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Thursday, February 28, 2013

No Knowledge Without Sacrifice

From Yun Hoi: http://www.yunhoiwingchun.com/

"There is no knowledge without sacrifice.
To gain everything, you must lose everything!"

Lord Buddha said these words. He was, of course, referring to enlightenment – gaining the awareness and experience of seeing things as they really are, free from illusion, free from attachment. How apt, though, it is, to apply these words to Wing Chun, and to gung fu! Our legendary founders would have known these words of the Buddha and been familiar with the sentiment contained in them. Wing Chun is the most popular and most well known of the Chinese gung fu arts. Therefore, I think there must be a lot of practitioners who have previously learnt other martial arts and, wisely, on discovering genuine Wing Chun, give up their previous art and follow the way of Wing Chun. Those who believe that they can mix true Wing Chun with other arts are unfortunately still mired in delusion.

When I hear these words of the Buddha, I think how much they apply to my own gung fu journey. I had to sacrifice a lot. I had to abase myself, suffer fools (I must admit not too “gladly”), expend my financial resources, cajole unwilling teachers to teach me, overcome racism against me, and, the “easy bit” – suffer physically. To gain the knowledge and skill that I have I had to de-attach – to detach – from previous teachers (some of whom I respected and even revered) and the knowledge and skill they had imparted to me. Yes, I had to not be arrogant and not assume that, on coming to learn the art I now practice and teach in mid-life, I knew about gung fu. It’s true, I did know a lot – but much of it was simply either in error or only a partial truth – a shadow of the real thing! I had to let go of my attachment – to my past, to my status, to my knowledge and skill – and to trust the true art to teach me.

Was it difficult? Yes! Very difficult! But I knew I had to do it! It took time but I persisted. I had to pay the price, you see? Economists call this the “response cost”, explaining that everything has a cost attached to it. This is not to say, as in the joke: that some people know the price of everything yet don’t know the worth of anything. It simply means that in making a choice you have to forgo other competing choices. In selecting an option, you discard the alternatives. If you are to live, you must choose. And, to choose is to sacrifice. The alternatives. What are you prepared to sacrifice? What are you too attached to? What are you prepared to lose, to give up? Are you prepared to lose your ego? It’s amazing how many people can’t do this!

When I was young and first learning martial arts I gave up a number of things – freedom, other opportunities, normal social life, future career options, relationships – actual and potential – and, my hard earnt cash. Yet, I didn’t see this as sacrifice in the sense of it meaning a loss. I thought things were good. It was only later that I realised some of the things I had sacrificed. The realisation came only on reflection very well into my life - perhaps in my late thirties or forties. I sacrificed but I also gained in return. It was not until I had trained decades, actually, before I fully realised all I’d gained. Much of what I’d gained I had to sacrifice to learn Yuen Kay San Wing Chun. But, now, in my sixties, I think it was not such a bad deal!

So, it is true:
There is no knowledge without sacrifice.
To gain everything, you must lose everything!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Interview with Jim Roselando, Coach of MIT Qigong

Jim Roselando Sifu, of Ku Lo Pin Sun Wing Chun: www.apricotforesthall.com
Yun Hoi of Yuen Kay San Wing Chun: www.yunhoiwingchun.com

Yun Hoi: Thanks for the time from your busy schedule, sifu. May I first ask how your great love – noi gung training for the average guy or gal, which you teach at MIT, is going?

Sifu Roselando: MIT is a great place to share Yang Sheng and Yiquan Chi Gung.  It is the top science university in the world and there is a lot of interest in the healing process and technology of our art.  I get to meet people (students & professors) from many different disciplines (Taijiquan, Yoga, Buddhism, etc.) and am always happy to see how our art affects them in a positive way.  On average we have from 20-25 people every Monday night.  The training is simple but effective and thanks to the results of our Chi Gung I have had an amazing response.

Yun Hoi: What’s your aim in teaching noi gung, divorced from gung fu, to the general public?

Sifu Roselando: I made a promise to my Chi Gung teacher that I would share the process and conditioning of natural Chi Gung with anyone who needed it or was willing to train. I only share Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing with a few friends.  Anyone who is looking for healing, meditation or even something to boost their athletic performance levels I am happy to help guide them in this process.  Medical Yiquan Chi Gung is formless and core so it is a great platform of Noi Gung that anyone can gain benefits from its practice without creating foreign or odd habits so it is excellent for cross training or on its own.

