LFIAA Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu “Yijing Principle to Change & Adapt”

Within the practice of the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu (Hand of the Wind Boxing) we use a lot of traditional Daoist theory as guidelines for our practitioners to allow them to skilfully use this internal martial art effectively. My teacher Master Chee Soo was great at explaining and demonstrating  on how to use the principles of Yin & Yang in all its many variations like softness, hardness, lightness, heaviness etc within its skilful usage to make each student develop a high level of skill within their own expression of how Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu should be. Another principle that Master Chee Soo also taught was the ability to be balanced not just for good agility, but to be also fully balanced with your own hand and foot skill, a balanced mind and body or to be fully balanced within all the areas of your Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu training meaning striking, kicking, wrestling, throwing and of cause its weapon work.

Another principle that he would mention was that all practitioners of Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu  must learn to achieve the ability to spontaneously “Adapt and Change” their own Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu fighting methods to overcome any circumstance that  their opponent would throw at them. This particular principle comes straight out of the “Yijing” or Book of Changes which tells us that everything is in a constant state of change and we must learn to except it and learn how to adapt and change with the changes that life can throw at us, sometime good and sometimes bad. For those of us who practice the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu we must also learn how to “Adapt and Change” our fighting techniques to overcome any threatening situation.

Learning how to use Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu skilfully to overcome any situation takes a lot of time dedicated to practicing all areas of this unique internal fighting art. Within Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu there are many two-person counter, counter training exercises that teaches each student to use multiple striking and kicking techniques, joint locking and throwing methods both defensively and offensively against each other, learning to naturally adapt and change to each other attacks and counter attacks.  although there are many fighting combinations or techniques to learn in the study and and practice of this internal martial art, in a real fighting situation the Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu practitioners techniques are based upon what the opponent does, he simply adapts and changes his or her techniques  to fully overcome the opponent. The practitioner does not enter any situation with a set plan on how they will use their Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu techniques to overcome a situation as this makes them become very rigid and stops them from being able to be flexible enough to change and adapt their martial art.

A practitioner of the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu re-actions are guided by their opponent aggressive actions, they simply use the full extent of their fighting skill to adapt and change to overcome the situation. They do not plan their fighting strategy on how to overcome their opponent they naturally and skilfully flow spontaneously adapting  their martial art techniques to what the opponent uses against them, changing their angles of attack and defence, changing their tempo from fast to slow, from soft to hard, light to heavy this is what it means to adapt and change to overcome the situation.

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LFIAA Wild Goose Qigong “Sensing the Qi Movement”

When  any beginner starts to learn the Wild Goose Qigong form their main concern is obviously to try and remember the actual movements and sequence of each posture as they all link together smoothly. Gradually after about six months or more with the individual practicing regularly which greatly helps, the individual will begin to experience  a variety of sensations which usually occur within their fingers, palms and arms at first, then gradually spreading into the toes, feet and legs until the whole body starts to experience these sensations. Each individual will experience at sometime in their practice of the Wild Goose Qigong certain sensations like warmth, tingling, coldness, fulllness, heaviness, lightness, itcyness or movement which could be a sensation like a vibration, shaking or flushing of  heat or coldness usually into the extremities.

Personallly I believe that it is when the beginner begins to experience these sensations of energy movement within themselves that their Wild Goose Qigong  transforms from an external practice to an internal practice. What also helps is to co-ordinate the breathing with the movements as breathing inwards is performed with the actions of the Wild Goose Qigong when the arms are moving upwards and of cause breathing outwards when the arms are slowly lowering downwards. It is important that the breathing and the actions are moving all at the same speed. I was taught that breathing is like the wind (Feng) gently blowing  to encourage a fire (Qi) to start up and begin to burn, breathing helps the Qi to heat up and travel through the whole body so that each individual experiences the sensations of heat, tingling in their hands and feet.

To experience the  actual movement of Qi within your body does take a long time to develop with lots of regular practice on a daily basis. The movement of Qi can be a sensation of a vibration within your lower elixir field ( Xia Dantian)   that gradually grows outwards to your extremities which the individual can  experience as a trembling or shaking of the hands and fingers as the Qi surges through the nervous system. Another sensation of Qi movement within the body is the sensation of warm or cold flushes travelling upwards and downwards through the arms and legs as the blood and Qi flows strongly due to the actions of your Wild Goose Qigong form.

