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Gung Fu's Hidden Way of Life   The term Jianghu is linked to cultures other than those pertaining to martial arts in Wuxia stories only. It is also applied to societies where there is no law and order. This is a time of Jiang Hu

Four Season Blog

The Red Sand (Cinnabar) Palm

(The hidden skills of Kung Fu)

It was 1998 and we had been training in my loft studio located above the docks and piers. Basically a large warehouse located on the second floor. It was first used to house all sorts of water related craft and gear. Back then it was all mine, a semi-secret place to train and to be trained. Today I was being trained by a very special master. He was one of five special men. They were collectively known as the "five jewels of Jiang Hu". All living treasures of sorts. Mind you, these were not some run of the mill martial arts only men. These were multi-talented fellows. Great accomplishers in many fields of life. They just happened to be skilled in Kung Fu as a part of the overall life mastery they represented. So we had been at it for some time. Three hours into a free form exchange my teacher began using lower than low stances as he attacked and countered me. High and low, low and high! The palm strikes spinning before my me, some aimed deep, others meant to catch the eye and create mental havoc. I joke with thee naught dear chela, the dazzling palm strike display was stunning. One particular strike done with the palm nearly inverted (twisted inwardly, fingers towards the floor) accompanyed by a low jing shake step actually hit me. The effect was ugly! The shot left a full imprint of his hand in bright purple colors. It was near my plexus solar. It hurt and then hurt even more. By the next day, the palm print from the front had went through my torso. The same print only larger was now emerging from my back. In this was a greyish green discoloration. Of course it hurt, I felt sick and mentally unstable. Teacher said we had to reverse the effects. And using a similar strike (but half the power of the initial one) from the backside. "Knocking" the energy back out from my body so that it could regenerate was the plan. And lo, it did work! This brings us to our subject of energetic palm striking:

The CINNABAR PALM / (Red Sand Palm)
To Clarify: Red Sand Palm is also known by the name "Cinnabar Palm", which pertains to the fact that such intense energy is cultivated from the Dan Tian (Cinnabar Field) and focused into the palms that the practitioners palms turns red because of the intensity of energy and blood circulation. The training method for this is said to be by rubbing your hands over fine course sand. However, particular attention must be placed in the projection of qi from your palms to be able to influence the sand below your palms. Hence it's more internal (and destructive) nature, compared to conditioning your palms, hands, fists against bricks, wood, etc when training in iron palm, fist, etc. Also, this equivalent to Chow Gar's method of training the "Blood Sand Palm", which is an internal method of Qi cultivation compared to the methods of the more external training methods of Iron Palm. It is said that, when the practitioner strikes the opponents chest. They leave the palm impression where the blood stagnation has and is accumulating.... hence the name "Red / Blood Sand Palm".  

The red color of Cinnabar has made it popular for brooches, jewelry, buttons and even buckles (clasps). For thousands of years Cinnabar has been used to create beautiful artworks. Yes, it can be harmful to humans and animals in some cases. After handling Cinnabar it is advisable to wash your hands in cold water to remove any residue. It has an energy about it that many seem recognize and quickly attach to. Almost like a spirit. In saying this you must also understand that red mercury is also an ingredient in magic. It can be employed to ask favors from spirits and the like. Remember, magic is and always has been a large aspect of world Jiang Hu martial path!

Red Sand Palm: ("Cinnabar Palm" was the name my teacher called it). So first off, who here amongst the fellowship of the readership can tell me what "Cinnabar" actually is and what it does? Ok, ok, that's fine. Just have a seat and lets talk some of this strange subject. You see, cinnabar is a toxic form of ore. It is naturally occurring in nature. Mercury sulphide being a prime component / HgS. Cinnabar is mostly red in coloration. It can be a darker or lighter shade of red. Many hues of red exist  and can vary widely. Cinnabar can still be found today just as in times past in a variety of artworks and representations that thrill the eye and stimulate the soul. You see Sulphur is red in it's liquid form - mercury reveals its red essence when found in its solid form as Cinnabar. In ancient Alchemy, Salt, Sulphur and Mercury are known to be the Three Principles. Cinnabar aligns personal will with Divine will, as a magician does to create and manifest physical world rewards. Red Cinnabar is also know as "Dragons Blood". But, before I wax too poetic about auxillary works of alchemy and art we must return to Kung Fu Jiang Hu!  

