NORTHERN SHAOLIN INTERNALS


Nei Juang Kung

  1. Wai Juan training is useless without Nei Juang (internal strength)
  2. The Nei Juang must be built before the Wai Kuang: a) keep the center, b)do not think of other places, c) use Qi for fullness.
  3. Keeping your center is primary for focus; this helps to keep emotions and desires in check.
  4. Do not train your limbs unless you have built up your Nei Juang at the center. This is Nei Juang is the foundation that your training is built on. Who would build a house on a unstable foundation?

A strong outside with a weak or hollow inside, is nothing but a shell; Humpty Dumpy Kung Fu. A wheel can have strong spoke, but without a strong center hub, the wheel will be crushed.

Northern Shaolin and Hsing Yi

None of the masters of BeiShaolin lineage from Yim Chi Wen on back learned Hsing Yi. There were four generations of Hsing Yi after Ji Long Feng, when Kuo Yu Chang learned from Sun Lu Tang. Gu Ruzhang was four generations from the burning of the Shaolin Temple when Monk Chi Yuan escaped and went to Shantung province.

The Burning of Honan Shaolin Temple 1732 AD by Ching soldiers, thirteen monks escaped, with five traveling south and eight traveling north.

There are still many northern and so called temple Shaolin schools that have institutionalized external concepts that are ambivalent to internal methods.

These external Bei Shaolin schools tend to follow the static and conservative philosophy of Confucius, emphasizing following the rules, without understanding the underlying concepts. Lao Tsu would use the dynamics of Taoism and Dr. Sun Yat-sen which develops the mind and independent thought.

In 1912 Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was declared the President of the Republic of China, with its capital in Nanjing. In 1914 Japan declared war on Germany and fought in China again. They seized German occupied city of Qingdao (formerly Tsing Tao, known for its China again. They seized German occupied city of Qingdao (formerly Tsing Tao Beer brewed after German influence(Tsing Tao Beer). In 1921, the Chinese communist party initially supported Sun Yat-Sen's. Soon these two factions would split China into a civil war. Warlords ruled China due to foreign occupation and two new, united governments.

In 1922 a regimental commander, Miao Xing, became the acting abbot of Songshan Shaolin who with a large number of monks and layman disciples, eradicated bandit gangs in the local vicinity. Three years later Heng Lin, then acting abbot, gathered a large number of monk warriors for an oath-taking ritual at the temple.

In 1928, Shaolin warlord Shi Yousan set fire to the temple destroying 90% of the buildings and many of Shaolin's most precious relics were looted. Its massive library of Buddhism and kungfu was reduced to ash.

Shaolin Buddhism would not recover from this destruction. All that remained of Shaolin was a few buildings and a lot of burnt foundations.

While Buddhism and Kungfu were still practiced by the monks, most of their energy was spent just trying to survive this dark period.

The internal BeiShaolin schools use the Taoist and Buddhist meditation of Da Mo in ancient Shaolin monastery; which were the foundations of Qigong and independent thinking. The energy and mental abilities of Internal Shaolin is readily adaptable to developing new forms, and richer understandings. These can be applied to other physical skills, consciousnesses and philosophies. One watches themselves as they grow, with self criticism and introspection improving ones character and spirit.

Learning Northern Shaolin Internals

Some claim that there are no Qi exercises like what other styles have because within each of the BSL sets the development of Qi is already layout within each set. The overall trend of these proponents; is that they do not do their BSL sets internally: over 90 % of their moves are external. This method has an unsatisfactory track record of its students ever reaching level 5, with all of the moves. Sometimes this gap is filled in with a back door relationship with the Sifu; that others are unaware of. It is then miserly distributed to the others in minimized or omitted form.

Those that claim that there are no Qigong exercises in BeiShaolin (Northern Shaolin), are the first to point to Gu Ruzhang's use of the Internal Iron Palm and Internal Iron Shirt as part of their heritage; but ignore that it uses internal methods of the 'Round Method'. They have no explanation of BSL use of the Standing Pole (Embrace the Moon) Qigong.

See: An Internal Iron Palm strike to a telephone pole, that is bowed by the force of the strike.

Gu Ruzhang (Kou Yu Chang) states ‘Power starts from your heel, is transferred through your leg, stored in your chest, moved at your shoulders, and controlled at your waist. In your upper body, your arms are connected with each other. In your lower body, your legs are coordinated with each other. ... Therefore you must treat energy as a wheel and your waist as the axle, your arms united in service of each other.' This is level 4, how to move your Qi in coordination with your body. Those proficient in Tai Chi, or Hsing Yi are at this level already.

