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Thread: Instructor Interviews!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Instructor Interviews!

    Dearest Certified Shaolin Wahnam Instructor,

    Would you like to be interviewed by me? If yes, then send me a PM!

    The purpose here is that as a professional instructor you benefit from publicity and on the other hand your customers would probably love to know more about you.

    First the interviews will be published here on the forum. Later they will be compiled with LaTeX and given a professional layout. Then you can handily include them in your professional portfolios and websites.

    The interview will be conducted through email, but I'm also considering VoIP as an unexplored future option. I am planning to present two to four rounds of questions. You will be getting the final say of the finished product, so that you are completely satisfied with the publication. Bearing that all in mind, please let me know how long interview you would like to have: should it fit on one A4 page or be longer.

    Please prepare a small biography (your picture included) with some details, so that I can know something of you beforehand. Also be prepared to receive many interesting questions which may or may not be very silly.

    With sincere respect,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Dear everyone,

    I am pleased to announce that two instructors have already agreed to have interviews!

    Yes, the offer for interviews is still valid in case you, some hesitant intructor, were wondering.

    Working on two interviews simultaneously is enough, so any further requests will get queued on first-come first-served basis. So book now! It's free and changing your mind later is also fine.

    With sincere respect,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    The First Interview Is Done!

    Dear readers,

    I am pleased to announce that the first interview is done and that I will be publishing it on Sunday. Who is that pioneering instructor? Stay tuned and find out soon!

    The magazine layout PDF version will be done later this year.

    With sincere respect,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Interview with Sifu Daniel Pérez

    Shaolin Wahnam is a worldwide school of Chi Kung (or Qigong), traditional Chinese martial arts (chiefly Shaolin Kungfu and Tai Chi Chuan/Taijiquan), and Zen. Its Grandmaster, Sifu Wong Kiew Kit, has certified special students around the world to become instructors and help him spread the legacy of Shaolin Arts throughout the world to deserving students. Sifu Daniel Pérez of Barcelona is one of these extraordinary people who have been invited to take on the task of enabling people to regain health and enhance their quality of life.


    When did you first hear the word Shaolin and how did you experience the mythology around it before becoming a student under a genuine Shaolin Grandmaster, Sifu Wong Kiew Kit?
    I guess it was when I started practicing Tai Chi Chuan in 1995. At that time I found it all fascinating. I read many books, good and bad, because at that time I had no criteria to compare. Yet I was very attracted to Chinese arts, Buddhism, Taoism, Kungfu, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Medicine. Almost all the time the word Shaolin kept appearing everywhere.
    How did you end up in a Sifu Wong’s course then? Was there anything about Shaolin Wahnam that stood out for some reason?
    Yes, I was working in a bookstore in 1998-99 when I discovered we had a short lived Chinese martial arts monthly magazine called Golden Dragon on our shelves. As I practiced these arts, in the moments that no clients were coming in I read all the magazines and came across an interview with Sifu Wong Kiew Kit. I was fascinated and convinced because he said exactly what I was experiencing: the essence was lost, modern Kungfu practitioners cannot fight, Tai Chi Chuan practitioners are not healthy, and Chi Kung practitioners never feel chi or energy. I thought to myself that he’s speaking about me!

    Can you please tell us something of your martial arts past?
    I was a Tai Chi Chuan practitioner for 5 years before I met Sifu Wong. Besides that I read a lot about Kungfu and exchanged sets with Choy-Li-Fatt and Wing Choon practitioners.
    Did you find your past with other martial arts beneficial later in Shaolin Wahnam? Are you still in regular contact with martial artists of other styles?
    They were beneficial in two aspects: I was familiar with the forms and I had discipline. Every once in a while I have had contact with a Choy-Li-Fatt master, a Wing Choon instructor, and a Tai Chi Chuan instructor, but I have no contact with my old school mates.