The Cinnabar Palm can perceived as either a physical manifestation or as an energy based type of skill. In the higher circles it is said "first comes the physical power (strength-speed), followed by the non-physical power (chi-energy). The key to implementation of such a strike is the will - intent. If the intent is strong then the energy will be directed. But if the intent and will power are weak then it is difficult to convey the energy outwards. The real "magic" lies within each person. Not with a particular style, technique or ritual. As I have taught you many times prior to this, ten thousand things are all derived from the one source. Do not be misguided into believing that each esoteric skill is governed by a separate power. One power does it all.

In some levels of skill (very high skill) it has been speculated that a person who is in command of the Cinnabar power can (in a sense) alter time. Whether this effect is really happening or a mere illusion is speculative. Not enough research or documentation to say. Plus, few have this skill and those who do keep it rather hush-hush. When dealing with energy, time and the unique laboratory of actual combat (fighting) many things transpire in the twinkle of an eye. But to one trained in the way of the Cinnabar palm skill it is a slow-motion game. Plenty of time to do as you see fit.

Yes, it is a real thing. Scholars will argue the points, priests will ponder demonic connections and governments will send agents to learn more. Such behavior is ridiculous. Simply learn the way, benefit from it's effects and accept it as it is. To attempt to break down an energetic martial ability from the other world is simply a waste of the gift and also of your time. The palm of the hand will be red and hot, the nails will become translucent (white-ish) (for a short while). There will be an odd strength about it. When it moves not only can it strike, it can also weave a web of illusion about itself and the very root of the world as well within the immediate vicinity of it's (the cinnabar palm) activation.

If learned well the Cinnabar Palm is all automatic, completely guided by the (shen) spirit. No conscious thought needed. IT does it all. I recall the story of the iron palm man who had to chain his hand to his waist so that it would not kill people out of turn. As I said Cinnabar palm is mostly on human "auto-pilot" mode. It works best that way. Much like spontaneous manifestation of "scared chi" kung fu. Another real life skill that many normal people possess when they become scared. Think of the tiny mom who lifts a car off of her child. It happens. But HOW? Scared chi! If someone with scared chi has a little guidance from a proper teacher it can be very deadly to any who oppose or attack them. Like the Cinnabar Palm it's promise to you if you learn it is that it will all be automatic and spontaneous! What a blessing it is in combats haze of chaos and pain. That's the deal! That's the way real Kung Fu is meant to serve you - that is the Cinnabar Palm spirit art of Jiang Hu.

Tarim Kim

Know What you Know Now

Knowing What You Know Now (not later):

When one is doing their own particular interpretation of the martial techniques, tricks and skills they have been taught over a period of many years an art can take on unwieldy  proportions. This is due to that lone person being the only one who can really understand what is transpiring as they demonstrate their skills. After all, it is THEIR version of the art or arts of which they have a working knowledge of and can demonstrate upon request. A grand compendium of all the things they value in the combative and martial arts sense. I mean the entire picture. Health, defense, spirituality and more. I have found that most martial artists cannot or do not realize the true depth of their acquired knowledge. Learning happens over many years, keeping track of it all is quite difficult. Accessing it can even be harder. Being spontaneous in it's execution can be challenging. Being spot on with the RIGHT response to an attack is also quite trying for some people to pull off. So how the hell does a man find and realize (actualize) his so called "content"? Well, you don't do it by following rote forms or by putting yourself up for judgement by others. You do it by learning to let go. To simply, purely move as the human body is meant to move. Muevete Mijo! Open up the valves and let the kung fu flow out! This is not something for just any martial artist to try. This is advanced stuff. You must have several years minimum in some type of martial art to do this. It is that part of advanced training where "chiseling away" excess data occurs and the re-valuing of the material for more than you first perceived it to be.

