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Shaolin Kung Fu OnLine Library 72 Kinds of Martial Arts in combination with Pugilistic techniques and .. e-BOOK in ADOBE PDF, MB, pp. resources, learning and training kung fu at home has never been easier. Whether you are kung fu on a budget, or simply want to tone your body and increase. The student was dumbfounded: How could Ch'ang be crazy enough to select him when he hadn't taught him any fighting tech-. The Basics of Kung Fu or the.

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Introducing Basic Wing Chun Kung Fu. Using Instructional Multimedia. Thesis documentation submitted to the Faculty of the College of Imaging. Conditioning and stretching are essential to all Martial Arts, including Kung Fu. But the Shaolin conditioning and stretching training system is too vast, deep, and . Iron Body Kung Fu training - Shaolin Kung Fu MOVING MEDITATION: KUNG FU, TAI CHI AND CHI KUNG Martial Art Instructor or Master; preferably Iron.

Authentic Shaolin Heritage: The book was written in with blessing and direct participation of the Abbot of the Shaolin Monastery Reverend Miao Xing nicknamed "Golden Arhat", one of the best Shaolin fighters of all times. The book presents full description of exercises and requirements to their execution, as well as the fundamentals of training theory of 72 Shaolin Arts. T he book is devoted to the most enigmatic and little-known aspect of training of Shaolin monks. Training methods described in the book allow to develop supernatural abilities, far beyond abilities of an ordinary man. In the course of many centuries the methods were the base and core of Shaolin combat training , the most secret part carefully hidden from strangers.

Structural position or posture is an important point in learning kung fu. Movement and style on kungfu varies, starting from the position of the foot, the distribution of body weight, and alignment of the body. Everything is to be pursued in this martial arts learning. Shape and posture are not free, but regularly according to composition. With a good composition, then the movement will feel more supple.

The form of posture in every movement must be done seriously and correctly. I studied some compositions in kung fu movements until I finally wondered.

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Is this composition designed from scratch? What do you want to pursue from this composition? Is motion composition aimed to achieve motion stability or movement compatibility? Here we have provided specifically for you who want to deepen kung fu, may be useful. Always been interested and inspired by Shaolin Kungfu but never had the time, access or means to learn it and about it?

A relaxed body is needed to utilize the powers within soft chi skills. The mind Yi directs the energy chi. Attending and intending is how the mind directs and controls the chi. As these mental skills are refined through much practice the practitioner develops the ability to shift into an altered state of consciousness that greatly facilitates his Chi-kung skills. This Mu-Shin state of consciousness puts one in a deeper level of awareness and thus enables the practitioner to connect with his chi, the chi of his opponent, and the universal chi of the cosmos.

Every exercise that develops chi skills will purposefully and specifically be designed to train these two key mental abilities. That is why those who just watch someone practicing Chi-kung exercises do not pick up on the real key to those exercises.

They can not see what the practitioner is attending to, nor can they tell what he is intending with his mind. As the Chi-kung exercises get more advanced the intending and attending skills become more and more difficult. In the most advanced exercises like that found within the Sil Num Tao form the practitioner should be attending to many different sensations and places within his body while also intending several different things at the same time.

To the novice this is impossible, but to the seasoned practitioner it is not. That is why it is essential to start with simple Chi-kung exercises first and then build on your abilities to attend and intend effectively. Two Keys: Attending and Intending There are two key abilities that all Chi-kung training develops within the practitioner. Attending is focusing ones attention on something. With Chi-kung that something is often a feeling or sensation, or a specific part of your body.

This skill is developed over time through all of the Chikung exercises one practices. Intending is similar.

You take what your attention is focused upon and you intend or will it to do something. Attending is passive; it is simply noticing and watching something relevant to chi. Intention is active; it is willing or changing something relative to chi. The ability to direct your chi to your hand is really something everyone already does, but most of us do it unconsciously and do not control it.

Hard and soft Chi-kung training teaches the student to use his mind to direct the chi to a specific place with more force or pressure than that of the natural chi flow. The tension then causes the energy to build up in the hand giving the hand greater strength and the blow greater force. The student is taught how to focus his mind through the object he is about to break. If he fears injury, doubts his ability to break it, or wavers in his focus in any way he will most often fail.

