There are a numerous amount of Poison Hand Striking Sets taught within the LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu as passed onto us by Master Chee Soo. These particular Poison Hand Striking Methods must then evolve from its basic, some times rigid method of practice to be then combined and blended alongside other types of soft and hard Ward offs and deflections that allows the practitioner of this Chinese internal martial art to enter deeply into the opponents defence and then be able to use the Poison Hand Striking Methods alongside your kicking, joint locking and takedown techniques to defeat your opponent. The ultimate aim of any practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu is to be able. to naturally flow combining all of their defensive and offensive techniques together in a practical and effective manner. This means learning how to use the Poison Hand Striking Methods in a variety of ways using different types of Ward Off and deflections other than what is taught in the basic forms using the same rigid arm Ward offs.
For example when a student learns any of the first six Poison Hand Striking Sets they will always be taught to use a single outside arm Ward Off to deflect or block the opponents attack. To evolve and make the Poison Hand Striking Methods more practical and effective. Simply try and use other types of Ward offs and deflections like a single, changing or double palm Ward Off, or a single high downward hook Ward Off or a swans wing Ward Off or a low willow tree Ward Off. Usually when practicing any of the Poison Hand Striking Sets with a training partner they are always performed against a single punch attack. Try using other soft and hard Ward offs in a variety of methods against a one/two punch combo alongside your Poison Hand Striking Methods to develop a vast amount of ways to enter into your opponents defences.
Sadly to many students practice the Poison Hand Striking Sets still in a very basic and rigid format that is very unpractical for use to defend oneself in the street. The effectiveness of the Poison Hand strikes is greatly enhanced when combined with other types of Ward Off, party’s and deflections as entry’s other than what is taught within the Poison Hand Striking Sets. Master Chee Soo would always mention that a practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu should learn how to change and adapt and overcome a violent situation through their skilful usage of applying this principle to this Chinese internal fighting art. Simply practicing the Poison Hand Striking Sets in their basic and rigid format will not be enough to develop a high proficiency level, which can only be achieved through the blending of other types of soft and hard Ward Off in various amounts of combinations that allow the practitioner to enter deeply into the opponents defences from either the outside, inside or in a more direct straight line route.
Learning to defend yourself and how to use any of the Poison Hand Striking Sets effectively against multiple punches from many different angles of attack must be fully researched and practiced by every practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu system if they truly want their Feng Shou-Kung Fu to become an effective and practical method in being able to defend themselves against an aggressive opponent. Learning how to use different ward offs and deflections against a One/two punching combination or from a hook or uppercut punch and then be able to flow naturally into any of the offensive Poison Hand Striking Methods must be fully practiced, as not always will an opponent simply attack you with a single straight punch as is what is taught and practiced by many students in other Li/Lee family associations and organisations.
Today to many people are frantically living their life’s wasting their energy , weakening their immune system and allowing their health to suffer in the pursuit of economical gain. For a bigger house, a flashier car and lavish holidays, even the way that they exercise is stressful on their bodies, burning up their life energy that they will obviously need in their old age to help them maintain a youthful, fit, supple and relaxed body & mind. Today there are not many individuals who try to incorporate a little time for them to return to stillness, weather it be through sitting in meditation or performing some slow, gentle flowing movements of either taijiquan or Qigong that allows each individual to cultivate, harness their energy and slow down the ageing process and learn how to regenerate the bodies health and wellbeing by storing and strengthening your life energy (Qi).
Bringing a sense of balance into your daily routine and allowing yourself to become more aware of finding a time just to slow down and develop a time to become calm and still through simply walking into a park and practice some Qigong that gently opens and stretches the joints, muscles and tendons can greatly revitalise your energy levels, plus through its deep breathing it can develop a deeper sense of calmness and relaxation. Obviously if you cannot go into a park because there is not one near to you or the weather is to bad to go outside. Then find a perfect time of the day or evening to just do some mindful practice that allows you to slow down and find some stillness and peacefulness inside yourself.