Yun Hoi: How were you first accepted into Ku Lo Pin Sun Wing Chin, sifu?

Sifu Roselando: I trained martial art and Wing Chun for about twelve years before I located and performed the disciple ceremony with Master Sifu Henry Mui.  This was in April 2001.  From that moment on I discarded all my previous training and devoted myself to his teaching.  This was a special time as we were at the right time and place to absorb, train and then promote this rare system properly.  My teacher specifically asked that I help rebuild his art and clean up many misconceptions by sharing more information on the art with the public. I trained regularly with Sifu for about seven years to learn his entire art and still maintain close contact.  I am lucky to be his pupil and respect him tremendously.

Yun Hoi: Could you tell us a little about your sifu, Henry Mui?

Sifu Roselando: Mui Sifu is a very rare breed.  In all my travels and research I can honestly say that few people have his skill and knowledge.  Mui Sifu is one of the few authentic masters of Pin Sun Wing Chun in the world.  Mui Sifu was a close student of the late Master Sifu Fung Gen Ju.  Fung Sigung was regarded as the top fighter from the 4th generation in the Ku Lo family.  My teacher trained with him when he relocated to Hong Kong in the mid 60's to early 70's.  Mui Sifu has been training and teaching Sigung's Pin Sun Wing Chun for almost 50 years!  He is a Pin Sun Wing Chun treasure, in my opinion.

Yun Hoi: What impressed you most about Ku Lo Pin Sun Wing Chun? What makes you so passionate about it?

Sifu Roselando:  Many things but none more than the results of our training!  The art is a refined masterpiece of solo, partner, sticking and other Wing Chun methods, and, because of this the training hits the body in a very rapid way.  In many ways Master Leung Jan did to Wing Chun what Master Wang Xiang Zhai did to Hsing Yi & Chi Gung.  Cut out the frosting and focus on the cake! This is one of the reasons I am very passionate about Pin Sun Wing Chun.

Yun Hoi: Can we ask you to tell us a little about your visit to Ku Lo village and time with Sigung Fung? What impressed you most?

Sifu Roselando: Grandmaster Fung Chun is a living legend in the Wing Chun family and when you are near him you can see that his love for this art is as strong today as it has ever been, but, the one thing that impressed me more than anything is that Grandmaster Fung Chun is always eager to show you via "hands on" coaching.  If he has something he wants you to know he will perform it on you so you get to feel how and why it is done.  I hope to have a third of his love and skill when I am his age.

Yun Hoi: It seems that some people have “discovered” Ku Lo village, maybe make a brief visit and take some photos, and seem to be using their visits to promote themselves, to be frank, with some fairly poor material. What is your feeling about this sort of commercial exploitation?

Sifu Roselando: The Fung family are happy that their art is getting more popular as tourism is good for Ku Lo but like anything you need a lot of exposure and direct training to grasp any art.  So, while a little training/exposure is better than no training/exposure I always prefer to see the inner family members promoting the art.  Every art has similar levels of players but as long as people are honest about their training that is all anyone can hope for!

Yun Hoi: Could you comment from your first-hand knowledge, on the origin of what is called “twenty two point” Ku Lo Wing Chun and why it was devised after Leung Jan and Wong Wah Sam had passed on?

Sifu Roselando: The Ku Lo 22 San Sau art was developed by Sifu Fung Lim and taught to some public pupils.  All Ku Lo 22 lineages can be traced back to Sifu Fung Lim but it is does not have much in common with Master Leung Jan's Pin Sun Wing Chun platform, training and principles.  It should be known that Sifu Fung Lim's own son (and student), Sifu Fung Sang, who was also trained by Sifu Koo Siu Lung, was taught and then preserved the Pin Sun Wing Chun art.  In 2010 I interviewed the late Sifu Fung Sang's family and senior student (Fung Ho Chiu).  They confirmed that Sifu Fung Lim was the founder of the 22 San Sau art.  I have not found any 22 San Sau in Ku Lo but did have contact with Sifu Fung Lim's grand student from Canada.  To the best of my knowledge this art is mainly practiced by a few in Canton.

Yun Hoi: Could you also comment from your first-hand knowledge, on the origin of what is called “forty point” Ku Lo Wing Chun?

