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May the (Internal) Force Be With You

Grandmaster Wong Kiew-Kit One Finger Zen Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities
Grandmaster Wong performing One-Finger Shooting Zen, a hallmark technique to train internal force in Shaolin Kungfu

While I am very excited for everything Grandmaster Wong will be teaching here this fall, I'm particularly jazzed for the Cultivating Internal Force and Mental Clarity course. I talk a lot about the physical and mental benefits of both of these things in class. In fact, before too long they'll both have their own post category on this blog. But just what does internal force do for us? How do we develop it and why do we care about it if we're not martial artists? How does it help us achieve mental clarity?

If you are a martial artist, then you might know that training internal force makes you rooted in your stances and your strikes powerful and meaningful. Those who train genuine Shaolin Kungfu know that it is the cultivation of internal force that allows a petite woman to skillfully handle an opponent twice her size. You might also know that the mental clarity gained in your force training not only enables you to do things like break bricks or sugarcane, or lift heavy objects, but also to have lightning-fast reflexes in a combat situation, while remaining calm and collected.

Those of us who are not martial artists will find that internal force cultivation leads to increased stamina, more energy, improved circulation, better cognitive function, and a stronger, more resolved willpower, to name just a few benefits. Really these are the seeds of mental clarity. The longer we train internal force, the more clarity we develop. The more we can slow our minds down, the more efficiently we can evaluate the options, and make better decisions for our lives. The more we are able to defuse stressful situations and walk away feeling better. In a nutshell, one of the biggest benefits of training internal power is developing a powerful mind, and a powerful mind is the gateway to lasting happiness and spiritual expansion.

When Grandmaster Wong teaches courses centered around cultivating internal force, he chooses from a multitude of techniques focused toward this goal. Course participants might get to experience Zhan Zhuang, more commonly known as stance training, as taught by a kungfu master to develop tremendous power in the arms and legs, or flowing force for exponents who practice Taijiquan; they might also get to experience the internal force generated in the 18 Lohan Art, a set of qigong exercises practiced by Northern Shaolin Kungfu masters to generate martial power while quieting, clearing, and strengthening the mind.

Whether you're a martial artist or you just practice qigong, you will find this course full of treasures to level up your training and strengthen your mind and body. Imagine being able to experience the benefits of flowing internal force almost immediately and put it to work for you in your life. Are you getting excited yet for these courses? I know I am.

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