Begin with general motion. Just go out into an empty space and float. Move and turn, try being light as a feather. Sink and root, grind the foot slightly and become heavy as a boulder. Articulate the hands as though the air is a liquid thick, feel the air as it moves about your hands and fingers. Raise and lower your torso via the legs and knees. Move the arms about in circles of various directions and planes. Experiment with movement. Do not have an agenda, do not attempt to give meaning to your motion. Just stop that martial madness for a while and simply, mindlessly move. Be quiet in your head, this is about movement, it is not about thinking. Slow up, move naturally, but push yourself a little bit past comfort. Breath each breath with full awareness as to how important each and every breath really is (try skipping a few, you see quickly what I mean). Now add tension and relaxation cycles into the mix. Tense certain muscles for a short duration - then relax those same muscles completely as possible. These tension cycles should smoothly be matched in your breathing patterns, all natural, all in harmony (all things in the same unified timing(s). Every action, look, breath and sound must come into unity along with the full participation of your entire body. This is generic movement and this can be your vehicle to discovering the treasures that are locked up and hidden away within yourself. Self realization is critical. This is a way to know yourself and to find out what yourself knows.

Once you are comfortable with MOVING - moving as you, moving from the energies from the inside to the outside you might add a planned movement. This might be from a kata, a situational or something you just put together. But you should try to incorporate it into your non-planned generic flow training phase. So, add just a dash of planned motion. Insert it as you wish into your open flow of movement. In a few days, add another short planned set of motions into the mix. Now there will be two short sets that you can add anywhere you want into the flow of motion that is already  naturally occurring. Keep this up until you have perhaps four or five planned sets of motion you can interject into any type of unplanned movement exercise. Let these sets be catalysts to free up other movement bases. If they surface in your practice, let them flow in and out, do not try to remember them. We are creating spontaneity and tapping into our treasure house of martial abilities. Trying to escape that trap of remembering by simply doing. Remember to forget, because if you try to remember, you'll forget. Let it all go, break the nucleus and let yourself reform a new, better nucleus through your efforts.

If you eventually incorporate weapons into your free flow of action do so slowly and follow the cycle again. This is your personal Tai Chi - made for you, by you. And why not? After 20 years of training I think you have earned that right to flow & go as you wish. To interpret the art as you see fit. By the creation of the free form movement habit you will insult no clan, system or master. You will see your past training coming to surface at last. Allow it, impede nothing that comes to you during this time. Accept what comes and learn. This is about living in the awakened state. Perform your free flow pyrrhic dance outdoors, indoors, winter or summer. If do a daily Tai Chi Form then let this replace it for a few of those days. Let the integration of the two practices begin! By now you should be seeing the material in your head coming forth, your familiarity of movement should be more refined. Stay relaxed, this is discovery and exploration, not fighting. Breathe as you go, aware and ready, slow and steady. There you are!

Thank You all!

Tarim Kim / July 2017

Physical Force and Energetic Force

Physical Force and Energetic Force
(Twins from Different Mothers)

In the martial arts physical force is big factor in many areas. To be strong and fit in this realm is to be able to met out punishment as well as to sustain damage and keep functioning. Physical force is what makes us move fast. Strong legs and a solid core allows us to change our planes of motion, to twist and turn rapidly. A strong set of triceps can propel the fists with great authority and strong biceps are like crushing anacondas in the close quarter clinch. But in saying this we must also recognize an other equally impressive kind of force. I refer to "energetic force". Depending upon who you are talking to the energetic force may be called by various names including chi, ki, qi, mind power, intent and a host of specific terms relating to certain abilities in the psychic realm. Names and theories change from man to man, but the fact remains that energetic forces exist (and have for thousands of years). In this article my intent is not to make a comparison or to point out which is superior. Just to share some observations and experiences with you my friends and fellow travelers upon Jianghu's long road.

The rest is up to YOU.

Perhaps the first thing I should mention is the vast gulf that exists between the different methods and intent that divides the two worlds of the physical and that of the energetic. The tools required are very different from one another. Your mindset and inner control while deploying either of the paths (physical or energy) must be clearly defined. Behavior inside and outside must be shaped with intention for the realm you plan to operate within.

