions like when I used “Hook-Spring Chop Sword” and “Fu Sing Kicks Bushel”, which were special techniques for hook-spring leg and no-shadow kicks.

    However, if I have to pick some favorites, I would, quite randomly, mention the following patterns: Show Dragon Conceal Tiger, Second Auntie Catches Crab, and Cross Step Horse-Riding. The first pattern contributes to dim mark, which is regarded as a lost art by many people but is still alive in our school; the second pattern contributes to chin-na, which is one of my specialties; and the third pattern demonstrates the marvelous, causing even opponents to exclaim why they didn’t think of such application before.

    The Essence of Shaolin not only enabled me to understand combat application deeply, but to apply techniques in a marvelous way I can look at any kungfu set, including one that I have not seen before, and tell the combat application of every pattern. Most kungfu practitioners do not know the combat application of most patterns in their sets. I am glad that a few instructors and senior students have this ability. Essence of Shaolin may not be the only kungfu set that develops this ability, but it is certainly very effective in this development.

    A more important and deeper benefit of Essence of Shaolin is to apply any kungfu techniques, which may not necessary from Essence of Shaolin, in a marvelous way. There are 108 patterns in Essence of Shaolin, which means there are 108 marvelous ways to apply these techniques! If a practitioner knows just 3 or 4 marvelous ways, he has the material to arrive at the marvelous level, which is the highest level.

    The Essence of Shaolin is once-in-a-life-time course, and I do not intend to repeat it.

    <End>

  4. #24
    Nessa is offline Sifu Nessa Kahila - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Finland
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    Thank you Dimitri for maintaining this thread. And thank you Sifu for the inspiring answers!

    I am really looking forward to this course.


    Best regards,

    Nessa
    Nessa Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland

    www.shaolin-nordic.com


  5. #25
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    Answer 5 part 1

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    lets carry on with answer 5. Keep smile from your heart.

    With shaolin salute,

    Dimitri.

    Question 5

    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.

    Sifu Leonard Lackinger


    Answer

    The Essence of Shaolin course is once-in-a-lifetime as I am not going to offer this course again. It was Uncle Righteousness legendary set. Uncle Righteousness was his honorable nickname, his real name was Lai Chin Wah. He was called Uncle Righteouess for his sense of righteousness and his kungfu to uphold righteousness.

    Uncle Righteousness was an excellent fighter – at a time when the fist, not law, ruled the day. Certainly he was not called Uncle Righteousness for no reason. But I believe he did not need techniques from Essence of Shaolin to defeat his opponents. He was such a good fighter that even ordinary techniques could make him victorious.

    But Uncle Righteousness had excellent fighting skills, and Essence of Shaolin certainly contributed much to his fighting skills. Essence of Shaolin was Uncle Righteousness’ legendary set, and I was very lucky to be the only student to be taught this legendary set.

    After Uncle Righteousness had gone back to heaven, many masters asked me to teach them this legendary set, but at that time I wanted to reserve it for my chosen successor. Now I have decided to teach it to deserving students.

    Many of the patterns in Essence of Shaolin are highly developed or sophisticated, but there are also many that are apparently simple, like Show Dragon Hide Tiger, Precious Duck Swims through Lotus, and Advance with Triple Punch. These patterns are found in most kungfu sets.

    However, it is how they are used that make them highly developed or sophisticated. Most kungfu practitioners, even advanced ones, for example, would use Show Dragon Hide Tiger as a poise pattern, and Precious Duck Swims through Lotus and Advance with Triple Punch as ordinary attack patterns.

    In Essence of Shaolin, these patterns are used in a very special way which make them very special. There are 108 patterns in Essence of Shaolin. They are specially selected for their marvelous application, including the apparently simple looking ones. That is why the set is called Essence of Shaolin. It contains the essence of Shaolin Kungfu, and by extension all martial arts.

    Essence of Shaolin reminds me of the famous Chinese saying that if someone has studied the 300 poems of the Tang Dynasty, which is sometimes called the Golden Age of Chinese civilization, he can recite poetry like a poet even if he has no poetic talents. Of course, he must know some rudiments of Chinese poetry. If he does not even know what poetry is, he cannot recite the poems like a poet.

    If someone has learnt the 108 combat applications of the 108 patterns of Essence of Shaolin , he can apply them in a marvelous way, even if he has no marvelous talents. Of course, he must know some rudiments of kungfu. If he is unable to perform a simple pattern well, he will be unable to perform any of the combat applications like a high-level master who has reached a marvelous level.

    (Part 2 follows)

  6. #26
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    Answer 5 part 2

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    don't forget to reminder Sigung at the "Essence of Shaolin" course about what you will read next.

    With shaolin salute,

    Dimitri.

    (Continued from Part 1)

    The patterns used in a marvelous way are taught in combat sequences. There are 108 patterns in the set, so there are 108 combat sequences. To attain a marvelous level, one does not need to use the 108 applications. If he can apply two or three patterns in a marvelous way, that is quite sufficient to make him attain the level of the marvelous.

    On the other hand, if someone has learnt 108 sequences applied in a marvelous way, or even a quarter of them, he become so used to them that he becomes marvelous, not only in applying patterns form Essence of Shaolin, but also any kungfu patterns, and if he is smart in anything in his daily life.

