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Pang Nam Denies
Recent articles in the martial arts press (this magazine included), about the Wing Chun system and master Pang Nam have of late been causing quite a stir. These articles have suggested that master Pang Nam studied the 'original' Wing Chun system as it was before Yip Man and even Dr Leung Jan, from Dai Fa Min Kam.
The problem Ls that Dai Fa Min Kam lived 200 years ago and so Pang Nam could not possibly have studied with him.
In the March issue of Inside Kung Fu, Master Pang Nam has categorically stated that he did not study with Da Fa Min Kam and is quite upset that he has been misrepresented, his "information distorted" and has been made to look "very stupid".
He states that he learnt his Wing Chun from Chiu Chow (a student of Chan Yui Min, son of Chan Wah Shun), Lai Hip Chi and later with Liu Yu Chai (all descendants of Chan Wah Shun). In fart he regards Yip Man as a 'Si Gong' (Grand Teacher), as his Sifu Chan Yui Min served under Yip Man in the Foshan Police force. For a more complete account of what he said please refer to the March issue of Inside Kung Fu.
To the Chinese, especially in the martial arts, your lineage is very important, and there is a saying "Hei Si Min Jo", which translated means "Lying about your teachers and your skill destroys your family and ancestors", and this is viewed a serious 'crime'. It is good to see that these values are still very important to some.
Tse Qigong Centre UK
PO Box 59 Altrincham WA15 8FS
0845 838 2285 [email protected]
Enlightened Martial Artist
A good martial artist being a secure and confident person, is also an enlightened person. A wise martial artist or master does not fight or hit someone very easily. Kung-fu is not about punching a person on the nose when you lose your temper. It is wrong to improve your fighting techniques by fighting someone on the street, or going to other kwoons (clubs) and fighting black-belts, to tTy and prove you're better than everyone. I believe you must not only develop the physical side of your training, i.e. punching, blocking and kicking, but also the mental and spiritual side. You must develop your mind, in having a correct attitude in learning, or attaining enlightenment
I believe in the Chinese Yin and Yang principle and Buddhism. This principle you can apply to everything in life. You must study and apply in life, philosophy, wisdom, religion and strategy-
Everything in life and the universe is simple. Human beings make everything difficult and complicated. If you are confused and lost in life, you have lost your faith in yourself. If you ask too many questions and have too many ideas you will become confused and mixed up in your Tao (way of life). The first form of Wing Chun called Sil Lim Tao means "way of small thoughts", or "little imagination". Sil Lim Tao is the secret to learning, or adding good knowledge, because you cannot learn, add or build, with big or large ideas.
I think in general the people in the west are lost, they use only the physical side of the martial arts. They are unhappy and very aggressive people. It is very important to know and understand the mental and spiritual side of yourself. When Kung-fu was practiced in China originally, they were shown the physical, mental and spiritual side. What is lacking in western society is the traditional values of the east e.g. love, respect, patience, help of old and young people, happiness, mental and physical health.
Never give up your learning process, always want to learn, to progress and attain enlightenment Never say "I have learnt everything". Enlightenment and learning has no limit or end, only continuity. We learn something new every day.
Something is nothing, scientists have proved that Yin and Yang works, we are a result of the big bang theory of the beginning of everything in the cosmos. What does 'Kung-fu' mean? Time is energy, is time, 'Kung' means 'time', 'fu' means 'energy'.
YANG / YIN Something Nothing explode implode hot cold strong weak life death happy unhappy man woman hard soft relaxed tense inhale exhale light dark beginning ending
YIN and YANG cannot be separated. They are two half parts of one whole. Without one you cannot have the other. For every end you have a beginning and vice versa.