Qi development is not in the system, unless every move in the learned set is taught internally; whether it is internally soft, or internally hard. This is not usually done until learning the advanced 10 Northern Shaolin forms. This can lead one directly to and discover (level 5) the hidden secrets within each of the BSL sets.

'As one practices your sets, do not think about your Qi and how to develop and control its movement because this will only prevent it from developing and one will never progress to the next level in BSL.', Wong Jack Man.

Although you already have Qi or would not be alive; Qi flow needs to be felt. That is the 'no mind' aspect of non-analytical thinking. Do not concentrate on Qi, let it flow. It is said that Qi cannot be forced, but may be lead. Qi is not for thinking, although it has a mind/body relationship. Although it may be proper to think, or analyze; it is not useful while practicing.

Breath naturally from the lower abdomen; or at an advanced level; breath from the heels. Keep your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Never expel all your air when throwing a punch or a kick. Breathing from the chest causes one to be overly Yang, overheat, rapid breath, and top-heavy.

Shaolin was formed upon the meditative Buddhist Qigong. Learn the Small Circulation Qigong for sitting mediation. Soon you will find (level 2) that your breathing will naturally adjust to your movements within your sets.

You need a Sifu to help you reach the next level. Later you will discover (level 3) that there are natural points built within each of the sets that allows your Qi to catch up with your physical body movements.

Martial Advantages of the Internal

Punch led kicks, that carry through to punch combos; will keep energy more flowing and continuous. Seasoned Goju fighters will do this with a front punch, followed by a back leg front kick, carrying the reverse punch.

A hard-external arm blow must usually chambered/pocketed first to get its full power; whereas an internal blow can attain killing power in two inches or less. If and when the blow misses, the hard/external fighter's movement must go the longer route back and forth to the initial launch point of the chamber/pocket. For example, most karate the chamber/pocket area for the front punch is either with the fists at the waste, or tucked up higher along the body's side ranging all the way up to the armpit, for some styles.

Internal blows can be a 'continuous and returning fist', maintaining their momentum and power as they travel and change direction, so you get many 'second chances if the first attempt does not connect. A karate front snap punch, has all the force released at the end of the blow, and is jerked/snapped back, so there is nothing left of the power generated; they have to reload! If you want to rely on that, then go ahead, not me.

A dynamic striking block (cover); can only be propelled by internal energy. This blow changes with the move of the opponent, as a push would in Tai Chi 'push hand's.
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Northern Shaolin #6 Tun Da #5
Gentle Breeze Waving the Willow Branches


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An internal method for stepping is used in the beginning of the Northern Shaolin Sixth Set (Tun Ta or Short Strike). This is not always taught the same way to students with different backgrounds.

One steps forward in a sliding motion, similar to Ba Gua Snake Step; with the lower swinging Crane Hands propelling the body in tandem with the step.

This is usually done with two forward steps, and the third step to bring the feet into a Horse Stance

Many teach BeiShaolin externally, since it is easier to teach to the public that has a rudimentary karate mentality. The only emphasis with this mentality is lineage and following; it becomes Obey Shaolin; rather than Bei (Northern) Shaolin. Only the bone placement and general body’s position is emphasized.

The original Shaolin was formed out of Buddhist introspective methods, from Da Mo onward; the Kung Fu and Qigong being forms of moving meditation. One would watch and see themselves, as well as their internal feelings and energies. The principles behind the theories were understood in detail and on a personal level; rather than merely parroting them.

Northern Shaolin #6 Tun Da #5

Internal Front Punches and Pouring Wine with the Ridgehand
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=715138621849505&set=vb.100000601208482&type=2&theater

Left scooping punch “Li Bai pours wine”

Notice the steps as they are driven from the rear foot in the first 2-12 seconds. The sliding in the snow shows how the power is transferred and timed with the hand strikes.

Toward the 10 second mark, the front foot is cocked into the rear heel chamber, before being powered by the rear foot's root.

If you watch closely, you might see the power flux as manifested by the snow that is kicked free.

Northern Shaolin #6 Tun Da #5
“Hate the ground to uproot the Onion”


An internal method for connecting to the Earth energy is used in the middle of the Northern Shaolin Sixth Set (Tun Ta or Short Strike), which has been documented as one move, #8; but is actually two moves.

6th SET (Tun Ta, Short Strike, SHORT FIGHTING)
8. “hate the ground to uproot the onion”

This might be better described internally as: Dig and Plant the Onion, Take and Grow the Onion, Concentrate Onion Energy Within, then Sprout the Onion's Energy into the next move.