    Do you know the secret why our Shaolin Wahnam family members can use kungfu techniques for combat in just a few days in my intensive kungfu courses, whereas other people may not be able to do so after raining for many years? I had the inspiration from Douglas, the most senior Shaolin Wahnam practitioner in Europe.

    Douglas, who is American, speaks Spanish like a native. Once I asked him how he learned Spanish. He told me that he learned it in about a week when he first landed in Spain.

    “About a week?” I asked.

    “Yes,” he said. “I paid a lot of money to a company. The company sent a lady teacher who spoke only Spanish. So every day for a week, I spoke Spanish, ate Spaiish, and slept Spanish.”

    I forgot to ask him whether the lady teacher was young and pretty.

    So, if a student practices 108 combat sequences in an ordinary way, he becomes ordinary. If he practices the combat sequences in a marvelous way, he becomes marvelous.

    Course participants will also have a good opportunity to use different types of force when using combat application in a marvelous way. Although Essence of Shaolin focuses on techniques, because those who attend the course already have internal force, I shall also spend some time to use selected patterns from the set to develop various types of internal force. In the unlikelihood that I forget, can you or some kind soul please remind me?

    Combat efficiency is the most basic of any kungfu training. Combat efficiency in a marvelous way is an once-in-a life-time opportunity.

    But we are elite in Shaolin Wahnam. The Essence of Shaolin course will not only make us combat efficient in a marvelous way, but also contribute greatly to our health, vitality, longevity, peak performance, mental clarity and spiritual joys. Other arts in our school also bring us these wonderful benefits, but the Essence of Shaolin course will enable us to attain these benefits in a marvelous way.

    <End>

  7. #27
    Leo Shaolin's Avatar
    Leo Shaolin is offline Sifu Leonard Lackinger - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Austria
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    Dear Sifu,

    Thank you very much for your marvelous answer!

    And thank you to Dimitri for utilizing the thread.

    Best wishes,

    Leo
    Sifu Leonard Lackinger

    Shaolin Wahnam Wien

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  8. #28
    Markus Kahila's Avatar
    Markus Kahila is offline Sifu Markus Kahila - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Finland
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    Thank you for your generous answer, Sifu.


    Best wishes,
    Markus Kahila
    Shaolin Nordic Finland

    www.shaolin-nordic.com


  9. #29
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    Answer 6

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    here's our answer 6, enjoy it.


    With shaolin salute,
    Dimitri.

    Question 6

    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


    Answer

    Because of changing times, I have to change my plans accordingly, althought the basic principles remain the same.

    An example of changing times is that when I was young, or younger as I am still young at over 70, I dated Simu, my wife. Then I married her and had children. Now I have grandchildren. Dating a beautiful girl is very different from playing with grandchildren.

    An example that my basic principles remain the same despite these changing times is my deep respect for my sifus. I had great respect for my sifus when I was their student. I still have great respect for my sifus now when I have become the grandmaster of our school.

    When I first learned Essence of Shaolin from my first sifu, Uncle Righteousness, many people, who were usually my seniors, asked me to teach them this set. I told them that I was not qualified, and requested them to ask Uncle Righteousness, which they dared not.

    When I established Shaolin Wahnam Association, many people also asked me to teach them Essence of Shaolin. I told them I would reserve the set for my chosen successor. It was a tradition to have one chosen successor at that time.

    Now that I have established Shaolin Wahnam Institute, there are may worthy disciples who can spread our Shaolin Wahnam arts all over the world. I feel it is unfair to name only one chosen successor.

    All these three reasons regarding Essence of Shaolin were truthful. When I first inherited Essence of Shaolin from Uncle Righteouness, I felt unqualified to teach it. When I was the grandmaster of Shaolin Wahnam Association, I wanted to pass the art to a chosen successor. Now I want to transmit the art to deserving disciples irrespective of race, culture and religion.

    This idea of having many disciples to pass on our Shaolin Wahnam arts instead of choosing only one successor was inspired by the Venerable Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of Zen. Hui Neng had many worthy disciples, and many of them could succeed him to spread the teachings and benefits of Zen. So he did not name a specific successor, but asked his worthy disciples to spread Zen.

    Before Hui Neng, each patriarch chose one disciple to succeed him. The First Patriarch was Bodhidharma, the second Hui Ke, the third Seng Can, the fourth Dao Xin, the fifth Hong Ren, and the sixth Hui Neng. All the first four patriarchs lived and taught at the Shaolin Monastery on Song Mountain in Henan Province. Hong Ren, the Fifth Patriarch, mainly taught Zen at Huang Mei, or Yellow Plum. Hui Neng mainly taught Zen at Nanhua Temple in Guangdong Province in south China.

    I was sincere when I said I wanted to retire from active public teaching. But changing times make me modify my original aim. Although many disciples are established, there are still new ones who need my support and guidance, without which they may not be able to stand on their own. Moreover, I still have some prestigious sets to pass on to succeeding disciples. Essence of Shaolin is the last that I would want to be passed on to posterity before my public retirement. There are a few other sets, but even if they are not passed to posterity, it is alright, but not Essence of Shaolin.

    <End>

  10. #30
    Charles David's Avatar
    Charles David is offline Sifu Charles Chalmers - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Canada
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    As Ever, thank you Sifu!


    Humbly,


    Charles
    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam

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