1.1 72 Kinds of Martial Arts in combination with Pugilistic techniques and Weapon.
When you train the Martial Art (WU SHU), besides learning pugilistic and weapon handling techniques you have to pay serious attention to so called "soft" and "hard" Gong Fu. You use pugilistic and weapon handling techniques in a combat and Gong Fu is the basis of pugilistic technique and weapon handling. Therefore, great masters master not only the combat technique in perfection, but also gain great results in Gong Fu.
Fiction and poetry about ancient heroes often mentioned that so-and-so mastered "Palm of Iron Shot" (TIE SHA ZHANG) and so-and-so mastered "Covering oneself with the Golden Bell" (JIN ZHONG ZHAO). Thanks to that skill they defeated the enemy. As to its gist, Gong Fu are subdivided into four kinds: soft, hard, internal and external Gong Fu. The soft Gong Fu corresponds with YIN and the hard Gong Fu YANG1 is used to deliver blows. The internal Gong Fu trains the internal energy QI and the external Gong Fu trains the force LI.
It is more difficult to train oneself in the soft Gong Fu. By his appearance a man in command of the soft Gong Fu looks like an ordinary man, but if he is punched or struck with some weapon, the blow enters him as if it is cotton wool and the man receives no damages. But if it is he who punches even from a distance of a few CHI without touching an enemy, the enemy will fall dawn all the same. This effect of the soft Gong Fu astonishes (the uninitiated); indeed, softness gains the upper hand over hardness! That is YIN of the soft Gong Fu.
It is easier to perfect oneself in the hard Gong Fu. A well-trained man, having concentrated the force Li and the energy QI at a proper place, is able to bear sword blows. Or he lies on a board with nails, their sharp ends up, after it a stone slab of several hundreds JIN is laid upon him and the slab is struck with a sledge-hammer. The slab will be broken, but no harm will be done to the man. It astonishes the people. The hard Gong Fu personifies the masculine force YANG. A lot of people train themselves in the hard Gong Fu, but the progress made is different. Soft, hard, internal and external Gong Fu have a lot of different kinds, their number is not limited by seventy-two. Moreover, each kind includes two or three exercises. Here, in this book, we shall consider only 72 kinds of Gong Fu. For example, "Cinnabar Palm" (ZHUSHA ZHANG), "An Arm of the Sunlight" (YANG GUANG SHOU) and others belong to the soft Gong Fu. "Covering oneself with the Golden Bell" (JIN ZHONG ZHAO), "Iron Shirt" (TIE BU SHAN GONG) and others belong to the hard Gong Fu. The exercise "Frog" (HAMA GONG) and others are the internal Gong Fu. "Iron Bull" (TIE NIU GONG), "Sluice of 1000 JIN" (QIAN JIN ZHA) and others are the external Gong Fu.
When you gain some success (in training), you will have a good health, swords and spears can not wound you, no disease can penetrate your body, you will not fear wind and rain, cold or heat. Moreover, if you are in command of pugilistic combat techniques and weapon, you will honorably extricate yourself from any difficulties. So, Gong Fu must be blended with the pugilistic art and weapon handling technique, they should not be separated. In a combination each component fully reveals its possibilities, but being separated, it loses its efficiency. Masters of the Martial Arts say: "If you practise pugilistic technique and do not train Gong Fu, you will not achieve anything till your old age".
'YANG and YIN - two forces or principles in Chinese philosophy:
- YANG - bright, active, masculine, spiritual force or principle in the universe;
- YIN - dark, passive, feminine, material force or principle in the universe. 2CHI is a unit of length equal to about 30 cm.
3JIN is a unit of weight equal to 0.5 kg.
1.2 Effect of 72 Shaolin Arts on Breath QI and Blood XUE.
YIN and YANG are present in all four Gong Fu, softness and hardness, in all 72 kinds of Martial Arts the internal force QI and blood XUE are determining factors. QI acts as defense and XUE as nourishment. All people have "nourishment" and "defense". So they say that "nourishment" is impossible without "defense", but equally "defense" is impossible without "nourishment". However, QI is the prevailing element and XUE is secondary one. In other words, "defense" holds the first place and "nourishment" the second, because if XUE is not sufficient, one can produce it, but a man instantly dies without QI. That's why QI determines life and death of a man.