He must believe his hand will pass through the object, that the object will break from his strike. The most successful way to develop this mental focus is through practice. As the student becomes successful at breaking a relatively easy board he will move to two then three and so on until he has progressed from boards to bricks and ice. Breaking is the most common way hard Chi-kung skills are demonstrated.

Breaking is also one of the easiest hard chi skills to develop. One of the more difficult hard Chi-kung skills would be the iron shirt skill. This is rarely seen in the west, as it requires some very serious and difficult training to develop the iron shirt effectively.

The essence of iron shirt training is similar to that described above regarding breaking. The student learns to direct his chi to his skin. In the beginning the chi is directed to certain parts of his body, but eventually all over his body. He tenses his body to lock the energy into the tissues thus making his body hard like iron. The packedin layers of chi within the body tissues, and the mental intent of the practitioner, repel the effects of a blow allowing the practitioner to withstand tremendous abuse without injury.

His body will not be bruised Hard and Soft Chi-kung Within the different Martial systems there are two distinct and different approaches to teaching internal or energy skills. Simply put they are hard and soft. For those who have invested some time and effort in the martial way it is usually easy to discern which of these two approaches an individual or style has adapted. Essentially the hard approach will include physical tension to some degree while the soft approach emphasizes the importance of staying relaxed.

Many of the systems that become known for demonstrating breaking skills are utilizing hard Chi-kung methodologies to achieve these ends. Soft Chi-kung's skills are most often demonstrated upon other people as is the case in most good Tai Chi demonstrations.

Wing Chun is like Tai Chi in this respect. Breaking demonstrations where boards, bricks, or large blocks of ice are broken by a blow from a practitioner require a specific type of internal training that is typical of the training needed to develop most hard Chi-kung skills. The methodology for developing these skills has two steps. To do this he must tense that hand, thus locking the energy within the tissues while he uses his intent to direct or focus the chi into the hand.

The tension blocks the energy from flowing out of the hand and acts much like a dam allowing the chi to accumulate and build up. The reason is simply that tension blocks the flow of energy thereby eliminating the ability to sense or listen to that energy flow. Both Tai Chi and Wing Chun have elaborate exercises designed to develop these soft listening skills i. Chi sau and Push hands. Soft or internal strikes are also characteristic of this soft chi training.

The difference between a soft internal blow and a hard blow is extreme. When one is hit with a hard Chikung blow like that used to break bricks, the damage is readily apparent. The area that was struck suffers obvious damage. The bones may be broken, the flesh bruised and even torn. A hard blow damages where it hits. On the other hand a soft Chi-kung blow has a very different effect. The point or surface where contact is made is not the place where the most damage is done.

A soft internal blow releases chi into the target sending a shock wave through the mostly liquid substance of the body creating internal damage. Because soft chi training emphasizes and uses the flow of energy, a blow will essentially release a flow of strong energy into the target.

Hard chi training uses pooled, or blocked energy accumulation to increase the strength and power of a blow, thereby hitting onto a target with more power or force. Hard Chi-kung hits onto the target, soft Chi-kung hits into the target. A soft chi blow penetrates into the body cavity damaging the mostly liquid internal organs. A hard blow seeks to break the outside body defenses of muscle and bone to cause injury that disables from the outside in.

A soft blow shuts down the internal organs that drive the body by sending shock waves of chi through the outer body defenses and into the vital organs, thus disabling from the or damaged from the attacks. The true masters of iron shirt are said to be able to withstand a sharp blade without being cut or damaged. Both the mental focus and discipline needed to develop this skill to this level requires arduous, painful training over many years.

But the key aspects of the training are the same as for learning breaking skills; 1 directing and locking chi into your body tissues, and 2 focusing the mind's intent. Usually demonstrations of soft skills include a smaller weak looking old man throwing around several young large men who are trying to move or strike the old master. Uyeshiba, the great master and founder of Aikido, would often give such demonstrations.

Also many of the renowned Tai Chi masters have been seen demonstrating skill in this way. There are some demonstrations of breaking ability using soft chi skills but they are uncommon.

The approach that soft chi training takes is based upon the idea that energy flows naturally in the universe, and that the mind can control and direct that flow. Hard Chi-kung also use this approach but with some notable differences. Soft training emphasizes a relaxed body rather than a tense one. Tension locks chi and stops or reduces the natural flow, while a relaxed body opens the flow and allows the chi to move, as it should.