Yours sincerely M. Abdi, London. Dear Michael,
Just when you thought it was safe to open your letters, it's me again with some questions, but this time I've thought of some 'different' questions for you which I hope you find interesting. Firstly, how long does the Qi energy you've stored after a Qigong practice stay in your body? Is there a test you can do to see how strong/much Qi you have if you practise the soft styles of Qigong for health instead of hard Qigong? As I am unemployed I cannot afford to travel to your London Fung Shui seminars, so could you please send me all the information I would need (for this year/next year) to Fung Shui my home, e.g. furniture, direction, colours, light and I would pay any costs incurred. Also my date of birth is 16.4.72. I feel I am doing the monkey movement for spleen wrong, (it feels a bit awkward) so do you have any
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u tips/advice on what to do please! Also as I haven't had a reply from my last letter (sent 10.2.93) I was wondering if the letter ever reached you. Because as always I had some important questions on that letter, so I hope you find my questions interesting and I hope you can help me. Thanking you, B. P. Horrell, Plymouth.
Regarding your question about how long Qi stays in your body. If your Qi is strong, your body will be strong, you will be in high spirits and be healthy. \Ne are not like batteries which store energy. All the time you use your energy, so you need to practise to regain it. Qi always comes in and releases out. Your second question asks if there is some sort of test to find out how strong your Qi is. Actually, we do not need to check our bodies in this way.
You should already be able to tell from your own feelings: How calm and how energetic you are. All this shows on your face and in your attitude, you should be able to tell and other people can tell as well. Although Hard Qigong does have certain tests, the most important test is the same as for soft Qigong: Are you healthy?
Soft Qigong and Hard Qigong will both bring you health. Soft Qigong concentrates more on the Jing, Qi, Shen, the internal body but it also covers some external training. Hard Qigong develops the Jing, Qi, Shen and then transfers the energy to train the bone, muscle and skin. Both ways are good ways to practise Qigong.
For your question about Fung Shui: I am sorry I am afraid I do not have any prepared information to give you. At all my lectures people need to make their own notes so that they can remember all the information, also each lecture is not exactly the same. The knowledge is very profound and unique, and so is not that simple.
Finally your query about the 'Monkey' movement: I am presuming you are referring to the movement from the 'Spontaneous Qigong'exercise. With Spontaneous Qigong you should completely relax and follow your own feeling when moving. The movements themselves are not so strict, i.e. you do not have to do it exactly like this, or like that. The 'monkey' refers to any movement in which you rub your stomach - which stimulates the spleen. So you see you should not find the movement awkward if you relax and spontaneously follow your own feelings. M.T.
igmt4t ^mc&mwtjk with Jttieliael
Qigong is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As such it has been used very successfully in China for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. Michael Tse offers private consultations at his clinics in both London (Harley Street) and Manchester (St. John ♦ g
Street). Tse Qigong Centre
PO Box 116 Manchester M20 3YN Tel 061 434 5289 or London 081 942 2682
Merely Small Things
It was Saturday. Not just any Saturday but the one when I was giving a free introductory class in Halifax for Qigong and Chen Taiji. How many people would come? Was I prepared enough? These were the kind of thoughts whirling round my mind.
At last it was time to collect David who was to help me with the class. We had arranged to have a drink of tea at my house before both going into the nearby town. We were drinking tea quiedy when to show him something I got up to fetch a bcx>k.
As I pulled the fxxik from the shelf, it caught some cassette tapes which fell to the floor and hit a tambourine. The sudden noise in the quiet rtx>m made us both jump. There was still half an hour until I had to set off for the new class in Halifax so I decided see if the I Ching could tell me how the class might go.
Taking a pen and paper, I constructed two 'gua' from the situation.
Small things are not always insignificant. If you know how to look at them they can tell you a great many things.
Deliverance, made up of Thunder over Water, I drew again movement because of the class and from water the aspect of communication. Thus deliverance through movement and communication! When I was dressed for the class in practice clothes I was no longer wearing blue, but after the class on kx>king at the hexagram again I realised that the nx>m had been blue...
These are all small things you might say. However, I find it very interesting. Over a period of years I have pondered on the philcxsophy and ideas expressed in the I Ching. As a tentative experiment in practising a different application of the I Ching methuxis it seemed a g<xxJ situation to try them out. In the West we generally regard 'Forecasting' with scepticism. Nevertheless, in recent years there has been an increased awareness of such things (from a very Western point of
"There have been connections drawn between the activity of frogs in the amazon and the stock market. "
view) in the Forecasting of business enterprise and trends, in studies of probability - even large concerns such as investment banking refer to such processes. I have even heard that there have been connections drawn between the activity of frogs in the amazon and the stock market.
