Ethics of Chinese Martial Art:
Chinese Martial Art has a Glorious Tradition of 1500 years of Morality, Fidelity, Reverence as well as Hard work & Worship. This art contains many Rules, Ideals & Philosophy. It also develops compassion to help others. Whoever is willing to use it as a Brutal Power to terrorize the World & Mankind are Unfit to learn Chinese Martial Art.
i) Chen Buddhism (Northern Shaolin Temple)
ii) Taoism or Daoism (Wudang Taoist Temple)
Amituofo! (Buddha Bless You !!!)
What is Gong-Fu ?
It is all about Study, learning or practice that requires patience, energy & time, and any discipline or skill achieved through hard work & practice.
What is Wu-Shu ?
A literal translation of the Chinese word indicates Wu = Military Shu = Discipline.
Chinese martial art is referred to as Zhongguo Wu Shu, or simply Wu-Shu. Primarily for Exhibition,Demonstration & Sports.
Forms: Unarmed and Armed
Purpose: Self-Defense, Law-Enforcement, Military etc.
Basic meaning of Shaolin is Young Forest (according to some). Wu Shu has the Shaolin forms of the Northern and Southern Shaolin Monasteries (Temple). And the Wu Dang forms invented in the region of Wu-Dang (a small mountain range in the northwestern part of Hubei, China, south of Shiyan) .
5 major Shaolin Gong Fu schools :
There are five major schools of Shaolin Kung Fu: Song Mountain Shaolin, Fujian Shaolin, Guangdong Shaolin, Siquan Shaolin and Hubei Shaolin.It started with small schools and styles within the Shaolin art. Nowadays, we can say they are Northern and Southern Shaolin. The Shaolin is rich and colorful in its contents. Some of main Boxing routines include Dahong quan (Quan means Boxing), Xiaohong Quan, Pao Quan, Luohan Quan, Zhaoyang Quan, Tongbei Quan, Plum Blossom Quan, Long Quan, Yin Quan, Soft Quan, and others lots of kinds of application an combats skills. Some of them are relevant with health keeping Kung Fu, medicine, and Qi Gong, etc., they are all parts of very important cultural tradition. (***Some of these Quans are Extinct).
Chinese Gong Fu Morality
Chinese Kung Fu is a traditional and cultural treasure of Chinese nation, as well as the magic culture pursued and admired internationally. The charm of martial arts is due to its deep cultural connotation. Now, Chinese martial arts have been spreading across the world with the development of the globalization.
If anyone wants to practice Martial arts well, you must understand martial arts’ morality. Only those who possess excellent moral characters can have a positive heart and a more clear, broad, and unselfish mind.. They are capable of abandoning all distracting thoughts and external disturbances to practice hard and focus on exploring the essence of martial arts.
Thus upholding martial arts and advocating morality is regarded as the basic principle of academy as well as the characteristic of operations – all the students studying Martial Arts Academy will first get a spiritual purification and will be unified by the great cultural value, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or origin.
The Introduction of Shaolin Gong Fu
China Shaolin Kung Fu is one of the greatest forms of martial arts; it has gained a lot of popularity in the recent past. Its movements are rapid, quick, and forceful. This martial art demands energy, rapid, and forceful actions. For one, it has produced great masters in the history of China and also boasts a variety of techniques and philosophies that increase the spiritual growth in both young children and adults. In fact, Shaolin martial arts also involve training on cultural tradition and helps students deepen their knowledge about “the Chinese way”. Students love and appreciate learning this wonderful art and taking advantage of all its benefits.
Shaolin staff is very important part in Shaolin weapon; there are Shao Huo staff, Qi Mei staff, Liu He stick, Yun Yang stick, Pai stick, Monkey staff, Da Mo staff, etc.
Spear: 27 famous spear, 33 famous spear, Six-he spear, Yang style spear, Luo style spear, etc.
Shaolin single broadsword, Mei Hu broadsword, Gun Tang, Qian Kun, 7 star sword, tiger head hook, 9 sections whip, etc.
Other locking joints techniques, pressing points, soft Qi Gong, Hard Qi Gong, iron sand palm, Shaolin 72 techniques, etc.
Training by Shaolin Monks :
Due to this diverse variety, there are lots of techniques of Shaolin martial arts. Shaolin monk trains on the styles that you want to pursue. The monks in school are highly qualified, as they require theory, flexibility, strength, and even the ability to endure pain. This is one of martial arts that preach non-violence and other principles that enhance wellness. The monks will normally undergo intense training (for mind and body) to create resilience and bring out the importance of having mental, spiritual, and physical harmony. In fact, China takes pride in having some of the greatest masters in martial arts. All this is practiced in a Shaolin monastery. Age does not determine who can train for Shaolin Kung Fu.
Shaolin Gong Fu training techniques :
Hooking hand – is Seldom used in Shaolin boxing and is widely used in Mantis boxing, 5-animal boxing, Wu-Zi boxing, etc.
Claw – Varies in different types and techniques i.e. Dragon claw, Monkey claw, Eagle claw, Tiger claw, 5-flower claw, etc.
Fist – Being the most commonly used hand type in Shaolin boxing, it has several techniques i.e. Biao fist, Yang fist, Yin fist, Crashing fist, Chopping fist, Flying fist, etc.
Elbow – The complement of hand technique. Holding fist and curving elbow rushing forward the opponent’s chest or abdomen is called rushing heart elbow.
Foot technique – One of the important basics in Shaolin boxing, which includes forward step, retreat step, jump step, flying step, moving step, hopping step, etc.
Leg techniques – Front stretch, Side stretch, Higher side stretch, Backward leg, Highest lever front stretch, Highest lever side stretch, Treading leg, Front kick, Side-kick, Reverse kick, Front-flipping leg, Empty-flipping leg.
Jump technique – Is a kind of sports that combines with foot technique and leg technique.
Acrobatic techniques – Wheel turning and flying turning. Gong Fu stances – Horse riding stance, Bow stance, Empty stance, Sea stance & Ready stance,
The 8 Master Postures of the Shaolin Temple :
Open the bow, aim, and set off the arrow – to drive the internal energy to the furthest limit.
With open palms, holding to the earth and heaven – to adjust the balance of the internal energy.
Get rid of any illness from the body by tapping the heel seven times.
Turn back left and right – it relaxes the body and eases any tension.
Twist the back and turn the head sideways, back, and front – helps to ease muscle tension and relieve the stress.
Hold the ankles with both hands – to strengthen the internal organs.
Increase your strength and energy by thrusting forward while holding a closed fist.
Expose and release yourself to the heavenly gate – helps in balancing internal energy in the body.
The Quan :
A fist has to be clenched and surged in way that it has a maximum effect on the opponent. It must be firm, targeted and fast enough not to miss or be blocked. The common Fist movements are; straight fist, hooking fist, Bai fist and the whipping fit. All are applied in different scenarios and depending on the posse of your opponent. Combining the quick step movements with sharp quick fists can is very effective in winning you opponent.
Leg movement :
Leg hits can be very effective especially if the adversary is at a distance that hinders the efficient application of the fist. However, the leg has to moved very fast with a lot of strength and target a definite part of the of the opponents body. One can make a sweeping move, sway the straight leg or stretch it forth. Combining the step and leg movements can be deceptive and very effective in hiding your intended hit.
Wrestling movement :
In Sanda, wrestling is used to take down the adversary. This gives the fighter an advantage as the opponent can only make minimal moves with his hands and legs. Witty, subtle, and quick movements of the step and leg must be made to give no room for defensive action.
Knee movement :
Knee movement is one of the most powerful hits that can be applied. This skill is very effective while hitting head, abdomen or chest of your opponent. However, it can only be effective in a close fight.
Location: Henan Province, along the Southern bank of the Yellow River, that is known as the central mountain of the China Originated more than 400 years before (Earliest Reference: Text 5th Century)
Philosophy: Chen Buddhism
Origin: Village near Song Mountain, Later Developed into Monastery.
Historical Use: Defended Monastery Battle 8th and 15th Century
Modern Use: Practice for Self-Defense
Spread: General Qi Ji Guang’s (Ming Dynasty) book “Ji Xiao Jin Shu” = “New Book Recording Effective Techniques”. When this book spread to East Asia, it has influenced Martial art of Okinawa (Japan) & Korea
Styles: Animals styles, Drunken Boxing, Xeng Yi Chuan, Chang Quan
8 Immortal Palms :
The Eight Immortals (Chinese: 八仙; pinyin: Ba Xian; Wade–Giles: Pa-hsien) are a group of legendary xian (“Immortals”) in Chinese mythology. Each immortal’s power can be transferred to a power tool (法器) that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the “Covert Eight Immortals” (暗八仙). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea, which includes Penglai Mountain-Island.
The Immortals are: He Xian’gu, Cao Guojiu, Li Tieguai, Lan Caihe, Lü Dongbin, Han Xiangzi, Zhang Guolao, Zhongli Quan
Mok Gar (莫家) is one of the five major family styles of Southern Chinese Martial arts :
It was developed by a Shaolin monk named Monk Mok Ta Shi as an inheritance of the Southern Shaolin Fist in Guangdong province in China.
It gained fame three generations later, in the Qing Dynasty, with Mok Gin Kiu/Mo Qing Chiu/Mo Ching Chiao (莫清矯; also known as Mok Sau Cheung/ Mo Ta Chang) who learned the art from a monk named Wai Jen, and also had supposedly learned from a famous kicker, Choy Kao Yee. Mok’s reputation was so high after defeating many other boxers that the style, formerly known as Southern Shaolin Quan, was renamed for the Mok family (Mok Gar). Mok Ching Kiu then taught the art to his son, Mok Ding Yue and three other students in which all four of them became their own distinct style of the art. Different generations through Guangdong boasted masters such as Mo Lin Ying, Mo Fifth Brother and Mo Ta Fen.
The Hung Ga lineage from Wong Fei Hung has influences of Mok Gar from his fourth wife Mok Kwai-lan, who after the death of Wong Fei Hung ran his medical clinic and school until her death many years later.
At present there are said to be two branches of Mok. The first is a direct lineage from Mok Qing Chiu and the other traces to Mak Shing Mo Technique
Mok Gar (莫家) is one of the five major family styles of Southern Chinese Martial arts :
It was developed by a Shaolin monk named Monk Mok Ta Shi as an inheritance of the Southern Shaolin Fist in Guang dong province in China.
It gained fame three generations later, in the Qing Dynasty, with Mok Gin Kiu/Mo Qing Chiu/Mo Ching Chiao (莫清矯; also known as Mok Sau Cheung/ Mo Ta Chang) who learned the art from a monk named Wai Jen, and also had supposedly learned from a famous kicker, Choy Kao Yee. Mok’s reputation was so high after defeating many other boxers that the style, formerly known as Southern Shaolin Quan, was renamed for the Mok family (Mok Gar). Mok Ching Kiu then taught the art to his son, Mok Ding Yue and three other students in which all four of them became their own distinct style of the art. Different generations through Guangdong boasted masters such as Mo Lin Ying, Mo Fifth Brother and Mo Ta Fen.
The Hung Ga lineage from Shifu Wong Fei Hung has influences of Mok Gar from his fourth wife Mok Kwai-lan, who after the death of Wong Fei Hung ran his medical clinic and school until her death many years later.
At present there are said to be two branches of Mok. The first is a direct lineage from Mok Qing Chiu and the other traces to Mak Shing Mo
Choy Gar, also Caijia Quan (Chinese: 蔡家拳, Choy family fist) :
It is a Chinese Martial art line deriving its name from the Cantonese-born founder, Choy Gau Lee (蔡九儀) (Choy Tsing Hung) and is one of the five main family styles of Kung Fu in Southern China.It was taught to him by a monk named, Yi Guan. This style that was founded in the 17th century is a combination of rat and Snake styles emphasizing on swift footwork and rapid strikes
The Styles :
Choy Gar is a Self-Defense style that practices low stances and swift footwork. The body and arms are meant to resemble the quick attacking movements of the snake. Unlike the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu styles which have wider, more open techniques, Choy Gar’s short and swift movements are better suited for the crowded alleys and streets of densely populated southern China. The low stance and power in the techniques will in time develop an inner strength within the practitioner.This is the basic foundation for creating effective movements, abilities and actions of the body.
One begins by building up physique in a good way. Stamina, strength and flexibility workout is combined with stretching and basic techniques. Training is performed in a low stance (Chapma) to increase the leg strength. In the Choy style, strong legs are a necessity for performing the techniques in a correct manner. Lower body strength is the foundation of Choy.The basic techniques (punches, kicks and blocks) are put together into different form combinations. One learns the forms in two versions, to the sides and to the front and are required to execute it against the Sifu at a certain pace and without any stalls.
Choy Gar Forms :
“The first dance”
Choy Wi Poo (The essence of Choy Gar can be found in this form)
Chi Poo (A form greatly influenced by Hung Gar)
Ta Shon (The longest and most complete form, takes more than 15 min to perform)
Routine & Theories :
Cross pattern fist
Big Drum Heaven
Small Drum Heaven
Willow tree Broken Plum
Four elephant Fist
Six Including Fist,
100 Birds Turn Over Nest
Single End Stick
Double End Stick, Choy Ga 3 Arrow Big Arrowhead and so on
Fast & Clever
Agile and Changeable
Disappears the body to borrow strength
Because potential advantage leading
Man can only win with skill
Do not argue with extended arm
Best to attack the side door
Horse Stepping Triangle by Triangle Step Primarily
Bridge Horse of Hung Ga
Fast Hitting of Choy Ga
Formula Tactics :
One begins by building up physique in a good way. Stamina, strength and flexibility workout is combined with stretching and basic techniques. Training is performed in a low stance (Chapma) to increase the leg strength. In the Choy style, strong legs are a necessity for performing the techniques in a correct manner. Lower body strength is the foundation of Choy.The basic techniques (punches, kicks and blocks) are put together into different form combinations. One learns the forms in two versions, to the sides and to the front and are required to execute it against the Sifu at a certain pace and without any stalls.
Choy Li Fut :
Choy Li Fut is a form of Gong fu that even Martial arts hero Bruce Lee enjoyed. With this review of its history and style, find out what makes this martial art stand out. Lee gave Choy Li Fut high praise, describing it in the book Between Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do as “The most effective system that I’ve seen for fighting more than one person.”
“[It] is one of the most difficult styles to attack and defend against,”he said.“Choy Li Fut is the only style [of Kung fu] that traveled to Thailand to fight the Thai boxers and hadn’t lost.” In other words, Lee felt that Choy Li Fut rivaled Muay Thai as a highly effective striking style. Here’s why
What Makes Choy Li Fut Effective :
Choy Li Fut is generally a striking style with a variety of stances. In general, they tend to be of the lower variety, designed for movement. Fighting stances require practitioners to hold their torso at an angle, giving an opponent more of a shoulder than a chest, in order to lessen the amount of their body that can be struck. This differs starkly from the straight on fighting stance of Wing Chun, for example.
There are several types of hand strikes within the art, including those that connect from the fist, open hand, claw hand and more. Kicks are also used in Choy Li Fut. The Long Fist and Buddhist Palm boxing styles are taught as part of this style as well.
Choy Li Fut Training :
Usually, stances are practiced repeatedly at the outset of training before other techniques are explored. Many forms are practiced within the Choy Li Fut system, as its founder learned forms and arts from three different major influences before melding his own system. In fact, more than 250 forms can be practiced.
Weapons, as in other martial arts, are used within the style. Exclusive to the system is the Nine-Dragon Trident, a weapon with hooks and blades designed to shred anything it comes with which it comes into contact. This weapon was created by Choy Li Fut’s founder, Chan Heung.
Hung Ga (洪家), Hung Kuen (洪拳), or Hung Ga Kuen (洪家拳) is a Southern Chinese Martial art (Cantonese, to be more specific), which belongs to the southern Shaolin styles and associated with the Cantonese folk hero Wong Fei Hung, who was a master of Hung Ga.
The hallmarks of the Wong Fei-Hung lineage of Hung Ga are deep low stances, notably its “sei ping ma” (四平馬) horse stance, and strong hand techniques, notably the bridge hand and the versatile Tiger claw. The student traditionally spends anywhere from months to three years in stance training, often sitting only in horse stance between a half-hour to several hours at one time, before learning any forms. Each form then might take a year or so to learn, with weapons learned last. However, in modernity, this mode of instruction is deemed economically unfeasible and impractical for students, who have other concerns beyond practicing kung fu. Some instructors, though, will stick mainly to traditional guidelines and make stance training the majority of their beginner training. Hung Ga is sometimes mis-characterized as solely external—that is, reliant on brute physical force rather than the cultivation of Qi—even though the student advances progressively towards an internal focus.