    The Shaolin Wahnam Institute is an international organization with members all around the world. Its students are also connected to each other by family titles which the traditional Chinese Kungfu culture upholds. What is your fondest memory with meeting members of your Shaolin family?
    My fondest memory is from a Summer Camp in 2000, in Segovia, near Madrid, where many who were to be instructors attended. I loved the atmosphere there.
    Since you are an instructor in Shaolin Wahnam, you are also a Sifu, literally meaning teacher-father. When and how did you get your instructor certification and how big change was it in your life? Was it natural for you to take on the new responsibility?
    I was offered to be an instructor in 2000, but I started in 2003. As I was already teaching before, the change was in quality. I became a much better teacher.

    Have you ever tended a garden or grown your own food? Is nature conservation close to your heart?
    I support natural conservation, but I have never grown my own food nor tended a garden, apart from watering my relatives’ plants.
    What is the most beautiful flower that you know? Is there some specific characteristic about it that lifts it above all other flowers in your eyes?
    Probably the orchid. I just find it very beautiful. There’s no special reason, but personally I tend to find all flowers beautiful. I feel an strong affinity with the vegetal world. I like trees and plants.

    Do you like detective fiction or any other type of literature?
    I love Science Fiction. I’m a big fan of Stanislaw Lem and others. I read a lot and its one of my hobbies, but normally what I read falls into three categories: 1) Chi Kung, Oriental Medicine, Kungfu and Buddhism, 2) Sci-Fi, and 3) Criminology.
    Can you name us a favorite of yours from each genre of literature? Have you ever read The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke? If so, how did you find it?
    Yes, I’ve read Arthur C. Clarke short stories of The Nine Billion Names of God and it was a lot of fun. Regarding my favorite works: The Castle, The Trial, and Amerika by Franz Kafka; 1984 by George Orwell; The Gods themselves by Isaac Asimov; The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem; At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft; The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq; Post Office, Factotum, Hot Water Music, and Septuagenarian Stew by C. Bukowski. And all these favorite spiritual classics: Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West, Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, Huineng’s Platform Sutra, and from anonymous authors: Diamond Sutra, The Secret of the Golden Flower, and Dhammapada.

    Life, history, and fiction can be conceptualized as big ifs. Do you have an interesting ’if’ in any of these three categories which you would like to explore, to see what consequences alternative choices could have produced?
    It’s a good question, but I’m afraid my answer will be a bit disappointing. I don’t like to think about “ifs.” I think the only thing you can get from the past are lessons, good and bad — and usually the bad ones will teach you the best lessons. Apart from that, “ifs” are past and you cannot change them.
    Many philosophies in the East and some in the West have conceptualized that life is like a never-ending stream which we shouldn’t really struggle against, but learn to let go and flow with it. How do you find it? Moreover, is there any difference between flowing with life and being a passive rag doll in life’s currents?
    Your question is a rhetoric one. Of course, there’s a difference between being passive and flowing with life. In my view, flowing with life means accept the past karma as you encounter it and go on. Also it means letting go of resentments and past traumas, but it never means not doing what you can do to improve your situation.

    The Eastern view of medicine is radically different from the Western paradigm which prominently focuses on isolating and removing disease causing agents. What was it like to first discover that the Western scientific thought might not be the entire picture, especially in terms of healing?
    It was refreshing. What I liked the most was the fact that a person was treated as a whole: it included the spirit or mind. It was less materialistic and more idealistic.
    Could you tell us if have you have learned any other healing traditions, besides Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung, and how they all fit together? Are healing traditions generally contradictory, or do they just complement each other in most cases?
    I’ve learned Oriental Medicine, especially Korean Acupuncture, Hand Acupuncture and Korean Constitutional medicine, but just now I’m starting my professional work. They complement each other very well because they all have the same theoretical foundation. The only difference is that in Acupuncture the most important factor for success is a good diagnosis, whereas in Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung you can do away with it. I also know a bit about Western Herbology, but I’ve almost never used it in my practice.