QI comes into existence in ZHONG JIAO1 and concentrates in the region of lungs. QI moves on the surface of the entire body and inside of it, day and night without stopping for an instant. Qi is also motive power of blood circulation. XUE, blood, is the quintessence of water and cereals diluted in the spleen and the stomach. Blood concentrates in the heart and from there is supplied to the kidneys and the lung from a signal sent by the liver. Blood circulates throughout the whole body, it includes red and white components. The eyes, having received blood, can see. The ears, having received blood, can hear. The hands, having received blood, can take. The feet, having
received blood, can walk. It means one should accumulate QI and feed the body with blood XUE.
Generally speaking, QI and XUE supplement each other, that's why at no account one should harm them. When QI and XUE join together, the internal organs work well. Then appetite is good, YANG and YIN breed. Main channels where vital force, blood and nutrients circulate will be full. If feelings are muddled, will has disappeared, QI is weak, XUE is insufficient, the mood is cheerless, the clean seems to be the dirty, movement is obstructed. QI outside is lost, XUE inside flows with hindrance, therefore all sorts diseases appear, a danger of death arises.
A man with full XUE looks healthy, but if he has weak QI, he grows decrepit. It is very difficult to properly cultivate QI and XUE and it is very easy to harm them. Therefore, one should be extremely careful. The way for the preservation of QI and replenishment of XUE lies through training in combat technique and Gong Fu. To practise Gong Fu means to train QI. During training time QI sets into motion XUE and it circulates throughout the entire body. In such a way, step by step, you become strong and firm. You will be protected against epidemics of dangerous diseases, you will not be afraid of cold and heat, you will get out of any mess with confidence and overcome any difficulties. But for it you must strain every effort. QI should be trained to such a level that it could concentrate in any part
of your body by an order of your will - from axillary ribs to finger tips. At the same time breathing volume (the volume of the chest) increases, appetite becomes better. From day to day your health, mind and will are improved. A well-trained man has a good health and strong will, therefore he can control his destiny.
As a matter of fact, a strong or a weak man is the same as strong or weak QI or XUE. The life and death of a man is the same as the life and death of QI and XUE. The development of a man is the same as the development of QI and XUE. Isn't the correlation between them very strong?
'ZHONG JIAO - upper part of the stomach, solar plexus.
1.3 72 Kinds of the Martial Art and Man's Internal Organs.
When executing exercises from 72 Arts, the main point is peace of mind and concentration. It is necessary to give up extraneous thoughts, not allow an outside evil (distracting factors) intrude (into your mind), and shun inner (thoughts). The method of treatment of internal organs consists in harmonizing them. Then the sick will cure his disease and the healthy will make his body and nervous system stronger. The heart should be pure, it is necessary to foster high moral qualities, it is necessary to form clearness of purpose. If after that you engage in GONG FU, you will get excellent results.
The method of treatment of internal organs consists in the r- „ • 1 1 1 r- 1 FF
following: each day before the
the open eyes. Pronounce hieroglyph SI for the lungs with the arms raised up. Pronounce hieroglyph HE for the heart with the arms joined above the head. Pronounce hieroglyph CHUI for the kidney with the arms around your knees. Pronounce hieroglyph HU for the spleen with the lips protruded to the front and rounded. Pronounce in a comfortable posture, chatter the teeth and swallow your spittle. Then, it is necessary to read the rule of six hieroglyphs: HE, XU, HU, SI, CHUI and XI. It is possible to cure diseases of internal organs in such a way. The rule says: pronounce hieroglyph XU for the liver with
hieroglyph XI for "Three Heaters"2. That is the method of treatment of internal organs. Internal organs is the residence of QI and JIN. If they are not sound, how can one get good results in GONG FU? That's why it is necessary to pronounce six sounds each day before training - to eliminate inner evil and prevent outside evil from penetration. It is necessary to concentrate attention, fill (the body) with QI, then strength will be in abundance and only then you can quickly get a good result.