Sifu Roselando: I visited this lineage a number of years ago.  In all honesty there are a great many similarities between the 22 & 40 San Sau arts which makes me believe the 40 San Sau is just an expanded 22 San Sau system but this is just my own speculation.  Similar to other Ku Lo San Sau arts the 40 San Sau has very little in common with the Pin Sun Wing Chun platform, training and principles of Master Leung Jan.  I have not found any 40 San Sau in Ku Lo.  The Ku Lo 40 San Sau art is mainly known today because of one book: “Complete Wing Chun”.  This art is mainly practiced by a few in the USA.

Yun Hoi: Yes, I've not been impresssed by any of the so-called 22 or 40 point sytems I've seen. It seems that Ku Lo Pin Sun is being taught, even in China, to varying degrees of correctness and comprehensiveness? There seems to be at the same time some secretiveness and a closed door approach to the genuine art and at the same time some mixing of other Wing Chun into the art taught more openly. Could you comment?

Sifu Roselando: The basic protocol of any family system is: "The art is to be passed on and not openly taught!".  Now, even though the art has gained considerable popularity lately, thanks to the internet, one can see that outside of Sha Ping Town, Heshan (and Boston, USA) there are no public schools for Pin Sun Wing Chun anywhere in the world and only a handful of qualified instructors from each generation.  The private nature of this art has not changed in over 100 years but Wing Chun in Ku Lo is similar to Soccer for the Italians.  Just about everyone plays it for a few years (it’s cultural).  So some of these odd arts were developed for those who are looking for a crash course in some Ku Lo Boxing and some are just a teacher’s own modifications.  Knowing this you can see that a few odd systems coming out over the years is normal for any art and actually can serve a purpose.  Luckily this art has not been around very long. Its evolution and main players are well documented which helps avoid lineage debates. 
My grand-teacher was a bit different with regards to his public teaching.  For example: In Hong Kong Sigung mainly taught the 1st 4 hands, footwork, a few drills and some Chi Sau/Sparring.  Sigung told my teacher: “If you give them more they will have a better chance of doing more stuff wrong but if you keep their training to a core you will have a better chance of helping them develop.  It’s better to do a few things well than a bunch not so well”.  Sigung was a fighter and it is clear that he wanted his people to develop a strong base which is a little different (and more important) than some of the other people who taught odd or expanded San Sau systems to the public.  Sigung was also very proud of his Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing.  He would often say: Do not teach anyone who will make the art look bad!  This may sound odd.

Yun Hoi: Not at all! I hold the same belief and wish my students to also believe this! There is too much rubbish out there, I’m afraid! Some, sadly, from bogus sources, other equally poor material comes from people in a legitimate line of transmission!

Sifu Roselando:  OK. For the Ku Lo people their Gung Fu is very special and Sigung wanted to make sure a certain level of quality was to be maintained by his lineage which explains why he focused on the core for his public class rather than a simplified or modified number of odd skills. 
Mui Sifu was a little different than most others with his public school.  For example: In his early teaching his art would be only known as Juen Ma "turning horse" Wing Chun and his teaching was organized into three small mini sets each containing four skills.  Sifu taught in this method as most were expecting "three forms" in Wing Chun training.  Mui Sifu's schools were not open very long but some of his later students that spent more time with him were taught a little differently - in a more traditional or classical platform.  How much difference was there?  Not much. And, if you ask, Mui Sifu will tell you, It mainly depends on the amount of time a teacher and student are able to spend together.
All of these arts have similarities as all Wing Chun has similarities but I prefer my Sigung's approach but don't tell my Sifu that!  (Winks) By teaching the way Sigung did you are able to share the core of the art while not having to tweak the art.  I firmly believe that none of us have the training, teaching and fighting experience of Master Leung Jan.  Knowing this you can see why I prefer to be a modern traditionalist by not altering or expanding Master Leung Jan's system that allows everyone to develop properly and then they can base their application on their own body type! Remember, there was only one Gung Fu King so I trust his system. 

Yun Hoi: What would you most like to tell everyone about Ku Lo Pin Sun Wing Chun?