    None of us is an island. Every person may have come to realize that sometimes they need help or guidance from someone else. Do you think that divine providence is an essential factor in helping us, as individuals and societies, improve and get better?
    I guess you can name it that way. “Divine providence” may manifest as a person who inspires you by heart, a master, a difficult situation or anything else that serves to overcome some issue or just to evolve. Nevertheless, I also believe in self-power. You must have responsibility about your future.
    Self-development and seeking holistic fulfillment is an important concept in many human pursuits, perhaps most prominently in martial arts and spiritual traditions. Speaking of which, has your background in martial arts affected your perspective or interest in religion and spirituality?
    Definitely yes! I went from a young heavy metal and punk rock misfit kid only interested in booze and rebellion against everything, including religion, to a more centered person — as in how the Buddha taught about the Middle Way. Actually, I’ve never lost my old “rock’n’roll attitude” of questioning everything, but I’ve got rid of some of my stupidity — and continue to get rid of it. It’s the fact that Shaolin and Tai Chi Chuan are rooted in spiritual concepts what attracted me in a time of personal crisis. I find all world great religions describe the same in different words, although some organizations and followers bend their religion to become an authoritarian system to make them feel powerful or important for belonging to that “righteous” group. I’d say as Sifu Wong says: “I’m spiritual, not religious.”
    I recall some people have commented that such attitude is quite descriptive of Buddhism. Buddha’s teachings certainly have an important place in the history of Shaolin Arts. Do you have any experience in Buddhism and how does it fit together with what you have learned in Shaolin Wahnam?
    Yes, I have attended courses in many Buddhist centers in Barcelona, but I have learned more with Sifu Wong’s teachings. I have read many good books on the subject. I think it is Shaolin Wahnam’s Arts that made me understand Buddhism and made it alive for me. Our Kungfu, Chi Kung, and 10 Shaolin Laws are Dharma teachings, but there’s no need to put religious labels on them.

    What does the word “richness” mean to you?
    For me, it means openness and tolerance.
    How do you combat “poverty,” namely narrow-mindedness and intolerance, then? Because openness and tolerance are very subjective perspectives and broadly interpretable terms, can they not be abused for great harm?
    Everything good can be abused, especially in these days of post-truth and media brainwashing. For me, it begins with being considerate with other’s needs, likes and beliefs, even if they repulse you. Maybe one form of combating “poverty” is having an individual critical thought, not following things and trends just because they are politically correct, but trying to learn and understand others and what motivates their attitudes and actions.

    Do you have any long term plans how to use your practice to bring the best benefit to as many people as possible?
    I’ve been too lazy to think about long term plans. Now this is changing. I’ve realized I can’t achieve positive changes if I don’t have plans. So, the answer is yes.
    The siesta is over, it seems. Please Sifu Daniel, could you share us if there is something particularly exciting coming up? Is your school going to expand or anything such?
    It’s quite true, the siesta is over! For my school, I’m going to re-start with basic things such as marketing. More people can benefit from these wonderful arts if they know they are available. On the other hand, I’m going to spend more time in professional Acupuncture practice.

    Last question. Would you like to send greetings or otherwise remember someone close to your heart?
    Yes, my late father, I have come to realize how much I owe to him and what a good person he was. Too late I guess, but I know he’s in a heavenly paradise now. I want to send my greetings and gratitude to Sifu Wong, for his generosity, tolerance and teachings: he’s an important reason for me being able to enjoy internal arts everyday. Also, to a good teacher in Criminology and Psychology, and friend, Manuel Pozueco, who died at a young age last year.

    Thank you for kindly agreeing to be interviewed!
    Best regards and thank you very much for these lovely questions!

    Interview conducted by Olli Hartikainen, a student of Shaolin Wahnam Finland.
    Last edited by understanding; 28th May 2017 at 04:11 AM.

  5. #5
    Andrea's Avatar
    Andrea is offline Sifu Andrea Zilio - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Well done! I enjoyed reading this first interview.
    Thanks to both of you!

    Join our Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong Classes in Zürich and other Swiss locations

    Google+ :ürich/

  6. #6
    Daniel's Avatar
    Daniel is offline Sifu Daniel Perez - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Spain
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Thank you, Olli, for your wonderful and enjoyable interview!

  7. #7
    Anton S.'s Avatar
    Anton S. is offline Sifu Anton Schmick - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Germany
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hamburg / Frankfurt / Zürich
    Dear Olli and Daniel,

    thank you for the enjoyable reading! Great interview!!

    Best regards,
    Engage and maintain joyful practice!

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

    Anton Schmick
    Shaolin Wahnam Germany Nord

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