Learning to truly relax the mind and body takes some years of training and practice. Focusing the mind's intent is also a key factor in soft training just as it is in hard. However, there seems to be a wider range of potential skills that fit in the soft Chi-kung spectrum than those within the hard Chi-kung spectrum. You get hit with a hard blow it hurts where it hit you. You get hit with a soft blow it hurts inside; your internal organs will ache. The other emphasis in soft training is in developing control over ones mind, by training your ability to focus your attention, and to strengthen your intention.

Attention and intention are the two key mental attributes that are trained in both hard and soft Chi-kung training. However, the outcomes of these two approaches to chi development are very different. Soft chi training aims at producing the ability to sense and control the chi in and around you, including that of your attacker. Hard chi training aims at developing powerful weapons to break up and damage the body and energy of your attacker or anything else you may hit.

It builds up chi and uses it as a tool of force. Soft Chi-kung strengthens the flow of chi that occurs naturally, locks you into that flow so you can sense, feel and direct it, enabling you to use whatever is available in a harmonious response to the flow that already exists. Both systems of training develop the mind's ability to attend or focus, and its ability to intend or will something.

However what they do with those abilities is quite different. Again Wing Chun is a soft Chi-kung system. Si-Fi Scott Baker holding the side kick chamber position Four Levels of Relaxation Soft training focuses on teaching deeper and deeper levels of relaxation.

The saying goes that the first level of relaxation is to feel your muscles and tendons relax. This is as far as the average person ever goes. The second level of relaxation is where you can feel your skin and hair relax. The third level is where you can feel your internal organs relax. The fourth level is where you can feel the marrow of your bones relax. Now the student learns to move his body from the root through correct legwork and postural expression. The second form teaches the student the essentials of moving or placing energy in the four limbs as a dynamic expression of the energy root.

Third the student is taught the Biu Tze form. Once considered secret the Biu Tze form is entirely an energy form. Each of the strikes map out specific points which when combined have a devastating effect on the recipients energy system. The movements are done with relaxed focus, resulting in a deep expression of chi skill as the practitioner releases chi in a dramatic display of power. The student then is traditionally taught the wooden dummy form Muk-YanChong-Fa. Now he learns to release his chi into the dummy.

A skilled practitioner can see the depth of energy expressed in both the sound and movement of the dummy while it is being worked. Once the dummy is mastered the student learns the Wing Chun weapons. First he learns the six and a half point pole LukDim-Boon-Kwun where he further polishes his energy abilities by learning to both stick with and release energy through the pole into whatever he strikes using the seven key motions of the pole form.

Finally he learns the eight-slash sword form Bart-Chum-Dao.

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Here he learns to express energy through the short metal blade of the swords in the eight specific slashing sequences. A quick glance of the six major stages of Wing Chun training shows us that each stage has a unique and specific energy purpose. Just as in Tai Chi and the other internal systems, Wing Chun is purposefully designed to produce progressive chi skills in its practitioners. First the student is traditionally taught the Sil Num Tao boxing form.

In learning Sil Num Tao correctly the initial obstacle that most beginning students struggle with is the idea of performing the movements while staying very relaxed. Relaxed motion is a common component of soft internal chi development. There is no stepping to speak of. Once the stance is set up the student stands in that position until the form is completed.

The relaxed and stationary components of the first form are essential factors in many traditional chi development exercises.

This relaxed stationary posture allows the student to learn to sink into the ground, relaxing and yielding his energy to the ever-present force of gravity. The first form is essentially an energy building form that can take up to an hour to perform correctly. Either way it can be assumed that the best or most advanced skills of Shaolin were included in the Wing Chun system.

Given this we can see why the Wing Chun energy training exercises within the forms are very advanced exercises. Because Wing Chun is comprised of the most advanced and best skills from the Shaolin system there is an implicit assumption that those who are learning the energy skills of Wing Chun already know the basics about building and controlling chi energy.

Another important historical point is that each story about the beginnings of Wing Chun agrees that its development in most part is credited to a woman who designed it to defeat men who were also very skillful and strong. For a woman to be successful at defeating a stronger and martially skilled man, she would without doubt need to learn internal Chi-kung skills.

