As we have been fortunate to be able to ask questions of Shaolin Master (Sifu) Wong Kiew Kit. This is such an important opportunity, this page was set up to share the wisdom that he has extended to us. This page will be updated from time to time with more material, so check back!
Also, please visit his website at www.shaolin.org.
The first and most pressing question I had for Sifu Wong was about one of the most important aspects of difference in Yuan Gong, and that is that it allows for spontaneous translation and movement so that the practitioner can "embody" the ape -- it is unlike other styles in this way. It is typical more recently in the arts to learn only the prescribed technical movements and eschew spontaneity. The idea is to perfect technique to the point where the art becomes spontaneous. However, Sifu Wong's writings suggest that spontaneity has a great place from the very beginning in the learning of an art. When he was asked why the arts presently are more prescribed and rigid, the following was his reply:
"Chi flow, or flow of energy, is natural in every person. Like blood flow, chi flow is so natural and spontaneous that many people may not be aware of it. Indeed, it is chi flow that gives a living being, including a person or a gorilla, life. If his chi flow is stopped, that being becomes dead. If his chi flow is harmonious, that being is healthy.
There are many reasons why many people become rigid about "learning exact techniques" and never deviating from them. One very important reason, which influences many aspects of our lives, is Westernization.
Of course, Westernization has brought us tremendous benefits, some of which we sometimes take for granted. Getting water from a tap, having air-conditioning or heating, and receiving information from the internet at the touch of a few buttons, are just everyday examples. No one can deny the tremendous benefits we get from Westernization.
On the other hand, we should not forget the wisdom we have derived from the past. One important point we in Shaolin Wahnam have wanted to convey to the public is that good health is natural. In other words, if chi, or energy, flows to every part of a person to enable him (or her) to function his every part the way it is meant to function, he will not be sick.
Traditional Chinese medicine has made invaluable use of this important fact. Hence, in traditional Chinese medicine, every illness can be overcome. The main principle is to restore harmonious chi flow. This can be achieved in numerous ways, like using chi kung therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine.
These numerous ways can also be used in conventional Western medicine. Instead of using chi kung therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine, Western doctors may use medical drugs or whatever means researchers may discover.
Another important point I wish to mention is that "learning exact techniques" may not be enough. The people must also have the necessary skills.
This point is noticeable in chi kung and kungfu, the two arts taught in our school, though people outside our school may not realize it. For some reasons, many people who practice chi kung and kungfu today have the "exact techniques", but they do not have the necessary skills to overcome illness or to maintain good health, have vitality and longevity in the case of chi kung, or they do not have the necessary skills to use their kungfu for combat and to develop internal force."
Thank you, Sifu!