Original Feng Shou-Gongfu “The Six Internal Combinations”

All traditional Chinese internal martial arts incorporate  the principle known as the ” Six Internal Combinations” (Nei Liuhe). These six internal combinations allow the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu  to describe a three way relationship that they will have with themselves by connecting: Inside to Inside, Inside to Outside and the Self with their Surroundings. Learning and practicing the Six Internal Combinations  encourages the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu practitioner to develop and transform their  level of martial arts ability and skill from the very obvious physical level to the more hidden mind/spirit skill level.

1). The External and Internal merge together uniting as one.

The Feng Shou-Gongfu practitioner must learn how to connect their external movements , shoulders move with the hips, elbows move with the knees and the hands move with the feet in accordance with their internal  dynamics of the body’s respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic,skeletal  and energetic systems.

2). The Body and the Will merge together uniting as one.

This is were the Feng Shou-Gongfu practitioner must learn how to use their Will or Intention to forcefully move their energy (Qi) into their extremities in accordance with their physical actions to develop internal power into their defensive and offensive fighting techniques. All things tangible and untangible, visible and invisible  merge together.

3). Heaven and Earth merge together uniting as one.

This is were the Feng Shou-Gongfu practitioner after years of dedicated practice of their internal forms and two-person flow exercises allows their spirit to move them. They are guided by their intuition to merge with their surroundings and  to connect to the Dao.

The learning and practicing of the Six Internal Combinations will transform the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu practitioners depth of skill from simply using obvious force in their martial art movements (physical), to developing a more refined  and subtle hidden force in their martial art movements (Mind/Intent), to the higher level of developing  the  more Mysterious force in their martial art actions ( Spirit). Sadly, most  practitioners of the Feng Shou-Gongfu system never achieve any level above the very physical or obvious strength stage, to treach the more higher levels  of skill development takes years of dedicated practice, having to sacrifice  hours and hours to their Feng Shou-Gongfu martial art development. 

In the beginning many individuals participate in the study and practice of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu system to learn its martial arts techniques to help defend themselves and to use their strength and knowledge to control another individual. But gradually they begin to realise that through the  learning of this Chinese internal martial art they are  also learning how to Master themselves by becoming more connected to their own Being. My teacher Master Chee Soo always mentioned that Feng Shou-Gongfu is a Daoist martial art and it should be no wonder that it’s practice should lead some of its practitioners to connect and feel the Dao or Way through its practice.

  

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LFIAA Taijiquan ” Harmonising the spirit with your movements”

As we practice our taijiquan forms we will all go through various transformations that will develop and effect our physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual strengths and qualities. These so called transformations do not happen quickly they take a long time to develop and for each individual to become aware of, obviously the more you can practice on a regular basis the quicker these transformations will happen. Sadly many individuals are only happy to settle with simply learning to relax in their  practice of taijiquan and are not interested in pursuing  the more deeper aspects that Taijiquan practice has to offer.

The Chinese like to term the practice of taijiquan as a method of “Moving Meditation” (Dong Ming Xiang) but not to many people actually achieve the level where they are purely in a state of mediation  while performing their taijiquan movements. At first when you begin to learn taijiquan you mainly focus on developing your physical structure which includes correct posture, good leg strength, balance, light nimble stepping, precise, accurate movements etc. Then the individual will begin to combine their breathing with their movements, this then transforms the individual from the physical level into the mental stage. This stage includes the slowing down of the movements,lengthening the breathing, which begins to strengthen the individuals concentration. This will then transform the individual into another subtle stage as their  concentration grows they will then use their “Intent” or ” Will” to guide their energy ( Qi) and begin to develop an internal power within their taijiquan actions this subtle stage is called ” qi merges with the mind”.

The next transformation the individual must take in their progression to master  taijiquan as a method of ” Moving Meditation”  is called the ” Spirit merging with the movements” as the individuals concentration become really strong to the point were they do not have any distracting extraneous  thoughts and their mind becomes calm, still and empty. The spirit (Shen) is then allowed to expand, and because we are all spiritual beings we should let our spirit move us. In the practice of taijiquan the individuals is now guided by their spirit and not their mind. The final stage or transformation in the development and mastery of taijiquan is where the ” spirit then merges with the void (Dao)” at this highest level the individual can connect their energy to the environment, sensing the atmosphere they are led by their intuition.

  

LFIAA Wild Goose Qigong (Dayan Gong) “Replenishing energy levels”

There are many different styles of qigong that are both taught and practiced in China and around the world. Properly one of the fastest growing qigong practices is the Wild Goose Qigong,this particular form of qigong involves both standing and moving exercises that combine passive, soft, flowing movements with  the more dynamic vigorous stretching movements. Unlike Taiji qigong exercise where the individual mainly remains in an upright position, in the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong the individual performs deep forward bends from the waist to stretch and touch the feet with their hands increasing the flexibility of their back muscles and spinal column.