When in China I was invited to compare with 6 different masters, many of tai chi some of other systems. I enjoyed these friendly exchanges very much. Two of these masters where women. One in particular was remarkably skillful. All of the others with the exception of two old men, I found I was able to unbalance and control to some degree, however this woman was an exception. I was much stronger and larger than she was.

But I found it most difficult to corner her balance so that I could uproot and throw her. I got close several times but she was skillful enough to slip out at the last minute. She was not able to uproot me either, but her skills at avoiding my efforts were impressive.

Assumptions of energy skills The history of Wing Chun is clear about a few key points. Wing Chun was developed from out of the Shaolin system. It came from Shaolin kung fu and therefore contains much of what was the best of Shaolin. The first boxing form of Wing Chun Sil Num Tao contains only advanced Chi-kung exercises that represent the best from the Shaolin temple.

Therefore, to learn the energy exercises in the Wing Chun system you must already have an intermediate to advanced skill level with Chi-kung. A beginner to Chi-kung would find the Wing Chun exercises very difficult, they would need to learn some basic Chikung exercises and master their energy skills before learning the more difficult exercises within Wing Chun.

This is why we say that there is an assumption of energy skill within Wing Chun. Many different stories exist around the development of Wing Chun kung fu.

The one I like goes something like this: The Ching government was threatened by the fighting skills of the Shaolin monks who opposed their political views. They planned to attack the temple to wipe out the monks and their political opposition. One version of the story says that the 5 masters of the temple, including Ng Mui the accredited founder of Wing Chun, met in a conference hall called Wing Chun hall some call it Weng Chun Hall within the temple to offer their particular expertise in the development of this system.

Out of these meetings the 5 masters developed the Wing Chun system but before they could teach it the temple fell and Ng Mui survived to finish developing the system and pass it along.

I also teach them some basic standing postures to help them begin to develop the energy root and to notice the sensations characteristic of chi. Once they have acquired some degree of proficiency with these more basic chi exercises and skills then I introduce them to the more advanced Chi-kung exercises within the Wing Chun forms. Even the sun punch is an advanced punch. You can learn the motion in a day but you must train and practice it for months before you have any real power with it.

This is the characteristic trademark of an advanced skill. A basic skill is something that is easy to learn and quick to use. A basic karate punch can be learned in a day and if you hit someone with it that evening you would do some damage.

Granted you would not have as much power as a seasoned practitioner, but it is a simple or basic enough skill that you would not find it difficult to use it right after learning it. The Wing Chun punch is not so easy to acquire. To do it correctly and with power takes time to train it.

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The same is true with every skill and technique within the system. Hence we can conclude that Wing Chun is an advanced system of combat, and really contains no basic techniques.

This also follows with the energy skills, they are all quite advanced, there are no beginning level energy exercises or skills within the system. My feeling is that this came about because Wing Chun contains the most advanced combat specific skills from Shaolin.

They cut out all the basics for two reasons; first because the novice monks already had some training in basic skills, and second for the sake of speeding up the training process of the monks so they could defend the temple. In Wing Chun a novice to energy work will benefit from learning some basic energy exercises before attempting to learn the difficult exercises that are classic Wing Chun Chi-kung exercises. When I teach new students I start their energy work with the 8 pieces of Brocade.

This is a simple moving and breathing series that I have found to be excellent as an introduction to energy. Age 29 20 1 Si-Fu Baker kneeling 2 He is pushed by 2 large men. Chapter 4 Beginning with the Root The first essential Chi-kung skill to be developed is that of the energy root. There are several things that effect the quality or depth of the root: The stance or posture, the level of relaxation in the body and mind, and the practitioners ability to intend his energy down into the earth.

You develop it through learning to sink your energy into the earth much the same way as a tree sinks its roots into the earth. When done well the practitioner will seem very solid and heavy to any that are trying to move him.

The deeper the Chi-kung skills of a student the deeper he will be able to sink his energy root. One of the first tests that can be used to check and practice this rooting skill is to have the student kneel on the ground.

In this position the student must relax and root into the ground. Then the teacher attempts to push the student over backwards. If he is rooting correctly the teacher should not be able to push him over.

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He challenged a large line backer for the University of Utah to push me over while I kneeled down in front of him. Naturally he accepted. Being a line 21 backer he pushed people over professionally, and usually the people he pushed over were a whole lot bigger than I was. This guy was at least twice my weight! He began to push, and push, and push. He tried so hard he dug a ditch with his shoes in the grass! He tried 3 or 4 separate times, each time he was more determined than the last.