Sifu Roselando: The art and teaching of Master Leung Jan is not just a few actions for self defense.  This is the biggest misconception about our art.  Master Leung Jan developed the Pin Sun system of Wing Chun that is a comprehensive art built around a "modern core training platform" rooted in twelve skills or stages of cultivation.   Essentially a compressed or refined Siu Lin Tao, Chum Kiu & Biu Jee that would focus on the art’s principles, development and dynamics.  The Pin Sun boxing art is rich with training.  In all honesty I can tell you that most arts do not have a third of our Choc Sau, Chi Sau & Jau Sau training.  The Fist, Dummy and Pole are all designed to develop your empty hand boxing/fighting skill.  I often tell people the Pin Sun art is Master Leung Jan's final masterpiece and is  "Wing Chun on steroids".  This soft internal system of Gung Fu is one of the rarest in the world and gives us a deeper look into the training and applications of the famed Gung Fu King as preserved by his own family.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

10 year old performs Chen Style Taiji

                                       Taiji - Chen Style


Monday, February 25, 2013

18 Qigong Practitioners Tonight

Warm-up
10 min Gathering Qi
5 min Gathering Qi
5 min Leg Qi
Seal/Wash 

External Qigong Therapy in Treatment of Cocaine Withdrawal


Objectives: This pilot study examined the feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and determined the effect sizes of external qigong therapy (EQT) in reducing cue-elicited cocaine craving and associated symptoms among recently abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals.

Methods: This study randomized 101 CD subjects to either a real EQT (n=51) or sham EQT control (n=50) group. Subjects underwent a baseline assessment and a weekly cue-exposure session for 2 weeks. Total EQT or sham treatments ranged from 4 to 6 sessions in 2 weeks.

Results: EQT-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monday Qigong 2/18/13

Warm Up
10m Gathering Qi
5m Leg Qi
10m Natural Post
5m Left Hun Yun
5m Right Hun Yun
10m Natural Post
5m Leg Qi
8m Dr. Ma Li Tang's Qi Tuning
Seal/Wash

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Practice to make the body balanced

From Qi Magazine - Issue 90
By Michael Tse

Sometimes we can look at the sky and wonder why it is different every single day? It is like that because it is blancing itself. We are also changing, but the change is to balance with nature, our bodies are part of nature and so they need to be in harmony with it. We cannot tell the sky what weather we want because the weather changes so that the earth can stay balanced. It is all about balance and this is the same reason we get hot, cold, sick, feel good and even feel emotional. This is also the principle of Qigong. We need to practise to make the body balanced. Moving the body in a Qigong way allows it to work things out by itself.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Nice new location for the Spring Semester!

For the Spring Semester, we will be meeting each Monday at 7pm in Building 5, Room 234 - a nice upgrade from Building 1, Room 242. It's going to be a great semester of MIT Qigong!!


Monday 2/11/2013
warm-up
10min gathering qi
20min Mr. Ma post
5min turning cow
5min left shi li
5min right shi li
10min leg qi
seal/wash

Good health in the year of the water snake!

Qigong during radiotherapy recovery

Qigong improves quality of life during breast radiotherapy



The ancient mind-body practice of qigong may help relieve depressive symptoms and enhance quality of life among women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.

Mind-body practices appear to improve quality of life in cancer survivors, explained Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues in their report for the journal Cancer. However, they pointed out, little is known about the benefits of such activities for persons undergoing radiotherapy.

Working with associates in Shanghai, China, where the study patients were located, Cohen's group randomized 49 women with breast cancer to a modified version of Chinese medical qigong consisting of synchronizing one's breath with various exercises. These women attended five weekly, 40-minute classes during their 5-to-6-week course of radiotherapy. An additional 47 women with breast cancer were assigned to a wait-list control group and received the standard of care.

The mean age of the participants was 46 years (range 25 to 64 years).They had stage 0 disease (7%), stage I disease (25%), stage II disease (40%), or stage III disease (28%). Slightly more than half the women (54%) had undergone mastectomy.

Multilevel analyses revealed that compared with the control group, the qigong participants reported fewer depressive symptoms over time. Depressive symptom scores in the qigong group declined from a mean of 12.3 at the end of radiotherapy to a mean of 9.5 through the 3-month postradiation follow-up. No changes in depressive symptoms were noted in the control group over time.

Women in the qigong group who had elevated depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy particularly benefited from the intervention, reporting clinically significant degrees of less fatigue and better overall quality of life than the controls. Women with low levels of depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy had good quality of life throughout treatment and 3 months later regardless of whether they were in the qigong group or the control group.

No significant differences between groups emerged for two other outcomes measured: sleep disturbance and cortisol slopes.

