LFIAA Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) “Chinese Healthy & Balanced Diet”.

A balanced diet according to traditional Chinese medicine must involve the eating of the five main flavours Pungent, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty foods. So for those of us who study and practice any of the Li Family Arts (Li Jia Shu) and also abide by the Chinese Macrobiotic Diet that was passed onto us by Master Chee Soo. Which he termed (Chang Ming Yin Shi) or the Long Life Diet, then it is important that the meals that we make should involve the main Five Flavours (Wu Zi Wei), this is what we call in traditional Chinese medicine has a balanced diet. Whereas in the west a balanced diet is meat and two vegetables.

Each of the Five Flavours (Wu Zi Wei) or tastes that we eat corresponds to the functioning of Yin & Yang energies within our internal organs (Zangfu) to allow us to remain in good health. The Pungent (acrid) flavour is beneficial for the Lungs and Large Intestines, A Sweet flavour effects our Stomach and Spleen, The Sour flavour effects our Liver and Gall Bladder, and the Bitter flavours effects our Heart and Small Intestines, whereas the Salty flavours effects our Kidneys and Bladder.

In the west there is a great awareness of people becoming more over weight and suffering with obesity. This can be to a lack of regular exercise and the eating of a poor diets, which are sweet and high in calories. Whereas, in traditional Chinese medicine the sweet foods that many people eat and help put more weight on is mainly down to the fact that sweet foods taste better and the individual feels better in themselves when they consume sweet food. In traditional Chinese medicine the consumption of eating Sweet Foods will effect the energies of the Stomach and Spleen which are in charge of our digestive system, and if you are a certain individual who has a weak digestive system then the large consumption of sweet foods will obviously boost and strengthen the individual digestive system, which in turn can allow the energy of the Stomach and Spleen to become to excessive, which can then weaken the Heart and Small Intestine. To many people eat sweet foods mainly to please their Stomach and Spleen and do not balance the different flavours in their meals to benefit the functions of the other internal organs.

A balanced diet should involve Pungent, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty foods, not just an over consumption of one particular flavour like Sweetness. Which can lead to individuals becoming more over weight and leading towards health issues like Obesity and Diabetes. The eating of the Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) should be about maintaining the balance of our Yin & Yang Energies in the functioning of our internal organs to help us remain in good health.

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LFIAA Li Style Long Life Dietary Practices. “The Four Energy Directions Of Food” (Si Jing Fang Fan)

In traditional Chinese medicine dietary practices the food that we intake into our bodies can have a great effect on the direction that our Qi moves inside us. So for those who follow the Li Style (Lishi) Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) which is a macrobiotic diet, then not only are you trying to eat healthy, but you must also be aware that the eating of certain foods can have a great effect on your moods and in particular it can help to manage or prevent certain ailments that some individuals are suffering with. For example if you are a sufferer of hypertension (High Blood Pressure) then eating certain foods like Beetroots, Carrots, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Honey, Kidney Beans, Potato’s, Sweet Potato’s, Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts, Sweet Rice, Dried Ginger, Green & Red Peppers etc, have a tendency to allow the energy to raise upwards and outwards from bottom to top and from inside to outside. Eating the following types of food in the summertime can have a great affect on a persons management of their hypertension.

The food that we eat can move in four directions (Si Fang). Which are upwards, downwards, entering and exiting. There are another two additional characteristics of food movement which we call obstructive or glossy (sliding). For example if you eat peppermint, potato or carrots in your food then this will have a tendency for you energy (Qi) to move outwards, exiting from inside to outside. Whereas, eating a banana will have a tendency for your energy (Qi) to move inwards (entering), if you are a wine drinker then drinking wine even cooking with wine can have a tendency to make your energy (Qi) rise upwards through the body, eating or adding a large amount of salt into your food can have a tendency for your Qi to move downwards through the body.

There are two other additional movements that food can have on our body. Obstructive foods such as eating olives can have a slowing down or gathering effect of energy (Qi) within ourselves, whereas eating foods like honey or spinach, which have a glossy, sliding effect can increase Qi flow. If you suffer with Constipation then eating foods that encourage a downward movement of energy (Qi), plus facilitates the speed up of Qi to move should eaten as part of your Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi). But if you suffer with diarrhoea then you should eat foods that obstruct the movement of energy to move downwards. Adding foods that obstruct and allow your Qi to move upwards should be added to your Chang Ming Yin Shi diet.

