The three treasures of Shaolin are Chan (philosophy), Health (Qi Gong), and Combat (Martial Arts). The treasure of health centers around Qi Gong, which is the study and development of your energy, called Qi. Gong means “skill” or “effort” and is the same word as is used in the expression “Gong fu” or Kung Fu.
氣What is “Qi” ?
The Concept of Qi 氣 , often romanized as “chi”, can be difficult to understand at first. If you have any questions, please contact us.
In Shaolin Martial Arts you cannot separate the treasure of health which is centered on Qi Gong. Hei Gung is the Cantonese pronunciation for Qi Gong. In the statement “Harmony of Body, Mind, and Spirit” Qi serves to connect the three together. Qi also connects the triad of Heaven, Earth, and Human. In the Chinese worldview, earth Qi represents the body. It is the classification of energy that connects all life forms. Humans are the only life form capable of cultivating Human Qi and Heaven Qi. Given a way to connect the Body, Mind and Spirit, you can achieve potentials not available to most people.
While the use of these potentials is beneficial, there are dangers because you are moving into a realm over which you have little control. When developing your Qi potential and training to physically link the body, mind and spirit, you must be aware of the positive as well as the negative aspects of your training. “Jau Fu Yaup Mo” is a phrase meaning “Fire Out Devil In”. When you open yourself to your potential your true nature can be exposed. If you have a disposition to be mean and vengeful, this can be intensified. Likewise, if you are kind and benevolent, this also can be intensified.
The Chinese have been practicing Qi Gong exercises as long ago as the Shui (581 – 618 A.D.) and the Tang (618 – 907 A.D.) dynasties. In China Qi Gong (Hei Gung in Cantonese) is practiced in many forms. In particular, the three main focuses are Spiritual Qi Gong, practiced by the Buddhists, Health Qi Gong, practiced by the general public, and Iron Qi Gong, practiced by the Martial Artist. In your training we will address the latter two.
The Qi Gong for Health is used for the maintenance of the body’s internal organs and healing through the meridians, as outlined in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). You will be instructed in the use of the Baoding “Health” Balls which are considered one of the treasures of Baoding, China. They have been traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), and are known to have improved the health of the practitioner. Ba Duan Jin, an exercise consisting of eight movements while breathing in a stationary position is also taught in our training. It has a long history of improving health.
The Qi Gong that is practiced by the Martial Artist covers many realms of their experience. Iron Qigong develops the body’s inner energy in a manner that makes the practitioner impervious to pain or physical damage. Iron Palm, Iron Shirt, and Iron Body training have been known to make a martial artist invincible to the attacks of adversaries. The benefits of this training can manifest itself in feats such as breaking boards, bricks, stones, and iron with bare hands, feet, or the head. This method of concentrating the Qi in specific parts of the body is unique to the Iron Qi Faat or “Iron Methods”.
The Exercises in our training will require you to make two installments daily, for the first two weeks, Qi Gong in the am and Physical Exercises in the pm. Thereafter you are to make two installments daily for a minimum of three days per week. For the best results you should arise in the morning and begin Qi Gong training by 5:00 am and complete the routine before 7:00 am to achieve the maximum benefits of your Qi Gong practice. Do not practice Qi Gong between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 pm. The evening installment should be the Physical training, after 3:00 pm. The Qi Gong training is to increase body Palla. However, the Physical Exercises are designed for raising your heart rate, raising your body temperature, and invigorating your physical being.