Some might be asking about now "what does he mean by intentional behavior"? By this I refer to attempting to learn or practice energetic skills but through using our all too familiar physical tools. It will never work! (Analogy: Wood working tools are worthless in a metal fabrication (welding) shop). In my travels and training I have seen the same commonly made mistakes played over and over again. Simply because people fail to realize just how counter-intuitive some energetic methods can be. At first much of this energy work does not make sense, but once you "get it" it slowly comes together for you. Then the results and the effects you initially sought will begin to manifest. Let's talk of this further.

In the external methods of kung fu and wu shu there is much physical force exerted. The brow furrows, the teeth clench, the face grimaces and the muscles bulge during the practice of this method. Fortifying screams and yells are made during such practice times. As the physical realm is one of the easiest realms of power to enter it is also the most familiar to the masses. When things are difficult for us we tend to fall back into that realm of behavior every time. In some regards the physical realm is a trap. It's allure prevents you from exploring further into other areas, it will always drag you back to that level if you do not get a firm handle upon it. Do not allow the physical dimension to run you, you must run the physical dimension. Be the boss or suffer loss. Learn to be multi-dimensional for real kung fu skill.

EXAMPLE: In an installment or two back we studied using fire (candle flame) and building intent. When I teach this I explain it is important to relax. To be as casual and relaxed as you can. Now try, use a very lightly gesture (point) towards the candle flame. It should go out. Continue to breathe, stay casual, gesture again with little physical force. Use intent, real energy from the inner source. BUT... within a few passes the one that I am teaching slips back into a mode of clenched jaw, holding the breath, hitting hard with physical tools and abandoning the energetic tools by falling back into the physical realm because they are not getting the results they want via the other. So they unintentionally fall back to the old behavior patterns which govern men and animals alike. The physical is a true trap on the energy highway, you have had that physicality at your beck & call all of your life. You chase a new thing now. Put the physical aspects aside and learn of the greater energy within.

Stop furrowing the brow and tensing the chest muscles, just relax the breath, relax the gaze and release the mind, laughingly do the impossible. To do this takes some practice, so be mindful in all that you do. In past installments from Jianghu I have also shared with you that cloud busting is another means to build  your energy skills - such practice provides ideal opportunity for you to relax, be at ease and give the tools of the energetic world a honest chance to work for you. it will surprise you as it has many. This is why I said earlier that energetic tools were rather counter-intuitive in their nature. The more you experience on a personal level the more my words will echo your own findings. (but remember, if you no train, then you no gain). It's that simple old friend. Don't blame the master or the method for your own inconsistencies.

Consider how ZEN is passed along (gently) / There too is the path of energy


(Suggestions on Questions of Self Reflections)

Are we currently in a "golden age" of martial art and kung fu evolution? Or have we somehow slipped into a state of chaos? Has our true martial evolution been compromised by subtle distracter's and quick fix compromises? The answers to these three questions are complicated and multi-layered. The law of opposites again figures heavily into this equation. As with many situations that we encounter in life there are numerous positive qualities mixed in with a host of negative qualities. How can we sift the good from the bad? This is not a straight forward kind of epoch we find ourselves living in, hence answers and solutions will never be "straight forward" (easy) either. To understand when to move and when not to move in our training cycles is critical. Understanding how distractions appear as insights by posing as entertainment. How they diminish or increase our ability and chances must be studied. Traps of sort, yet gifts as well - some making your path slower, longer and other faster and stronger. In this case discretionary judgement is required. Pick and choose wisely to maximize time and energy. In classic Jianghu tradition one must always be wary of some type of treachery or misdirection at every step. Time consuming "tests" used by some sifu are also something to watch for and avoid. So called tests are just more deceptive devices from deceptive sources attempting to run their own agenda upon your energy.
I tell you a true story now of someone I knew who fell afoul of an evil teachers "testing tricks".

Four Years Gone and Wasted Time

It was long ago. I had first came to this land a stranger. It's ways and it's methods were unknown to me. I met others along the way who walked in the same path as I and befriended some of them. One fellow was a young, powerful chela. Sincere and talented, strong as a young bull as well. Piishu was the name he was using at that time. So one day I received a message to meet Piishu at a local plaza near the southern gate of the city (where the waters gather). Upon arriving at the spot I saw that he was clearly in distress. Pacing and wringing his hands, outwardly upset. We sat down at a nearby bench and he began to tell me why he had asked me to meet up with him.