Finally he gave up in despair when after pushing for several minutes I stood up and threw him away. Naturally he was embarrassed! He asked how I was able to do that? I could tell he was looking at me trying to determine where someone my size could have gotten so much strength. Finally my friend told him I practice kung fu, and that seemed to satisfy him. If the person kneeling does not know how to root and present that root against the push properly he will usually try to fight the push by leaning in and in doing so will often injure his back.

One test for root depth that Master Tam use to use in grading his students is the leg-pull test in the character-two-adduction stance. The idea is to hold the pull force for up to a minute. When four men are pulling earnestly on your legs this is very difficult. Other tests of the energy root can be shown from the front stance or the forward leaning stance out of the pole form. From the stance the student puts his arms forward and braces them.

Si-Fu Baker performing the leg pulling root test. A third and more difficult test of rooting skills is the un-liftable stance. The skilled practitioner stands in a wide horse stance with his arms hanging wide to his sides. Then they attempt to lift him together. As they try to lift the practitioner can sink his root deeper, if he is skillful he will cause the two lifters to loose their strength and force them to either disengage or collapse as he sinks.

If the stance is uncomfortable to the novice then he can gain comparable results by standing naturally, with his feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, back and neck straight, and his arms hanging relaxed at his side.

The first key is to relax in whatever stance you choose. The next key is to stand as quite and still as a tree. Just stand there and notice what sensations come up. Do not try to do anything except relax and watch with your mind the feelings. It is best to start with 10 minutes and slowly build the time standing to an hour over about a six-month period. Some may progress faster than this, others may take longer depending upon the condition of your body and your level of personal discipline.

The exercise should not be painful. Usually, if it becomes painful, it is the result of poor posture, or a bad stance, or perhaps an existing injury. As you progress in the standing exercise your attention should be drawn to your hands and lower legs. Energy sinks naturally. Once you can notice or attend to these feelings of pooled energy then you can start intending that same feeling down through your feet into the earth.

One image that is often helpful in intending the root down is to picture yourself standing on top of two twenty foot high posts.

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In imagining that you will naturally intend your feelings down the twenty feet to where you imagine the ground is. Another image that can be useful is to imagine you are burred in the ground up to your waist. A third is to create a void or vacuum within the ground several feet below you.

A sensation of a vacuum can be achieved by intending a relaxed feeling within the ground under the feet. Students may begin this exercise by standing for only 10 minutes at first then slowly building up the time to an hour over the course of about six months.

The purpose of this standing posture is to build considerable endurance and strength in the leg muscles, and work the chi energy into the legs as the student learns to relax into the position of the Yee Chi Kim Yeung Ma character-twoadduction stance , sinking his chi through his legs and into the ground. This stance further teaches the student good posture, body alignment and deepens the stance root, as it continues to be practiced it will also strengthen and tone important muscle groups.

Together these qualities offer a solid base from which the techniques of Wing Chun can be unleashed with great power. It is not a coincidence that the first form in Wing Chun is a stationary standing form. From an energy development point of view this makes perfect sense.

The same intending image can be used to build the energy in the arms and hold them up. This works well as you draw the relaxed, open space from the ground, up into the feet, legs, and body in progressive waves of relaxation.

Imagery is a key part of training the intent. The more vivid you can create the image the greater the effect it has on producing the intended effect on your energy and intending skills. The right side of the brain houses more of the artistic intuitive skills and abilities while the left side is more dedicated to logical through process, reason and language. Other postures can be employed as the standing progresses and the root becomes noticeable to the student.

Each posture increases the challenge to your attending and intending. The second posture is done by standing in the same stance you have been using, bring your hands forward, palms facing up as if holding a large ball in front of your belly. The image used in this posture, which should be added to the other image you use to intend down for the root, is that of holding a large ball that has no weight.

In fact the ball can be intended as a relaxed space that sucks energy, as would a vacuum. The ball will rest against your stomach and in your hands and arms. As you imagine it there, begin to feel it holding your arms out, this is a form of intending.

But at the same time you need to keep intending your root down into the earth. So you will be simultaneously attending to the relaxed void feelings of the root and the same relaxed feelings of the ball energy in your arms and hands.