If we consider that there is so much energy in the Universe and that life consists of the transformation and change of energy - we can look at events from a more objective point of view than "cause equals effect" and look at the working of equilibrium and how the equation represents a balancing process.
Lcx>king at these ideas from the background of a different culture and philosophy can take us to a position where we can l<x>k at the same principles but applied to energies not generally considered by western science. Thus the ideas expressed by the concept of Yin and Yang and the relationship of the five elements can provide a language through which we can consider the balance in events and situations.
First, 'Chen' - Thunder, representing the sudden movement and the shcxrk, and second 'Sun' - Wind, representing the bcx>k because the element associated with Sun is wood. This formed the hexagram Duration. Looking at the aspects connected with these gua I chose movement, elder woman and blue (I was wearing a blue jumper) and as the hexagram changed to
The I Ching takes us into different dimensions to the ones which are familiar to us. It all depends on the point of view. A person standing in front of a light can be seen in three dimensions. Look at the shadow and see two dimensions. Take the shadow and turn it on it's edge and see a line. Take the line and turn it ninety degrees and see a point. In the I Ching it says:
"Straight, square, great.
Tlie symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative. But all square things have their origin in a straight line and in turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes and solids we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and make them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort; yet everything turns out as it should.
Nature creates all beings without erring: This is its straightness. It is calm and still: This is its foursqureness. It tolerates all creatures equally: This is its greatness. Therefore it attains what is right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height when all that he does is self-evident as what nature does."
Everything is connected, what we see on the surface as cause and effect can have deeper relationships with elements apparently unconnected with the event. The I Ching - I do not know how - connects us with this deeper relationship. Most important for me however, is the expansion it brings to my view point and a great sense of wonder, mixed with relief that we belong to a greater nature than we are usually aware of in our day to day experienceH
by Penny Ranisden
WlD GOOSE QIGONG
Wild Goose Qigong by Yang Meijun £5.00
Yang Meijun is the 27th generation inheritor of Dayan Qigong (Wild Goose Qigong). She began practising when she was just thirteen. Now she is one hundred years old and is one of the most famous teachers in China. She attributes her good health and long life to her daily practise of Wild Goose Qigong. Now for the first time, she has written a book in English covering the entire 128 movements of the Wild Goose.
Tlje Way to J^ocate yicu-fJolnti k
The Way to Locate Acu-points £7.00
This very useful book clearly shows how to precisely locate the acupuncture points and the channels on which they lie. It also gives the Chinese names for all the points and channels. For anyone with an interest in acupuncture. Qigong. Chinese medicine, etc. this book is an essential read. Translated by Dr. Meng Xiankun & Dr. Li Xuewu.
All iKHiks subjccl lu availability. All piiccs include' p&p. (UK. only). Contact Tse Qigong Centre PO Box 116 Manchester M20 1VN Tel 061 434 5289
Tlje Way to J^ocate yicu-fJolnti
Over a decade ago, the interest in the Chinese culture and the mysticism of the Far East in the West was generally the preserve of a few scholars and researchers. The same culture which has been the subject of study by university professors and sinologists is now coming out of the grey corridors of universities to be a living culture, reaching out to the ordinary public in the West. One such contribution to this interest is increased exposure to the Chinese martial arts, Qigong, Acupuncture and Chinese traditional medicine, which in turn arouses an interest in the beliefs, thinking and the culture of its people. The traditional Chinese arts and sciences are often based or inter-linked with ancient beliefs and philosophies. Understanding them can sometimes shed light on certain rituals, behaviour or concepts which may be difficult for a non Chinese person to comprehend. What constitutes Chinese thinking and culture is hard to define and unfortunately casual observers often base their understanding on brief encounters with a particular group of Chinese people and stereotype them into a limited category.