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This is not one move but two moves, a clear example of the limits of translating and so called experts who are translators primarily.
1) This is sometimes translated as the downward arm movements (Stomp the Ground): Energy is transferred from one hand to the other; then as it is buried into the ground (as in loading up a spring) with the penetrating foot stomp. One injects and merges the ground with your energy, creating an internal type of springboard like drum, for which you the vault off of.
2) The upward motion afterward (sprouting of the onion); this next move is upward, from below the ground; the sprouting of the onion you just planted. The move starts from below the ground and is pulled to the Lower Dan Tien upward where it is transferred to the arms the legs. Sometime the next move following this is airborne, such as a tornado kick.

Traditional Shaolin

Outlaws


The Peoples Republic of China banned Buddhism; and what was left of Shaolin, was a de-clawed and impotent external style. What was left of martial arts was also banned and turned into the state supported Wu Shu; that was not a threat to anyone.

In a Kung Fu Magazine interview with former Shaolin monk, Zhang Lipeng, by Barbara Malvik

‘BM: Why do people ask you "Is wushu kung fu?"
Zhang Lipeng: So many Europeans and Americans think wushu is kung fu - kung fu is wushu. Wushu translates to English as "martial art." Fifty or sixty years ago, China's president, Chairman Mao, changed kung fu to become something that looks like gymnastics - like dance, and just beautiful - not form or fight.
Because Chairman Mao didn't want people to train for fighting …
BM: Chairman Mao made it illegal to train in martial arts?
Zhang Lipeng: Yes. All martial arts. You could not have swords or anything. He's the one who changed everything. That's why right now they have the modern martial arts and the history martial arts. In history martial arts you train one form for twenty years. In modern martial arts you jump up and down, you flip around; beautiful, nice movements-that's not kung fu. That stuff is only for looks.’

Many commercial schools would still praise mainland China Wu Shu, in order to promote their own schools as ‘authentic’; and keep profitable ties to the imposters; because it paid the bills. These schools will claim that doing the forms alone; will teach you about Qi and your internal energies, yet can do nothing to demonstrated it; such as proofing it with objective martial tests. You must believe them, and obey them; without proof or results.

Some of the better Kung Fu teachers that left China, would keep the internals secret. The Shaolin forms would only be partially documented, with the meat taken out of them. Sets were taught one on one, with different variations taught to worthy students with the appropriate background. Some senior students would learn the forms in their rudimentary externals, and stop getting lessons from the Grandmaster; these senior students would hang around the schools for years accumulating seniority; yet never advancing, nor receiving any new lessons.

Shaolin can be taught externally, and then re-learned later internally; but many who have learned the entire sets; never go through this step; since they smugly hold on to the limited form they learned. External Shaolin does not have any connection to other forms such as Qigong, Hsing-I, or Tai Chi; so they have to start from the beginning.

An example is Gentle Breeze Waving the Willow Branches, given prior in this article, 6th SET (Tun Ta, Short Strike , SHORT FIGHTING)

One steps forward in a sliding motion, similar to Ba Gua Snake Step; with the lower swinging Crane Hands propelling the body in tandem with the step.

On the swing forward, use Qi in the Lower Dan Tian to swing; in the orbit of the ball core mat ching, your swinging forward of the legs and torso.

Use this arm swing like a weighted pendulum, to carry you forward, then redirect it as you collect it before the double fist strike outward, at the end of the file.

This pendulum swing is also used by gymnasts on the high bar, and parallel bars to keep the momentum of a continuous series of moves.

This is not the one move that is published; this is usually done with two forward steps, and the third step to bring the feet into a Horse Stance.

The move following it is undocumented also. There are at least three more moves in this set (Tun Da); that are done externally or omitted completely. Those who are the best at translating, are not necessarily the best at the mastering or feelings associated with Traditional Internal Chinese Martial Arts. Much of the learning is idiomatic, non-analytical, and some beyond language itself; such as the monastic and Buddhist based Qigong and meditations.

“LI TS’UN-I

To be calm means that you stand still. When you stand still, keep everything in the navel; when you move, energy shoots out from the navel in connection with obvious and concealed energy. When you relax and keep the ch’i in the navel, the outside and the inside combine. Take no action: fix your eyes on your enemy’s two eyes and his limbs. When you move your body coordinated with your hands and legs, that is function. …
During a fight pay heed to the soft and the hard. Do not rely on the hard staying hard, because it can change to soft. “

Chinese Boxing, Masters and Methods, by Robert W. Smith, page 103, published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1974, 1990

In the past language translations were not accurate when using the term ’visualize Qi’, because the concept of feeling Qi was foreign to most Westerners. Feeling Qi has only recently been articulated; although it has been previously practiced. Most of scholastics and marketing is visually driven in modern commercial times.

Some have mistakenly used the term ‘external’, for the more accurate term of internally hard, outside obvious.

If the martial art uses only external actions, they are on the realm of lower level Karate.

Even some Karate schools train in the internally hard after some level of black belt.

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Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout
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