"Did you hear what teacher did to me" he asked? I said I had not heard anything since I had been away for several weeks. This was his tale: "Tarim, you of all people know the time I have spent training under Master Bey. I have been loyal and dedicated, like a slave I have served him. Today he came forth with an announcement that these four years I have spent with him were merely a TEST! He told me to my face that much of what he has taught me has been false. Now this material is to be forgotten for he will begin teaching me the real art! Tarim I feel betrayed by this, he told me. "Time wasted for what? I am now unsure to go on. If he tricked me once to this degree how can I trust him further? I feel depressed and confused. I am angry at being made a fool of".

At that moment I had no words for him. I sat silently and stared out at the waters. The birds suddenly sounded a bit louder, the waters seemed to still and time ticked by for several minutes. Eventually the spell was broken and he said to me "this is such a horrible realization of four wasted years"! "Why did he do this, why" he asked? I answered as best I could "It's the old way, some will never let it go. It's from a place where time was measured by another standard" I told him. Piishu later walked away from that kwoon after few months. He simply could not bring himself to trust Master Bey again. Perhaps the gift therein was just that: Learn not to trust. Naivety is punishment unto itself. There is no safe place in Jianghu world for those who are unawakened. It has always been thus. The lessons can be hard. Be careful what you wish for.  

Intuiting a Path that Works for You

Finding a path, a truth, a teacher or style that seems right for you is sometimes a tough job. Maybe that is why some men choose to tailor their art(s) like they would their suits. To get'em to fit just right! Schools abound on every corner, masters of various types are abundant online, books, DVDs, magazines and seminars all promise ability and insight - "Cross my palm with silver and kung fu mastery will be yours" the barkers cry out from the book stalls hoping to sell a manual on iron palm training or on mystical phoenix eye boxing from Shangtung. Time wasters are everywhere. You get out of your training exactly what you put into your training. Let's examine some finer points of discernment.

From the outset choose a reliable teacher and school. Set to learning what is available there. Be sincere and do as you are told. Establish a basis of motion and thought that encompasses what the art is about at the entry level. This foundation shall be very useful as your art evolves. Those things which you are taught must be given ample time to come to fruition. If not, the usefulness of the technique may be nullified. To judge too quickly, to change out to rapidly may be self defeating actions if done out of turn (out of time). In today's Youtube fueled, MMA enhanced world of warriors and wannabee's it is customary to be nervous, itchy and unsettled. No system or coach is good enough for these guys. Before they can learn anything from a school or teacher they are "moving on" again. Giving another teacher or system a go. Watching hours of youtube and confounding the few things they have learned by the addition of a whole new approach that flies in the face of what they are claiming to do or need. They then  repeat the cycle again and again. Each time "discovering" something while simultaneously losing something. Yet they cannot see this cycle themselves. Before going forth and discovering anything just do the basic teachings well. Plan your work, then work your plan. Stick with it.

Staying / Going? Is it True Evolution or Mere Restlessness?

Ok, so you say you have "stuck with it" and you are moving  on. Good for you then. The time is right. (Timing is everything) So back to the quest once again. Are you hoping to simply just stumble upon what is right for you in classic daoist fashion or have you something already in mind? Do you play it safe and stick with things that are similar to what you currently know? Or do you go bold and try something very different in order to find the answers to the questions which still appear to vex your inner master? Composing a regimen or creating a style is more than adding some kicks and punches here and there. It takes a thorough understanding of all aspects of the martial arts to "build a system" that works as planned or needed. Deliberate your intentions and go forth with a plan of some kind (even if your plan is to have no plan, that then is the "plan"). Beware of being lured about pointlessly by the down side of knowledge questing. Know when you have something of value, hold on to it. Treasure it. And of course,  know when you do not have something of value. So let it go. Clap the hands thrice and now awaken the self within!