As one of the oldest continuing civilisations that has survived several thousand years of turmoil, revolutions and disasters, there are certain fundamental aspects of behaviour, values and beliefs that are shared and deeply r(x>ted in the Chinese psyche that seem to be lasting. The aim of this article is to attempt to intrcxiuce to martial art and Qigong practitioners who want to expand their knowledge beyond just techniques, the major influences that have affected the development of the Chinese culture and perhaps provide a starting point for further research in order to link it with the arts they are practising. The three main influences on the development of the Chinese culture are Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism which are also assimilated in other countries around China as well.
The teachings of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism sometimes appear to contradict each other; for instance the first one focuses on the values of the family, the second on the hannony of the natural world and the third on the renunciation of all attachments. The Chinese have however been able to practise all three of them without conflict. In China they are often referred to as "The Three Teachings Flowing Into One'. For the majority of Chinese, these three philosophies have unknowingly had a great impact on their beliefs and thinking, in that it is sometimes said that a Chinese is a Confucian in public, a Daoist in private and a Buddhist in worship.
Confucianism is based on the teachings of Kung Fu Tze (or Confucius as translated in Latin) who lived around 2500 years ago and he is still revered as a great teacher. His teachings were
dedicated to the founders or past masters of the style and incense is offered as a sign of respect and thanks for the knowledge handed down.
Arrogance and showing off are frowned upon. There is a Confucian saying, "worry not what others do not know about you, but be concerned of not knowing about others". Humility indeed encourages open mindedness, learning and gixnJ manners. Bowing or saluting your Sifu, and classmates expresses not only respect but humility as well which is another great Confucian virtue.
Daoists are those that follow "The Dao' (the Way). What is Dao? In an attempt to explain what The Dao is to one of his students, a Daoist master told a story about a young fish in the sea asking another older fish what "water' was. The older fish replied, "Water is what surrounds you, it is inside you and also outside you, without it you will die. You cannot see it because you are in it". Dao is the same, because you are in it you cannot see it. There is no single word or phrase to express what Dao is, an attempt to do so is like trying to explain the taste of milk to someone who has never drunk it. The meaning can only be learnt by direct experience, by drinking the milk, since all explanation will merely be the finger pointing to the m<x>n. and one might mistake the finger for the moon itself.
When we calm our minds and closely observe the functioning of nature, we can perceive rhythms and natural laws. Man is pan and parcel of this functioning of nature. Our conceited view of nature leads us to believe in the superiority of our intellect which can overcome and dominate nature and lead us to compete and exploit nature as opposed to finding nature's rhythm and to live in harmony with it, like swimming with the current instead of against it. Living in tune with nature, to many this conjures up the idea of retreating to a mountain or forest far away from at first adopted by the Emperors, nobles and officials, but throughout the centuries his teachings have filtered down to the humblest peasant. His teachings are more of a code of morality and conduct rather than a religion per se. The nearest one can get to a western equivalent is perhaps the rules of etiquette combined with social and religious teachings, but Confucian teaching goes deeper than this. It regulates behaviour, instils values and gives a sense of order and clarity not only in ordinary people's lives but to both the ruled and the rulers alike and between states as well. It acts as a measure, a bench mark from which all values and good behaviour can be measured.
For the Confucian, social order is of paramount importance; they believe that only when every member of society takes full responsibility for his/her position, will stx'iery as a whole function smoothly. There are codes of conduct, responsibility and duty for various relationships, e.g. between child and parent, wife and husband, younger brother and older brother, subordinate and superior, etc. It is not surprising for instance that the martial art hierarchy is based on a family structure, i.e. Si Gung, Sifu, Todei etc., (i.e. Grand father, father, son) since family relationships and values are important to the Confucian. In certain Kung Fu clubs there are shrines human civilisation or joining the Environmentalists or Green movement. Nature's way is as simple as "eat when we are hungry, drink when we are thirsty". We just need to be aware and conscious of the rhythm around us, like the young fish in the sea needs to be aware of the water around it. Daoism has no concept of a single powerful creator nor is it the worship of nature itself but the understanding of how man fits in the grand scheme of things, the essence of life itself.