Every movement or action that the individual performs in the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong form is done with an underlying reason of  influencing the flow of qi around the whole body by either stretching open the muscular tendon meridian channels to increase energy circulation or by  pressing, rubbing or patting the energy points (Qixue) on various meridians and channels to stimulate and invigorate qi flow more strongly to maintain and improve the functions of the internal organs.

At a much deeper level of practicing the Wild Goose Qigong form for the cultivation, storing and circulation of the qi for health and wellbeing. There is also the sealing of the three Elxir fields (Dantians) where the alchemical process of turning essences  (Jing) into energy (Qi) into spirit (Shen)  is practiced within the movements of the Wild Goose Qigong form. Also there is the practice of  opening the three gates in the back meridian  (Du Mai) which can either slow down or block the flow of qi up the back meridian which can effect the energy levels of each individual. Through its movements of stretching the back muscles and spinal column, gradually the three gates on the back meridian are slowly opened and released to allow a strong flow of qi to enter the back meridian and upwards to the head nourishing the brain and spirit.

Practicing Wild Goose Qigong also develops  the individuals balance as its stepping actions are similar to that practiced within taijiquan,  but with a slight variation on where the body weight is placed on the front or back leg. Every step you take in the practice of Wild Goose Qigong is also performed with hand movements that develop coordination and concentration. No matter how old you are everyone can receive great benefit from the practice of Wild Goose Qigong.

  

LFIAA Swimming Dragon Qigong “Rejuvenate yourself”

One of the most powerful and beneficial qigong exercises that I have ever learnt is the Daoist Kunlun Swimming Dragon Qigong form (You Long Gong Shi). This particular Daoist holistic exercises imitates the movements of a dragon as it swims through the water and air, it actions involves twisting, turning and coiling of the whole body, it has both passive and vigorous movements alongside dynamic stretching of the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles to develop a supple and relaxed body.

What I really like about this particular Daoist qigong exercise is that it is a well balanced form that was designed to not just develop whole body flexibility using strong stretches.  But it also works and stimulates the individuals cardiovascular system developing their fitness and stamina by working the heart and lungs. Another aspect of the Swimming Dragon Qigong exercise is that it also incorporates fixed position exercises alongside walking qigong methods that improve each individuals balance, coordination and concentration.

In China the practice of qigong is looked at as a preventive form of exercise to help fight off diseases by maintaining a strong, smooth circulation of the blood and qi throughout the whole body. It must be regularly practiced on a day to day basis to help maintain the strength of the individuals vitality and to develop their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength to go about their lives in good health and wellbeing.  Because our lives can at times become very stressful due to our work environment,family commitments, our diet and social life. Which causes our energy levels to  drop which can weaken our immune system and leave us open to various ailments that can effect our physical, emotional and mental health.

I strongly believe that taking up the practice of Swimming Dragon Qigong is properly the best thing any individual can do for themselves. We will all get older and suffer with many ailments that old age brings with it and we will need some kind of exercise that will allow our body and mind to maintain its strength. So that the quality of our lives is not totally affected by old age, with regular qigong practice you will feel rejuvenated and  healthy. As Lao Zi mentions in the chapter 76 of the Dao De Jing ( Book of the Way and Virtue).

“The Hard and Stiff with Fail, But the Soft and Supple will Prevail”

Through the practice of Swimming Dragon Qigong each individual will be able to maintain a soft and supple body,a relaxed and calm mind into their old age maintaining their health and wellbeing.

  

The Dao of Learning the Daoist Arts of the LFIAA

Within our association of the LFIAA we offer a wide choice of Daoist arts to each and every interested individual who wishes to participate in the learning of the healing, health, meditative or martial arts that we offer. But no matter which of the Daoist arts you choose to learn each individual must approach their training and learning with the correct temperament and attitude that allows themselves  to fully appreciate what they are learning is all about improving and mastering themselves to help others who might need there guidance along the Way.

For any interested individual it is important that they can fully connect to the Daoist art that they would most likely wish to learn and become skilfull at. What ever their connection is to a particular Daoist art be it for the improvement of their health and wellbeing, or to learn how to become a medical practitioner to treat and heal people, or be it to learn how to defend themselves through the practice of the Daoist martial arts. Each individual must be passionate and enthusiastic  about their chosen subject, they must have an understanding that it is going to take a long time to learn and master their favourite subject, they must be dedicated, patient, humble, benevolent, trustworthy and kind.

The learning of the Daoist arts as taught by the LFIAA  is like “Taking the first step along a thousand mile journey” it is important that the individual takes each step as it comes and lives in the moment. Like the watercourse of the Dao some times your learning will be slow and fast, it will rise and fall, twist and turn just like a river flowing onwards and towards the sea. But with persistence  your depth of understanding and knowledge of your Daoist art will advance. Hopefully for you to fully appreciate the information that you have gained to help you to become more connected to your own being and your family,friends and environment.