Master Musashi's Helpful Hints:
1. Do not think dishonestly.
2. The Way is in training.
3. Become acquainted with every art.
4. Know the Ways of all professions.
5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything
7. Percieve those things which cannot be seen.
8. Pay attention even to trifles.
9. Do nothing which is of no use.

In the Late Moon of May

Tarim Kim


Getting into the "Spirit of Things"

The Spirit of Things: Jianghu Style
(Learning by Touch)

It seems that so much of the time when we hear of hauntings, possessions and walk-in's it involves re-occurring themes. Haunted houses, spirit-swords and animal totems. Weapons of various types that have a thirst for blood and mayhem are handed down over generations of killers. Knives, swords, axes and spears are more likely to have some ghostly residual energy about them more so than older firearms or used clothing might. Haunted tools do not have to be evil you know. That "evil" stuff is the fare of fools. As easily as a bad energy can effect you so can you be effected by a good energy. Some energies carry over from another time,  they may contain emotionally charged particles that are somehow transmitted into your mind. Be careful when touching old things of any kind. At the sub-atomic level all solid things are seen as vibration. (IE: stillness in motion) The normal man see's a table top, the shaman see's a fuzzy horizontal plane of infinite shimmering motion. A nervous activity fuels the aethers naturally, as reality shimmers in and out of being so does the shaman's contact with the two worlds. Rather than control it, he flows with it as needed. He is both here and there at once. In Jianghu one creates an energetic "double" of themselves that serves many purposes. In a later update I shall detail the "double" more. It's purposes, controls and attributes. Remember there is an energetic shield we possess in this clan. I spoke of it earlier. A genuine talisman (Jimat) made from Gingko wood. Sometimes inscribed. Let's get on with our topic at hand!

Of Retro-cognition, Clairsentience and Psychometry

The ability to touch something and to then know about it's past is a psychic skill the western nations have called "Psychometry". If the tool or weapon is a "gift" (not a haunt or bad thing) then it is very important that you discover it's true meaning. Why has come unto your sphere of conciousness? What is the "gift behind the gift"? Look deeply and intuit the path. Here's the trick: Learn to use psychometry in order to shorten learning times. By having this skill you can literally touch a masters weapon and then be noticeably "better". You'll also know things that you never knew before as if they had always been with you. This is a form of  "transmission". A high form of passing along vital skills and knowledge that masters have employed for centuries. When the transmitter is powerful and the vessel (receiver) is worthy then the transmission is automatic.  

 The Past is entombed in the Present! The world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical, is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man. Although some believe that psychometry is controlled by spiritual beings, most modern researchers suspect that it is a natural ability of the human mind. Why not embrace both and just be on the safe side? You don't have to understand the gift to benefit from it. Take it, use it, run with it!

I Share A Personal Story of Reading Residual Energies

Let me explain further through a story. I had no skill at carving wood. But through inheriting a famous masters tools he used for carving and creating his masterpieces I found an untapped resevoir within myself. And was able to produce some very nice pieces via the energy contained in those tools. It was me most certainly, but me with an energetic spirit boost that taught my mind and guided my hands at an unconscious level. I merely flowed with the power those tools were imbued with. The steel blades, the wooden handles, they even smelled like the master when I used them! My senses reeled under these revelations! In so many cases of creating something I would first produce it upside down. Not even knowing what it was I was shaping. But then when turned or up-righted it would become clear as to what was there. Mystic and magical, an act of faith which built trust in my inner self. Since then I have had several instances of  "gifts of power" occurring through hand me down objects. Accidental time-traps of a sort left there by past owners and masters of the objects so envigored with their energies. Which energies are then just waiting for the right one to come along and unlock the power - memory inside. This is a true treasure hunt for kung fu power. It always has been like that. Like a harsh father, Jianghu world will teach you one way or another.

