Health and Internal Training
Northern Shaolin Master Wu Chun Yuen
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Qi Magazine is produced by the following team:
Michael Tse ■ Editor Darryl Tom Irmgard Niermann Penny Ramsden Daniel Poon
Columnists: Glenn Gossling Amy Thanawalla
We encourage all our readers to contribute articles, letters or questions for possible inclusion in future issues of Qi Magazine.
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©Michael Tse 1994. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any way without the written permission of Michael Tse.
A programme on Sky TV's Chinese channel recently reported about Hong Kong Chinese living in South Africa. It said life was quite hard, but some managed to live quite well. These were mainly rich people, and as the crime rate was quite high, they had to employ their own security guards, not just one or two, but a whole team, who were armed with guns - like a small army. They did this because the local police could not respond fast enough.
In an interview, a white South African claimed many poor black people broke into houses and stole because they were too lazy to work.
Personally, I don't know what it is like in South Africa. I do know that black people, like the Chinese have a very long history, perhaps longer than the Chinese.
In the past, people living in different areas, had their own ways, their own culture, that was handed down to them by their ancestors. Wherever they lived, they learnt how to survive, no matter if they were in the East or West, North or South.
Then, the people of the West, using Chinese gun powder, invented guns and conquered many places killing many people - just to satisfy their own personal ambitions. Then they set up colonies all over the world.
To follow, they established their own routines in these countries, bringing over their own lifestyles and forced the native people to follow it. They brought over cars, aeroplanes, TV, radio - even Coca-Cola. How could they refuse? But slowly, the native people began to forget their own culture and how they used to live to survive. They began to dress in western clothes, eat western food and even speak western languages. Eventually, they suffered from die same diseases as the 'westerners' - tiicy forgot their history, as if it never existed! They lost their entire culture and there is no medicine to cure this. They had to give up dicir own ways to survive in their own place - which foods were good to cat, which times of the day to rest and work, and which seasons to do things.
Therefore for this person to assume that the black people were lazy is wrong. They are not lazy, they know how best to survive in that environment. When it is really hot, you shouldn't work too hard otherwise you will become exhausted. The native people know this, otherwise they would have all died out. "In the summer, a horse does not run too much".
Once a western person asked me "Why do you Chinese eat all the internal organs of animals, I've even heard you cat monkey brains! Is that true?" I replied, "I've never seen anyone cat monkey brains but I've heard it as well. You know people in different areas cat the food of that area and drink its water. It is the same for Chinese people eating "internal organs", not because they are particularly tasty, but because we know they have properties that help to balance the people who live in that area, to help them survive."
Like a cat who can never understand why a fish lives in water and does not walk on the ground and a fish can never understand the cat who walks on the ground and does not swim underwater.
Editorial with Michael Tse
News, views, short items and questions.
The first in a series of articles that attempts to address common questions and experiences that all Qigong students come across once they begin regular practice.
by Glenn Gossling
Although many people suffer from insomnia, it is not a difficult condition to cure. Percussion Therapy is a form of self massage that may be used to balance the heart and kidney disorder that surprisingly is the cause of insomnia.
translated by Yang Wanhau
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the role of pushing hands in Taiji Quan, some misinformed teachers have even removed it from their teaching syllabus! The author tries to place pushing hands in context and explains why if you are not doing it then you are not doing Taiji Quan!
by Peter Newton
Lesson 15. All the way to movement 64
The Northern Shaolin Fist of Wu Chun Yuen
As the martial arts in the west are maturing, you will hear "when I was younger I could do this kick or that jump". If an exercise
is 'good', if it is balanced, then no matter how demanding, if you can really master it then you will lie able to perfonrt it even in your old age. This is not just true of so called 'soft arts', but also of Northern Shaolin Quan.
by Michael Tse
An excerpt from "Confucius and the Madman" by Chung Tzu, for those of us who at sometime have felt as though we don't have anything to offer!
by Chuang 'I'zn
Zhuang Zi's Breath-Hearing Method for Achieving Tranquility
Of all Qigong exercises, meditation is the easiest to describe but the most difficult to perform. There arc a number of methods to help the beginner forget everything and get closer to the meditative state. We describe a particular method that relies on breathing techniques.
translated by Can Yitefeiig
Lin Shau, Guei Chin & Zhou Yi
Many of us know that the Yijing is an ancient text. It may come as a surprise to you to find out that over the centuries there have been more that one version of this classic, and many different ways of arranging the Bagua.
by Michael Tse
Ancient Tendon Changing Gong
Some interesting Qigong exercises that are easy to learn. All you need to practise is a chair and a few spare minutes. translated by Michael Tse
Every teacher would like lots of students to choose from and in the effort to attract students, exaggerated claims are sometimes made. Claims about the past are easy to verify providing you have the background knowledge. However, claims about the potential of the skill being taught can only be tested by the passage of time.
by Darryl Tarn
If there is anything you want to discuss, if there is anything you want to share with others, any news or any announcements you would like to make, send them to us: Qi Magazine, PO Box 116, Manchester M20 3YN.
