“”Schweeet!” I thought. I was 19 years old, and my karate teacher was talking about a mysterious energy field located in the abdomen. I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself! That was my first exposure to the concept of dantian (丹田), and it turned out to be a huge disappointment. I had to wait 10 years before I actually felt anything other than frustration at dantian.
Early on in my training with Grandmaster Wong, I noticed that some students accomplished in 10 months what it took other students took 10 years to accomplish. I’ve always been fascinated by efficiency, so I wanted to find out how they did it. Of course, I also wanted to be one of them.
What is the most widely practiced Tai Chi form in the world? Depending on who you ask, the answer would be The 24-Pattern Form, The Peking Form, The Short Form, or The Simplified Form. So which is it? Any of the above, really. All of these names refer to the same Tai Chi form developed in 1956 by the Chinese Sports Committee. Sadly, one of the most elegant forms ever invented also has some of the most awkward names ever conceived.
What do Cosmos Qigong, Shaolin Kung Fu, and Zen Meditation have in common? Sure, they’re all energy arts, and they all came from the Shaolin Temple. But did you know that they also came from the same man?
Twenty years ago, in the winter of 1992, I signed up for my first martial arts class. After growing up watching endless hours of Kung Fu Theater on Saturday morning TV, I finally decided to take the plunge.