At the same time you are also intending the root deeper and intending the energy ball in your arms and against your Dan-Tien, just below your navel. This is the most challenging of the standing postures, as the arms tend to tire quickly. It is important to relax deeply and to focus your attending on the root and the energy ball not the pain in the shoulders and arms. By intending down into the root and out into the hands and ball at the same time you begin to develop the important ability to attend and intend simultaneously, and in different directions and ways.

Energy rooting is the first level of Chi-kung skill. Once this has been achieved to some level of proficiency the student must also learn how to move with this root. A static root is one thing, but a dynamic root is quite another. The dynamic root comes from first learning the static root and then refining this skill until he is naturally centered and sunk. Then with correct footwork and in chi sau training the student learns to maintain that sunken energy while in motion.

If done correctly the moving root can produce surprisingly fast body motions. If you are unable to maintain your sunken energy when moving, all your opponent needs to do is step to gain the advantage. Fighting is motion; a dynamic root is therefore essential.

Also presencing a relaxed void or vacuum out towards the space you wish to move to can have the effect of creating an energy suck that draws you forward quickly. The test for this skill is in chi sau. Many kung fu systems use them as part of their breathing and meditation training.

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There are of course several different variations of these 8 exercises, but on the most part they are the same. When practicing them the student should focus on being relaxed, moving the arms in time with the breath. The first part of the motion is usually done as you inhale slowly through the nose, and the second part of each motion is done as you exhale through the mouth.

The first motion of the 8 pieces. Inhale as hands move up. The teacher should be able to feel when the root is lifted and test the student with a pull or thrust at the right time to unbalance him.

If you find yourself unbalanced often in chi sau practice then your dynamic root needs work. The other key test of the dynamic root is in entering or closing the gap between you and your partner. The moment of entering is the key to winning an exchange and there is a great advantage achieved when you learn to enter from presencing the drawing energy onto your opponent as described above.

We will address the dynamic root in greater depth in the chapter on Learning to Move with chi. The movement should be timed to begin and end with the duration of the breath. The breath itself is very revealing.

When your mind is agitated and racing your breath will be high, short and forced. When your breath is calm, smooth, and slow then your mind will be quiet, relaxed and focused.

It should take about 20 minutes to perform all 8 motions, doing each with 10 repetitions. Stay relaxed, move slowly and smoothly, and breathe deep into your abdomen with slow comfortable breaths. Never try to fill or empty your lungs completely. This always produces tension. Just breathe naturally and comfortably. The breath should be audible. The correct sound is the sound you would hear as a child breathes when sound asleep.

It is not a forced harsh sound, but smooth and deep. This is the sound desired when doing breathing exercises. Children breath correctly, as they grow into adulthood and begin to feel the stresses and pressures of life they create considerable residual tension in the body and mind and hence they begin to breath incorrectly.

A deep meditative state of quite peacefulness can be achieved by performing the 8 pieces of Brocade correctly. This essentially was a series of exercises that focused chi into the body tissues through dynamic tension and mental focus. It appears that the Hard type of Chi-kung skills often demonstrated in the hard martial arts have evolved from these exercises. The second set of exercises were much different.

They were known as Bone Marrow Washing exercises. These were taught only to the most advanced disciples and masters of the system.

Down through the years many versions of Bone Marrow Washing have evolved. Some versions utilize the capturing of the essential sexual jing from the sexual organs and require some rather strange and dangerous practices to capture that energy.

Others are less bizarre and yet still effective and considerably advanced. In Wing Chun these less bizarre exercises are an important part of deepening the practitioners Chi-kung abilities. Often these bone marrow washing exercises were practiced during the wellknown Shaolin standing wall meditation. It has been said that monks would stand for hours facing a wall practicing this meditation.

It is this exercise that has been kept within the Wing Chun Chi-kung repertoire. Again the stationary stance of the Sil Num Tao form hints to these practices. To begin training in the more difficult standing meditation practices one starts by taking up the stance used to develop the energy root. Then roll the shoulders slightly forward and straightening the back, letting the hands hang at your sides with the palms facing to the rear.

The head and neck should be comfortably held straight also. Standing meditation from Shaolin Dissolving and Marrow Washing The story of Chi-kung development and practice in the Shaolin Temple relates that the Buddhist Monk Dao Ma arrived at the temple and noticed the monks in poor physical condition. He went into a cave for solitude for a number of years and when he came out he gave the monks two types of exercise that related to health and Chi-kung skills.