Obviously when eating a meal that follows the Li Style Long Life Diet (Lishi Chang Ming Yin Shi). Each individual should also beware of the movement of energy that the food they are eating as on their body, a balanced diet should involve food that allows the energy in their bodies to move upwards, downwards, entering and exiting. The eating of obstructive and facilitating the movement of Qi should also be eaten, but in a limited way. To much warm and hot foods that have a pungent and sweet flavour in your diet will make the Qi rise upwards and outwards, eating to much cool and cold foods in your diet that are sour, salty or bitter will make your Qi move downwards and inwards.

LFIAA “Balancing The Four Seasons With The Li Style Long Life Diet”. (Chang Ming Yin Shi).

The Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) is a macrobiotic diet that was passed onto us through the Li Family Arts (Li Jia Shu) by Master Chee Soo. The Long Life Diet is aimed at eating a balanced diet that helps to balance the Yin & Yang energies within ourselves to help maintain good health and wellbeing in leading a long life. Ill health happens in our bodies when there is either a deficiency or an excess of the Yin & Yang Energies within us, obviously, simply just eating a balanced diet will not just stop ill health from happening, other aspects of a healthy lifestyle have to be put into place, like regular exercise like taijiquan, qigong or meditation to strengthen and nourish our Qi in helping any dysfunctions with our internal organs (Zangfu).

Eating a regular long life balanced diet with regular exercise that promotes the balance of Yin & Yang within ourselves, is what the Li Family Arts (Li Jia Shu) were designed to do. But when we balance our eating habits with the changing of the Four Seasons (Si Ji), then we also have to take into account our own physical constitution. Within traditional Chinese medicine there are six different physical constitutions which are Hot, Cold, Damp, Dry, Deficient and Excessive, if you are an individual with a cold physical constitution then you should be eating foods that are hot or warming. Whereas, for example if you have a Hot physical constitution then you should be eating and adding more cold or cooling foods into your long life diet to maintain the Yin & Yang Energies within ourselves.

But when it comes to trying to remain in balance with the Four Seasons (Si Ji). Then for example, if we are an individual who’s physical constitution is Hot (Yang). Then in the Spring time we should be eating more Pungent and warming foods in our long life diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) to be in harmony with the new growth of spring, in the Summer time if you have a Hot (Yang) constitution then you should be adding more foods and drinks that are pungent and hot to stay in harmony with the outward, expanding energy of the season, in Autumn one should be eating more Sour and warming foods, in the Winter time if you have a Hot physical constitution then we should be eating more Bitter and Cold foods to stay in harmony of the contraction of the Seasons energy.

Following the Long Life Diet (Chang Ming Yin Shi) one has to take into account their own physical constitution of being either Hot, Cold, Dry, Damp, Deficient or Excessive. Plus they must also be aware of the Five Energies that can be found within our food, which are Hot, Warming, Cold, Cool or Neutral. The Long Life Diet is not just simply eating foods that are allowed, but eating the correct foods that are suitable for our constitution and the seasonal changes to help balance and maintain our Qi within our bodies, to help us remain in good health and wellbeing irrespective of our age or gender.

LFIAA Lishi Bodywork Massage (Tui Na Qigong) “Balancing Yin & Yang Through Breathing”.

In the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Bodywork Massage System (Lishi Tui Na Qigong) there are numerous amount of basic foundation hand methods (Jiben Tui Na Shou Fa) that each practitioner must learn and develop their skill, as to be able to therapeutically treat a patient who is suffering with either an external or internal illness. One of the foundation hand methods that a practitioner will learn is the “Pressing Point” (Dian Xue Fa) method, for which a practitioner can use either their fingers, hands or elbows to press into the energy cavities (Qi Xue) that are located on every meridian or channel (Jing Mai) that travels throughout our own body to treat a wide range of ailments.

Firstly, I must say that every practitioner of the Li Style (Lishi) Bodywork Massage System must be regularly practicing some “Guiding & Leading” (Daoyin) Exercises to help them cultivate, strengthen and circulate their own Qi into their hands, so as to be able to connect to their patients energy and to manipulate it around the patients body to treat their illness. Once the practitioner has a good Qi flow into their both hands they can then apply the “Pressing Point Method” on the various acupuncture points to help balance the Yin & Yang energies of the patients body.