There are many postures in the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong where each individual can feel their own Qi movement, like when the both hands rise upwards in front of the individuals face, they can experience a sensation of warmth on their face from the heat of their both hands. Or when the both palms face each other as if holding. A ball they shoulder e tern all actions all of the time. experience a tangible sensation of warmth, coldness, tingling or if it is very strong a sensation of holding a magnet in their hands with the feeling of resistance between both palms. As the individual practices their Wild Goose Qigong it is the sensation of Qi movement within themselves that they should be trying to sense and experience and not just focusing on their external actions all of the time. As the movement of Qi and blood within themselves can graduallly disperse blockages and stagnation that could affect their physical, emotional, mental. No spiritual health and wellbeing.

LFIAA Eight Healing Sounds Daoyin “The Heart Sound Method” (Xin Sheng Fa)

Many individuals practice and study the Healing Sounds guiding and leading (Daoyin) exercises to bring balance to their own health and wellbeing. Usually people practice the  more popular ” Six Healing Sounds Methods” ( Liu Jiao Sheng Fa)  which covers the five Yin internal organs  of the Lungs, Heart, Liver, Spleen, Kidneys and the Triple Warmer (Sanjiao) of cause the Sounds can differ from each particular style taught as each Style uses there own unique method  which gives us a great amount of variety. I was taught both the Six and Eight Healing Sounds practices by two different teachers and I much prefer to practice and teach the Eight Healing Sounds methods as I find them to be very strong and powerful in their Healing effectiveness both for myself and to my patients who I have taught to for specific illnesses.

The Eight Healing Sounds practice can be performed from a Lying, Sitting, Standing and Moving postitions, the Eight Healing Sounds corresponds to the Lungs, Heart, Kidneys, Stomach, Spleen, Liver the last to methods that make up the total Eight Sounds are used to Disperse blocked energy (Qi) and blood stasis (Xue) that can accumulate wi him the whole internal organs, the last method is performed to was h the ” Bone Marrow” to strengthen our skeletal system. When we practice any of the Eight Healing Sounds Daoyin the movements are used to aid the “Sound” and not the other way round in that the movements are more important than the Sound.

Let’s have a look at one particular method of the Eight Healing Sounds Daoyin. The Heart (Xin) is considered the Emperor of all of the internal organs as it promotes blood circulation around the whole body which carry nutrients to strengthen our health. The Heart is also closely connected to our (Shen) Spirit and a healthy Heart means that we are active full of vitality, our head is held upright and the individual carry themselves with a positive attitude. Whereas, if the Heart  is out of balance causing hypertension, palpitations etc then an individual  can have low vitality levels, their confidence to travel far is effected causing their spirit to  diminish. When you use the (Ah) sound associated with the Heart alongside its own unique movements the Vocalisation of the (Ah) sound can be non-vocal which is used to  tonify the Heart with gently vibration, or vocally it can be used to disperse strongly vibrating the Heart.

Obviously if the individual is suffering with a particular ailment then the Vocalisation of the Heart sound as to fit the patients illness to either sedate or stimulate their energy (Qi) to gradually strengthen their health. For the more healthier individual practicing the Eight Healing Sounds Daoyin is a great method of balancing, nourishing and strengthening their own health.

LFIAA Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu “Swan’s Wing & Willow Tree Ward Offs”

When you begin to learn the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu system you will come across the defensive Ward offs (Peng) and Blocks (Lan) which can be performed either in a (Yin) soft (Rou) or (Yang) hard (Ying) methods. Basically the Swan’s Wing (Hong Chi) Ward off is used to deflect or block against a high line strike, punch directed towards your head or chest, whereas, the Willow Tree (Liu Shu) Ward off or block is performed against a low line blow or kick directed towards your abdomen or groin area. In a nutshell the shape of the Swan’s Wing and Willow Tree Ward offs ar just the same, except the Swan’s Wing Ward off is more slightly closed more at the elbow joint, whereas, the Willow Tree Ward off is more open at the elbow joint. Each will use the outside edge of the forearm to make contact with the in-coming blow or kick and with a subtle rolling (Gun) or twisting (Ning) action of both the arm and waist (Yao) allows the blow or kick to be deflected away from its intended target.