The fact that the benefits of qigong were largely observed after treatment ended may indicate that the practice prevents a delayed symptom burden or speeds the recovery process, particularly for women with high levels of depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Book of the Void

From A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

The Ni To Ichi Way of strategy is recorded in this the Book of the Void.

What is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. It is not included in man's knowledge. Of course the void is nothingness. By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment. In the Way of strategy, also, those who study as warriors think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. This is not the true void.

To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.

Until you realise the true Way, whether in Buddhism or in common sense, you may think that things are correct and in order. However, if we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. Know well this spirit, and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true spirit as the Way. Enact strategy broadly, correctly and openly.

Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void. In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existance, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness.

Twelfth day of the fifth month, second year of Shoho (1645) 
Teruro Magonojo 
SHINMEN MUSASHI

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard Qigong

I decided to do a little Nemo qigong 
in my grocery store parking lot...
Share pictures of your practice with us: qi@mit.edu

Friday, February 8, 2013

Guard the Mind

credited to Yun Hoi:  www.yunhoiwingchun.com

All suffering in this life and others is created by the unsubdued mind. Similarly, the basis of all the practices of the six paramitas, such as generosity, moral discipline, and so on, is the mind.


Nothing is more important than guarding the mind. Let us constantly keep watch over the wild elephant of the mind, curbing it with mindfulness and vigilance. This is how to avoid being influenced by different external conditions. But even in retreat in a very secluded place, if the mind is not kept under control, it will wander all over the place. Even completely alone, we can have an enormous amount of negative emotions.

How are we to guard the mind? We should use attentiveness to watch our thoughts and use mindfulness to judge whether we are acting correctly. With these two we have the means to annihilate all adverse conditions. But without them, we will not see whether our thoughts are positive or negative or whether we are doing right or wrong, nor will we then be able to use antidotes as necessary.

- Kundun, Dalai Lama Sonam

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Help support Acupuncture under the Social Security Act

Sign the White House Petition to Designate 'Acupuncturist' as a Recognized Healthcare Provider under the Social Security Act

Dear Supporter of Acupuncture,

There are only days left to sign a crucial petition to alert the Obama Administration to the fact that acupuncturists are not currently recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and, therefore, cannot get reimbursement for services provided to Medicare patients.

The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.
By changing the compensation structure allowed under Medicare, we can ensure that patients have access to their local acupuncturists.

The petition, started one month ago, needs 25,000 signatures by February 10 to get a response from the White House regarding the inclusion of acupuncturists in the Social Security Act. Currently, we have over 10,000 signatures. If you have not yet signed this important petition, please do so now by visiting the following link by February 10:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-acupuncturist-healthcare-providers/NTNpVFnp

Please immediately spread the word and forward this petition to your friends and family as every signature counts!

Thank you for your support and action!

Monday, February 4, 2013

26 Standing at MIT tonight!

There were 26 standing with us tonight at MIT Qigong!

Warm up
10m Gathering Qi
10m Left Shi Li
10m Right Shi Li
20m Low Post
5m Leg Qi 
Seal/Wash

Saturday, February 2, 2013

TED Talk: Stepping back for 10 minutes a day

Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes.html

"All it takes is 10 mindful minutes a day... We are so distracted that we are no longer present in the world in which we live. And the crazy thing is that most people believe that that is just the way it is, so let's get on with it. But that's just not how it has to be. When I first started meditating, I thought that it was just like aspirin for the mind. I didn't realize that meditation could be so preventive. I gave up everything and became a monk to completely give in to the present moment. By that, I mean, not being lost in thought, distracted, but instead, learning how to be in the here and now, mindful, present. I think the present moment is so under-rated, and yet we spend so little of our time there. Research has shown that humans spend almost 47% of their time lost in thought. In just ten minutes a day, you can impact your entire life. Meditation is familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. Most people assume that meditation is about stopping thoughts, controlling the mind. That's not true. It's about stepping back, watching the world with a relaxed, focused mind. It's only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can learn to let go. Don't feel surprised if you feel a bit agitated when you first sit down to meditate. Meditation offers the opportunity to step back and get a different perspective and see that things aren't always as they appear. We can't always change every little thing that happens to us in our life... but we can change the way we experience it. You don't have to burn any incense or sit on the floor. Just take 10 minutes a day to step back and familiarize yourself with the present moment so you get to experience a better sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life."