A Fake Martial Arts School
Chinese people usually know what 'good gungfu looks like, so it is difficult to get students in China if you are not a master. In this case, a so called martial arts school uses a new approach to get fresh recruits.
I am a secondary school student in Liao Ning Province who decided to travel to Zhang Zhou in Henan Province (ed: many thousands of miles!) so that I might study martial arts at the Shaolin Temple. When I arrived at Zhang Zhou train station, I was met by a group of people. They asked me "Do you want to go to Shaolin Temple? Do you want to learn Gung Fu?". When I hesitated in my answer, they forced me into a waiting car and brought me to Zhang Zhou City, to their martial arts school "Chong Zhan Lok Yuen Zan Shan Shaolin Temple". I was introduced to their principle, Zhang Kong, who gave me a talk on their school. When I realised that their school was not the genuine Shaolin Temple, but a private business, I excused myself and attempted to leave. At this point the principle's manner changed. He turned nasty, threatened me and forced me to register as a member. If I refused his assistants were going to beat me. I had to pay all my savings as a registration fee, sign my name and even stamp my palm print on the registration document. They then made me stay in a dark, damp room with another captive 'student' from Sichuan. He told me that the so called instructors were actually members of a gang, and most students were caught as they got off the train at Zhang Zhou. No matter how much money you had on you, they took it all and they had people eve-
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The letter to "China People's Daily News rywhere to prevent you from escaping. They organised it so any money sent by parents would be received by them. The next day I described what had happened to the Zhang Zhou Martial Arts Association, a bonefide organisation who tried to help by sending a letter to Zhang Kong, expressing their disapproval. Zhang Kong tore up the letter in front of me, shouting "Zhang Zhou Martial Arts Association - never heard of them! You want your money back - no way!"
From then on I saw more people arrive who had also been tricked away from the train station and robbed. I felt I had to escape so that I could report their whereabouts to the authorities. Although my attempt failed, the school eventually let me go, but not before taking all my receipts and forcing me to sign and palm print more documents. The Henan Province Relations Department filed my report but did not take up the case. The Zhang Zhou City Council did not want to see me and even refused my entry into their building.
A letter [muted in the "China Peoples Daily News" From Mr l.iao Chong Han.
Thank you for your shipment of two copies of Qi Magazine. I would like to inform you that I am a Wing Chun and Taiji Quan practitioner, and I am running a gym in Zagreb.
My students and 1 are delighted with your magazine and according to that I propose a co-operation to you in the form of articles and reports about our work and about our attitude towards martial arts.
It would be very beneficial for us because we are rather isolated here, and we haven't got any contacts with the martial arts world. In connection with Grandmaster Yip Chun's seminar, please can you send
issue 10 - Knee Exercises Ian Cameron Interview Buddhist Meditation issue II- Qigong Breathing
Shaolin Wing Chun
Yang Meijun on Dayan Qigong
Back Issues issue 8 - A Qigong Therapist Wing Chun - Near & Far pt1 Sacred Arts Of Tibet issue 9 - Curing Neck Pain Yip Chun Seminar Chinese Family Tree
issue 13 - Pillars Of Chinese Culture • Darryl Tam on Martial Arts practice - Qigong Master Gou Lin
Back Issues issue 10 - Knee Exercises Ian Cameron Interview Buddhist Meditation issue II- Qigong Breathing
Yang Meijun on Dayan Qigong issue 12 - A Visit to China I Ching Master Taiji Pushing Hands issue 13 - Pillars Of Chinese Culture • Darryl Tam on Martial Arts practice - Qigong Master Gou Lin
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The most important thing about practising Qigong is that it makes you healthy. On the way there are many experiences and feelings to be had. However, some people begin concentrating on the different feelings and this can lead you astray.
Many beginners are often concerned or confused about what to expect from Qigong. Initial experiences can vary quite (-onsiderably depending on each individual's condition. Some people are worried when they don't feel anything and some are surprised when they do. Whatever your experiences, the more you practise, the more your body will be conditioned into a 'natural' and healthy condition which will eventually 'normalise' the sensations that you feel.