“Since my young years till now, for 50 years, I have been learning from Masters. I am happy that I have earned the love of my tutors who passed on me the Shaolin Mastery…”
The Origins of Hung Ga:
Hung Gar’s earliest beginnings have been traced to the 17th century in Southern China. More specifically, legend has it that a Shaolin monk by the name of Gee Seen Sim See was at the heart of Hung Gar’s emergence. See was alive during a time of fighting in the Qing Dynasty. He practiced the arts during an era when the Shaolin Temple had become a refuge for those that opposed the ruling class (the Manchus), allowing him to practice in semi-secrecy. When the northern temple was burned down, many fled to the southern Shaolin temple in the Fukien Province of Southern China along with him. There, it is believed See trained several people, including non-Buddhist monks, also called Shaolin Layman Disciples, in the art of Shaolin Gung Fu.
Gee Seen Sim See was hardly the only person of significance that fled to the temple and opposed the Manchus. Hung Hei Gun also took refuge there, where he trained under See.
Eventually, Hung Hei Gun became See’s top student. Hung Gar was named after Hung Hei Gun, causing most to consider him the founder of the system.
That said, legend has it that Gee Seen Sim See also taught four others, who became the founding fathers of the five southern Shaolin styles: Hung Gar, Choy Gar, Mok Gar, Li Gar and Lau Gar.
Hung Gar Characteristics :
Strong low stances and powerful punches are a staple of Hung Gar. In addition, correct breathing (strong and clear, but not necessarily fast) is important in the system as well. That said, each sub style of Hung Gar has its own specific differences.
Hung Gar Training :
Forms, self-defense, and weapons are taught within the majority of Hung Gar systems. Both hard and soft techniques are practiced; although many look at Hung Gar as a hard style. Generally, like other kung fu styles, it encompasses the five animals, five elements, and 12 bridges.
The Hung Ga curriculum of Wong Fei-Hung :
The Hung Ga curriculum that Wong Fei-Hung learned from his father comprised:
Single Hard Fist,
Double Hard Fist,
Taming the Tiger Fist (伏虎拳),
Mother & Son Butterfly Swords (子母雙刀),
Angry Tiger Fist,
Fifth Brother Eight Trigram Pole (五郎八卦棍),
Flying Hook, and
Black Tiger Fist (黑虎拳).
Wong distilled his father’s empty-hand material along with the material he learned from other masters into the “pillars” of Hung Ga, four empty-hand routines that constitute the core of Hung Ga instruction in the Wong Fei-Hung lineage: Taming the Tiger Fist, Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist, Five Animal Fist, and Iron Wire Fist. Each of those routines is described in the sections below.
“工” Taming the Tiger Fist 工字伏虎拳
pinyin: Gōng zì fú hǔ quán; Yale Cantonese: gung ji fuk fu kuen.
The long routine Taming the Tiger trains the student in the basic techniques of Hung Ga while building endurance. It is said to go at least as far back as Jee Sin, who is said to have taught Taming the Tiger—or at least an early version of it—to both Hung Hei-Gun and Luk Ah-Choi.
The “工” Character Taming the Tiger Fist is so called because its footwork traces a path resembling the character “工”.
Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist (虎鶴雙形拳) :
pinyin: hǔ hè shuāng xíng quán; Yale Cantonese: fu hok seung ying keun.
Tiger Crane builds on Taming the Tiger, adding “vocabulary” to the Hung Ga practitioner’s repertoire. Wong Fei-Hung choreographed the version of Tiger Crane handed down in the lineages that descend from him. He is said to have added to Tiger Crane the bridge hand techniques and rooting of the master Tit Kiu Saam as well as long arm techniques, attributed variously to the Fat Ga, Lo Hon, and Lama styles. Tiger Crane Paired Form routines from outside Wong Fei-Hung Hung Ga still exist.
Five Animal Fist 五形拳 / Five Animal Five Element Fist (五形五行拳) :
pinyin: wǔ xíng quán; Yale Cantonese: ng ying keun / pinyin: wǔ xíng wǔ háng quán; Yale Cantonese: ng ying ng haang keun.
These routines serve as a bridge between the external force of Tiger Crane and the internal focus of Iron Wire. “Five Animals” (literally “Five Forms”) refers to the characteristic Five Animals of the Southern Chinese martial arts: Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, and Crane. “Five Elements” refers to the five classical Chinese elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood. The Hung Ga Five Animal Fist was choreographed by Wong Fei Hung and expanded by Lam Sai Wing (林世榮), a senior student and teaching assistant of Wong Fei Hung, into the Five Animal Five Element Fist (also called the “Ten Form Fist”). In the Lam Sai Wing branch of Hung Ga, the Five Animal Five Element Fist has largely, but not entirely, superseded the Five Animal Fist, which has become associated with Dang Fong and others who were no longer students when the Five Animal Five Element Fist was created.
Iron Wire Fist (鐵線拳) :
Pinyin: tiě xiàn quán; Yale Cantonese: Tit Sin Kyuhn.Iron Wire builds internal power and is attributed to the martial arts master Leung Kwan (Chinese: 梁坤; pinyin: Liáng Kūn; 1815–1887), better known as Tit Kiuh Saam (Chinese: 鐵橋三; pinyin: tiěqiáosān). Like Wong Fei Hung’s father Wong Kei-Ying, Tit Sin Saam was one of the Ten Tigers of Canton. As a teenager, Wong Fei Hung learned Iron Wire from Lam Fuk-Sing (Chinese: 林福成; pinyin: Línfúchéng) a student of Tit Sin Saam. The Iron Wire form is essentially a combination of Hei Gung (Chinese: 气功; pinyin: Qi Gong) or meditative breathing with isometric exercise, particularly dynamic tension, although weights were also used in traditional practice in the form of iron rings worn on the wrists. If properly practiced, it can increase strength considerably and promote a stable root. However, as with both most forms of qigong and most forms of isometric exercise, it must be practiced regularly or the benefits are quickly lost.
Northern Praying Mantis
(Chinese: 螳螂拳; pinyin: Tang Lang Quan; literally: “Praying Mantis fist”) is a style of Chinese Martial arts, sometimes called Shandong Praying Mantis after its province of origin. It was created by Wang Lang (王朗) and was named after the Praying Mantis, an insect, the aggressiveness of which inspired the style. One Mantis legend places the creation of the style in the Song Dynasty when Wang Lang was supposedly one of 18 masters gathered by the Abbot Fu Ju (福居), a legendary persona of the historical Abbot Fu Yu (福裕) (1203–1275), to improve Shaolin martial arts. However, most legends place Wang Lang in the late Ming Dynasty
There are many legends surrounding the creation of Northern Praying Mantis boxing. One legend attributes the creation of Mantis fist to the Song Dynasty when Abbot Fu Ju (福居), a legendary persona of the historical Abbot Fu Yu (福裕) (1203–1275), supposedly invited Wang Lang (王朗) and seventeen other masters to come and improve the martial arts of Shaolin. The Abbot recorded all of the techniques in a manual called the Mi Shou (祕手 – “Secret Hands”) and later passed it onto the Taoist priest Shen Xiao. This manual supposedly disappeared until the Qianlong Reign era when it was published under the name “Arhat exercising merit short strike illustrated manuscript” (Chinese: 罗汉行功短打; pinyin: Luo Han Xing Gong Duan Da). Some sources place the folk manuscript’s publication on the “sixteenth day of the third month of the spring of 1794”.The manual records Wang Lang “absorbed and equalized all previous techniques” learned from the 17 other masters.
Mantis boxing in Yan Tai city :
The city we located Yan Tai (Lai Yang) is the birthplace of Praying Mantis boxing. The Praying Mantis fist or Tang Lang Quan in the Chinese language was a popular fist during the Han Dynasty. The fist alone holds a rich history that goes beyond 200 A.D. The fist is very important when in close combat, hence also named the short hit fist as one of the best pictographic fists.
To learn mantis fists seriously, there are professional mantis masters in our academy. The mantis fists are essential and offer great value in improving a person’s health. It was a popular fist in certain cities, mostly in the city of Lai Yang in Yan Tai, as well as the City of Qingdao. At the same time, the fist had originated from Yan Tai, thus gradually spreading to other cities in China and all over the world thereafter.
The Origin of Mantis boxing :
The Mantis fist was created by Wang Lang. There is a popular legend about Wang Lang, which indicates that during the Han Dynasty, there existed a skilled martial arts warrior by the name Wang Lang. He had spent a lot of time roaming many Chinese cities and places and thus managed to make a number of chivalrous friends and also was fortunate to meet numerous masters who were able to teach him a number of great skills. He later lost in a Kung Fu competition, and he was devastated and distressed.
While lying under a locust tree, he saw two Praying Mantises battle viciously over an insect. The mantis had assumed various positions like hooking and jumping, defending, pulling, and locking. Inspired by the mantis movements, he then imitated the mantis movements, therefore creating a structure of the mantis fist. He then continued practicing until he became very skilled.
He then went back to challenge the man who had defeated him and subsequently outmatched his opponent. Wang Lang would later integrate the parts of famous 18 fists, as well as adopt monkey movements in the forming the fist. Thereby, the mantis fist could then be perfected become the fastest and most agile fist ever.
Praying Mantis beginnings :
The Northern style of Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu was created 350 years ago to be a complete fighting martial art. Founded in the 16th century by a Shaolin stylist, Wang Lang, this kung Fu style offers a complete syllabus of skills in long range kicking, middle range hand techniques, trapping skills, pressure point/pressure strikes, iron palm training, joint locks, throws, and skills capable of neutralizing ground grappling attacks.
Prior to his development of Praying Mantis Kung Fu Wang Lang, felt his fighting ability was not adequate to defeat his elder classmate monk Feng during sparring practice at the Shaolin temple. As a result he felt compelled to look for something to improve his fighting skills. A chance observation of a Praying Mantis insect overcoming a cicada led him to discover that he was witnessing some rather unique fighting skills in nature.
After his observations and subsequent study of what made the Praying Mantis insect such a successful predator, he knew had discovered something phenomenal. He had come to the conclusion that he could create a new style of Kung Fu, based on the “Twelve Character” principles gleaned from the Praying Mantis’s predator ability. This new Kung Fu system would be an improvement over the larger hard style motions of the Shaolin style he had previously studied. He used the newfound skills of Praying Mantis kung Fu to defeat his elder classmate Monk Feng in sparring practice. Together with the other monks of the Shaolin temple Wang continued to develop the style.
The Twelve Character Principles of Praying Mantis Gong Fu
Northern Praying Mantis Gong Fu has, since its birth 350 years ago, maintained its eclectic roots. Each generation has added a measure of improvement to the system without altering the original concepts that make it such an efficient fighting art.
Wong Long began the process with the development of the twelve character principles. This does not mean twelve separate principles, but rather refers to the actual Twelve Written Chinese Characters that describe the concepts Wong Long organized from his observations of the Praying Mantis insect.
The first three characters Kou (hook), Lou (grasp), and Tsai (strike) refer to the way that the Praying Mantis would deflect, grasp, and strike an attacker. For Wong this could be accomplished in human terms by deflecting a hand strike and using the mantis hook to hold on to the arm. The next two actions, the grasp and strike, are more or less executed together. The grasp would facilitate a trapping action at the opponent’s elbow. By grabbing the elbow, the Praying Mantis practitioner would have momentary control of the opponent’s body can could execute a strike without much chance of being counterattacked. From the Praying Mantis insect Wong discovered a method of attack and counterattack that did not rely on brute strength, but rather on skill and timing. He further discovered the concept of controlling an opponent by trapping at the elbow with a grab.
Southern Shaolin also known as Nan Shaolin
Philosophy : i) Martial arts are a path of self-discovery. Your teacher can only point the way; you have to walk the path…
ii) You and only you are responsible for your own development
iii) Do not pray for an easy Life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one
iv) Be Like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, & you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid,
outward things will disclose themselves Master – Xin Xian Shou (Shaolin Warrior Monk)
Location : Fujian, Fukien, Hokkein, Fo-Shan
Description : When Southern Temple was burned by Qing Dynasty, Five Monks dispersed and continued
their traditions throughout Southern China.
Lineages (Styles) : i) Hung Ga, Liu Quan, Choy Gar (Buddha Palm),
ii) Li Sou (8 Immortal Palms – Thunder Palm, Fire Palm, Water Palm, Spiral Palm, Forehand Palm, Animal Palm and Chi Palm),
iii) Mok Gar (Kicking),
iv) Southern Praying Mantis,
v) Fu Jian White Crane
Xing Yi Quan (the efficient Chinese Martial Art) :
Xing Yi Quan or Hsing-I Chuan pronounced (sing-e-chwen), is a Chinese internal martial and health art classified as one of the Daoist Wu Dang styles. The name of the art translates approximately to “Form of Intention Fist”, or “Shape of Will Fist”.
The name Xing Yi Quan implies a method of mind and body energy to create health or physical actions that can defeat an opponent in battle. Each of the three main Chinese internal martial arts of Tai Ji Quan, Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan has their own distinct characteristics and flavor.
Xing Yi Quan is the most direct practice of these arts as it is primarily composed of only five basic fist movements. Xing Yi Quan is characterized by seemingly linear movements that develop an explosive power most often applied from a short range. In the martial usage a practitioner of Xing Yi Quan uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending.
Xing Yi Quan movements derive their names from the Chinese Traditional Medical (TCM) concepts of the Five Qualities (Wu Xing) which are Metal – Water – Wood – Fire – Earth. These names relate to states of energy or force used in the martial art and health aspects. The Five Qualities are also known as the Five Elements and are a part of acupuncture and herbal theory in TCM. Using this connection the art becomes more than just a self- defense method it can also be used as a very powerful health and longevity exercise and a form of Daoist psychology as well. For this health development concept the same movements found in the martial art forms are used as a form of moving yoga (Dao yin) to reduce stress, increase circulation and improve longevity.
The association of the term “Praying Mantis” with the style is also controversial. Each branch of the style offers a different explanation.
The traditions of the Chow Gar and Kwong Sai Jook Lum branches each maintain that their respective founders Chow Ah-Nam and Som Dot created their styles after witnessing a Praying Mantis fight and defeat a bird. Such inspiration is a recurring motif in the Chinese martial arts and can be found in the legends of Northern Praying Mantis, Fujian White Crane, Tai Chi and Wing Chun.
The traditions of the Chu family branch contend that the name “Southern Praying Mantis” was chosen to conceal from Qing forces its political affiliations by pretending that this esoteric style of Ming loyalists was in fact a regional variant of the popular and widespread Northern Mantis style from Shandong
The use of the term “Praying Mantis” seems appropriate when one considers the postures of well-known practitioners of this style. The emphasis on the techniques of sticky hands, the use of the forearm with the elbows tucked into the chest, claw Like fingers and quick explosive actions creates an image that are visually similar to a Praying Mantis preparing to strike its prey. However, other martial artists argue that those techniques are more similar to the actions of the Five Ancestors style or the White Crane style than a Praying Mantis. Unlike the Northern Praying Mantis, which have a special hand technique that is directly attributed to a Praying Mantis strike, for example, the tang Lang Gou, the Southern Praying Mantis do not have similar special hand techniques named after the mantis. The legacy of Lau Soei that is related to the Praying Mantis name was his famous staff form – the Tong Long Bo Sim Staff (Chinese: 螳螂捕蟬棍).
Southern Praying Mantis :
Southern Praying Mantis (Chinese: 南派螳螂) is a Chinese martial art originating with the Hakka people. It is most closely associated with styles such as Southern Dragon Kung Fu and Bak Mei.
Despite its name, the Southern Mantis style is unrelated to the Northern Praying Mantis style.