Obviously each of the Swan’s Wing or Willow Tree Ward offs or blocks can be used both on the inside or outside of the opponents striking arm or kick to open up their defence for you to then immediately follow up with a series of counter striking and kicking methods. All defensive blocks and Ward offs within the ar of Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu are also considered to be a method of entering into your opponents defence and not just used to defend negatively, but to enter, opening up your opponents defence ready to counter attack back with a wide variety of counters. The Swan’sWing Ward off can also be used in either an inside or outside method, the outside method is what we call a “Reverse” (Fan) Ward off method, to use the reverse Swan’s Wing Ward off is to use the outside of the upper arm and forearm keeping the elbow high and turning the waist and shoulders outwards from the centre of he body. Whereas, the Willow Tree Ward offs is only used moving to the inside of the body to protect the centreline.

Practicing the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu teaches the practitioner to become very tactile using various parts of their body like the palm, back of hand, wrist, forearms and elbows to Ward off and block your opponents strikes or kicks. Likewise these same areas of the upper extremities that are used to Ward off or deflect can also be used to attack with. This means that we must remain close enough to the opponent so that we can successfully use our Ward offs, blocks and deflections to manipulate their balance to create openings in their defence that we can them quickly deliver a series of fast multiple blows to quickly finish the situation. Learning the Swan’s Wing and Willow Tree Ward offs allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu to have a tight defence.

LFIAA Taijiquan “Accuracy, Timing & Speed Promotes Concentration”

When individuals first begin to start learning taijiquan be it either the Yang, Li or Sun styles which are taught by the LFIAA they mainly focus on learning  of the physical actions. Trying to remember the correct sequence that each posture follows from one to another, but when excatly does the mind or intent (Yi) starts to become involved with the physical actions that of each individual, sadly when I teach taijiquan to some classes many of the individuals within these classes follow the movements of either the teacher or the individuals in front of themselves which is understandable if you are a beginner student, but when you have been practicing taijiquan for over a year or more the individual should by now be able to remember the sequence and actions of he taijiquan style that they are learning and perform them without having to follow the person in front, behind or to the side of themselves. Simple following the movements of your class members means that you are letting them do the work for you and not developing your own concentration by relying on your own actions and skill.

In the practice of taijiquan each individual has to learn and perform three important points that will strengthen their ability to concentrate and connect their body and mind together. These three points will allow for their own minds to become calm, still and quiet but above all focused on themselves. These three important points are:

  • Accuracy.
  • Timing.
  • Speed

Firstly accuracy, it is important that each individual performs each posture of their taijiquan form accurately, as each posture has their own unique own expression of the eight energies of Ward off (Peng), Rollback (Lu), Press (An), Squeeze (Ji), Split (Lie), Elbow (Zhou), Pluck (Cai) and Bump (Kao). For example of the Yang Style taijiquan posture “Part the Horses Mane” the individual should be aware that the substantial hands palm should be facing upwards, while the insubstantial hands palm should be facing downwards, not both palms down or up as this is a lack of either concentration on the students behalf or that they were taught wrongly.

Secondly timing . Most beginners make the mistake of moving their hands and feet at the same time which makes their movements look clumsy, and jerky. It is important that the student  understands that the legs and torso move firstly and that the upper extremities move last, here we are talking about literally seconds between the action of the legs, torso and arms. Secondly the top and bottom of the body must connect and follow each other in unison and should not be moving in isolated actions, for the individual to connect and move their whole body as a unified unit means that they must concentrate on the timing of their actions there is also the timing of the breathing and movements being performed together at the sae speed, again this asks for the individual to fully concentrate and engage in their taijiquan practice and to not follow the person in front and move exactly at the same speed.

Thirdly is the correct speed or tempo. To many beginners move their bodies to fast in the practice of taijiquan because their own minds are full of chaos, as they are thinking of things that went on before they entered the class or are thinking of things that they should do after the class. All this make their minds become full, anxious and tense which then causes them to speed up. You can easily tell the ones who are following the person in front as they actions are to fast or they suddenly pause and stop like a statue, rather than  maintain a slow, smooth, even speed from start to finish. Obviously the slower you can make you actions become within your taijiquan practice the more the individual needs to concentrate, hence then the mind and body becomes connect as one whole unit.

LFIAA Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage-Tui Na Qigong “Pulling Method” (Tuo Fa)

Another of the Lishi energy Bodywork massage methods (tui na Qigong) that was taught by Master Chee Soo as part of the Li Famly (Lishi) massage techniques for which there were ten sections to be learnt. Is the Pulling method (Tuo Fa) this particular massage method was  also combined  with the Pinching method (Jin Fa) by Master Chee Soo and was called the Pinch/Pull method. I personally teach both the Pulling and Pinching methods as separate techniques, the Pulling  is a more passive (Yin) method that causes no pain or discomfort and is performed slowly using either two, three, five or ten finger Pulling, whereas the Pinching method  can be a very painful experience and is considered a (Yang) method as it is performed slightly faster than the Pulling method.