In the accompanying photo that comes with this blog Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen using his left hand to press on the Stomach Meridian (Zusanli St 36 Point) which is a great tonification (Da Bu) Point that treats many digestive problems. To help increase this points ability to tonify, the patient is asked to take a long inhale and to then slowly exhale, holding their outward breath for 2-3 seconds. Whereas, as the patient slowly exhales and holds their breath that is when you apply your pressure to “Point Press” the Stomach 36 Point (Zusanli). You can repeat this method 6-8 times on each side of your patients body alongside using other Qi cavities (Qi Xue) to help promote good health.

Learning to involve your patient in your treatments by co-ordinating their breathing with your Pressing Point Methods (Dian Xue Fa). Will allow them to experience the sensation that the Pressing Point Method makes happen, such as a feeling of warmth or heat located in the area that your are pressing, or they might experience the sensation of their own Qi either rising or sinking through their limbs or torso as you apply your Pressing Point Method. Asking your patient to take slow inhales or exhales allows the practitioner of the Li Style (Lishi) Bodywork Massage System to helps balance the state of Yin & Yang within your patients body to treat their illnesses and promote their health and wellbeing.

LFIAA Original Lishi Feng Shou-Kung Fu “Using The Scissor Stepping Method For Better Strikes & Kicks.

Over the many years that I have now been practicing and teaching the Li Style (Lishi) Chinese Internal Martial Art of Feng Shou-Kung Fu. I have come across many other teachers of this particular internal martial art style who advocate using a different stepping method to link their foot flow pattern (Kicking Methods) together. I have seen them use a stepping method that involves them using the Monkey Stance (Hou Shi) were their bodyweight is kept on the rear leg and their body shape is Square on to the opponent, another method that I have seen being taught is to step forwards using a Snake Stance (She Shi), but this time the bodyweight is kept fifty-fifty between the legs and again the torso is kept Square onto the opponent.

Both of the two stepping variations that I have mentioned above are incorrect. They are not the stepping methods that Master Chee Soo mentions in his book of Feng Shou-Kung Fu and was not the way he taught them to myself. The correct stepping method that is mention in his book and the way he actually taught, was to use the Scissor Stepping Method (Jian Dao Fa) as seen in the accompanying photo of myself in the Scissor Stance. By using the Scissor Stance stepping method to link your kicking methods together with your defensive or offensive hand & foot techniques (Shoujiaofa) adds more strength and power (Fali) to every practitioners fighting techniques, this is because of the torque or twisting of the whole body, like a spring that as coiled up ready to release and expand its energy.

To use the Scissor stepping method correctly the whole body must twist from the feet to the shoulders. The head is kept upright and facing your opponent, but the shoulders, waist, hips and knees are torqued, allowing the body to be kept side on to your opponent as you are advancing or retreating towards or away from them, not giving them a big target to strike or kick at. When using offensive striking methods alongside the use of the Scissor Stepping Methods when advancing towards an opponent, they are enhanced with more strength and power because of the energy that is stored within the twisting of the body’s Joints, which is then suddenly released (Fajin) as the joints spring open to to allow the practitioner to strike with great power.

Learning to use a combination of offensive striking methods alongside the correct usage of the Scissor Step Methods, can also help to disguise the practitioner offensive kicking methods, giving the Feng Shou-Kung Fu Practitioner a greater chance of landing their kicking methods successfully onto their opponent, as the opponent cannot see them coming, but can only feel their powerful arrival.

LFIAA “The Art of Seizing & Grasping the Joints” (Lishi Qin Na-Kung Fu) Joint Lock Flow Drills.

Obviously, when learning a particular martial art there are several levels that each individual must learn and achieve. If they wish to progress and reach a much higher level of skill and proficiency. In the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Seizing & Grasping Art (Lishi Qin Na-Kung Fu) individuals are taught individual joint locking techniques from a variety of holds, grips, punches and kicks, this can take at least a year or two for an individual to reach a level where they can develop their own personal catalogue of joint locking techniques. Then the next stage or level is to then be able to naturally respond using a particular joint locking technique from various holds, grips, punches or kicks.

The next stage is to then be able to flow from one joint lock (Jie Suo) to another. The reason for an individual to learn this stage is very important, has once you have successfully managed to apply a certain joint lock onto your opponent, the opponent will naturally begin to struggle aggressively to try and escape from your joint locking technique. This could involve them trying to punch, kick, bite or wrestle their way free from your joint locking technique, this is were you then learn how to naturally use your opponents own strength against themselves. By flowing from one joint lock that you have applied on your opponent into another one, for example, could involve you moving from a wrist lock (Wan Suo) into an arm lock (Bei Suo) on the same arm of your opponent. Or you could apply a shoulder lock (Jian Suo) on the opponents opposite arm or apply a head lock (Tou Suo). Basically, you apply a lock onto what is being offered by your opponent as he or she try’s to escape.