Southern Praying Mantis places a heavy emphasis on close-range fighting. This system is known for its short power methods, and has aspects of both internal and external techniques. In application, the emphasis is on hand and arm techniques, and a limited use of low kicks. The application of close combat methods with an emphasis on hands and short kicking techniques makes the Southern Praying Mantis art somewhat akin to what many would call “street fighting.” The hands are the most readily available for attack and defense of the upper body, and protect the stylist by employing ruthless techniques designed to inflict serious injury. The legs are moved quickly into range through footwork to protect and defend the body, and kicks are kept low, short and quick so as to never leave the Southern Mantis combatant off balance and vulnerable.
- Chow Gar(周家; Chow family)
- Chu Gar (朱家; Chu family)
- Kwong Sai Jook Lum (Chinese: 江西竹林; pinyin: Jiang Xi Zhu Lin”Jiang Xi Bamboo Forest”)
- Iron Ox (Chinese: 鐵牛; pinyin: Tie Niu)
- S. Hsiung Thong Long Quet Tsot (Chinese: 螳螂國術; Wade–Giles: Tang Lang Guo Shu“Mantis Martial Arts”)
A common antecedent can be surmised from the same traditional region of origin, the popularity amongst the Hakka community, a reference to Praying Mantis, similar training forms such as Sarm Bo Jin (Chinese: 三步箭; pinyin: San Bu Jian, “Three Steps Arrow”) and common application principles. However, despite similarities, the genealogies of these branches are not complete enough to trace them to a single common ancestor. The relationship between Chow Gar and Chu Gar can both be traced directly to Lau Shui.
The origins of the Kwong Sai Jook Lum system are controversial with some Chu Gar proponents claiming a relationship also to Lau Shui. However, those claims have since been refuted.
The Iron Ox system can be traced historically to the area of South China where the other branches of Southern Mantis originated and to the same Hakka communities where the art was transmitted. There are many other Southern styles such as Chuka Shaolin that uses similar technique but are not identified as being part of this group of martial arts according to their respective schools. Those styles can be identified as being Hakka Kuen.
Kwong Sai Jook Lum tradition mentions that the people of the Pearl River Delta once referred to the Southern Praying Mantis style as “Hakka Kuen” (Chinese: 客家拳; pinyin: Ke Jia Quan “Hakka Fist”), a term that was initially linked to the Southern martial arts practiced by the Hakka community of inland eastern Guangdong and
later applied to the skills that are practiced by oversea Hakka communities. The reason for this was the lose association of this style with the Hakka community.
This region, the original home to Southern Praying Mantis, covers a wide expanse in Southern China. It begins at the very heart of Hakka territory at Xing Ning, the home of Chow Gar founder Chow Ah-Nam. From Xing Ning, the Dong River (東江) flows west out of Mei Zhou (梅州) through Hoh Yuen, the place of origin for Iron Ox founder Choi Tit-Ngau. In the prefecture of Huizhou, the Dong Kwong forms the northern border of Huìyáng (惠陽) County, where Kwong Sai Jook Lum master Chung Yu-Chang and Chow/Chu Gar teacher Lau Shui grew up and established their martial arts reputation. From there, the Dong Jiang flows into the Pearl River Delta (珠江三角洲) at Bao’an County (present-day Shenzhen), where Kwong Sai Jook Lum masters Wong Yook-Gong and Lum Wing-Fay originated. These masters are all members of the Hakka community and the transmission of this remained within this community until the generation of Lau Shui and Lum Wing-Fay.
The association of the term “Praying Mantis” with the style is also controversial. Each branch of the style offers a different explanation. The traditions of the Chow Gar and Kwong Sai Jook Lum branches each maintain that their respective founders Chow Ah-Nam and Som Dot created their styles after witnessing a Praying Mantis fight and defeat a bird. Such inspiration is a recurring motif in the Chinese martial arts and can be found in the legends of Northern Praying Mantis, Fujian White Crane, Tai chi and Wing Chun.
The traditions of the Chu family branch contend that the name “Southern Praying Mantis” was chosen to conceal from Qing forces its political affiliations by pretending that this esoteric style of Ming loyalists was in fact a regional variant of the popular and widespread Northern Mantis style from Shandong.
The use of the term “Praying Mantis” seems appropriate when one considers the postures of well-known practitioners of this style. The emphasis on the techniques of sticky hands, the use of the forearm with the elbows tucked into the chest, claw like fingers and quick explosive actions creates an image that are visually similar to a Praying Mantis preparing to strike its prey. However, other martial artists argue that those techniques are more similar to the actions of the Five Ancestors style or the White Crane style than a Praying Mantis. Unlike the Northern Praying Mantis, which have a special hand technique that is directly attributed to a Praying Mantis strike, for example, the Tang Lang Gou, the Southern Praying Mantis do not have similar special hand techniques named after the mantis. The legacy of Lau Soei that is related to the Praying Mantis name was his famous staff form – the Tong Long Bo Sim Staff (Chinese: 螳螂捕蟬棍).
Lau Soei (1866–1942; 劉瑞; 劉水﹞) was a Hakka who established a reputation as a martial artist during the turn of the century in Southern China and later as a martial arts teacher in Hong Kong. Lau Soei was also known as the tiger of Dong Jiang (東江老虎). His signature techniques include the “Zhou Jia (Chow Gar)-Tang Lang-San Jian” (the three arrows of Zhou Jia Praying Mantis, 周家螳螂三箭拳) and the staff form “Tang Lang-Pu Chan gun” (螳螂捕蟬棍尤). Like many martial artists of his generation, he resettled in Hong Kong after the Chinese Civil War. He continued to teach the Southern Praying Mantis Style and many of his students eventually became teachers of this style. He was acknowledged by both the Chow Gar and the Chu Gar practitioners as the founding teacher of the system in the modern era.
The Chow family (周家) branch traces its art to c. 1800 to Chow Ah-Nam (周亞南), a Hakka who as a boy left his home in Guangdong for medical treatment at the Southern Shaolin Monastery in Fujian where, in addition to being treated for his stomach ailment, he was trained in the martial arts and eventually created Southern Praying Mantis. His student was Wong Fook Go (黃福高) who was one of the teachers of Lau Soei.
The continued popularity of modern Chow Gar is due to the work of Ip Shui (葉瑞), a student of Lau Soei. He promoted the style within Hong Kong and later, to the United Kingdom and Australia.
Chu Gar / Chuka / Chu Ka :
The Chu family (朱家) branch attributes its art to ‘Chu’ Ah Nam and also Chu Fook-To, who created Southern Praying Mantis as a fighting style for opponents of the Qing (1644–1912), a Manchu dynasty that overthrew the Ming royal family (1368–1644), who were Han Chinese. According to the Chu family branch, Chu was a member of the Ming Royal family who took refuge at Shaolin Monastery in Henan. After the destruction of the Northern Shaolin Monastery, Chu escaped to the Southern Shaolin Monastery in Fujian. He then promoted his art in the surrounding regions.
Current students of Chu Gar are not related to the students of Lau Soei. Lau Soei was friends with the member of the Chu family. Chu’s son, who had learned Chu Gar all his life, was sent to Lau Soei to learn Chow Gar. At a Demonstration a reporter asked Chu’s son what style of kung Fu he did and he replied “Chu Gar”. Then the reporter asked him “Who is your master?” and because at the time he was training under Lau Soei he said Lau Soei was his master, the reporter misunderstood and thought Lau Soei taught Chu Gar. This is the story told by grandmaster Ng Si Kay, Son in law of Ip Shui, who has been the records keeper of Ip Shui’s School for approximately 50 Years and is the current head of the Chow Gar Mantis Association in Hong Kong.
Current students of Chuka are related to the students of Si Tai Gung Sammy Wong. Those students continued the tradition of his school in the United States after he died in 2007. Chuka can be found in China and the United States.
Kwong Sai Jook Lum
According to oral traditions, the Kwong Sai Jook Lum (江西竹林) style traces its origins to the temple Jook Lum Gee (竹林寺; Bamboo Forest Temple), Wu Tai Shan (五台山) in Shanxi province and on Mt. Long Hu (龍虎山) in Jiangxi (江西) province. The monk Som Dot (三達祖師), created this new martial art system in the 18th century. He passed the art on to Lee Kun Ching (李官清), later known as Lee Siem See (李禪師); a name that can be translated as “Zen master Lee”). Lee Siem See would travel to Southern China and spread the art amongst the general population. In Guangdong, his student, Cheung Yiu Chung (張耀宗), would later return with him to Kwong Sai (Jiang Xi) Province to complete his training at Jook Lum Gee.
Iron Ox :
The Iron Ox (鐵牛) branch was renamed so by students of Iron Ox Choi (Choi Dit-Ngau; 蔡鐵牛) in honor of their teacher. He earned the nickname for his strength and ability to withstand his opponent’s strikes. He was also known to have taken part in the Boxer Rebellion (1900) fighting against the Ching government to restore the Ming government. The founder of this system is said to be Hung Mei (Red eyebrow) and origins of this system is said to be from Er mei mountain.
Ho Kung Wah introduced the style to the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Most practitioners of this branch of Southern Praying Mantis are found in Southern China but there are now promoters of this lineage in Europe,
K. S. Hsiung Thong Long Quet Tsot :
Thong Long “Praying Mantis”(Quet Tsot) “country style” (Chinese: 螳螂國術) is a Southern Praying Mantis style that was taught in the city of Kolkata, India. Originating in the Moi-Yan (Chinese: 梅縣; pinyin: Mei Xian), northeast Guangdong, China, the system was taught initially by Chen Kiu exclusively to the Hakka community in a school named Pei Moi Tangra Chinese School at Tangra, Kolkata Chinatown. Chen passed the lineage on to Shifu Hsiung Khan Seong (1917-2000) who, in his broad-mindedness, opened the style for the non-Chinese in the year 1975. He taught at Tangra, Calcutta, from the 50’s till his death in the year 2000. The system is carried forward by the students and grand students of Hsiung.
Characteristics and Training :
Like other Southern Chinese martial arts, Southern Praying Mantis is characterized by a strong stance, powerful waist and fast, heavy forearms and quick hand movements. The essences of the style is captured in various poetry and mnemonic aids.
Training includes a variety of solo forms, pair practice, and weapon practice. The name and type of form will vary between branches. In Circular Tong Long (a version of Chow Gar Tong Long under the direction of Henry Sue in Australia), the form structures are as follows:
Sarm Bo Gin
Sarm Bo Yil Sou
Sarm Kung Bic Kuiel
Sarm Bo Pai Tarn
Tong Long Bow Sim Sou
Tong Long Won Sou
Tong Long Um Ging Sou
Darn Sey Moon Gang Ging
Tong Long Bic Sarn Gung
Sarm Bo Gin Dai Ei Doon
Sarm Bo Gang Tarn Ging
Kwong Sai Jook Lum by Gin Foon Marks Kung Fu Association excerpt of curriculum:
Sarm Bo gin
Two man breakdown Sarm Bo gin
Eighteen points and breakdown
Seven stars and breakdown
Five stars and breakdown
Poison snake staff
Sarm Bo Gin is considered one of the most important forms of the southern mantis system. It is a hard chi gung form and is usually the first to be learned. It strengthens the body, aiding its resistance to physical blows, and also develops power. The form should be done every day, preferably early morning.
WING CHUN (Extreem Close Quarter Combat)
Background: A student of Shaolin (Name cannot be traced), who was unable to perform High Kicks, designed this style after Shaolin Temple was deserted. His only student (A lady – Nga Mui) again redesigned this and developed modern style of Wing-Chun. (Her first stutdent’s name was Yong Tsung-as where the namw Wing Chun was derived) A long after the famous Fo Shan. Master Ip Man (master of Bruce Lee) popularized this style all over Eastern Asia
System: i) Make enemy exhausted without Self tiredness
ii) Re-direct an opponent’s energy; force them to change so in essence they defeat themselves
Philosophy: i) Hand against hand, foot against foot, there is no unstoppable technique
ii)Wing Chun is a very good horse that very few can ride – Master Ip Man
iii) One who excels as a warrior does not appear formidable. One who excels in fighting is not aroused in anger. One who excels in defeating his enemies does join issues
Benefits: Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art that began hundreds of years ago. It was first developed as a self-defense system for women but has become popular among both men and women because of its effectiveness and emphasis on technique over size and strength. Bruce Lee studied and taught Wing Chun before developing his own Jeet Kune Do. Like most martial arts, Wing Chun focuses on total body fitness and health.
Strong Legs :
Wing Chun training begins with conditioning your legs to be strong enough to execute Wing Chun techniques properly. Sil-Nim-Tao is a fundamental Wing Chun stance. If gives your legs an isometric, or static, workout that increases your stability and balance. Chi gerk, also called “sticky legs,” is another fundamental Wing Chun exercise that strengthens your legs. You perform Chi gerk with a partner. The goal is to maintain contact with your partner’s legs as you block and deflect his attacks. The “horse stance” is a common stance used for practicing punches but also trains your legs and improves your posture.
Upper Body Strength :
Wing Chun training focuses heavily on punching. You may spend several hours performing punching drills and boxing routines. Stretching exercises for the upper body round out the training so that practitioners’ flexibility and hand speed and power are honed. The circling exercises of Wing Chun improve the flexibility and strength of your arms. Many other athletes, such as gymnasts, benefit from the upper body conditioning of Wing Chun.
Stretching is a big part of Wing Chun training. You need lots of flexibility to perform Wing Chun properly. Wing Chun students stretch their bodies before and after every class. Wing Chun masters who have been practicing for many years have a level of flexibility, balance and agility comparable to that of a gymnast.
Fat Burning :
Wing Chun is excellent for burning fat and losing weight. The muscles you build in your legs and upper body speed up your resting metabolism and the punching and kicking drills you perform burn lots of calories. Research has shown that working on a punching bag is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and that a 135-lb adult can burn between 350 and 450 calories during a 50-minute kickboxing working.
Wing Chun supports a mind-body connection. Meditation is a key aspect of Wing Chun training. Wing Chun masters teach their students how to calm their breathing and clear their mind, putting students in a relaxed state that gives them focus. Once you learn the meditation techniques, you can practice them anytime, anywhere to reduce stress and feel more relaxed.
A Focused Mind :
In today’s modern society, we have many things to think about and to be worried about. Our minds wander from one thought to another, anxious about the future, perhaps depressed about the past. Rarely do we find ourselves in the present, thinking in the present. When you think in the present, for that period of time your worries disappear, time seems to pass quickly, and gain a feeling of fulfillment. How do you achieve this state, and how can you achieve it at will? This is something that can be trained; however it occurs in life quite regularly. Anybody who has a hobby will be able to spend hours at a time completely focused on their task.
Wing Chun Kung Fu, by its very nature, helps a person focus their mind, both naturally and trained. As a hobby, one can spend hours at a time training Wing Chun, moving their mind to the present. By also training this focusing during Siu Nim Tau practice, one can develop this skill even deeper. Siu Nim Tau training is training both the body and mind; you are working on your body, similar to Tai Chi and your mind, similar to meditation. For example, you may be walking down the street and you put your awareness into your arm to practice a tan sau movement; at this moment, you are focusing your mind into the present and into your body, focusing your mind.
A personal experience I can share is related to my University degree. Having very little ability when I was younger to study for more than 10 minutes at a time, I wanted to apply what I had learnt about focusing my mind towards my studying. I can easily spend all day training Wing Chun Kung Fu, so I decided to apply this ability to my university studies. During my Master’s degree I could study as long as I wanted (with breaks) with little effort. I had learnt how to focus, and could concentrate for hours at a time to study material. I achieved very high marks, and where I could see that others can achieve high marks with little effort, I knew I had achieved it with hard work.
Another example was one student who went to run in a marathon for the first time. He told me that his training helped him greatly as throughout he focused on his running movements, joints, breathing and relaxing his muscles the whole time. For him, focusing on his body throughout the races took his mind away from other thoughts, such as pain, how far to go, and giving up.
Though I believe you can learn to focus your mind with any hobby, I believe that Wing Chun is geared towards this as it is an Internal Style which forces you to focus on yourself, your body movements, your posture, and correct thinking.
Body Control, Coordination and Balance :
The benefits of Wing Chun Kung Fu extend to body control, co-ordination and balance. These are excellent benefits, and are akin to relearning how your body works. Body control can be attributed to body mechanics. This means learning how the body moves and in Wing Chun, learning the most efficient and powerful way the body can move. For example if the practitioner can learn how to relax the muscles and move from the joints, movement becomes easier, more efficient and when used in Kung Fu, more power. In Kung Fu, learning to move from the joints creates more powerful movements that can utilise the whole body mass. In everyday life, it brings small benefits such as learning how to stand up from a sitting position much easier, walking up stairs more effortlessly, standing more comfortably and generally moving with less effort.