Research has shown that the Chinese had Kung fu and Chi-kung long before the time of Dao Ma, however he is often attributed with being the originator of these shaolin exercises.

The reason for it is that it increases the intending strength of the mind and has the effect of adding more pressure to the natural flow of chi within the body. Because of this the student needs to be able to presence and direct his chi before doing reverse breathing or the added pressure may damage some of his internal organs and processes. Increasing pressure is not always desirable, so again this is an advanced addition to the normal standing meditation practices.

Normal and Reverse Breathing Techniques Remember the three key points discussed in the 8 pieces of brocade section about breathing. At first the novice to standing meditation will use the normal breathing process, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. The tongue is placed lightly on the roof of the mouth and the jaw relaxed.

The inhalation causes the belly to swell and the exhalation causes it to contract. After a few months of practicing standing meditation, the student can be taught the reverse breathing technique. With reverse breathing when you inhale through the nose you lightly draw the Dan-Tien in instead of letting the belly swell out and you draw the air up your back letting the back swell and fill. Then when you exhale you relax the belly and allow it to drop or swell out while you are exhaling.

So your abdomen will do the opposite or reverse of what it does during natural breathing. It is important not to force this though. The breath should remain soft and relaxed. The pulling in of the Dan-Tien is subtle and gentle, not tense.

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It is often easier to think about drawing the breath up the spine and filling the back than it is to think about pulling in your belly. There are several levels or parts to this exercise also. The first part is to help improve the focus of ones attention and intention through developing a deep ability to relax. It is often called opening the energy gates.

Throughout the body, often around joints but also other places, there are gates, or places where energy tends to accumulate and stagnate over time. This meditation is designed to unlock that stagnant energy and release it. I will not take the time to identify every gate in the body, but will start with some of the most important ones. While standing in the described stance the student closes his eyes to help him focus internally.

Then once the breathing is relaxed and set he puts his attention on the crown chackra at the top of the head. As he focuses his attention there he will begin to get a feeling sense of the area about the size of a hen's egg. In fact it is often suggested you imagine a block of ice the size of an egg burred half in and half out of the top of your head.

As you get a real feeling sense with your attention then you will progressively relax that energy. As it releases you will feel 27 relax deeply. It will often take a year or more to be able to get your intention to the skill level where you can go through the whole body within an hour. At first it is not important how long it takes for the first points.

You are still training your attention and intention even if you only focus on one or two points for the whole time. This meditation should last from 30 minutes to about an hour or a little more. As you work through these points releasing the energy you will often begin to feel a very fine shaking or vibration occur within your body. This is a good sign, however if the vibration turns to harsh jumping or obvious body gyrations then you have too much tension in your body that is causing the energy to clash with the tension.

The effect is similar to a small electric shock that causes the arm to twitch. If this begins to occur then focus on relaxing deeper the parts of the body effected and you should notice the gyrations go away while the high level fine vibration continues.

This is when the gate really opens and you release the energy out as it washes over your entire body. At first it may take 20 minute to half an hour to just get this one point to relax. The 10 gates in the head are; 1 the crown or top, 2 the center of the forehead or third eye, 3 the eye balls themselves, 4 the roof of the mouth and the tip of the tongue together, 5 under the tongue, 6 the hollow in the throat just above the collar bone, 7 the temples, 8 the ear canals, 9 the jaw hinge and the jaw bone, and 10 the base of the skull where the neck bone connects to the skull.

Then you go down the spine dissolving each vertebra to the tailbone. From there you can move to the major joins in the arms, the shoulders and shoulder blades, the elbows, wrists and each of the finger joints. Then the esophagus including your mouth, throat and tongue, and center of your chest down the sternum but inside where the food goes. Then each of the ribs, the whole abdominal cavity, the hip joints, knees, ankles and feet, and finally dissolve down into the root.

Each of these gates is relaxed deeply through the focused use of attention and intention. Intention is guided by the imagination, using the image of ice melting to water and then to steam.

It can take some time to get through all these points. It requires some considerable proficiency to be able to feel and intend into the marrow of your bones. You must be deeply relaxed both mentally and physically. You will use the same stance, posture, and the reverse breathing techniques used in the dissolving exercises.

However, with this exercise you will be focusing on different parts of your body.