Recitative said by the time of conducting exercises according hieroglyphs:
• The young XU clears the eyes, the tree supports the liver; in summer days the fire in the heart becomes quiet with the help of HE.
• HE and SI establish and collect metal, water the lungs; in winter CHUI of water comes to life in proper
• In "Three Heaters" ZHANG GONG4 eliminates heat with the help of XI, during four seasons HU in the spleen digests food.
One should beware of sound being heard with the ears5. This exercise is really able to protect the Spirit and Cinnabar Pill (DANTIEN).
Shaolin tutor Chun Nian says:
"Six hieroglyphs is the key to "rearing life", prolongation of life and elimination of many diseases. Train yourself every day at a certain time without any breaks, after all, it is an excellent method of preserving health."
ZIWU hour" is noon and midnight.
2"Three Heaters" (SAN JIAO) in Chinese traditional medicine is a conventional organ that combines the functions of several organs. The upper heater summarizes the functions of the heart and the lungs in the distribution of QI and blood for nourishment of different organs and tissues. The middle heater summarizes the functions of the spleen and the stomach in digestion and absorption of nutrients. The lower heater summarizes the functions of the kidneys and bladder, controls water exchange and secretions.
3GONG AN, lit. "the Palace of Tranquillity". 4ZHANG GONG, lit. "Chief of a Palace".
5It is meant that those hieroglyphs are pronounced in low voice, almost unheard, during a long outward breath.
Everybody can train himself in 72 kinds of the Shaolin Gong Fu. Everybody has QI, therefore, he has physical strength too. If you have physical strength, you can train yourself. However, your age should be taken into consideration. Children are naive and spontaneous; they do not worry about anything except food and sleep. It is pure YANG. Thy are ill very seldom, they are full of vigor, they learn easier than elderly people. When they grow up, six internal desires and seven external feelings appear; as time passes, the internal organs change under the pressure of internal and external evils and at that time it is difficult to train oneself. If a man is able to reject bad thoughts, forget about lust, calm himself, concentrate his attention and efforts, he can also attain success. Therefore, people in WU SHU circles give lessons for children from one to six years old to train their arms and legs and do massage of their muscles, then teach them to handle various kinds of small arms. It is called Gong Fu for children. Internal organs of elderly people grow old; it is necessary to preserve Spirit, reject seven feelings and six desires, not worry, have good food, avoid long exposure to the cold in winter to heat in summer, do easy exercises on the regular basis, and at no account make abrupt movements. All those things promote long life.
1.5 The Difficult and the Easy in Mastering 72 Arts.
It is comparatively difficult to train oneself in 72 Arts. One should make a gradual progress step by step for a long time. Ten years fly by as one day as you go on training. Usually, it is unbearable for people. Beginners who have no appreciable effects in several months or half a year stop halfway. Others are already close to success, but being full of vanity, they also stop training. There are people with strong will who persistently train oneself and gain success. If immoral people are trained by specialists with poor professional skills, it is difficult for them to get a good result. And there are virtuous people of high moral standards who strictly follow all instructions of their tutors, they are modest and friendly, loved by all tutors, but they have little strength and poor health and can not bear a great amount of training. For them, it is also difficult to gain the aim and, therefore, achieve success and become a master.