Co-ordination is the ability to control our limbs. Having better co-ordination allows us to move and do things with our body more easily and effectively. Wing Chun Kung Fu effectively trains co-ordination development in the body. By learning hand techniques for self-defense, with the use of both arms simultaneously, and also together with kicking, stepping and pivoting, Wing Chun increases co-ordination. Learning sticking hands (Chi Sau), a practitioner further develops reflexes and co-ordination by continuously using both arms at the same time for extended periods of time. After training Wing Chun sufficiently, the practitioner should feel much more co-ordinated not only in Kung Fu practice, but in everyday life, applied to everyday tasks.
Balance is the body’s ability to stay upright, and in control of itself. This is trained in Wing Chun with the Siu Nim Tau stance, and emphasizes an equal amount of pressure on each foot. Training also involves finding the body’s center; movements will be the most efficient if they come from this center. Siu Nim Tau on one leg further trains the body’s ability to balance. Balance is much improved with sticking hand (Chi Sau) training, as the balance is constantly tested by your training partner. After sufficient training, the practitioner will feel better balanced at all activities, whether it be walking, running or even standing on a bus.
Postural Alignment and Health
Postural alignment refers to the having good posture and is integral in maintaining good health. The field of Chiropractor is founded on this notion. Wing Chun emphasizes good posture; in fact it is necessary for proper power generation in Kung Fu. After learning an internal style of Wing Chun, whether walking, standing or sitting, the practitioner will most likely be thinking if his or her posture is correct. In this way, the focus on good posture spills into everyday life and gives the benefit of preventing back pain from bad posture. This is especially important as we grow older.
Other health benefits are achieved due to Wing Chun’s light fitness. Any activity that involves moving around is good for your health. Wing Chun is not a heavy physical exercise like many martial arts, so it can be practiced into old age, and you will get better with age. Similar to Tai Chi, Wing Chun is good for increasing blood flow to the body, and is a relaxed exercise.
Wing Chun Gong Fu is an excellent Martial Art for Self Defense :
Wing Chun involves short and long range tactics, the use of the centerline theory, and a heavy emphasis on minimum use of physical strength, it is an ideal martial art for self-defense. Usually an attacker will be larger than the person being attacked. In this case, training to be stronger than the other person is pointless, no matter how strong you get, the attacker will usually be larger. By training the body to deal with heavier forces, and by using body mechanics to generate large forces, Wing Chun Kung Fu allows a smaller bodied person to effectively defend an attack.
This is evidenced by Yip Man, who brought the art to the world and was not of large stature. It is also evidenced by Chu Shong Tin (see videos section) who is a small older gentleman who can generate tremendous force. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a style which legend says was created by a woman, so it is a soft style designed to assist overcoming a larger opponent. Self Defense is only the beginning of this Martial Art. Once one studies this for long periods of time, internal development will become a higher priority. Once this occurs, people will find great joy in their training, as anybody training for many years will attest to. Self Defense is a vital skill for men and women alike.
Wing Chun Twelve seeds :
Wing Chun twelve seeds is the most basic form of Wing Chun fist. It takes the intensive defense and attack of central Line as the substance. As for its offensive characteristic: punching is at same time as kicking and steps move at same time as your palm. In this way, it doesn’t give the opponent any chance to counterattack. For the twelve seeds, it does not pay attention to the good looks, but it focuses on practical use. And each move has deep meaning and various applications. For the trainers, there are lots of things to practice and they will never feel tired of doing this. To learn Wing Chun well, firstly you have to learn the twelve seeds form well and you need to know what a “central Line” and “Cung Jin” are, hoping all these will offer beginners some inspiration.
Modern Wing Chun
Modern Wing Chun Fist was mainly spread in Guangdong, Fujian, and other places. With the development in recent years and the influence of films and TV series, it has spread rapidly into hundreds of countries in China, Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, Oceania, etc. Currently, it has become a compulsory combat skill that is often mastered by multinational agents and Special Forces. It has become one of the martial arts that is most widely spread and has the largest amount of learning people. It is a practical combat martial art which has rich culture of humanity and the poise of a gentleman.
Wing Chun Hands :
Kau Sau : The Kau Sau is a Huen Sau motion using the hips (Yiu Ma) to turn. This technique is found in the third form Biu Gee and the Wing Chun dummy form. Many schools do not consider this a technique in its own right. They simply treat it as a turning Huen Sau
Kop Sau : The Kop Sau (or Cup Sao) or downward hand is a movement found in the second form Chun Kiu. The Kop Sao is not strictly a technique in its own right it is a blend of Pak Sao and Jut Sao. The Kop Sao can be applied practically and it is also used in Chi Sao.
Kop Jarn : Kop Jarn is a downward elbow motion which is repeatedly performed in the 3rd form and can be used both as a block or a powerful close range strike.
Kwan Sau : Kwan Sau is a relatively complex rotating arm motion which can be used to block or roll out of a trap and is found in the dummy form.
Lan Sau : The Lan Sau or bar arm, is a lifting block / bridging technique. It looks similar to the Bong Sau but unlike the Bong Sau the arm forearm is level with the shoulders and more or less parallel to the body and the rotation in the forearm is up not across.
Lap Sau : The Lap Sau is an interesting technique that destroys the balance and structure of an opponent using a short sharp pull. It has many uses most of which will be accompanied by a strike to deliver devastating force.
Lin Wan Kuen : Lim Wan Kuen or chain punching describes the rapid delivery of straight punches from the centerline.
Mann Sau : Mann Sau or inquisitive arm is used to gain contact with the opponent and can be used to block in a variety of ways.
Pak Sau : The Pak Sau or slapping hand is a simple yet effective deflecting technique which is like many Wing Chun moves is the adaptation and refinement of a natural reflex to being attacked.
Pie Jarn : Pie Jarn is a horizontal hacking elbow strike that can be performed turning towards the target or away from the target. The power for it is developed in Chun Kiu.
Po Pai Cheung : Po Pai is a complex double palm motion found in the Dummy form of the Wing Chun system, it should be used, push or aggressively advance whilst maintaining positioning and control of the opponent in the centre line.
Tan Sau : Tan Sau or receiving hand is an essential, common and yet effective Wing Chun block, this is found largely in the first form and dummy form.
Tie Sau : Tie Sau or rising arm is a motion found in the first form and utilizes long bridge energy to block from low to high without bending the elbow or withdrawing the arm.
Tok Sau : Tok Sau or lifting hand can be used to lift an opponent’s guard at the elbow in order to strike them or to throw them off balance.
Wu Sau : The Wu Sau or guard hand should always remain up when a hand is not in use as an extra failsafe cover. The Wu Sao should be in the perfect position to be launched forward as a block or strike.
Jut Sau : The Jut Sau or sinking hand is an extremely effective block which can throw the balance of the opponent whilst leaving the practitioners hand in the perfect place for a counter strike.
Jum Sau : The Jum Sau is yet another technique which can be used both as a block and a strike however; it is one of the few Wing Chun blocks which is performed with power, that is not to say the block uses a clash of force just that power is applied to ‘strike’ when blocking to cause damage the aggressor.
Huen Sau : The Huen Sao or circling hand is an essential Wing Chun technique found throughout the systems 3 hand forms. It can be performed clockwise or anticlockwise depending on the situations need.
Gum Sau : The gum Sao or pinning hand is found in the first form and is used as a block or to pin an opponents arm (hence its name), It is often used in Chi Sao.
Gaun Sau (low) : The low Gaun Sao or Splitting block is used to block attacks to the mid section. It is an essential part of the Wing Chun blocking arsenal.
Fook Sau : The fook Sao is used to bridge on an opponents arm. It is relatively simple but effective Wing Chun movement that features largely in the systems first form. It is primarily used in Chi Sau but can be applied as a deflection/block, or to control after a different technique.
Fak Sao : The Fak Sao is a chop that can be used as a block or a strike and will be first learnt from Sil Lim Tao Wing Chun’s first form. It can be useful for defending and attacking an opponent who is not in front if the practitioner (off the centreline). This move is similar but not the same as the Mann Sao
Bong Sao : The Bong Sao or wing arm is quite a complex Wing Chun movement that features largely in the systems forms. It is ideal for deflecting punches last second or when the wrists are being controlled.
Biu Sao : The Biu Sao or thrusting fingers is one of the many Wing Chun moves which can be use both as a block and as a strike. It can be used to deflect any attack around shoulder height or above. Or it can be use to strike to the eyes and throat.
Ju-Cheung : Ju-Cheung is a powerful ‘sideward palm’ strike that uses the heel of the palm to strike an opponent.
Kop Jarn : Kop Jarn is a downward elbow motion which is repeatedly performed in the 3rd form and can be used both as a block or a powerful close range strike
Lin Wan Kuen : Lim Wan Kuen or chain punching describes the rapid delivery of straight punches from the centerline.
Wing Chun Kicks : Dou Jiao Ti, Qian Ti, Ce Ti, Lun Ti
Traditional Wing Chun Rules of Conduct :
– Remain disciplined – Conduct yourself ethically as a martial artist.
– Practice courtesy and righteousness – Serve the society and respect your elders
– Love your fellow students – Be united and avoid conflicts.
– Limit your desires and pursuit of bodily pleasures – Preserve the proper spirit.
– Train diligently – Maintain your skills.
– Learn to develop spiritual tranquility – Abstain from arguments and fights.
– Participate in society – Be moderate and gentle in your manners.
– Help the weak and the very young – Use martial skills for the good of humanity.
– Pass on the tradition – Preserve this Chinese art and rules of conduct.
Maxims of Wing Chun :
– Retain what comes in, send off what retreats. Rush in on loss of hand contact.
– Do not be lax when your opponent is not advancing.
– Once your opponent moves, his center of gravity changes.
– Make the first move to have control, attack according to timing.
– Timing is achieved through practice.
– A strong attitude and posture gives an advantage over your opponent.
– Being alert and adapting to the situation allows maximum results for minimum effort.
– The body follows the movement of the hands. The waist and the stance move together.
– Complement the hands with posture to make good use of the centerline.
– The eyes and the mind travel together, paying attention to leading edge of attack.
– Charge into the opponent. Execute three moves together.
– Strike any presented posture if it is there. Otherwise strike where you see motion. Beware of sneak attacks, leakage attacks and invisible centerline attacks.
– Soft and relaxed strength will put your opponent in jeopardy.
– Coordinate the hands and feet. Movement is together.
– Do not take risks and you will always connect to the target.
– Have confidence and your calmness will dominate the situation.
– Occupy the inner gate to strike deep into the defense.
– To win in an instant is a superior achievement.
– The Yin Yang principle should be thoroughly understood.
– The theory of Wing Chun has no Limit in it applications.
– Be humble to request your teacher for guidance.
– Understand the principles for your training.
– Upon achieving the highest level of proficiency, the application of techniques will vary according to the opponent.
Wing Chun Training Proverbs :
– There are not many sets of training exercises in Wing Chun. They are easy to learn but to master them requires determination.
– Learning the usual ways will allow later variations.
– Short arm bridges and fast steps require practicing the stance first.
– Siu Lim Tau mainly trains internal power.
– Lon Sau in Chum Kiu is a forceful technique.
– Bui Jee contains Life-saving emergency techniques.
– The Wooden Man develops use of power.
– Fancy techniques should not be used in sticky hand practice.
– Sticky leg practice is inseparable from the single leg stance.
– The steps follow turning of the body like a cat.
– The posture complements the hands to eject the opponent.
– The Six and a Half Point Staff does not make more than one sound.
– The Eight Cut Sword techniques have no match.
– The thrusting and fast attacks are well suited for closing in.
– Eyes beaming with courage can neutralize the situation.
– Unknown techniques are not suitable for training practice.
– Those who completely master the system are among the very few.
17 Keys to Wing Chun :
– Be ferocious when clashing.
– Be fast with your fist.
– Be forceful when applying power.
– Be accurate with timing.
– Be continuous when applying Fan Sau.
– Do not use all your strength.
– Protect your own posture.
– Be alert with your eyes.
– Unite your waist and stance.
– Coordinate your hands and feet.
– Movements must be agile.
– Comprehend the principles of Yin and Yang.
– Remain calm.
– Be steady with your breathing and strength.
– Sink your inner chi.
– Be commanding with your fighting demeanor.
– Be quick to end the fight.
Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma :
– Pull in the chest, push out the upper back, and bring in the tail bone.
– Fill the Tan Tien with chi and distribute the strength to all parts of the body.
– Point the knees and toes inward.
– Form a pyramid with the center of gravity in the center.
– Fists are placed by the side of the ribs but not touching the body.
– Sink the elbows, the shoulders, and the waist.
– Hold the head and neck straight and keep the spirit alert.
– Eyes are level, looking straight ahead, and watching all directions.
– The mind is free of distractions and the mood is bright.
– There is no fear when facing the opponent.
– Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is the main stance.
– Develop a good foundation for advanced techniques.
Siu Lim Tau :
– Siu Lim Tau comes first; do not force progress in training.
– A weak body must start with strength improvement.
– Do not keep any bad habit.
– Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma – Train the chi by controlling the Tan Tien.
– To maintain good balance of strength, grip the ground with the toes.
– To release chi from the Tan Tien, will enable proper release of power.
– Sink the elbow and drop the shoulders; guarding the centerline to protect both flanks.
– There are one hundred and eight moves, all practical and real; Thousands of variations can be used, aiming for practical use and not beauty.
– Internally develop the chi; externally train the tendons, bones and muscles.
– Taun Sau, Bong Sau, Fok Sau, Wu Sau, and Huen Sau; their wonder grows with practice.
– Each movement must be clear and crisp. Timing must be observed.
– Practice once a day more will cause no harm.
Chum Kiu :
– Chum Kiu trains the stance and the waist; the arm bridge is short and the step is narrow.
– Eyes are trained to be alert; the chi flows in a perpetual motion.
– Strive to remain calm in the midst of motion; loosen up the muscles and relax the mind.
– Turning the stance with a circular movement, will allow superior generation of power.
– When the opponent’s arm bridge enters my arm bridge, use the escaping hand to turn around the situation.
– Pass by the opponent’s incoming arm bridge from above, without stopping when the countering move has started.
– Lon Sau and Jip Sau put an opponent in danger.
– Do not collide with a strong opponent; with a weak opponent use a direct frontal assault.
– A quick fight should be ended quickly; no delay can be allowed.
– Use the three joints of the arm to prevent entry by the opponent’s bridge; jam the opponent’s bridge to restrict his movement.
– Create a bridge if the opponent’s bridge is not present; nullify the bridge according to how it is presented.
– The arm bridge tracks the movement of the opponent’s body; when the hands cannot prevail, use body position to save the situation.
– Using short range power to jam the opponent’s bridge, the three joints are nicely controlled.
– Where is the opponent’s bridge to be found? Chum Kiu guides the way.
Biu Jee :
– The Biu Jee hand contains emergency techniques.
– Iron fingers can strike a vital point at once.
– The stepping in elbow strike has sufficient threatening power.
– The phoenix eye punch has no compassion.
– Fok Sau, Ginger Fist, and Guide Bridge; their movements are closely coordinated and hard to defend and nullify.
– Springy power and the extended arm are applied to close range.
– The situation is different when preventing from defeat in an emergency.
– The Biu Jee is not taught to outsiders.
– How many Shifu pass on the proper heritage ?
The Wooden Man :
– There are 108 movements for the Wooden Man; repeated practice brings proper use of power.
– Steps vary and always maintain close contact with the Wooden Man.
– Power starts from the heart and shoots towards the centerline of the Mok Yan Jong.
– Up, down, back and forth, the movements are continuous.
– Power improvement cannot be predicted.
– The arm bridge sticks to the hands of the Wooden Man while moving; adhesion power when achieved will be a threatening force.
– Power can be released in the intended manner; use of the Line and position will be proper and hard to defeat.
What is Tai Chi ?