“Returning to the Root” means to return to stillness or nothingness. As we came from nothing and at the end of our lives we will return to nothing. Some people will get there quicker than others because they burn up their life energy (Qi) through living their lives to frantically, wasting up their Qi through bad diets, over working living their life’s to fast that cause to much anxiety and stress affecting the circulation of Qi by allowing it to slow down or. Even stop and stagnate, which then causes their immune system to gradually weaken and suffer with ill health.
Practicing the life nourishing arts of taijiquan, Qigong, baguazhang or even meditation are not there just to simply learn how to relax. But to help you strengthen the connections between the body, mind & spirit. Which can only be achieved through slowing your life down and spending time to develop the feeling of inner calmness and stillness inside yourself each day to cultivate, store and build your Qi to allow you to live a long life with good health and vitality in your old age, living your life independently, what matters more self or wealth.
We all at some time during the day or week will suffer with low energy levels within ourselves that can cause our mood to change making us feel low, grumpy and a little depressed. Through the regular daily practice of taijiquan in general it can help to balance your emotions and big changes of energy levels that could affect your emotional state, for example performing the slow, gentle, smooth flowing actions of taijiquan which involve rising, lowering, opening and closing actions that are repeated throughout the entire Lishi Taijiquan form will gradually allow the energy (Qi) of the body to follow suit, which allows Qi that has been trapped in various areas of the entire body to be moved and released. This sudden release of trapped energy within an individual’s body can allow certain emotions to also be released that have laid hidden deeply within the body for some time and some individuals will experience a sudden surge of energy and realise that there mood as changed from being low to suddenly to being more lively and alert.
Obviously simply performing your Taijiquan movements will not move the Qi around your body unless you are fully connected with your mind, body & breath and you can gradually begin to experience certain sensations within yourself which again takes a longtime to develop. But the first step to developing this sensitivity of energy (Qi) movement within our bodies is through regular day to day self practice, whereas the longer periods of were we do not practice for a few days or weeks can cause our Qi to slow down or stagnate and cause us to feel greater mood swings in ourselves as the Qi becomes stagnant or trapped in various parts of our body.
Throughout each day we are constantly placed under some stressful situation, especially in the work place having to meet the pressure of a deadline, or mixing in with difficult Work colleagues, plus family commitments such as illness all can have a great effect on your emotional state. Learning to simply practice a little taijiquan during each day can greatly help in boosting your energy levels and maintaining a more balanced and healthy emotional state. If you do not have the time to perform your Lishi Taijiquan form each day, just simply practicing the Lishi Taijiquan first opening “Gathering Heavens Energy Posture” a few times slowly raising the both arms above the height of the shoulders will gradually raise the Qi of the individual upwards towards the head and change their mood from being low to being more lively and present.
Within the LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers there are a wide variety of kicking methods (Jiao Fa) taught that are both practical and functional for everyone to use to defend themselves from a violent and aggressive attack. One particular kicking method that Laoshi Keith Ewers teaches and has added to the Kicking Methods that was taught to him by Master Chee Soo is the use of the Hips (Kua) which is a close range kicking method that can be used alongside many other types of kicks plus defensive and offensive hand methods (Shou Fa). The use of the hip as a kicking method was not taught by Master Chee Soo, but was added by Laoshi Keith Ewers because it is a very effective and versatile kicking method that can be easily applied by both genders.
If the hip (Kua) strike is delivered correctly it can easily put a fully grown man onto the floor with ease. Today many of the Master Chee Soo’s students still practice the kicking methods or Foot Flow Training Methods as Master Chee Soo used to call them by still applying the cross leg step that allows them to retreat from there training partner. Whereas, the kicking methods taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers the cross leg stepping method is not taught or applied, as when the student performs the Hip strike he must get close to his opponent or training partner and to do this he must either step in to get closer, using either defensive or offensive hand methods (Shou Fa) to disguise the step or the student could use a kicking method aimed at his opponents legs to get close in were he could then apply the Hip strike.
Usually the Hip strike technique is applied alongside either a leg sweep (Tui Sao) or simply used to Off balance the opponent before you enter with a particular throwing method (Shuai Fa) or joint locking technique (Qin Na). The Hip strike is a very unique kicking method that Laoshi Keith Ewers has included to the many kicking techniques that are taught within the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu system. It is both a practical and functional kicking method that is easy to learn and combine with other kicking or hand methods.