'Qi' (Chi) meaning vital energy is part of this natural functioning and is a central idea in Chinese thought. It is a natural phenomenon, not something mysterious and unattainable, without it we will all Ix; dead like the fish without water. To the Daoist, everything around us
rhythm should function in harmony with the external rhythm of nature and ultimately with the universe itself. Other arts like the I-Ching and Fung Shui are derived from this intuitive observation of the natural rhythm and phenomenon. For the Daoist, energy comes from a balance of opposite forces which they call Yin and Yang; opposites like day and night, female and male, winter and summer. The harmonious balance of life lies in the continual interaction of these two forces. Tills sense of equilibrium of life has become fundamental to the character of the Chinese in general. They advise patience and moderation, they tend to be flexible, they aim for the balance that they see in nature. Balance is the central concept in Chinese philosophy.
Buddhism is the major foreign rThere is no single word or phrase to express what Dao is, an attempt to do so is like trying to explain the taste of milk to some one who has never drunk it.
photos: Top-left • The Confucsion Cultural Festival.
including the landscape Is alive, nature is a giant energy field and the Dao means the way or path one must follow to understand it. Ideally, the heaven, the earth and man are all in perfect hannony and if something gets out of balance, the flow of energy is blcKked, our bcxlies get tired or plants do not grow. Traditionally it is believed that the energy we feel in our body is the same that drives all of nature and powers the heaven above; it is the pulsing rhythm of the whole universe. Natural rhythm is not just external but also inside each one of us. Whether it is the circulation of Qi in our bodies or the functioning of our digestive system, it has its own rhythm. We cannot force our stomachs to digest faster because we want them to, we simply have to let nature take it's course, so it is with Qi circulation. Our internal influence that had a great impact on the development of Chinese culture. Buddhism Ls the teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha; Buddha means the enlightened one. Originating in India, it reached China 2000 years ago and t<x>k r<x>t and flowered by the 6th century AD. It teaches that man's suffering is the result of attachment to our ego, for material things and gratification of our senses. Practice of non-attachment is prescribed as an antidote to sufferings. Ultimately, Buddhists should emulate the Buddha himself to strive for enlightenment. The Buddhists believe that man will reincarnate after death and will return time after time until he realises the futility of his endless desires and ego. The aim is to break and be liberated from this 'wheel of life and death'. Desires are illusions we create for ourselves. The more desires we accumulate, the further we move away from our fundamental nature. There are many different sects of Buddhism with different schools of thought and practices but the ultimate goal is the same; self realisation and enlightenment.
One branch of Buddhism which has been closely connected with martial arts is Ch'an (Zen in Japanese) Buddhism. The history of this sea started with Boddhidarma (Damo in Chinese) coming from India 1500 years ago to preach in China. He subsequently took refuge at the Shaolin temple after being chased by the Emperor of the day who did not sympathise with his teachings. He stayed and meditated for nine years in the temple. For more on Ch'an Buddhism the reader is referred to my previous article in Qi Magazine issue 10.
Ch'an and Daoism have greatly influenced each other to the extent that it is difficult for a casual observer to differentiate between the two. Most of the temples in China are either Buddhist or Daoist in persuasion and the rest are usually a mixture of the two and/or a mix with popular local deities. Daoist monks can be recognised by the hat they wear, whereas Buddhist monks have shaven heads. Even though their philosophies differ, they borrow heavily on each other in respect of their monastic orders and practices.
What are the implications of these three major philosophies to the martial arts? As martial artists, we will scxm find out thai if we restrict our self development to physical development alone, we will soon reach its limits when we pass our physical prime. Many past masters have opted for a spiritual life and have put away their swords to embrace Buddhism or Daoism, since martial arts and spirituality in China have always gone hand in hand, like Yin and Yang. There is nothing else that the traditional Chinese admire more than high ideals and self cultivation, whether it is in good behaviour, physical, scholastic or spiritual developments. After all, should we not try our best to realise our full potential as human beings? H
by Patrick Wan
Internal Medicine -
"Ailments begin with Qi". This is what the Yellow Emperor's Cannon of Internal Medicine (Neijing) states.