If you have any doubts or concerns about anything you experience you should obviously discuss it with your teacher or senior students at your class. Being able to get more feedback and advice is one of die main reasons why you should always spend your time seeking out the best teachers rather than working from a book. A teacher can correct your postures and movements, guide you from potential pitfalls or side effects and set your mind at ease when you are worried, a book can-
"Some people are worried when they don't feel anything and some are surprised when they do."
Qigong not. Your teacher should always be your first and best source of information, which is why it is important to study with high level teachers, especially when learning internal arts.
It is, however, possible to address some of the more common experiences
It you have a question or a problem, the first thing to do is ask your teacher
and concerns of beginners. First, if you don't experience any Qi sensations - don't worry about it. Not feeling Qi sensations does not mean that you don't have any Qi. It just means that you need to develop sensitivity to your internal energies. Qi is present in every move that you make whether you feel it or not. It has to be or you wouldn't be able to move.
Many people initially experience Qi as a tingling 'pins and needles' sensation. This is mostly the effect of Qi dredging your channels
"This sensation should be regarded as the knocking sounds you get in your house plumbing if there are blockages"
and unblocking acu-points. This sensation can be very powerful when you first start studying Qigong because you may have spent a long time creating these blockages. Not surprisingly, with regular practice this 'pins and needles' sensation can diminish and vanish. This is a good sign, because it means that your channels are becoming clear. The trouble is that people identify the effect of the Qi's action with the Qi itself and become disheartened because they no longer 'feel' it. This sensation should be regarded as the knocking sounds you get in your house plumbing if there are blockages. If you don't run the water there is no sound, and when you do there is. If you run the water enough the blockages clear and you get no more knocking. It is the same with Qigong.
You might have already experienced some heat sensations, feelings of warmth and gentle flow (like warm water) which are also Qi sensations. Eventually you may become so used to the warmth that you forget to notice, after all everyone has warm hands in the winter don't they? You might have attributed the gentle flowing feeling to blood. This is not incorrect but in Chinese terms blood and Qi are integrally linked and cannot be separated. Thus when you feel the flow of blood you are also experiencing Qi.
As you continue your studies and you practise you lxigin to notice these sensations not only strengthen in areas where they are familiar (such as the hands) but also spread to other areas all over the body. With the development of your sensitivity you may notice different sensations at different times of the day, different times of the month and different times of the year. You will feel acu-points opening. You will feel pulses. All of this enriches your practice and enhances your understanding of Qigong because it originates in the direct experience of reality^
by Glenn Gossling
Insomnia is a very common condition. It would Ik' nice to be able to overcome it without having to take sleeping tablets. As many of you will be aware Qigong exercises are very powerful and these simple slapping exercises could save you popping the pills'.
Insomnia, suffered mainly by people who have to use a great deal of mental energy at work and students, is commonly caused by sleeping induced functional disorder of the central nervous system because of excessive mental activities and stress. According to Chinese medicine, however, it is brought about by a functional disorder of the heart and kidneys. Percussion on areas where the "Heart Channel of Hand-Shaoyin" (fig.l) and the "Kidney Channel of Foot-Shaoyin" (fig.2) pass can give gentle stimulation to these organs and help regulate the disordered sleeping induced function.
Percussion - a traditional Chinese fitness exercise - is effective in curing insomnia caused by various diseases. One middle aged teacher who had suffered serious insomnia now sleeps soundly after practising the exercise for three months. His symptoms like palpitation and dizziness caused by insomnia had also disappeared. The methods of the exercise are as follows:
1. Percuss on the Legs. Sit with legs straight. Percuss with both palms, which should be held hollow (i.e. slightly cupped), alternately on the inside and outside of the front of the legs.
2. Percuss on the Waist. Sit with legs straight and hands at the sides. Percuss the bulgy muscles on both sides of the vertebral column (fig.3) with the backs of both hands. Bend the waist back and forth gently and naturally during percussion.
Shoulders. Sit and beat with the tips of the right fingers on the bulgy muscles from Ix'hind the left ear down to the shoulder. Repeat the process with the left fingertips on the same area of the other side.
4. Percuss on the Forearms. Sit with the left arm stretching horizontally and left palm facing up. Percuss with right palm on the inside of the left forearm from the elbow down to the small finger. Repeat the process on the right forearm with the left palm.
Do the exercise twice a day, once in the morning and the other in the evening for about 20 minutes in one session.
1. Relax the muscles, keep the respiration even and the mind calm. Silently count the times of the percussion.
2. Do not percuss t<x> vigorously. Beat rhythmically with moderate force. The sensations of soreness, distension, numbness and warmth in the percussed area should disappear within 15 minutes after the exercise. 3- Gently flex the waist, legs neck and head after percussion. 4. Do not percuss on areas where there are skin problems, tumours or infections.
Translated by Yang Wanhau
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