Many individual’s do not recognise that within the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu System the kicking methods (Jiao Fa) can be broken down into two ranges of fighting. Which are long and short range, obviously the long range kicking methods only use the many areas of the foot like the toes, heel and instep etc. Whereas, the close range kicking methods use the knees, stamping, knee & ankle sweeps and also the use of the Hip (Kua).
Over the many years that I trained and studied under the guidance of the late Master Chee Soo he taught to all his students a wide range of energy sensitivity & awareness exercises what he would often term as (Qi Expressing Exercises) or traditional known as the Daoist Wand (Daojia Mo Zhang) Methods. These particular methods or exercises are also widely taught within many other styles of taijiquan and Qigong systems by many other teacher. I also teach them within my Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage System for individuals to get a better feeling and understanding of Qi and being able to connect to their own before they then connect to a patient Qi and then learn how to guide & lead it in any direction inside the patients body. Master Chee Soo would often teach and demonstrate these Qi expressing exercises mainly on his Lishi Taijiquan courses and they included lying, sitting, standing exercises that the individual could perform on their own or with one or more partners.
When practicing the Qi expressing exercises with a training partner they could be performed in a variety of ways. Firstly you project your Qi towards your partner by slowly pushing your hand towards a part of their body, usually it would be aimed towards an energy cavity point (Qixue) located anywhere on the partners body, then your training partner would try and sense, feel your Qi as you slowly closed the distance with your hand. Usually the training partner would experience warmth, tingling or even a feeling of pressure coming towards themselves, or they would simply feel nothing at all. There are many reasons why this possibility could happen, one particular reason was the delivery of you extending your Qi towards your partner did not involve the whole body moving as a unit, but you simply just moved your hand.
Over the many years that Master Chee Soo taught these particular Qi expressing exercises many students of his jmainly got caught up in trying to simply feel the Qi being pushed, pulled, raised or lowered towards them by their training partners and a lot of them could not perform the more advanced methods of actually moving their training partner. This was down to not concentrating on using their body mechanics in a correct and skilled manner, for example when you perform a taijiquan posture or a Qigong posture you are taught that the five components (Wu Duan Fa) of your whole body the legs, arms, torso, concentration and breathing must all be involved within every action that you do and there should be no difference when practicing any of the Qi expressing exercises. It is how you deliver your Qi towards or away from your training partner using the whole body and not just simply moving an arm or hand.
To many individuals get caught up just wanting to sense the movement of Qi and are quite happy to just feel warmth, tingling, heaviness or lightness when practicing with a partner. But as with everything within the Daoist energy arts there are always lower and higher levels of proficiency and to attain these higher levels of Qi manipulation each individual must pay great attention to their posture and whole body movement.
Students who practice the weapon side of LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers who was a senior student of the late Master Chee Soo . Learn a Short Feng Shou-Kung Fu Staff Form (Duan Gun Shi) which can be fully learnt within one or two years of study by any individual, this particular Short Staff Form includes all of the basic staff blocks and strikes that every individual must quickly learn and become proficient in the study and practice of any staff fighting style. Also within this Short Feng Shou-Kung Fu Staff Form there are also plenty of two-person Staff fighting drills that students can practice to improve their Staff fighting skill.
Whereas, the traditional Feng Shou-Kung Fu Long Staff Form that was taught by Master Chee Soo would take some students at least five or more years to learn. Sadly not many students ever actually got the chance to complete the Long Staff Form, as Master Chee Soo would also teach other weapon forms alongside it such as the Broadsword Form and it took a very long time for students to practice and remember the many weapon forms that Master Chee Soo would teach. Another thing was that we spent so much time just learning the Feng Shou Long Staff Form that we never got the opportunity to practice any of the many two-person Staff Fighting drills that were quite obviously needed to bring the many techniques alive and to develop each students ability to skilfully wield the Staff.
That is why within the LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers we much prefer to teach students shorter weapon forms. Which allows every student to be able to learn and master a complete weapon form within at least two years that they can then practice and develop in their own time. Rather than wasting many years studying a longer weapon form that maybe many individuals would never get the chance to complete or even have the opportunity to practice any of its Staff fighting techniques, because they are simply placing all of their concentration on remembering the sequence of movements that are involved in the learning of the much more longer staff form.
