Sunday, January 27, 2008

Golden Bell

Today in Wing Chun Kung Fu, I lead the class in the Sil Nim Tao, or Little Idea Form. I was concentrating and trying to bring energy to the rest of the students. About two thirds the way through the form, one of the students got a panicked look on her face and raced out of the class. She had just purchased a new car and was distraught when she saw another driver drive away in the same make and model. Thinking her car was being stolen, she raced out of the class. Through the commotion, I was able to continue on a lead us through an invigorating session.

Later, I requested a senior student to lead the class in my favorite drill, the Golden Bell. The story of the Golden Bell's introduction into Wing Chun begins with my Sifu, Ken Chun. Sifu Ken spend many years training in Wing Chun under Chris Chan. Later, Ken became a Sifu, or master, himself. Thereafter, he spend many trips around the country and around the world trying to learn from other masters. In most caess, he found either the instructor or the subject matter to be utterly lacking in value. It seems too many of the Sifus out there were more interested in turning a buck then in passing along true Martial Arts wisdom.

One case was a standout example of real knowledge. Sifu Ken sat in on a class with a master of Quigong, or energy work. The Sifu lead the lass through a drill known as the Golden Bell. Sifu Ken was impressed and offered to lead that class in the instruction of Sil Nim Tao in exchange.

The Golden Bell practices the horse stance, common among many Kung Fu styles. It puts tremendous strain on the quad's as your stance is very low to the ground. This type of training is said to provide vitality and inner strength. It is related to other practices on Qigong including the Iron Shirt and Iron Palm. The hands and arms are also involved as well as the breath. By practicing Golden Bell, you will develop your pain threshold and inner strength.

Doing both the Sil Nim Tao and Golden Bell in one class leads to a huge burst of energy or Qi. During the afternoon, I felt the need to recover and reflect back on the history behind how I was first introduced to Golden Bell by Sifu Ken.

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