The Pulling method can be used on the musculoskeletal system to relax tight muscles, tendons and joints to invigorate both  blood (Xue) and energy (Qi) to flow smoothly around the whole body by removing blood stasis and blocked energy channels that can cause illnesses if left for long periods without treatment. My teacher Master Chee Soo would mainly teach the Pulling methods of the Lishi energy Bodywork massage on the muscles of the body, Pulling means to grasp the muscle and to then gently lift upwards pulling away from the body and allow the muscle to slip out of your grip. The Pulling method when combined with other massage methods can also be used to effect deeply inside the patients body to remove energy blockages, such as combining  the Pulling method with the Grasping method to gather the patients qi and to then guide it out towards the surface of the body by Pulling out the sickly qi (Bing Qi), another massage method that is combined with the Pulling method is the VShaking technique (Chan Fa)  This is used by firstly using the Pulling method to pull the muscles and tendons upwards and to then gently or vigorously Shake the muscles and tendons from side to side, this particular technique is used to break up  and remove blocked blood stasis or blocked energy that lays deep inside the patients body.

Another aspect to the Pulling method is that it can be used to stretch the patients joints and can be used to traction both the upper and lower extremities. Many individuals suffer with some kind of joint injury to either their spine, shoulders, elbows, hips or knee joints were the joint as become swollen, stiff and painful. The Pulling method can be used to gently stretch and traction the joints open,  allowing for the stagnant sickly blood and other body fluids that have accumulated around the joint to be flushed out by the more cleaner and fresh blood flowing into the space between the joints that have been trationed open to remove the swollen area. Usually when the practitioner of the Lishi energy Bodywork massage apples the Pulling method as a traction to to gently open and stretch the joints of the arms or legs they must move slowly and hold the position for a long period of time to allow the patient to relaxe into the tractioning of their limbs to improve  their blood and qi circulation.

LFIAA Wild Goose Qigong “Lifing the Heels”

Over the many years that I have been teaching the Wild Goose Qigong Pre-Natal and Post-Natal  64 forms I have been asked by many of my students why do we lift our heels of the floor. For which I mention that there are many reasons, firstly there are some postures within the Wild Goose Qigong that the body weight is transferred from front leg to back leg and vice-verse in a rocking action were the lifting of the heels of each foot allows the body to rise upwards and sinks downwards in a vertical circular action. The lifting of the heels allows the ankle, knee and hip joints to be pushed upwards raising the individuals centre of gravity, this will then allow the individual to rock their body weight onto the front leg for which it will allow the individual to take a step forwards with the leg that is insubstantial or empty, as the individual steps forwards and places their foot onto the floor the body weight can then be transferred onto it.

The lifting of the back foots heel will allow the hip joint of the leg that is used to take a step forwards to rotate in a vertical circular action , which will then gently close and open the joints of the spinal column and stretch the muscles of the Lowe back, especially if the individual places the insubstantial foot onto the floor using the “Mud Wading Step” (Tang Ni Bu), secondly, energetically the lifting of the heels of either both feet together on in an alternating method will allow the qi to travel upwards from he floor through the toes and ball of foot and upwards through the Yin energy channels (Yin Jingmai) and upwards into the torso and upper extremities.

A third reason for the lifting of the heels will gently stretch the tendons within each foot allowing for any tension or stiffness to be released. This will also help to strengthen the legs as the body weight is rocked gently from one leg to the other, allowing the individuals leg muscles and tendons to become strong and fit enough to support their own body weight. Which will improve your ability to balance and have the endurance to stand for longer periods of time, plus your cardiovascular fitness will greatly improve good vine you more stamina. The Chinese call the action of the legs as the “Second Heart” as the more your big muscles of the legs are used within your exercise the greater effect it as on the heart to pump the blood around the entire body which will nourish and strengthen each individual health and wellbeing.

There should be no linear actions used within the practice of the Wild Goose Qigong, all movements should be circular in their action n and this includes the stepping actions. The raising of the heels allows the ankle, knee and hips to rotate in a circular asction especially of the foot that is taking the step forwards, although it looks as if the foot is stepping forwards in linear direction, the actual joints should be moving in a circular action with a slight rise and fall of the body weight.