On the other hand, it is a simple and easy thing to engage in Gong Fu. For example, such methods of the external Hard Gong Fu as "Small Pebbles" (DIAN SHI), "Twin Lock" (SHUANG SUO GONG), "Hits at a Wooden Pole" and others, as well as methods of the internal Soft Gong Fu: "Soft Bones" (ROU GU GONG), "Breathing in Yin" (XI YIN GONG) and others do not require special equipment. Therefore, it is possible to train oneself
anywhere and in any conditions. For instance, in the period of MING dynasty Yuan Cheng, a well-known monk, trained blows with an open palm, using any free minute. He did it since morning till night, when he wandered about or stayed at the Shaolin Monastery, and never stopped training. Each day he perfected that blow at least 10.000 times. When he was 40 years old, he wandered in mountains in the province of Guizhou. Suddenly a tiger sprang at him. But Yuan Cheng only moved his palm and the tiger was thrown far off. One more example: at the end of the Qing dynasty Ma Xi Gong, a disciple a well-known monk, Chun Mi trained his finger all days long by poking it into a stone. When he walked or sat, he poked his finger into ground, walls, trees and other objects. In a word, he poked everywhere. Once, he sold a horse and was on his way home. On a mountain path he met a gang of robbers who wanted to rob him. Without saying a word he picked up a stone, poked into it with his finger: the stone was crushed into small pieces. The robbers ran away in fear.
So, it is simple and at the same time difficult to master the methods, because tremendous efforts are to be made for that. The main things are persistence and perseverance. That's the way to success!
The aims of training in 72 Shaolin Arts are to improve health, be strong and sturdy, withstand external forces, eliminate inner diseases, protect oneself against attacks. Training should be
treated seriously, don't be in hurry. Success . /
should be gradually achieved. When exercising, one must observe Five Demands: first, be
serious; second, be conscientious; third, the Spirit ^__._.v ■■.;
should conform the Will; fourth, take care of one's honor; fifth, strictly follow the methods.
There are Ten Bans for those who train oneself: laziness, conceit, haste, excessiveness, weakness for strong drinks, folly, slander, hypocrisy, lack of respect for teachers and oppression of the young. There are also Ten Harms: sexual desires that harm soul, violent rage that harms QI, excessive thoughtfulness that harms nerves, sorrow that harms heart, wine that harms blood, laziness that harms sinews, hurry that harms bones, smoking that harms lung, spicy food that harms stomach, excessive drinking that harms spleen.
If you know "Five Demands", "Ten Bans" and "Ten Harms", you can proceed to training. The training process has several stages. At first, muscles and then sinews are trained. After it one accumulates strength and then cultivates QI. If you strictly follow the methods, you will see results regardless what kind of WU SHU you practise. If you seriously treat "Five Demands" and "Ten Bans" and remember "Ten Harms", you will attain complete success and your skills will be perfect.
1.7 Training Methods of 72 Arts.
72 Shaolin Arts are divided into "Hard" and "Soft", "Internal" and "External" and some other categories. Different kinds of Gong Fu have different training methods. The gist of Gong Fu can be comprehended with mind, it can not be expressed in words. One should clearly realize in the process of learning: if a man wishes to attain those skills to dominate the people, in time he will inevitably fall into bad habits and laziness. In that case one can not acquire the technique. Even if you have achieved something, you will come to a bad end.
It is impossible to perfect oneself in all 72 arts at the same time, but if you display persistence and perseverance, overcome all difficulties, you will gain complete success. Reverend Ji Qin, WU SHU master from the Shaolin Monastery, said: "72 Soft and Hard kinds of Gong Fu are suitable for elderly people, grown-ups and children. Children can engage in the Soft Gong Fu and middle-aged and young people can engage in QI GONG and the Hard Gong Fu. Elderly people
can develop tenacity and make their life longer. The High Mountains represent training methods in complete, the main thing in all kinds is to be patient and adamant." Master, Reverend Zhen Jun said: "72 Arts are the true Gong Fu. It is necessary to train oneself during 10 years. After mastering Gong Fu you should not resort to it without good reasons. It is an unjust to use these skills for offending people. Follow the principles everywhere, obey tutors and inspiration will come."
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A lot of us run through the day with so many responsibilities that we don't have even an instant to treat ourselves. Coping with deadlines at work, attending to the kids, replying to that demanding client we respond and react to the needs of other people. It's time to do a few merciful things to reward yourself and get your health in order.