Wu Ji Chuan – The Gentle Gongfu
Wu Ji is estimated to be about 4000 years old and therefore ranks as one of the oldest chinese martial arts. It is one of the innermost secrets of the Shaolin Monastery, the ancestral home of martial arts in China and associated with the first Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma. Transmitted from abbot to abbot as an esoteric doctrine the name Wu Ji appears new but in fact it antedates the first emergence of Yin/Yang theory by several thousand years. Chinese Martial arts can be subsumed in three categories; Those whose origins are in Buddhist tradition, Taoist tradition and thirdly folk tradition. Wu Ji developed in the folk tradition at a time when the harmonious relationship with the elemental forces of nature was tantamount to survival and absorbed into the Shaolin tradition by the buddhist elders recognizing its great value to assure its continuation; It is thus differentiated from Taoist practices.
Wu Ji means “primordial emptiness” or the original state from which all phenomena arise and into which all phenomena return. It is therefore depicted by an empty circle symbolizing the beginningless undifferentiated state of union.
There exists no historical evidence of exactly when the passage of Wu Ji into the Shaolin tradition occurred; Only that it was held in strict secrecy and passed on as an esoteric transmission divided into two parts from abbot to abbot ; The form or actual movements themselves and the the theory as recorded in a book named Wu Ji Jing. This book probably described the philosophy and inner alchemy of the Wu Ji system.
Chee Kim Thong was 17 when summoned by Yik Ch’an Ch’an Tze, abbot and Zenmaster of the famous Lam Pu Thor Temple in Fukkien province. As one of the handful of Shaolin experts left he recognized in Chee the outstanding qualities that made him a disciple worth passing his knowledge on to. The 84 year old monk who lived in a tiny shack within the temple compound taught him the essence of gongfu, the essence of healing and the meridians of the body as well as Buddhism, meditation, life ethics and principles and how to deal with disciples.
Wu Ji is the mother of all “soft” martial arts and consists of a sequence of movements and breathings that awaken and direct the flow of universal energy or “qi” and promotes the warm glow of inner rejuvenation. The 36 forms enact the process of creation as seen in the macrocosmic universe on the stage of the microcosmic physical human body.The first 12 forms or “characters”( Yin, Yang, Wind, Clouds, Rain, Clearing, Sky, Sun, Moon, Shining, Reflection, Radiance) culitvate theessence and absorbtion of these different energies. Each “character” or form is composed of multiple movements so that the entire form is a veritable encyclopedia .WuJi utilizes the principles of soft absorbing “yin” stroke as opposed to the hard “yang” strokes thereby demonstrating the art of flexibility in face of stubbornness. WuJi is an effective technique of self defense though primarily is concerned with the development of character.
12 Step Qigong
The term “Qi Gong” is one of the five branches of traditional chinese medicene and roughly translates as “mastery of the universal life energy” or in western terms “breath therapy”. This is somewhat misleading as like Wu Ji, qi gong draws on the three sources of motoric movement, breath, and mind focus. Therefore breath is only a partial aspect of these meditative movements though often the most important. Qi Gong is a generic name and has developed innummerable styles that can be further described as being “movement-” and “still- or meditation-” oriented. The 12 Step Wu Ji Qi Gong draws its name from the circulation of the “qi” through the 12 major organs and combines both styles using movement, breath training in normal and specially configured ways, self-healing (acupression) massage, stretching and meditation into one therapeutic form that represents the quintessence of all, the so-called, soft or inner chinese healing arts. Taught by Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong especially for those in everyday life, these movements improve health and life quality by increasing blood and energy circulation in all organs, joints and muscles while keeping tendons and ligaments supple.
12 Step Wu Ji Qi Gong is a life instrument practiced standing, sitting and lying down and can be easily learned by all, regardless of age and sex. Systematic, regular practice of qigong is proven to strengthen the immunesystem, further the regenerative qualities of the body and well being. Cultivation of Qi Gong is affecting the mind and nervous system positively while retarding aging and debility. Qigong works a wide-ranging unity of body and soul.