To teach students how to naturally flow from one joint lock into another as your training partner attempts to escape, is achieved by teaching them a series of joint lock flow sets that can involve a series of ten different joint locks that can involve finger (Zhi), Wrist (Wan), Elbow (Zhou), Shoulder (Jian) or Head (Tou) locks in a variety of techniques. These particular sets of different joint lock flow drills are not meant to be rigidly taught, they should be flexible and can be taught in many combinations, they are simply taught to allow students to develop their skill in being able to apply effective, practical and fast joint locking techniques (Qin Na) to subdue, immobilise or Injure your opponent.

Learning effective Seizing & Grasping Techniques (Qin Na Fa). Also involves that every individual develops their tactile ability to Listen (Ting), Stick (Nian), Adhere (Zhan), Follow (Sui) and Neutralise (Hua) to their opponent through their sense of touch. Listening (Ting) means as soon as I make contact with my opponent that I immediately begin to feel in what direction they are going to move towards, then be able to remain in contact by Sticking (Nian) to their limb, Adhering (Zhan) to every little movement that your opponent does, if the opponent pulls away from you can you remain in contact and follow (Sui) their movement, if they use strength against you while your in contact with them, can you then neutralise (Hua) their strength and guide it in another direction. These tactile skills are important for everyone to learn if you want to become very skilful in your Lishi Qin Na joint locking methods.

LFIAA Original Li Style (Lishi) Feng Shou-Kung Fu “The Offensive Striking Methods Of The Crane’s Head”(He Tou Da Fa)

In the study and practice of many Chinese internal martial arts like taijiquan, baguazhang and our own feng shou-kung fu the use of the Crane’s Head hand shape (He Tou Shou Fa) is widely seen and used within their defensive and offensive movements. As a defensive method in the practice of feng shou-kung fu the Crane’s Head Ward Off (He Tou Danglu) involves the usage of the forearm, wrist, back of hand and the fingers to deflect or block any in-coming strike from any angle that your opponent delivers at you. The Crane’s Head Ward Off can be performed using three methods of defence, a single ward off (Dan Danglu) a double ward off (Shuang Danglu) or a changing hands ward off (Huan Shou Danglu) in any direction that opens up your opponents defences for yourself to enter with a series of follow up strikes.

When offensively using the Crane’s Head hand shape to attack with, the Crane’s Beak meaning the fingers can be used to poke or stab targeting the opponents eyes, throat or temples, side of head area. Plus the bent wrist can also be used to strike with, again targeting the energy points (Dian Xue) on the opponents body or head at various angles. But the most common hand shape to attack with once you have used the Crane’s Head Ward Off is the Fist (Quan). As the wrist is already bent and the four fingers and thumb are touching each other, then it is easy for the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner to naturally form a Fist shape to strike with using various angles of attack. Such as a straight horizontal fist strike, an horizontal back-fist strike, a hooking back-Fist strike, a vertical Chopping back-Fist strike, plus many more striking variations etc.

The usage of the Crane’s Head offensive striking methods in the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Feng Shou-Kung Fu are not fully utilised by many of its practitioners. As many practitioners simply look at the Crane’s Head as a defensive method that is used to blocks and deflect any in -coming blows away. They don’t seem to realise that all of the defensive ward offs, blocks or deflections that are performed in the study and practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Feng Shou-Kung Fu are also entering methods that can open up any opponents defence for you to finish off the fight with a series of follow up strikes that naturally compliment each particular ward off method used.

Because of the unusual shape of the Crane’s Head Ward Off, then only a few striking methods (Da Fa) like the Phoenix Eye Fist (Fenghuang Yan Quan), the Tiger Paw Fist (Hu Zhua Quan), the Leopards Fist (Bao Quan) and the Straight Fist (Zheng Quan) can be used naturally from its Ward Off Methods to attack the more vital areas of your opponents body. Because of the bent wrist and elbow when performing the Crane’s Head Ward Off the power (Jing) is stored within the wrist, elbow and shoulder, when applying striking from the Crane’s Head Ward Off it is the sudden flexing of the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints and a good root (Gen), connection through the legs and feet into the ground that power and strength can be issued (Fajing) into your striking techniques from a short or close range.