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Tai Chi has many different styles. Each style may subtly emphasize various Tai Chi principles and methods. There are variations within each style. Some styles may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is different from Yoga, another type of meditative movement. Yoga includes various physical postures and breathing techniques, along with meditation.
i) Chen-style (陳氏) of Chen Wang ting (1580–1660)
ii) Yang-style(楊氏) of Yang Lu-Chan (1799–1872)
iii) Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style(武氏) of Wu Yu-Hsiang (1812–1880)
iv) Wu-style(吳氏) of Wu Chuan-Yu (1834–1902) and his son Wu Chien-Chuan (1870– 1942)
v) Sun-style(孫氏) of Sun Lu-Tang (1861–1932)
The origin of Tai Chi
There is a widespread legend that has been spread down generations about Tai Chi fist. During the Ming Dynasty, there existed an outstanding man who looked down on fame and wealth; he was a very skilled martial artist. His name was Zhang San Feng. At one time he competed with one strong man; Zhang tried his best to defeat that person but could not defeat him using his external force.
So in order to defeat this person, Zhang put his efforts in researching Chinese martial arts for a better fist. At the end of the day, San Feng managed to create a new fist. In the second competition with the strong man, Zhang used the new distinctive skill to defeat him whereby he used the man’s skill in defeating hi. This technique appealed to many people and eventually Tai Ji Quan became a famous story.
Who can do Tai Chi ?
Tai Chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because Tai Chi is a low impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you’re an older adult who otherwise may not exercise. You may also find Tai Chi appealing because it’s inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can do Tai Chi anywhere, including indoors or outside. And you can do Tai Chi alone or in a group class. Although Tai Chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying Tai Chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.
Why try Tai Chi ?
When learned correctly and performed regularly, Tai Chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of Tai Chi may include : Decreased stress, anxiety and depression, Improved mood, Improved aerobic capacity, Increased energy and stamina, Improved flexibility, balance and agility, Improved muscle strength and definition
More research is needed to determine the health benefits of Tai Chi. Some evidence indicates that Tai Chi also may help: Enhance quality of sleep, Enhance the immune system, Help lower blood pressure, Improve joint pain, Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure, Improve overall well-being, Reduce risk of falls in older adults.
How to get started with Tai Chi ?
Although you can rent or buy videos and books about Tai Chi, consider seeking guidance from a qualified Tai Chi instructor to gain the full benefits and learn proper techniques. You can find Tai Chi classes in many communities today. To find a class near you, contact local fitness centers, health clubs and senior centers. Tai Chi instructors don’t have to be licensed or attend a standard training program. It’s a good idea to ask about an instructor’s training and experience, and get recommendations if possible.
A Tai Chi instructor can teach you specific positions and breathing techniques. An instructor can also teach you how to practice Tai Chi safely, especially if you have injuries, chronic conditions, or balance or coordination problems. Although Tai Chi is slow and gentle, and generally doesn’t have negative side effects, it may be possible to get injured if you don’t use the proper techniques. After learning Tai Chi, you may eventually feel confident enough to do Tai Chi on your own. But if you enjoy the social aspects of a class, consider continuing with group Tai Chi classes.
What clothing should I wear for Tai Chi ?
Comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that won’t restrict your movements are best. Sweatpants, tights, or leotards, and a T-shirt will do. Although it doesn’t look like very arduous work (because the movements are so slow), you may work up a sweat, and so overdressing is not recommended.
What precautions should I take before practicing Tai Chi ?
Tai Chi is gentle enough for almost everyone. However, if you have arthritis that affects your joints (the Arthritis Foundation recommends Tai Chi), orthopedic conditions that Limit your mobility (back pain, sprains, fractures, and severe osteoporosis), if you’re pregnant, if you have a hernia, or if you have any other medical condition that might be affected by exercise, then it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before you try Tai Chi. If you’re concerned about the class that you’re considering, then watch the class or speak with the instructor before you start. You want to feel comfortable with the activity, so speak up!
What have you got to lose ?
That’s Tai Chi. Practicing it regularly can improve your aerobic capacity, muscular strength, flexibility, and balance; and it can improve your well-being and decrease your stress. It’s a martial art that has been practiced for centuries by millions of Chinese. Could all of them be wrong? My suggestion is to give it a try. You’ve got a Lifetime of fitness ahead of you, and so adding something new and different to your fitness skills that have this much potential is worth a try, and certainly worth the effort!
How much Tai Chi should to do ?
There’s not enough research to suggest what the optimal dose of Tai Chi is to accrue benefits. Studies have shown effects with as Little participation as one hour of training per week, although, as in any new activity (such as dancing) there is a sharp learning curve in the beginning, and many individuals might find participating two to three times per week, at least in the beginning, is probably a more effective dose. It is the conventional wisdom in Tai Chi circles that a person needs at least one year of Tai Chi before one becomes proficient.
Applying Tai Chi Principles to Daily Life :
i) Always try to stay balanced on the feet and avoid veering to subtle imbalances when doing things. Use single weighting when turning and reaching to the side. Do all tasks in small circular motions. This is the essence of Tai Chi.
ii) Keep the lifting and pulling motions close to your body. In the wheelhouse is how Nathan Menaged (a senior student of William C.C. Chen and a masterfully skilled martial artist) describes this idea. Overreaching reduces leverage and creates stress on the body, primarily the back.
iii) Always turn your body from the hips instead of the shoulders. The shoulders may move, too, but are not the point of leverage. Remember The Constant Bear warm up exercise. (Everything described below is some aspect of the Bear. That is, relaxed and turning from the waist/hips.)
Examples of Activities
i) While doing simple activities such as brushing your teeth, shaving or even taking a shower, stand evenly on the three nails. Knees are slightly flexed and hips indented/folded as in the beginning of the Form’s movement. This sounds easy but we are in the habit of slouching on one leg or the other and not staying centered. If you turn and reach, use single weight, right or left, and turn from the hips.
ii) Notice that our usual habit of reaching and twisting our upper body and lower back causes bodily stress. But in keeping weight over the three nails the stress is reduced. So instead of stretching and balancing on our toe, heel or side of the foot, take small steps and turn from the waist as in Tai Chi—stress is removed.
iii) Improve balance by putting on skivvies & socks while standing instead of sitting on the bed. Even, though maybe not able to at first, tying the laces or fastening the straps while continuing to balance on the other leg.
iv) When opening doors, don’t pull from your shoulder. Just flex a knee, root the foot and pull from the floor.
v) In the kitchen, when lifting and moving pots and pans, use turning motions as in ward off (left or right), rollback and back punch to move things. This will keep you rooted and reduce long reaches which are stressful on your back, knees and shoulders.
These ideas can be applied in all our activities while moving and working around the house and yard. I believe daily activities at home or workplace cause small, subtle injuries to spine and body if we’re not balanced. This accumulates over the years, resulting in bad posture, sore backs, and shoulder, knee and hip damage as we grow older. I have noticed when I am balanced on my feet, my shoulders straighten.
vi) One other benefit is that by taking the weight of the upper body off the lower back, the thighs take the load. The result will be stronger legs, will use more calories and so in subtle ways will help in weight reduction.
When you think about it the body was meant to work this way. The Tai Chi way, when you see it deeply, is actually very natural.
vii) Many back injuries occur when someone reaches behind or to the side and lifts an object. If we turn from the waist, aligning the spine, these injuries could be avoided.
My Conclusions :
i) Young bodies absorb small injuries without notice. The price is bigger injury and pain as we grow older.
ii) By using these ideas each of us can reduce stress and promote a healthier body. We can move away from injury and pain.
iii) Developing habits such as these is easy and beneficial. Then even simple, common and repetitive tasks become new and very interesting.
Tai-Chi for Students :
1) Tai-Chi works on the inside of the body and helps us to feel peaceful and more focused. It becomes easier to find self-control. We begin to understand our needs and emotions and to anticipate a feeling that is building in us. Pretending to be an animal moving peacefully in nature takes us away from the noisy, hectic pace of daily life.
2) The slow moves of Tai-Chi teach the Kids how to think & feel the positive Chi-flow (Energy flow). It is not complicated. It doesn’t have to be done exactly right. There is no competition. No race to be first. No need to be best. The important thing is to relax, feel the energy and find a feeling of peace. As we slow our movements down the internal energy can flow to all parts of the body. The visualization is peaceful. There is a nice warm feeling inside.
3) Kids with several physical disabilities can do the moves sitting, lying down, using just the legs or arms or even just the trunk of the body. The results have been outstanding. The children feel the internal flow of energy.
4) Kids with special need benefit from Tai Chi. Because Tai-Chi works on the inside of the body. It helps to relieve the sense of inner turmoil and confusion that gets us off balance. It can alleviate stomach-aches, nervousness, fear, anger and frustration. It helps improve focus, concentration and self-control.
5) Blind children have said they love the visualization and the imitation of nature. One blind student said, after 20 minutes of Tai Chi, “I realize that I need to visualize more. It is very powerful.”
6) Kids with ADD and ADHD gain self-control as they learn techniques to get the attention they need in a healthy way. They learn skills to anticipate outburst, anger or frustration. They understand their own needs and how to control them and focus on the task at hand. Teachers report a marked improvement in the behaviour of children who learn the Tai Chi. A 5 minute Tai-Chi break helps students who are normally disruptive to calm down. Tai-Chi can be the perfect outlet for their hyper activity.
7) Tai-Chi helps all students get in touch with their own feelings. They begin to anticipate an emotion that is coming on so they are prepared to handle it. As they gain self-control they begin to believe in themselves.
8) A 5 year old boy with autism loved Tai-Chi although he had trouble verbalizing what he felt. When he told me he liked it when we put the flashlight in his tummy I knew what he meant. He felt the warm energy moving inside of him like a bright light.
9) Autistic children love the warm feeling inside as well as the visualization which helps to understand the world and their own feelings. An autistic girl stood on one foot to tie her shoe. She looked at her mother. “I can do it because I do Tai Chi.” She felt proud. She had learned to focus on the root cause i.e. at the bottom of her foot to gain Stability and Balance. Her new self-esteem led to more success.
10) Children who do not normally participate in school sports benefit from the DIFY (Do It for You) those Tai-Chi offers. At primary school level it’s running as a non-competitive event. We should be teaching our children how to ‘manage their mind’ and not on adrenalin from constant external stimulus. They should be seen as individuals with an important role to play, but as individuals recognise that discipline and being aware of the affect of their behaviour on others is also their responsibility. Last but by no means has least recognised that it feels good to have a ‘Still Point’ at some point.
11) Meditational practice of Tai-Chi helps students to increase their concentration which in turn make them more focused into their studies and improve their performance in extra-curricular activities or any other involvements.
12) Posture : Tai-Chi focuses on correct posture and balance. Our children are spending increasing periods of time sitting down. From classrooms to lounge rooms and computer rooms, the seated position dominates and postural problems in young children are on the rise. Professor Leon Straker from Curtin University reported to the National Conference of Physiotherapists last year that an ‘epidemic of global proportions’ in spine, neck and back problems was imminent as a result of increased sedentary activity in our young. Tai-Chi can help address this and prevent long term health problems.
13) Focus : Tai-Chi can improve a child’s ability to focus. Western lifestyles focus heavily on ‘doing’ where Eastern thinking focuses more on ‘being.’ Concentration has become a casualty of busy lifestyles with the ability to ‘stay in the moment’ becoming increasingly difficult. I can personally testify from my experience in the classroom, to shortened concentration spans in children which become an obstacle to learning. A child’s ability to focus and remember is a powerful learning tool. As the movements in Tai-Chi have to be memorized it plays a pivotal role in improving memory and focus.
14) A piece of the ‘Quiet’: Our children are surrounded by noise: TV, videos, I-pods, Mobile phones, Tablets, Music system often occurring simultaneously. Relaxation is constantly compromised. Tai-Chi offers a mental haven from extraneous influences because in order to participate successfully you have to shut out the external in order to master the moves.
15) Inner Harmony: Tai-Chi is gentle. It is a combination of movement and meditation that has a calming effect. Children can experience stress and pressure today on both the school front and home front. Many are not equipped to deal with it. Tai-Chi promotes inner harmony and relaxation. Children who are relaxed and balanced get more out of learning and life in general. “The people who teach Tai-Chi to children report that not only are the children calmer, but the parents and teachers find it similarly therapeutic,” comments Dr Lam.
Dr Lam sees Tai-Chi as a useful tool in everyday life. An example of this occurred with a colleague of his, Cathy, who is a fitness leader in the US. Cathy’s five year old was overhead talking to her three year old, who was on the verge of having a tantrum. The five year old said, “try some Tai-Chi breathing for a minute” and once the three year old began the breathing, the tantrum subsided.
16) Exercise/Diet: Any-one who has marvelled at a toddler effortlessly putting their toe in their mouth, under stands the word flexibility. Yet our sedentary lifestyles continue to rob us of it. Tai-Chi exercises inner organs in a gentle way. Diet is related to what is happening in the mind. If Tai-Chi can help children cope with stress, it can reduce the desire to ‘comfort eat’ and keep weight under control. Tai-Chi has been embraced by the Diabetes Foundation of Australia. With the incidence of type 2 diabetes in adolescence rising at an alarming rate, we know that a combination of exercise and diet can help. Tai-Chi can be a worthwhile investment in our children’s future health.
17) Gender : Boys in particular love to learn through action. A book free, desk free, pen and paper free learning environment is highly attractive to boys. Tai-Chi teaches children to remember, focus and think through movement. Add to the mix that Tai-Chi has its origins in martial arts and you have an extra draw card.
18) Non Competitive : Tai-Chi is a great alternative to competitive sport. Many children shy away from organized sport because it requires good co-ordination, strength, speed and a competitive spirit. Children who are daunted by these challenges can be drawn to the gentle movements of Tai-Chi which deliver similar benefits in exercise and health without the challenge of competition.
19) Screen Free Alternative : Screens are part and parcel of everyday life, however they demand very little input from the child who then becomes a passive learner. An increase in movement based activities is one way of addressing the balance between passive and active activities. Tai-Chi can be practiced anywhere, anytime – indoors or outdoors. Tai-Chi is aligned with nature. The teaching of Tai-Chi will hopefully bring people closer to nature. Nature providing an opportunity to nurture: a good move!
Benefits of Tai- Chi :
Balance and fall prevention: Most of the research on Tai Chi has been done in older individuals in the area of balance and fall prevention. This area of research is important because fall-related injuries are the leading cause of death from injury and disability among older adults. One of the most serious fall injuries is hip fracture; one-half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fracture never regain their former level of function. Because Tai Chi movements are slow and deliberate with shifts of body weight from one leg to the other in coordination with upper body movements (sometimes with one leg in the air), it challenges balance and many have long assumed it helps improve balance and reduce fall frequency. This assumption has been credited and strongly supported by some research.
One study compared men age 65 and older who had more than 10 years of experience practicing Tai Chi and no involvement in any other regular sports and physical activity, with similar-aged men who had not practiced Tai Chi or any other physical activities (they were sedentary). It was found that the men who studied Tai Chi performed better on tests of balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular function. In another study involving 22 men and women aged 22 to 76 years with mild balance disorders, it was found that eight weeks of Tai Chi training significantly improved function on a standard balance test (called the Romberg test).
Fear of falling and improvement in self-confidence : In an interesting twist on studies of falling, researchers found that the frequency of fear of falling was reduced from 56% to 31% in a large group of adults 70 years and older who practiced Tai Chi regularly. Confidence about not falling, and self-confidence in general, may be an unintended benefit of Tai Chi but one that is certainly worth pursuing. In a similar Tai Chi study of older adults, 54% of the subjects who practiced Tai Chi attributed their improved sense of confidence to improved balance. The authors concluded that “when mental as well as physical control is perceived to be enhanced, with a generalized sense of improvement in overall well-being, older persons’ motivation to continue exercising also increases.”
Strength and endurance :
One study looked at adults in their 60s and 70s who practiced Tai Chi three times a week for 12 weeks (60-minute classes). These adults were given a battery of physical-fitness tests to measure balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility before and after the 12 weeks. After just six weeks, statistically significant improvements were observed in balance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility measures. Improvements in each of these areas increased further after 12 weeks. The authors of the study concluded that Tai Chi is a potent intervention that improved balance, upper- and lower-body muscular strength and endurance, and upper- and lower-body flexibility in older adults.