Another benefit to learning a shorter weapon form is that it covers the basic defensive and offensive techniques that an individual needs to learn and immediately use if they were suddenly caught in a situation were they had to use their Staff fighting techniques to defend themselves. Obviously learning any Staff form allows each student to be able to practice the basic staff blocks and strikes on their own as a solo practice. But it is when you practice the many two-person Staff Fighting Drills that can be found, especially within the Feng Shou Short Staff Form as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers that a student really begins to develop their skill and proficiency within the usage of the Staff (Gun).
A regular problem that many individuals suffer with in class when practicing the Wild Goose Qigong is the ability to maintain a continuous flow of movement that does not stop, pause, hesitate or speed up and slow down. Usually many beginners and individuals who do not take the time to practice in their own time have a tendency to lose their concentration, which then affects the smoothness of their qigong movements and practice, making them either speed up and slow down or to actually pause. This obviously has a negative affect on the circulation of Qi within each individual causing the Qi to slow down and gather in various areas of the body, which if left for to long can also cause blockages which can then lower the individuals vitality levels and weaken their immune system.
While performing the Wild Goose Qigong there are two types of speed or tempo that the individual must pay great attention to and try to maintain. The first speed is slow, gentle and passive the over-al movements should be co-ordinated with the breathing (Xi) and the breathing should be long, deep, slow, and smooth which allows the individual to develop a deep feeling of inner stillness (Jing). The second type of speed that the individual needs to be aware Off is the more vigorous, quicker, active movement (Dong) that gently allows the heart rate to speed up allowing for more blood (Xue) to be pumped around the entire body to nourish the internal organs and strengthen the health of each individual.
Once the individual begins their Wild Goose Qigong Exercise they must pay attention in maintaining the two correct tempos of slow and vigorous. Sadly some individuals just simply maintain the same speed from start to finish, this is some times caused by the individuals own anxiety’s and stress that they bring with them into the class and their anxiety or worry’s can cause them to speed up their actions as their concentration is greatly disrupted. When individuals stop and hesitate in the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong, again it could be a lack of concentration or that they have simply forgot the movements due to lack of regular self practice.
Developing a constant state of motion in the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong and making sure to maintain the two types of speed greatly connects both mind, body & breath. Allowing each individual to feel, sense and connect to the movement of their own Qi inside themselves as they perform the more slower actions of their Wild Goose Qigong. Whereas, the more vigorous movements allow the individual to develop their stamina and helps them to release any negative, sickly energy (Bing Qi) that has accumulated over time like frustration, irritability, anger or depression that may build up inside from the pressure of the work place, family or friends. The more vigorous actions of the Wild Goose Qigong not only strengthens their fitness but it also helps to maintain a balanced, calm emotional state.
In 2002 I had the opportunity to go to China for two weeks and study advanced Bodywork Massage (Tui Na) and Medical Qigong at the Xi Yuan Hospital of Traditional Chinese’s Medicine, Beijing, China. Each day would begin with early morning Bodywork Massage work in the doctors clinic which started at 7am until 12pm were we would be asked to give many patients a kind of warm up massage to help them relax and stimulate their blood and Qi circulation before they were treated by the doctor herself. Some times there would be up to fifty patients or more each morning that the female Chinese doctor (Yi Sheng) would treat with many types of ailments. Then in the afternoon we would then have a Bodywork Massage Course with various Chinese doctors who would then teach us how to use a variety of massage techniques to treat a wide range of ailments.
During some afternoons after we had worked in the treatment clinic during the morning actually working with sick patients and having the opportunity to see a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine work on a patient using some times Bodywork Massage (Tui Na), or Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy to treat them. We were then taught a Chinese Medical Qigong exercise called “Guigen Qigong” which actually means “Returning to the Source or Root” which was created by Dr Xu Hongtao of the Xi Yuan Hospital. The Guigen Qigong is a Five Element Form Exercise that as an opening form and then five other forms that connect to the Stomach/Spleen, Heart/Small Intestine, Kidneys/Urinary Bladder, Lungs/Large Intestine and Liver/Gall Bladder Internal organs and meridians.