Energy Waves and Things of Antiquation

So, in this idea of the usage of antiquated objects as a window into the past we find a time machine of sorts. Fleeting images, impressions and emotions - a winsome weariness of warp wasted past life feelings of another in an uneven orbit of life eternal. "We live once again through these objects" the spirits whisper to the shaman in the depth of the night's dark ecto-plasmic embrace. In kung fu tradition there are many re-known sifu who deal in antiquities. In the regular world even the great Bruce Lee portrayed an antique dealer in the short-lived series "Longstreet". Do you really think this was an accident? The great Cobra Chang (spectacles) was an antique & spirit collector. He died in the great rebellion of the boxers. It was said that when his time had come he was as "hard to kill as a snake" and that his headless body did not stop moving until long after the sun had set. More on spirit-keeping in particular can be found here:

So same of the cliche' "madness" that some antique collectors so often display. It is evident that their wares contain a heavy spiritual content and have taken over their mind. Some may say they are "eccentric", but the kung fu shaman sense's and see's the connection between object, spirit world and the chosen "portal person". Unless a man is strong of spirit and will power such objects of "haunted nature" are restless and never cease seeking out new experiences and they can soon take over. To have these objects be useful to us, one must always remain in command of them. Such is why the master knows the many ways of good, accurate retro-cognition. It is more than a parlor trick. It is a matter of survival on several levels that few save the warrior-shaman can fully understand. It's now a time of Jiang Hu - hence "anything is possible for you". Never forget this, get goals accomplished now. It will change again -

In some cases a powerful shaman can release the energy or being that has resided in the object's dimensional aura for so long. This energy when released is very fast, whip-like and dangerous. I know of a devout "water buffalo shaman" who once resided in old Siam, he can do this trick. But, in order to have the power to do it he first had to die and then come back. (That alone is a trick worthy of a chapter).

In the greater picture of classical kung fu the quality of "filial piety" is highly cherished. Ancestor worship, or better put "ancestor veneration" is the pillar of which all of Asia is founded upon. To understand this, to practice this is to set in motion the proper, respectful alignment with that side of things. An attunement of the self with the spirit world is highly suggested if you are ever to cross the barrier and join Jianghu proper. We are all one at some point in this gigantic crap-shoot called life & death. I believe one needs all the help they can get. The other side certainly can assist in keeping you on this side. The living and the dead both working towards common goals of interest. A novel idea no? Such is why heirlooms are so valued in Asia. It's  not about what they are or what they represent, but rather about what they contain within. In this way I refer to a spirit, an elemental, an energy or entity. This has always been a haunted planet, you are just seeing it better now through your studies. Learn to use this new ability as a gift.

Dealing with a Powerful Object

When dealing with powerful objects it can be a dangerous and frustrating task. They can bring havoc to your life and family. Beware of this. Any object of questionable intention can be placed within a dark environment for safe keeping. Usually it should be wrapped up in a red or black cloth, smudge it down with incense or sage. Sprinkle a light amount of tobacco over it. Wrap it neatly, tuck it away in some place it will not be disturbed. No light must touch it. If and when it comes out of it's "sheath of shadows" it is wise to ask permission first before bringing it forth. Be cautious of whom you allow to touch this object. If they are a weaker person, the object can and will grab them inside. Watch their breathing closely for changes. Rapid breathing is indicative. Being "spirit-drunk" is not as uncommon as you may think. Anyone who deals with gems, antiques,or weapons has seen it in arise in some form. Simply avoid this by allowing no one to handle the item in question at all except you!


Begin your study slowly. There is no rush, to push energy is to have it push back. Studying energy based skills should be a relaxed endeavor. A casual manner is best when approaching things of great gravity. Keep some notes on your feelings and findings. You can most certainly learn from experience. Take an used object from an unknown source and simply be with it. Feel it as if you were listening to it through touch. Pick up on it's aura or essence of being. Trust in yourself. Dream upon it. Write about it. Listen inwardly. There are many psychometry "how to do it" pages on the internet. Find one that appeals to you, try some of the teachings you find there. Do they fit your training criteria? There are many special gifts which a man can earn or sometimes learn in this world. The door must be open for the gift to arrive properly. There is a sacredness in much of this. I suppose you knew this already though, otherwise you simply would not be here now, reading these magical words. Can you apply psychometric principle to the very letters I have used to write this? Why yes you can! If you can do this then you will feel the intent behind these words as if I were with you now. And if we are both very lucky (in the energetic way of wizard-warriors) we really will be connected through space and time. Just like that -