Aerobic capacity : Aerobic capacity diminishes as we age, but research on traditional forms of aerobic exercise show that it can improve with regular training. In another meta-analysis study, researchers looked at seven studies focusing on the effects of Tai Chi on aerobic capacity in adults (average age 55 years). The investigators found that individuals who practiced Tai Chi for one year (classical yang style with 108 postures) had higher aerobic capacity than sedentary individuals around the same age. The authors state that Tai Chi may be a form of aerobic exercise.
Walking : Walking speed decreases with age and research suggests that it may be associated with an increased risk of falling. In one study, however, it was found that individuals who practiced Tai Chi walked significantly more steps than individuals who did not. Walking has clearly been associated with a decreased risk of cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic illness, and so if Tai Chi can improve walking, then it’s certainly worth giving it a try.
Fibromyalgia : Fibromyalgia (FM) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders and is associated with high levels of impaired health and painful symptoms that frequently flair up without relief. The cause of FM is unknown, and there is no known cure. In a study of 39 subjects with FM who practiced Tai Chi twice weekly for six weeks (one-hour classes), it was found that FM symptoms and health-related quality of Life improved after the study. This could be good news for many other individuals who suffer from this disorder.
Stress : The demands of Living are stressful for adults of all ages. Although one cannot directly point to studies showing a reduction in stress from practicing Tai Chi (though in one study subjects who practiced Tai Chi reported that mental control was one of the benefits), the breathing, movement, and mental concentration required of individuals who practice Tai Chi may be just the distraction you need from your hectic Lifestyle. The mind-body connection is one that deserves special attention, as it has been reported that breathing coordinated with body movement and eye-hand coordination promote calmness. I know that when I practice yoga or Tai Chi, the inner sense of peace and calm is indisputable, and so I suggest that you give Tai Chi a chance if you’re looking for a creative and physically active way to improve how you mentally and physically respond to stress.
Some more reasons to practice Tai Chi :
i) Movements are low-impact and gentle and put minimal stress on your muscles and joints.
ii) The risk of injury is very low.
iii) You can do it anywhere, anytime.
iv) It requires very little space (no excuses apartment dwellers!) and no special clothing or equipment.
v) You do it at your own pace.
vi) It’s noncompetitive.
vii) It can be done in groups or by yourself (find a Tai Chi instructor to come to your workplace at lunch hour!).
viii) There are lots of movements to keep you interested, and as you become more accomplished you can add those to your routine.
Diesis can be cured :
Hyper tension, Stress, High-pressure, Sugar(Hyper Glycaemia), Diabetes, Cholesterol, Anemia, Varicose-vain, Insomnia, Migraine, Head aching, Muscle-pain, Muscle-stiffness, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatic-problem, Tennis-elbow, Slip-disc,Joint-pain, Cardio-Vascular Problem(Common heart-diesis), Phobia, Hallucination, Paranoia, Nausea, Nervous-disorder, Indigestion, Gall-stone, Lever-disorder, Hyper-tension, Stress, Anxiety, Obesity, Schizophrenia, Asthma, Bronchitis, Low-Pressure, High-pressure, Blood-Sugar(Hyper Glycaemia), Diabetes, Cholesterol, Anemia, Varicose-vain, Insomnia, Migraine, Head aching, Trauma, Muscle-pain, Muscle-stiffness, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatic-problem, Tennis-elbow, Slip-disc, Bone Injury, Fracture-pain, Chronic-pain Bone dislocations, Joint-pain, Paralysis, Cardio-Vascular Problem(Common heart-diesis), Phobia, Hallucination, Nervous-disorder, Indigestion, Acidity, Peptic-ulcer, Renal Failure, Kidney-Stone, Gall-stone, Lever-disorder, Renal Problems, Bronchitis, Cardiac-Failure, Cardiac-arrest, Ischemia, Nephritis, Angina, Glaucoma, Thyroid Problems( Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) Menopause, Psychosomatic-disorder, Mental & Psycho-disorders, Menopause, Psychosomatic-disorder, Mental & Psycho-disorders, Fibroid, Fibromyalgia, Ovary-Cyst, Miss-Carriage, Sexual-disorders, Tumor, Lever disease, Lympho-sarcoma of the intestine, Intestinal disorders, Jaundice, Bile-duct stones, Bile syndrome, Acidity, Cataract, Peptic-Ulcer, Early-Aging, High blood-pressure, Migraine pain, Sinus pain, Rheumatoid-Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Injury-Pain, Stress, Nervous disorders, Depression, Heart disease, Cardio-Vascular disorder, Ischemia, Angina, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Diabetes-mellitus, Insomnia, Hyper Tension, Muscle-stiffness, Spondylitis, Spondylolysis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Uric-Acid, Nephritis, Renal Failure, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, Gallstone colic, Gallstone ileus syndrome, Kidney-Stone, Paralysis, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Leukemia, Hormonal disorders, Varicose-vain, Glaucoma, Cataract problem, Retinal detachment, Thyroid-disorder, Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism, Female Diseas (Menopause, Adnexa, Ovarian-cyst, Urethral-cyst, Asherman’s syndrome, Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, Endometrial hyperplasia, Endometrial polyp, Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, Endometritis, Cervical dysplasia Cervical incompetence, Cervical polyp Cervicitis Female infertility, Cervical stenosis, Nabothian cyst, Psychosomatic-disorder, Dyspareunia, Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, Sexual arousal disorder, Vaginismus, Endometriosis of ovary Female infertility Anovulation Poor ovarian reserve Mittelschmerz Oophoritis, Ovarian apoplexy, Ovarian cyst, Corpus luteum cyst, Follicular cyst of ovary, Theca lutein cyst, Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome,e Ovarian torsion, Female infertility, Fallopian tube obstruction, Hematosalpinx, Hydrosalpinx, Salpingitis, Pelvic congestion syndrome, Pelvic inflammatory disease, Fistulae Recto-vaginal, Uretero-vaginal, Vesico-vaginal Prolapse, Cystocele, Enterocele, Rectocele Sigmoidocele, Clitoral phimosis, Clitorism, Urethrocele, Pelvic congestion syndrome, Pelvic inflammatory disease, Bartholin’s cyst, Kraurosis vulvae, Vestibular papillo-matosis, Vulvitis, Vulvodynia, Parametritis, Adenomyosis) Mental & Psycho-disorders etc.
Introduction : Ba-Gua Zhang (Chinese: 八卦掌; pinyin: Ba Gua Zhang) is one of the three main Chinese martial arts of the Wu Dang school, the other two being Tai Ji Quan and Xing Yi Quan. It is more broadly grouped as an internal practice (or Nei Jia Gong). Ba Gua Zhang Literally means “eight trigram palm,” referring to the trigrams of the I Ching (Yi Jing), one of the canons of Taoism
The Ba Gua or Pa Kua are eight symbols used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each line either “broken” or “unbroken,” respectively representing yin or yang. Due to their tripartite structure, they are often referred to as “Trigrams” in English.
The trigrams are related to Tai Chi philosophy, Tai Chi Quan and the Wu Xing, or “five elements”. The relationships between the trigrams are represented in two arrangements, the Primordial (先天八卦), “Earlier Heaven” or “Fu Xi” Ba Gua (伏羲八卦), and the Manifested (後天八卦), “Later Heaven,” or “King Wen” Ba Gua. The trigrams have correspondences in Astronomy, Astrology, Geography, Geomancy, Anatomy, the family, and elsewhere.
The ancient Chinese classic, I Ching (Pinyin: Yi Jing), consists of the 64 pairwise permutations of trigrams, referred to as “Hexagrams”, along with commentary on each one.
The Origin of Ba Gua Palm (Ba Gua Zhang) :
The Majestic Ba Gua Palm is also referred to as Ba Gua Yous-Heng Lian Huan Palm. The palm originated from the Wen a county in the Hubei province and created by Dong Hai Quan. The palm forms as part of the Nei Jia Fists. The Nei Ji fists are defined as fists which focus mainly in the elements of training, the refinement of personal potential and spirit plus the internal energy. On the other hand, the Ba Gua Palm elements include the interaction of the palm plus movement of the feet. It’s able to combine both the internal and eventual concentration of the breath and the external movements.
The creator of the Ba Gua Palm, Dong Hai Quan was probably born during the 18th year of the Jia Ping emperor in the Qing Dynasty. It’s said that he had become an apprentice of an old Taoist in the Xue Hua Mountain in the South part of China. The master had then spent more than 10 years in teaching him peculiar martial arts that at the same time marvelous. Then his master would give him a book that was named Helu Luo Ji, which he was supposed to sturdy the book in detail. With an inspiration from the book with the help of the Yi theory, he was able to put the scattered techniques into a set of Kung Fu which is currently known as the Ba Gua Palm.
Ba Gua Palms characteristics :
The Ba Gua Palm movements are renowned to be very soft while agile at the same time, thus, making easy for a person to move around and move forward just Like a snake in order to hit an opponent’s lower part. With such quick movements, a person training the Ba Gua Palm could be able to cope with several opponents at the same time.
In Ba Gua, the basic principle is to be able to understand the movements that are between the stances of the body and the palm positions. The patterns that are mostly used of the Ba Gua Palm are the single-changing palm and the double hitting palm, double changing palm and the penetrating palm, turning around palm and the saying palm, the pushing upward palm and the revolving pal. These patterns are the simplest to learn and are much essential in the efficiency of the whole Ba Gua Palm.
The shapes from the Ba Gua Palm include the facing upward palm and the erected palm, the fingers downward palm and the chopping palm, the penetrating palm, and the pushing upward palm plus more other shapes. The shapes create the essence and meaning of the Ba Gua Palm and they are of much essence Like the patterns of the palm. The steps of the Ba Gua Palm also include the twist inside of the feet and the moving with large steps, twist outside the feet, and the stepping from an up positioned to a down positioned stance. These steps like the patterns and the shapes forms part of the Ba Gua Palm and should be learned as essential as others.
The Ba Gua Palm has been used in many occasions in the past as a combat method.
8 Palms :
Single Changing Palm
Double Changing Palm
Smooth Flow Palm
Back Body Palm
Turn Body Palm
Circle Body Palm
Rotating Body Palm
Return Body Palm
The Eight Immortals: (Chinese: 八仙; pinyin: Ba Xian; Wade–Giles: Pa-Hsien): are a group of legendary Xian (“immortals”) in Chinese mythology. Each immortal’s power can be transferred to a power tool (法器) that can bestow Life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the “Covert Eight Immortals” (暗八仙). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bo Hai Sea, which includes Peng Lai Mountain-Island.
The Immortals are :
He Xian ‘Gu
Cao Guo Jiu
Li Tie Guai
Lan Cai He
Lu Dong Bin
Han Xiang Zi
Zhang Guo Lao
Zhong Li Quan
i) One study showed that Qi Gong exercise has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, creating improvements in symptoms such as memory, dizziness, and insomnia.
ii) A study of people with high blood pressure showed that after 12 weeks of Qi Gong, blood pressure and cholesterol levels were lower.
iii) A study in Korea indicated that regular practice of Qi Gong reduced blood pressure, as well as reduced cortisol levels. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland and is often referred to as the “stress hormone” as it is involved in response to stress.
iv) In the treatment of asthma, self-applied Qi Gong led to significant cost decreases, such as reduction in sick days, hospitalization days, emergency consultations, respiratory tract infections, and the number of drugs and drug costs.
v) Unfavorable changes of sex hormone levels due to aging were retarded by regular practice of Qi Gong exercises.
vi) Super Oxide dismutase (SOD), an anti-aging enzyme that is produced naturally by the body, declines with age. SOD is believed to destroy free radicals that may cause aging. In one study the SOD levels of retired workers who did Qi Gong exercises showed that the mean level of SOD was increased by Qi Gong exercise.
vii) A study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine compared the effects of Qi Gong and Tai Chi, on adults 60 and older, measuring their immunity to the Varicella Zoster Virus that causes shingles. After 12 weeks, the participants had raised their immunity to the virus.
viii) Regular practice of Qi Gong can improve sleep and reduce daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
ix) Qi gong and Tai Chi have been shown to reduce stress and psychological distress.
x) The practice of Qi Gong has been shown to reduce arthritis pain and stiffness in the joints. Regular practice of Qi gong helped patients reduce their pain medication.
xi) A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of Tai Ji Quan, patients with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai Ji Quan patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later.
Meditation and Breathing :
The practice of Qi Gong and Nei Gong also involve control of the breath and calm, relaxed and mind that puts aside distracting thoughts for the duration of the practice session. This has been labeled “the relaxation response” by researchers Like Herbert Benson. Benson found that this mind-body state, common to various methods of meditation and exercises Like Qi gong and Nei Gong, could counteract the harmful effects of stress and the flight or fight response. Many of the following conditions can be significantly improved or cured when people regularly engage in a practice that produces the “relaxation response”:
More Benefits :
Ba Gua is a pure energy art originally practiced by those interested in the I Ching or Taoism—having been derived as a physical manifestation to realize the teachings of the I Ching. That is, Ba Gua is an embodiment of the universal principles of change.
However, today things are changing as high performers find it a great way to get a total body workout and a powerful way to obliterate stress. This is because Ba Gua serves as a rigorous and aerobic internal exercise that releases tension from the body, and develops your vital Life-force energy, called chi in the East.
It is also a high-level martial art and, at its most advanced level, can become a vehicle for spiritual development. As such Ba Gua offers a wide range of developmental possibilities unlike single-application practices. So over time, as your goals and needs change, you can continue your basic practice and direct your intent towards that which you wish to accomplish. Because of this it’s very economical since modern Living is busy and time is of the essence.
The Minimalist’s Paradise :
The foundation for Ba Gua is walking the Circle: For some Circle Walking alone offers enough depth and benefits to keep them engaged and interested for many years. Apart from being a martial art, all the practical benefits found in Ba Gua practice can be achieved through Circle Walking.
Regular practice can serve as a no-nonsense, efficient method to open and heal the body, raise and develop your energy, create vibrant health and vitality and, if you choose to walk fast enough, a low-impact aerobic workout. Ba Gua achieves this by incorporating all 16 Nei Gong (components of internal power) into the Circle Walking practice, initially creating a strong, flexible body and later developing the spirit.
Ba Gua could be called the minimalist’s paradise since there are no long forms or complex sets of movements to learn “before” you get to the internal content. You go straight for the meat—that which gives the possibility of profound and lasting health and vitality.
Circle Walking Is a Chi Generator :
Initially, while walking the Circle, movements can be clunky and broken. Over time your practice will become ever-more smooth and continuous. It’s like starting up a turbine: At first it’s sluggish and then, as it gets going, a self-perpetuating flow is maintained. Also, like the turbine, when you’re walking evens out, you start generating serious power or chi (internal energy).
What happens is that the base energy from the food you eat—Jing (or fuel for the turbine)—is circulated through your system as you walk, upgrading and refining that energy into chi (or thrust coming out of the turbine). Chi, in this model, is a higher vibration of energy than that which you get from food. This jump in energy is what makes your body stronger, healthier and more vibrant as well as making your mental faculties more aware, awake and alert.
You are also developing your energy in preparation for advancement towards spirit and emptiness—if you so choose. All of this and you’re only walking around in a circle! Not bad, eh?
As you walk the Circle you continuously bring up, produce and refine energy through the application of the 16 Nei Gong incorporated in the practice. Depending upon how much Nei Gong is in your practice determines how far you can go.
But here’s the trick: To make the next progression you don’t need to learn a new form you simply add more components, which creates more depth to your practice. In this sense it’s like having a turbo charger fitted to your car; the car looks the same, but now you have a lot more power under the bonnet. So, as you upgrade, deepen and refine your practice you arrive at a point where you are able to generate an enormous amount of chi. At times you can get so caught up in the continuum that you literally have to stop yourself from practicing as the space that opens up inside you is absolutely sublime. All nagging thoughts, worries and concerns disappear as your energies open up, flow freely through your system and grow.
Do Nothing whilst Being Absolutely Content
Initially, through Circle Walking and Ba Gua practice, you put your body through its paces. You feel the tensions and restricted areas in your mind, body and spirit and focus on opening them up and bringing them alive. Taoists call this process making your body conscious. When your practice session finishes you simply relax and, with it, space opens up, a sense of physical emptiness. A willingness and acceptance of physical and mental stillness can accompany this emptiness.
Later, after some practice, experiences of emptiness and stillness can start to enter into your Circle Walking and Ba Gua practice and become quite profound—leaving you in a state of not needing anything and simply being. This state can be amplified and enhanced through sitting practices after a Ba Gua session. This is the extreme end of the minimalist camp: doing nothing and being absolutely content…at least for a while!