Each of the Guigen Qigong Five Element forms are full of information and involve a lot of movements for eCh individual to learn and practice. They are a great compliment to those who practice and study the Energy Bodywork Massage (Tui Na Qigong) in both helping to cultivate your own energy to help maintain your own health and wellbeing, plus to develop your Qi sensitivity and awareness as it moves within yourself and how to connect to your patients own Qi to help treat they ailments. In the accompanying photo Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen perform the Heart/Small Intestine Guigen Qigong Exercise.
As we all should know the practice of any taiji qigong exercise should be performed as slowly as possible, especially for the maintenance of health and wellbeing. It can take a lot of time and practice for any individual to gradually begin to slow down their taiji qigong exercises to the point that each particular exercise becomes more drawn out , with the duration of the exercise lasting several minutes rather than a few seconds. Obviously for any individual to reach this level of taiji qigong practice means that a few other skills need to be developed, such as their ability to lengthen their breathing using long, slow, deep, smooth and silent breathing inwards and outwards through the nose. Secondly their ability to lengthen their concentration and not let their mind become distracted with other thoughts entering their. Mind.
It is the individuals skilful control of their breathing that dictates the speed of their taiji qigong actions, as the breathing and movements should be in time with each other. So learning to breath deeply into their lower Dantian (Elixir Field) located behind the navel takes a long time to perfect as many individuals breath shallow into the top half of their lungs. Learning to develop a still and quiet mind is properly the hardest thing that any taiji qigong student as to learn, as many individuals never learn to achieve this state of mind and they either give up on their taiji qigong exercise or they simply race through their exercises with no mind & body connection.
Lao Zi in his Daodejing says can you remain Still, while the Mud settles. Meaning can you allow your mind to remain calm, clear and still and not allow your thoughts to Muddy the mind. To some this might be an easy task when they are simply practicing just one particular taiji qigong exercise. But it becomes more difficult to achieve when you are practicing a longer sequence of exercises that are all connected together as some individuals have a tendency to speed up which is an obvious sign that their concentration as been disrupted and they are no longer in control.
Many individuals practice the taiji qigong exercises for many reason, but sadly not many aim to deepen their practice by “Seeking the Stillness within the Movement” many are simply happy to just practice their exercises to just try and relax and not concerned at all about cultivating the Qi towards entering into the meditative state by quieting the mind to achieve serenity (Jingping).
For any individuals who are interested in studying and practicing the Li/Lee (Lishi) Energy Bodywork Massage System as passed on to us by Master Chee Soo should make sure that they begin to practice and develop a good Qigong discipline, that allows them to not only cultivate their energy (Qi) for good health and wellbeing, but more importantly to be able to develop an abundance of Qi within the hands which can then connect, guide & lead the patients own Qi to help treat many internal diseases. As each individual performs their Qigong practice, it is important that they develop their awareness to sense the movement of the Qi within themselves as they perform their movements. For example as you slowly lift your both hands up the front of your body and above your head, can you actually begin to feel the raising of the Qi as you lift your body and hands upwards. Obviously it can take a lot of practice over a period of many weeks and months before an individual begins to actually feel their Qi rise upwards, as if you cannot feel your own Qi move inside yourself, then how are you going to be able to connect, sense and feel the movement of the patients Qi inside themselves
To many people concentrate all of their efforts on practicing the many Massage techniques that are involved within the Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage System (Tui Na Qigong) and do not spend the same amount of time and effort in developing their own Qi. Simply practicing the massage techniques only is just an external practice that will only allow the individual to treat some musculoskeletal ailments, but will not allow them to treat any internal ailments that lay deep inside the patients body like blood clots, tumours and Qi blockages that need to be dispersed.
By practicing and developing a good Qigong practice alongside the practice of the many Lishi massage techniques can an individual then have a balanced method of healing. As through their ability to connect their own Qi with that of the patients Qi can they then be able to move the patients Qi in any direction inside their own body to treat a wide range of ailments. It is like a reciprocal practice as you the individual begins to connect and move the patients Qi by either raising or lowering it, they too will also begin to feel the same sensation inside of themselves. Because it is the individuals Qi that is moving by guiding & leading ( Daoyin) the patients Qi.