We live in a complicated world and we are easily influenced by the seven emotions and six temperatures. These make us follow the cycle of life: Birth, ageing, illness and death. Human beings are high level animals, we have thoughts, emotions, passions and we have the power of recognition. However, because of this, once the internal thought does not balance with the external body an ailment is created. People who do not understand themselves are aggressive and arrogant in nature, or easily disappointed or depressed. These are always sources of mental disorders which cause an imbalance within the internal body, damaging the rhythm between the external and the internal body. Thus
related in differing degrees to the mind. Illness in the external body does not happen by itself, it is caused by an imbalance between the external and the internal body.
Chinese medical books say "All the heavenly secrets lie between ailments and medicine." Ailments relate to the internal and external body and so there are two kinds of medicine -internal and external medicine.
Some ailments provide an opportunity to find out about yourself -to discover the 'Heavenly Secret'. That is to say, you can use your abilities, your internal medicine which is your Qi to heal your external body. Then, at the medicine is created when the body and mind are quiet and your state becomes stable. When the mind is empty, has no distracting thoughts, enlightenment can come through. 'Enlightenment' means you completely understand yourself. Then any question you might have you can answer correctly for yourself.
Suffering from an illness is not a gcx)d thing, though sometimes,
Negative experiences can lead you to the heavenly secret "
leading to illness.
But why is it some people who live under the same conditions, environment, weather and in the same society do not get ill while others easily suffer from simple ailments through to serious ones? This is connected to a person's nature, physical body, emotional state, training and their enlightenment (perhaps illness is a punishment for betraying nature). Apart from accidents and injuries, the ailments we suffer are very much same time you can balance your nature, your mind and find a new life.
In the past, many people suffered from illnesses in many-different forms. Those who practised Qigong daily overcame their problems - some even became Qigong masters. This was liecau.se they had discovered that the heavenly secret was connected to internal medicine. When you calm your mind your Qi will condense and your spirit will become strong. Your internal medicine will be created and benefit your external body. Internal negative experiences can lead you to the heavenly secret, to higher levels of human life and enlightenment. Bad things can become good things improving the quality of life.
Many people, when they become ill start to practise Qigong. However, sometimes they are impatient, too stiff and too strong in the mind, or want to reach a high level in a short time. But this only results in more problems, so they lose their trust in Qigong. Following nature to practise Qigong will lead you to the heavenly secret and create the internal medicine _
by Chang Chen Fu
53 Fly Up To The Side
Having stimulated the Shenshu points, raise up lx>th hands to the front so that they are level with your shoulders and close your fingers.
Lower your hands so they are in front of your Dantien, with the right over the left but not touching each other.
Let your left hand come out raising it to the front and up level with your throat. At the same time step forwards with your left foot but keep your weight on your right. Turn your upper body to the left so that your hand also moves to the left. Follow your hand with your eyes, keeping your elbows open and the Laogong point facing the Sky-eye. As you turn to the left, open the left Yongquan point by turning your left foot onto its side.
Bring your hand back to the front, level with your throat. Close the Yongquan point and shift all your weight onto your left leg. Lower your left hand to the Dantien over your right hand (not touching).
This movement should be repeated a total of seven times. It ends on the seventh step when you are turned to the left and looking at your left hand. The movement exchanges Qi from your Dantien with your Sky-eye. We step seven times as the number seven is a special Taoist number that relates to your health and your Dantien Qi.
54 Turn The Body
i Begin fluttering your hands then lower your left hand to your Dantien.
ii Turn 180 degrees, on your heels, first turning your left foot and then the right.
iii Stop fluttering.
This movement is for changing direction. You turn this way in Dayan Gong i.e. on the heels as it relates to your centre of gravity.
55 Fly Upwards i Raise up both hands so that the palms face up and look up to the sky.
This posture gathers Qi from the sky with the Laogong points and the Sky-eye.
Why take up a martial art? In fact why take up any pastimey Different people have different reasons it all depends on what you are looking for. But you might not find what you wanted ..
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