The Single Palm Change and Beyond
Once you have an understanding of and become proficient in Circle Walking, you can then progress to the Single Palm Change. This is a very short, five-step Ba Gua form—the foundation of, and which is contained within, all the other palm changes or forms within Ba Gua. The purpose of the Single Palm Change is to upgrade and amplify all the benefits of Circle Walking, bring the twisting and spiraling of the soft tissue deeper in the body, giving access to deeper layers of contraction, producing Light energy within and adding the possibility of martial practice.
Once you have learnt the Single Palm Change, you can learn any of the eight palms. Whether you learn all eight palms, or stick with only the Single Palm Change, you can develop your body, mind and Life-force energy to a very high degree. These palm changes are designed to go directly into your core: opening, healing, balancing and developing your system as you practice.
Efficient Practice for Refining Your Being
Since the palm changes (also called forms or palms) are very short and concise, they never take more than 20 to 30 seconds to perform at the slowest speeds. They can be completed in a matter of a few seconds at high speeds. The palms are practiced equally on both sides of the body in a left-right-left continuum, creating and maintaining balance as you practice. With a regular exercise regime and walking at a reasonably fast pace, it is possible to practice the same palms tens or hundreds of times in a single practice session. You refine and hone the effectiveness of your practice whilst following an old
Taoist dictum: Doing a Little really well yields much more than doing a lot poorly.
Circle Walking initially opens up the body, increases blood flow and gets your metaphorical chi generator engaged and running. The Single and other palms delve deeper into your body, accessing deeper and deeper layers of stuck tissue and condensed energies. This is why Ba Gua reaches the parts that other movement practices do not reach.
When a particular palm change or technique starts to open up something inside you, you are free to practice that particular palm or technique again and again, working lose any bound chi. (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoists view illness, dysfunction and injury as resulting from or creating blocked chi.)
You are not restricted by a particular order of moves, or after a certain number of repetitions that you must then move on to another move as in Tai Chi or Qi Gong. You can go into the body using whatever is working for you and open up that condensed energy to free yourself from it. This is one of many design features within Ba Gua that gives you the ability to quickly and efficiently bring up old traumas and/or conditioning, accept it for what it is, let go of it and move on.
For several days or weeks you may have the same practice model whilst learning and developing a new palm or aspect of Nei Gong, or opening up a specific place in your body. At some point everything gels or changes inside you and your practice changes with it.
Once that space is opened, or the particular aspect is integrated, it’s time to move on to the next component. It could be that your practice changes on a daily basis for a while—some days slow walking, some fast or both. You may practice one palm after the other or totally randomly. As the thought of a palm change comes into your mind you are already beginning that palm as your body reacts to your intent. This part of the practice obliterates inertia. You find yourself moving unrestricted without any sudden jerks and smoothly flowing through the well-oiled and practiced palm. You move like a great river turning and twisting its way along its carved path through the earth. This kind of spontaneous practice of highly refined and developed techniques allows you to use, in the moment, whatever is available to you to achieve the desired results—pulling up the roots of physical and emotional pain and spiritual malaise.
The more you practice the deeper you go clearing out the residue of all past illness, injury and trauma. Delving in, layer by layer, you loosen and release the root causes of pain and discomfort. Traditionally the Inner Dissolving practices were brought into play to achieve these goals, initially through sitting and later with Circle Walking practice. The Inner Dissolving method is a progressive and sophisticated process by which you release all blockages in your body, mind and spirit.
It is through Inner Dissolving that you can fully resolve past traumas and truly work on emotional maturity and spirituality. Again, not by changing the forms or learning a new set, but rather by adding an essential new component to your foundation practice. All of these practices are only possible through actualizing the basic rule of learning any high-level practice—separate and combine.
Whatever aspects of the game for which you choose to engage Ba Gua offers the possibility of getting down to the real developmental work directly. It allows you the space to change and grow with your practice, spontaneously as your Life unfolds.
Ba Gua offers you a certain je ne sais quoi—an edge in bringing you back to your center—balancing the competing demands of the modern world and your inner world. Ba Gua grounds you in your body.
Ba Gua is a gift from the gods, an answer to the question: “How can I maintain stability and balance in a world full of stress and madness?”
Ba Gua Zhang
Ba Gua Zhang (Chinese: 八卦掌; pinyin: Ba Gua Zhang) is one of the three main Chinese martial arts of the Wudang school, the other two being Tai Ji Quan and Xing Yi Quan. It is more broadly grouped as an internal practice (or Nei Jia Quan). Ba Gua Zhang literally means “eight trigram palms,” referring to the trigrams of the I Ching (Yi Jing), one of the canons of Taoism
In popular culture :
i) Air bending in Avatar: The Last Air bender and The Legend of Korra is modeled on Ba Gua Zhang.
ii) Ba Gua Zhang features briefly in the manga History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi.
iii) The Hyu Ga clan from Naruto use the Gentle Fist style which is based on Ba Gua Zhang. For example, their signature technique called Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms is derived from Ba Gua Zhang terminology.
iv) Ling Xiao Yu from the Tekken video game series uses Ba Gua Zhang.
v) In the 2010 live-action film Tekken, Jin Kazama says that he is impressed by fellow competitor Christie Monteiro due to her foot placement while practicing Ba Gua Zhang.
vi) Ashrah from Mortal Kombat: Deception and Kitana from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance use Ba Gua Zhang.
vii) Joscelin Verreuil from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series uses a fighting style similar to Ba Gua Zhang, which is the fighting style of the Cassiline Brotherhood.
viii) Qu Tuang from the Manga Battle Angel Alita: Last Order uses a style based on Ba Gua Zhang called “Ahat Mastade” that is meant for fighting in zero gravity.
ix) In the 2000 movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the police inspector Tsai was dueling with Jade Fox using a pair of deer horn knives, a very typical weapon of the Ba Gua Zhang system.
x) Jet Li’s character in The One uses Ba Gua Zhang, while the antagonist version of the character uses Xing Yi Quan
xi) In the 2006 movie Jadesoturi (Jade Warrior), in the Pin Yu vs Sin Tai fight, they used Ba Gua Zhang as a sort of courting.
xii) In the 2010 movie sequel Ip Man 2, one of the styles used during the tabletop fight is Ba Gua Zhang.
xiii) In the 2012 movie sequel Tai Chi Hero, the final fights were against Ba Gua Zhang disciples and master.
xiv) Kenji the Manga, the protagonist Kenji uses Ba Gua Zhang when dueling the main antagonist Xing Yi Liu he Quan practitioner Tony.
xv) The 2013 Hong Kong martial arts movie The Grandmaster featured a Northern Chinese martial arts style called the 64 Hands, which featured the circle walking and elaborate palm changes of Ba Gua Zhang.
Ba Ji Quan
The Introduction of Ba Ji Fist (Ba Ji Quan) :
Ba Ji fist, one of the northern fist styles, also called Kaimen Ba Ji Quan, Ba Ji Fist, Ba Zi Fist, Zuo Sha Xing etc., is a kind of Duan Da fist style. According to the most popular opinions about Ba Ji fist, it originated from the Hui-people of Cang County in Hei Bei province.
Branches and Lineages :
Prominent branches and Lineages of the art survived to modern times, including Han family Ba Ji, Huo family, Ji family, Li family, Ma family, Qiang family, Wu family (from Wu Xie Feng), Wu-Tan Ba Ji Quan and Yin Yang Ba Ji Quan. Each has its unique elements, while sharing core practices. Some Lineages are more common or only exist in Mainland China, while others have spread to Western countries.
Wu-Tan Ba Ji :
Wu-Tan Ba Ji is the most common Lineage in the West today. Originally from Taiwan, where its founder, Liu Yun Chiao lived. This Lineage includes additional arts which are taught alongside Ba Ji, such as Pi Gua Quan and Ba Gua Zhang. Jian Dian sheng> Li Shu Wen> Liu Yun Chiao > Adam Hsu and Tony Yang >Many students in Taiwan and abroad (taught by either Hsu or Yang).
Nan Jing Ba Ji :
Ba Ji of Nan Jing was introduced to the Guo Shu Institute by students of Zhang Jing Xing, Han Hui Qing and Ma Ying Tu. Han had a great influence on the spread of Ba Ji in southern China, to the point that there was a saying ‘Bei Li nan Han’ meaning ‘Li [Shu Wen] in the north and Han [Hua Chen] in the south’.
Meng Cun Ba Ji
Meng Village is said to be the original birthplace of Ba Ji Quan, or at least the modern versions of the art. Ba Ji is still widely practiced there.
Wu Xiu Feng :
Wu Xiu Feng (1908–1976) is the “grandfather” of many modern Ba Ji Lineages. The following Lineages came down from him.
A branch of the art which has mutual influences from Jin gang Ba Shi—the second art practiced by Tian Jin Zhong. Wu Xiu Feng >> Tian Jin Zhong >> Shen Jia Rui >> Zhou Jing Xuan>> Many students in China and abroad.
The creation of Zhao Fu Jiang, who combined his knowledge of Ba Ji, Xing Yi Quan and Yi Quan to create a new art form. Wu Xiu Feng >> Zhao Fu Jiang >> Many students in China.
Ba Ji Fists characteristics :
Ba Ji fist style belongs to Duan Da fist, movements are very aggressive. In regards to techniques, it suggests blocking and grabbing explosively, hitting powerfully, embodying the characters such as Ai, Bang, Ji, Kao and Beng, Han, Tu, Ji. The power originates from the heel, goes through to waist, all the way to the finger tips, and has a great explosive power filled with an art of attack and defense. Because the movements are very aggressive and explosive, a saying in Chinese folklore says: it is Yin and Yang Tai Chi culture that guarantees the universal peace, and it is Ba Ji fist that stabilizes Qian and Kun.
Ba Ji is not only famous for its aggressive techniques, but also famous for its close quarter’s combat application. The most famous one is Tie Shan Kao (push with body close to). When practicing Tie Shan Kao, Ba Ji disciples usually use their body to hit the wall, trees, and logs. The key point of it is to get close to it, as close as kissing someone, hitting him with shoulder. It seems that power comes from the shoulder but actually the twisting power which is made by waist and hip does great harm to people, who can be taken down as well. 6 “Kai” combines six powers, which is explosive and destructive, however, about Tie Shan Kao; there is a very important Ba Ji kick, which is called Cuo Ti (rubbing kick).
Doing Ba Ji Fist is like walking under the mud, kick lower than the knees. Cuo Ti can just embody this character, it requires that foot step under the opponent’s knee, and foot is the best part to land. So this kick is not as destructive as other kicks, but it mainly aims at breaking his balance, achieving the efficiency of beating him down with less power but more technique.
Additionally, it is one of the fists that pay attention to the combination of normal training and sparring. Sudden up and down movements and constant approaches once combat is initiated, the biggest quality of Ba Ji attack. With its great practical value, some characteristics are adopted by military and armed policemen when practicing Qin Na, take downs, and combat. The Qi’s circulation way in Ba Ji: starts from the lower back, gets stronger in neck, originates from the waist, step like walking under mud, with Qi going down instead of up.
9 requirements for body gesture :
i) Keep body straight and mind clear
ii) Relax shoulder and keep Qi down
iii) To be straight externally and to be round internally
iv) Keep neck straight and upper body closed
v) Shake hips and bend waist
vi) Improve the coordination of the feet and hands
vii) Let the Qi go through the power
viii) Whole body attacks together
ix) Concentrate on Dan Tian
Power: If we compare martial arts to car design, training to increase power output in the external martial arts
involves trying to make the engine bigger and more powerful. Training in the internal martial arts focuses first on releasing the emergency brake and streamlining the car. In the human body, it turns out that the “emergency brake” — biomechanical as well as mental inefficiencies that impede, limit, or drain power — has a startlingly significant aggregate effect.
Response Time. The emergency brake analogy still applies. You can see obviously that a car with its emergency brake on will handle far more poorly and slowly than one without.
Health Benefits :
More efficient resource management-Training in the internal martial arts doesn’t just make your body and mind more efficient during combative situations, but in virtually all things. Think about what this means: if your body produces X amount of energy a day, and you train your body to sit, stand, walk, and think using less energy, more of it is available for your body to use as you have fun, focus on your work, recover from your workouts, and fight disease.
As an ancillary benefit, I happen to find training in the internal martial arts to be enjoyably fascinating, and while it is still as strenuous, it also involves less wear and tear on the body.
Benefits of Martial Arts that is predominantly internal :
Preservation of joint mobility at an advanced age- since the joints are not excessively stressed.
Safer against weapon attacks and full-on strikes – when you deflect as opposed to meeting force with force, the opponent loses the ability to regain balance from your resulting momentum. For example, blocking a strike allows the opponent to use your arm as a point of balance to reverse direction to strike in another direction swiftly. In the case of knife attacks, martial artists conditioned to block, often get cuts on their arms.
Efficient generation of power and longer lasting stamina- because the objective is never about muscling a technique but using a combination of body mechanics and coordinated tensioning and relaxation of the muscles. In a non-martial arts context, I compared my broad jumps when using muscular strength against relaxed coordination of jumping fundamentals. – Relaxed coordination helped with exploding forward with less effort.
Mindful Reflection- when training involves getting coordination as opposed to passing off techniques with pure muscling through (note that I understand that external martial arts are not purely muscle, but some practitioners are able to pass off a strike with muscular strength and little technique), practitioners develop the mind to judge distance, nuances and momentum calmly. This can be carried forward to regular life.
Qi Gong, Qi Gong, Chi Kung, or Chi Gung (simplified Chinese: 气功; traditional Chinese: 氣功; pinyin: Qi Gong; Wade–Giles: Chi Gong; literally: “Life Energy Cultivation”) is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, Qi Gong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance Qi (chi), translated as “Life energy”. According to Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, Qi Gong allows access to higher realms of awareness, awakens one’s “True Nature”, and helps develop human potential.
Qi Gong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qi Gong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide for Recreation, Exercise and Relaxation, Preventive medicine and Self-healing, Alternative medicine, Meditation and self-cultivation, and Training for Martial arts.
What is Qi-Gong ?
Qi Gong (alternatively spelled chi gung or Chi Kung) is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.
When you practice and learn a Qi Gong exercise movement, there are both external movements and internal movements. These internal movements or flows in China are called Nei Gong or “internal power”. These internal Nei Gong movements make Qi Gong a superior health and wellness practice. The internal movements also differentiate Qi Gong from almost every other form of exercise in the West that often emphasizes prolonged cardiovascular movements (such as in running and biking) or that focus on muscular strength training (weight lifting).
China’s 3000 years old system of Self-Healing :
The effectiveness of Qi Gong has been proven in China by its beneﬁcial impact on the health of millions of people over thousands of years. Developing the life force, or chi, is the focus of Taoism, China’s original religion/philosophy. The Taoists are the same people who brought acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, bone setting, and the yin/yang concept to the world. Unfortunately, most of the speciﬁcs of these valuable contributions have until just recently been blocked from Western awareness by immense cultural and language barriers. These barriers are beginning to break down to an extent in acupuncture, but with regard to Qi Gong they are still very much in place. For most people, the ﬁrst and foremost beneﬁt of Qi Gong lies in the relief or prevention of chronic health problems. The range of maladies that have been helped by Qi Gong in China include cancer, internal organ ailments, poor circulation, nerve pain, back and joint problems and general physical disease.
Qi Gong Gives Mental Clarity :
Many physical problems are at least partially due to, or aggravated by, mental or emotional stress, so the importance of the inner tranquility developed through chi gung cannot be overestimated. The practice of Qi Gong helps manage the stress, anger, depression, morbid thoughts, and general confusion that prey on your mind when your chi is not regulated and balanced. Strengthening and balancing the energy of your mind enhances your ability to detect subtle nuances and to perceive the world and its patterns at ever-increasing levels of complexity. People who do practice some form of energy development many never acquire these abilities.
Taoism’s Three Spiritual Treasures :
Qi Gong is also useful on the spiritual level. The ultimate aim of all inner Taoist practices is the alchemical transformation of the body, mind, and spirit, leading to union with the Tao. Feeling the energy of your body makes it possible for you to understand the energy of your thoughts and emotions, and this leads to comprehending the energy of the spirit. From here it is possible to fully understand the energy of meditation or emptiness, and through emptiness it is possible to become one with the Tao.
