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Your field of energy gives you protection. It helps to prevent accidents, can be used in emergencies and will help you recover if you are injured.

As you deepen your practice of Da Cheng Chuan, the energy surrounding you becomes stronger and extends further out from your body. It acts like a natural radar system. You become aware of possible dangers far earlier and further away from you than you did before. Your field of vision is broader and your mind becomes aware of obstacles before they are in full view.

Your training strengthens your nervous system. When you are put to a sudden test, you are more patient, calm and able to think clearly. You tire less and feel more resilient.

As you develop the five powers that are explained in Part Four and the stepping movements shown in Part Five, you discover a natural coordination that subconsciously protects you. Students who have had potentially dangerous accidents on dark streets, been attacked or fallen, find they remain in balance. They move easily out of the way with intuitive speed or spontaneously use their hands and feet to break their fall without serious injury.

If you have an accident or injury, you can draw on your Zhan Zhuang training for emergency help. If you are knocked down, fall or are hit, the first principle is to remain still immediately afterwards. You should only move if you are in actual danger. For example, if you are knocked off your bicycle and are not severely hurt, move to a safe spot nearby and then remain still. Any severe shock will automatically disturb your entire energy system. However, your energy naturally seeks to rebalance itself and will do this very rapidly so long as the entire body remains still. If it is at all possible, try to lie, sit or stand in a Zhan Zhuang posture. Then, before moving or while being transported, practice Sealing your Energy (page 15).

Your training gives you inner resources of Chi. Like this ancient statue carved in the rocks of Yungang - an area of China where Da Cheng Chuan is regarded as " the training of a Buddha" - your power envelops you like a protective mountain.

If you are injured and conscious, warm your hands (either by rubbing them or clapping them together) and then hold your injury if you can. You can wrap your hands around most twisted joints and broken bones or place them over an open wound. Your Chi will warm and protect the injured area, speeding the flow of healing energy. It will also help reduce blood loss. You can do this for yourself but you can also use your healing power in the same way to calm and assist others.


A s he journeyed from master to ■'"■master, learning and studying their martial techniques, Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai increasingly focused his attention on the inner essence of their art. This was more important than the superficial differences between styles. For him the great accomplishment of the martial arts did not lie in the repetition of classical "forms" consisting of set movements. Real power lay in the cultivation of the internal energy that could be directed by the mind.

By the time he began teaching publicly in Shanghai in the 1920s, he had distilled his learning into a system that placed mental power first. He called his system Yi Chuan, literally "Mind Fist," often translated as "Intention Boxing."

When he began teaching in Beijing in the 1940s, his system was acclaimed as The Great Accomplishment - Da Cheng Chuan. Eminent martial artists from China and Japan tried their techniques on him, but found themselves effortlessly bounced off by his power. Respectfully, they asked to become his students. Even earlier in Shanghai, a European world boxing champion had tried to knock out the diminutive master with a single punch and was floored. He was so startled, he reported it to The Times newspaper in London.

( Grand Master Wang broke new ground by challenging the traditional secrecy of ' martial arts instruction. He taught openly.

"Knowledge should not be hidden away like a secret," he declared, "it belongs to all humanity."

In 1993, on the 30th anniversary of his death, Grand Master Wang's long-term disciples in China (many of them in their 80s and 90s) and a delegation of recent Zhan Zhuang students from countries around the world gathered for a commemorative ceremony in Beijing. The events took place at his tomb (page 154) and included a seminar at the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Occupational Health.

Many of Grand Master Wang's disciples are pictured on the facing page, grouped around his daughter Madame Wang Yuk Fong. In a talk to Western students, Madame Wang told them to be attentive while holding the Zhan Zhuang posture, but to smile at the same time. "This is the 'inner laughter,- she said. "That inner happiness will continue through your whole life. The more you stand, the more comfortable you feel. Everything looks very soft, relaxed and at ease. Yet there is immense power inside you."

"If you study and practice Zhan Zhuang you can easily live to over a hundred!" said Master Li Jian Yu, Chief of the International Education Department of the Beijing Wushu Association. "Just stand quietly, listening to the sounds of the birds and noticing the internal movements of energy in your body. This is the pathway to a long life!"






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