Most individuals are usually only interested in learning the Daoist arts that are offered by the LFIAA to either maintain their health or for self defence reasons. It is a rare person who has joined the LFIAA to learn and develop their own spirituality  through the teaching of the Dao (Way). But no matter which particular Daoist art you might choose to learn, each has the potential to develop the individuals physical, mental and spiritual awareness, as each of the Daoist arts all cover and teach the same guiding principles and concepts of cultivating and strengthening ones own energy (Qi) through the seeking  of balance, stillness, nonaction, constant change,nonresistance,  softness , motion and stability. As my teach Master Chee Soo once told me it is a natural progression for a student to learn how to master and improve their physical attributes, which in turn will naturally improve their mental strength and awareness, which again will in turn develop their own spiritual awareness and connection to the Dao. Obviously this will all take an individual many years to develop, some will achieve this self awareness and connection to the Dao naturally. Whereas, others may never reach or attain this level of development through the Daoist arts taught by the LFIAA.

  

LFIAA Origingal Feng Shou-Gongfu “Linear Rollaways Exercise”

Everyone who still is or has practiced the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu will at some time practiced the two-person flow exercise known as “Rollaways” (Dui Lian). This particular two-person flow exercise is an important training method as it allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to bring other areas of their training together into one complete training exercise that allows the practitioner to develop a high level of skill in being able to adapt to any situation and to express their full protential as a practitioner of the Origingal Feng Shou-Gongfu.

Most practitioners of the Feng Shou-Gongfu still practice their ” Rollawys” in a static position where they simply still use the old Cat and Dragon stance method of practicing the ” Rollaways” exercise, throwing single blows and kicks at each other in an alternating routine. We in the LFIAA Original Feng Shu-Gongfu perform the “Rollaways” training exercise using three different training methods linear, angular or circular. The first method is what we call “Linear Rollaways” or straight line “Rollaways”. But instead of using the old Cat and Dragon stance static routine, we choose  to use the Ladder Stepping method Ti Bu Fa) using both the short/long offensive ladder step to attack with and the short/long defensive step to defend with, this means that each practitioner must be constantly on the move using either a shallow or deep stepping method to attack or defend with.

Once the two practitioners have learnt to move forwards or backwards using the ladder stepping methods to either attack or defend with,they can then in their attacking actions choose to either throw a single or multiple blows, whereas in their defensive actions they can then use a single, double, changing method to ward off or deflect against a single blow or multiple blows which can be aimed at various targets and heights. Learning to perform the ” Rollaways” training exercise in this particular training method allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to add in more areas of their Feng Shou training like adding single, multiple kicking techniques, poison hand strikes, active mist double ward off methods,joint locking techniques and takedowns and to then progress on to matching various weapons against each other using the same straight line footwork methods of the ladder step.

Once the practitioner of the LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Gongfu has become proficient at the straight line ” Rollaways” training exercise, they are then taught to use angular footwork to be used offensively and defensively alongside the straight line stepping methods of the ladder steps. After many months and years learning to become proficient at the angualr “Rollaways” they then move onto learning the circular “Rollaways” training exercise which is a combination of linear, angular and circular stepping methods that can be used offensively or defensively. At this high stage of training and development the practitioner of the original Feng Shou-Gongfu should be able to demonstrate a very high level of skill in being able to change and adapt to any situation.

  

Taiji Qigong ” Moving for better Balance”

Today there are many individuals who suffer with the ability to maintain their balance. Usually they are the much older individual who through lack of exercise looses their leg strength and flexibility within their joints, which means that they can no longer support their own body weight by standing on one leg which greatly limits their range of mobility. In the elderly it is falling over that causes the great amount deaths, as they can be very traumatised from the shock and pain of falling over and possibly breaking their pelvis, leg or even hitting their head.

Today this ailment of falling over is called ” Falls Syndrome” and obviously effects the very old who have become very weak on their legs and have lost their confidence to move around. Through the gentle practice of Taiji Qigong each individual can learn easy to perform exercises that will develop each individuals balance, coordination and concentration. Part of learning to balance is learning how to relax the muscles, tendons and joints. Plus developing their flexibility within the joints of their body so that their range of mobility increases through gentle, repetitive exercise.

Another health ailment that can also be greatly effected by taking a fall. Is those individuals who suffer with Osteoporosis weakness in the density of the bones. Obviously taking a heavy fall is the worst thing that could happen to a Osteoporosis suffer. Another aspect to this disease is that anyone of any age can be affected with the Osteoporosis disease, so practicing Taiji Qigong exercises would again greatly benefit the individual who suffers with this particular disease. 

Another benefit of practicing the Taiji Qigong exercises is that it also helps  each individual to relax and sooth their nervous system, helping each individual to combat the build up of stress, anxiety, frustration and tension within themselves that comes from being afraid of falling over. Through the learning of Taiji Qigong each individual will be able to  regain their confidence and their ability to move their body with a better sense of balance.