According to Taoism, every human being contains “the three treasures”—jing (sperm/ovary energy, or the essence of the physical body), chi (energy, including the thoughts and emotions), and shen (spirit or spiritual power). Wu (emptiness) gives birth to and integrates the three treasures.
Clearing Energy Blocks :
Many people involved with spiritual disciplines focus their attention on enlightenment, and in the process injure their bodies and agitate their minds. They attempt to train in the higher spiritual disciplines without ﬁrst clearing the energy blocks in their physical and emotional bodies. This way of proceeding can cause the equivalent of a short circuit in their systems, as spiritual practices may generate more power than their bodies or minds can handle.
Many monks from different Buddhist sects in China have had to seek out Taoist masters to repair the damage to their systems caused by overly forceful meditation techniques. That is why Qi Gong is only a preparatory practice for Taoist meditation. Qi Gong can help calm an agitated mind and your negative emotions, strengthen the nerves, clear energy blocks and make you healthy. However, Qi Gong alone is normally insufﬁcient to resolve and clear serious and traumatic emotional and spiritual blockages within the deeper layers of your consciousness. This more encompassing skill primarily belongs in the realm of Taoist meditation.
Qi Gong & Personal Development :
Qi Gong represents a total system of energy work and personal development system. The exercises presented the Energy Arts Qi Gong Exercise Program are all that are necessary to maintain high-level health and increase overall awareness. This set of exercises can also serve as warm-up exercises for internal martial artists and energetic healers. These will give the average person at least as much internal beneﬁt as they would most likely obtain from the practice of tai chi with the vast majority of the Tai Chi teachers in the West, as most teachers either do not know or do not share information regarding the internal energy work of tai chi.
Qi Gong Can Be Practiced by People of Any Religion :
Qi Gong was primarily developed as an exercise to keep people healthy and reduce tension. Qi Gong is practiced by people of all spiritual and religious persuasions. Although the basis of Qi Gong is Taoism, one of the primary Eastern religions, there is no necessity to learn or believe its philosophy to practice Qi Gong.
Qi Gong is Not a Cult :
For ﬁve thousand years, Taoists have practiced techniques for developing chi. most modern Taoists are reluctant to publicly declare that they do Qi Gong and other energy work, preferring to quietly practice in private.
The Mind Directs the Chi
The science of Qi Gong is based on the axiom that the mind has the ability to direct chi, which this book can teach you how to accomplish. You can begin Qi Gong to feel their nerves, and this ability increases with time. You can literally learn to go inside your body with your mind, feel what is there, and direct your chi where it needs to go. This is not a mysterious process, but a natural one that can be acquired with time and effort. It is possible to get 50 to 60 percent of the potential health beneﬁts of tai chi just by doing these exercises, which are probably only one-tenth as difﬁcult to learn as Tai Chi. In addition, there are higher level techniques in tai chi, which are accessible only after mastering all the internal material of these Qi Gong exercises.
Qi Gong, which is sometimes spelled Chi-Kung (and pronounced chee-gung), is the study and practice of cultivating vital life-force through various techniques, including:
- Breathing techniques
- Guided imagery
Qi means “breath” or “air” and is considered the “Vital-life-force” or “life-force energy.” Qi Gong practitioners believe that this vital-life-force penetrates and permeates everything in the universe. It corresponds to the Greek “pneuma,” the Sanskrit “prana,” or the Western medical conception of “bioelectricity.” Gong means “work” or “effort” and is the commitment an individual puts into any practice or skill that requires time, patience, and repetition to perfect. Through study, the individual aims to develop the ability to manipulate Qi in order to promote self-healing, prevent disease, and increase longevity.
More about Qi Gong techniques
There are two types of Qi Gong practice:
- Wai Dan (External Elixir) involves physical movement and concentration
- Nei Dan (Internal Elixir) involves sitting meditation and guided imagery or visualization
According to the traditional teachings of Qi Gong, beginners first learn physical movements coordinated with breathing techniques. They practice sets of exercises (similar to Tai Chi) until each movement or posture is perfected. Once they learn the form, the next step is to find the subtle flow or fluctuation of energy within the postures, movements, breathing patterns, and transitions. This is called moving meditation.
Among the exercises, there are many postures that are held for long periods of time. These postures are somewhat similar to those of yoga. They are practiced to strengthen the limbs and increase energetic flow. These postures fall into the category of still meditation.
Sitting meditation focuses on becoming more acquainted with the breath, body, and mind.
Moving, still, and sitting meditations can all be practiced with or without visualization. Visualization enhances the scope of practice by allowing the practitioner to guide the energy in accordance with the visualization. Qi Gong uses combinations of these practices in an effort to promote health and improve digestion; boost the immune system; and relieve headaches, Sinus congestion, aches and Pain, and Stress – to name a few.
What are the types of Qi Gong ?
There are many forms and styles of Qi Gong, but they all fit into one of three main categories:
- Medical Qi Gong to heal self and others
- Martial Qi Gong for physical prowess
- Spiritual Qi Gong for enlightenment
Generally, all Qi Gong practitioners incorporate exercises and techniques from all three categories–the only difference is their focus.
Medical Qi Gong :
This is the most popular of the three categories. It is the oldest of the four branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the energetic foundation from which Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, and Chinese massage (Tui Na) originated. Thus Qi Gong shares the foundational theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses similar diagnostic and treatment methods.
There are two types of medical Qi Gong:
- Self-Healing Qi Gong, during which individuals practice Qi Gong exercises to enhance their health, prevent disease, and address illness.
- External Qi Gong or Qi Emission, during which Qi Gong practitioners emit Qi with the intention to heal others. (See more about this below.) In addition to emitting Qi for healing, a good Qi Gong practitioner usually prescribes specific exercises designed to help regulate Qi. The patients incorporate these Qi Gong exercises into their daily practice as well as receive occasional sessions from the Qi Gong healer/practitioner.
Martial Qi Gong :
This type of Qi Gong focuses on physical prowess. Martial Qi Gong practitioners can break bricks, bend steel wires, place sharp objects in vulnerable parts of the body without damaging the skin, or sustain physical impact from baseball bats. Martial Qi Gong practitioners can demonstrate physical feats considered impossible by modern science.
Spiritual Qi-Gong :
This type of Qi Gong uses mantras, mudras (hand positions), sitting meditations, and prayers to pursue enlightenment. These techniques are heavily influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Spiritual Qi Gong teaches discipline and leads to self-awareness, tranquility, and harmony with nature and self. Spiritual practitioners train their Qi to a much deeper level, working with many internal functions of the body. They practice to obtain control of their body, mind, and spirit, with the goal of escaping from the cycle of reincarnation.
What do Qi Gong healers do ?
Qi Gong healers practice the same foundational techniques as everyone else, but they have practiced so much that they understand every move, breathe, and thought behind the techniques. Through effort (“gong”), Qi Gong healers have gained a deeper understanding of the exercises and aimed this effort toward learning how to control Qi.
Qi Gong practitioners believe that those who have the ability to control Qi can emit Qi to heal others. This can be done in many ways depending on the healer:
- Qi Gong massage: placing hands on the receiver through massage, acupressure, or touch.
- Tool manipulation: using a pointed object, acupuncture needle, precious metals, or stones (silver, gold, brass, jade, etc.) to manipulate various areas of the body.
- Item empowerment: energizing precious metals or stones, water (for washing or drinking), teas, and herbal formulas to enhance their own healing properties.
- Qi emission: placing hands several inches above the body and emitting Qi to remove negative influences and supplement deficiencies.
- Distance healing: focusing on an individual many miles away and emitting energy with the intention of correcting his or her imbalances. Some see this as similar to a very powerful prayer.
Practitioners believe that to effectively emit Qi to help heal others, Qi Gong healers need to maintain their personal health. Therefore, they continuously practice self-healing Qi Gong to regulate their personal health. The practice of Qi Gong teaches that without self-healing, the Qi Gong healer’s ability to heal diminishes as well as his or her own health. Practitioners further believe that diligent practice helps them progressively develop skills such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience that can help the healer’s diagnosis skills.
In addition to their strong practice, Qi Gong healers understand Traditional Chinese Medicine theory (Qi, five-element, meridians, and other theory) and its applications. A healer uses this foundational knowledge in partnership with intuition to balance the patient’s Qi. However, if a Qi Gong healer relies too heavily on theory, or too much on intuition, he or she won’t become a great healer. Only those who find the balance do so.
Relationship of Qi Gong to Tai Chi :
In the West, most systems of Tai Chi or other internal martial arts are taught from the viewpoint of movement, with principles such as softness, relaxation, and body alignment thrown in. However, most of the internal components of Tai Chi that bring about health are commonly overlooked. Whether this lack of information is due to the reticence of teachers or the language and cultural barriers between China and the West, a large vacuum of knowledge does exist for Westerners.
The traditional and complete internal martial arts of Tai Chi, hsing-i, and Ba Gua are extremely subtle and advanced forms of Qi Gong. Authentic material on these arts is rarely found in the West and, where it is found, the transmissions tend to be clouded
1. Qi-Gong is better than Yoga :
Qi Gong is easier than yoga. Qi Gong is accessible to absolutely everyone. I’ve taught extreme athletes, and extreme couch potatoes. I’ve taught 20-somethings and 80-somethings. I’ve taught disabled veterans and marathoners (and also disabled marathoners). For example, the picture above shows the exercise called Pushing Mountains, which involves gently moving your palms back and forth in a flowing manner, and coordinating your breath with the movement. Anyone can do this exercise. It can be done sitting, it can be done in a wheelchair, and it can even be done with one arm. There is only 1 prerequisite for success with Qi Gong: a strong desire to practice for 15 minutes a day (or more). I probably don’t need the rest of this list. This reason is enough to explain why Qi Gong will explode in popularity.
2. Qi Gong is easier than Tai Chi :
There are many reasons why the art of tai chi didn’t see the same boom as yoga, despite it being practiced in the US for over 50 years. In my experience, the biggest reason is this: people are intimidated by Tai Chi. I can’t tell you how many students have come to me over the years telling me that they previously tried tai chi, but found it confusing, frustrating, and stressful. With Qi Gong, you don’t need to memorize long, complex routines. Nor do you need to worry about the martial aspects of the art. Qi Gong allows you to dive immediately into the meditative and energetic aspects of the art, which is also what brings you quick results.
3. Qi Gong is challenging
Although some Qi Gong exercises are physically easy, other exercises are incredibly challenging — both physically and mentally. Because there are so many different Qi Gong techniques, it’s easy to raise the difficulty level for those who are ready. Just as there are techniques that are appropriate for those who are ill or out of shape, there are also techniques that even an Olympic athlete would find challenging. And this is wonderful because it means that the art of Qi Gong can grow with us.
4. Qi Gong is medicine
Yes, yoga can be medicine. And so can walking. And so can laughter. But Qi Gong is unique in that it was actually engineered to be medicine. (Note: Not all styles of Qi Gong were designed to be medicine. For example, Iron Shirt Qi Gong is not meant to be medicine, although it can have therapeutic effects.) Qi Gong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. In China, you can find Qi Gong in the hospitals. In fact, in some hospitals there’s an entire Qi Gong wing !
5. Qi Gong is complementary
If you see an acupuncturist in the United States, you will often be prescribed both herbs and acupuncture. This is because the two forms of medicine complement each other well. Perhaps the main reason why Qi Gong is so complementary is because you can take it home and use it safely on your own — something that isn’t possible with most forms of medicine. Over the years, I have collaborated with acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, MDs, reiki healers, osteopaths, and nutritionists. I have seen with my own eyes how Qi Gong can greatly complement other forms of healing.
6. Qi Gong is empowering :
Yoga is empowering too. But unlike yoga, Qi Gong doesn’t require physical strength or flexibility. In fact, too much physical strength can be a hindrance with Qi Gong. Body builders, for example, often struggle to relax the muscles and let go of deeper layers of tension. An art that doesn’t need brawn for success is empowering to women, to the physically unfit, to the disabled, to children, and to smaller-sized men like myself.
7. The world is ready for mindfulness :
Mindfulness and meditation have been on the cover of Time Magazine several times. Even major corporations are talking about mindfulness these days. The world is falling in love with mindfulness, and this is a beautiful thing.
8. Qi Gong is fun :
I imagine that yoga is fun for many people. I prefer Qi Gong, and so do many of my students. Let’s call this one a tie.
9. Qi Gong is accessible
Compared to other arts, you actually need very little training to start getting remarkable results with Qi Gong. This is because Qi Gong emphasizes internal aspects like mindfulness, breath, and energy flow rather than physical postures and alignment. I can train a fresh beginner to start getting amazing results in just 3 hours. In fact, I’ve watched many students continue to practice on their own and get all sorts of wonderful health benefits after only 3 hours of training. You can even start getting results with just 10 minutes of instruction! Click here to get instant access to a free online Qi Gong course.
10. Qi Gong flows :
With yoga, you don’t usually take a single exercise and do it 20 times in a row. With Qi Gong, this is the norm. Repeating a simple, flowing exercise like Gathering Qi from the Cosmos 20 times in a row allows you to forget about the form, and instead focus on the internal aspects. This creates a wonderfully enjoyable flow when practicing Qi Gong.
11. People are learning Chinese :
This reason is probably unexpected, but I think it is significant. The world is changing, and the East is becoming a powerhouse, especially China.
People are learning Chinese in order to do business with China. If you can speak and read traditional Chinese, then you can make the leap to classical Chinese easily. As Westerners learn to speak and read Chinese, the Qi Gong and tai chi classics will become better studied and translated. This will only serve to strengthen the art of Qi Gong. I think it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing pop psych books about applying the Qi Gong and Tai Chi classics to business and relationships !
12. It’s all about the Qi :
There is a growing awareness about acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and feng shui. In all of these arts, Qi is the star. Although the concept of qi is historically Chinese, it is a phenomenon that transcends culture. It’s all Qi — whether you call it Qi, or prana, or vital energy. I believe that, in the 21st century, humans will start to see that it’s all about the Qi. And once they do, it’s natural for them to become interested in the ancient art of cultivating the Qi — Qi Gong !
13. Tai chi is empty without Qi Gong :
Although tai chi is more widely known in the US, it is often devoid of real qi cultivation. This is unfortunate. Tai chi is a martial art that should have the concept of qi as a central training tool. Many people practice only the external, physical aspects of tai chi, and these people are becoming increasingly interested in Qi Gong to supplement their tai chi training.
14. Qi Gong is spiritual :
Both Qi Gong and yoga can be used to cultivate spirituality regardless of your religious background. In fact, I’ve taught religious leaders from all of the major world traditions — and none of them had any issues with practicing Qi Gong. Qi Gong gives us a wonderful and practical way to work on spirituality. It allows us to heal not just our body, not just our mind, and not even just our spirit — but rather the combination of all three. Qi Gong is all about unifying mind, body, and spirit, not separating them. For example, some stubborn medical ailments will actually required that you practice exercises that work on mental/emotional/spiritual blockages.
15. Qi Gong supercharges sitting meditation :
Legend has it that Bodhidharma arrived at the Shaolin Temple only to find that the monks were sick, weak, and unable to go deeply into their sitting meditation. To solve the problem, he taught them Qi Gong. And it worked. The Shaolin Monks turned into some of the best meditators in history, not to mention some of the best kung fu masters. In my experience, the same phenomenon is happening today. People are practicing sitting meditation, but not reaping the rewards that they deserve. Simply adding a daily Qi Gong practice can supercharge your meditation, just like it did for the Shaolin Monks 1500 years ago.
16. Qi Gong is a quicker path to healing :
More than ever, people are looking for fast and effective forms of healing. Many of these people end up finding Qi Gong — even if they had previously practiced yoga for many years. Because it is designed as a form of medicine, Qi Gong can be a faster path to getting the results that you want. If you get good instruction and then practice for 15-minutes per day, you will see good results within weeks, if not days. And if you practice 15 minutes twice daily, then you’ll see truly remarkable results!
There you have it. That’s why I believe that Qi Gong will be bigger than yoga in 10-20 years. What do you think? Did I miss any reasons? Do you agree or disagree with my argument ? As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And remember, if you have friends or family who would like a taste of Qi Gong, then please share my free online course with them.