I remain your humble servant
 Tarim Salim Kim

References and Research Resources:

In the Forests of Jianghu: The "Hunter's Way"

A Hunter's Way: Shared Realities of the 2nd Attention

In the Jianghu environment there is very little that is what it actually appears to be. Deception is not a mere trait of a tricky few, here it is a lifestyle that all adhere to and practice. An in-grained habituation for sure. Always expected is the unexpected! Still waters always run deep with unseen currents and hazards. Remember this and trust no one. At times even your own senses must be questioned (not trusted) as per their veracity regarding this so called "reality". When the five senses are deceived, the secondary powers of intuition and clairvoyance step in. That "gut feeling".

There are true Masters of the legendary, text book variety living within the confines of Jiang Hu world. They have other, secondary lives outside of the martial arts. These are often "secret lives". One finds that usually where there is one life, there are also many. A person of legendary skill or notoriety (in their Jianghu personage) may be a simple potter, traveling merchant or itinerant priest in the "other secret life" they lead. For one who can think, speak and sign in the hidden language of fugue the subtle hints of who they might truly be (and the skills they possess) can be discerned. Each house has it's mark and means, a footprint of sorts. Whether it be intelligence gathering, trafficking of some type, smuggling of illegal items, assassination or physical martial training, each of the great houses of Jianghu leave indelible marks upon their charges of which the trained eye & mind can fleetingly glimpse. Thus giving accurate insight into an otherwise unfathomable situation. Only personal experience can fully answer the questions which arise when one is afield in the unique timescape of Jianghu. Always be the HUNTER if you must go into the wilderness of Jianghu. Nothing less will do! Hear my words now, save grief later.

The hunter does not always kill. The hunter observes first. He simply watches like the mountain lion is so famous for doing. All hunters are keen observers, professional watchers. Like a fighter pilot "head on a swivel" at all times. A hunter knows that he can be hunted while hunting. Often by several entities at once! Where ever goes the master hunter there is by necessity also "dangerous ground". To "Look before you leap" takes on a deeper meaning in matters of life and death when one is far afield from home. In the Jianghu fashion a taciturn sense of "giri" (duty) is far more valuable than risk taking gambles for glory.

A hunter such as I speak of is not a gun toting camo-clad lad. The hunter I refer to is the "mystic hunter" (hunter-shaman). This type of hunter needs no trademark clothing or gadgetry. He is what he is by his own hand and power of his will. Often this kind of hunter is nearly invisible outwardly because he leaves no signature of his being upon the world, no trace. Truly such a one is the master in this greater game and their way should be honored. Learn the "tools" that this man employs, they go far beyond weapons and go into the metaphysical realm of multi-functional, world spanning tricks of survival.

The hunter speaks through his weapon. His story is written in his victories (and his regrets). Only the master hunter can sing the silent savage songs that one's such as he knows. These songs sing tribute to his prey, these songs honor those he must slay. Those songs may often contain the hunters own "last song" as well. At times the hunter only wishes to see (scout), other times he wishes to take (bring back) and yet at other moments he hunts for the intangible aspects of "power" (energy to feed the warrior within). Throughout this time on Earth all that he does is first filtered through the mind of the hunter. For Earth is a place of hunt or be hunted. It has always been thus, and will always be so. You may be an accountant, a merchant or singer of songs, but first came the hunter. Lose the "hunter within" yourself and the world becomes threatening. To keep the hunter within alive, honed in and active is to have a true ally in life's ever changing spectrum of survival. Sometimes life can be frightening, but hunters are silent, they do not fear the fate of tomorrows dawn. No one knows what the hunter ponders inside his secret world within. It is a thing of the moment. Learn to be at ease with all of it. Allow it to spin it's harsh life-lessons upon you. You are now in the "forge of the gods". You will be shaped, refined and polished. It will leave indelible marks upon you, such is built what men call true "character". To discover the truths of life, to lead life as free men should, to ask no quarter, to give no quarter, to ply free trade, to value trust over contract, honor over law, to create kingdoms over states and to perform deeds over mouthing hollow words. These are the feats most great of which many kung fu "knight errants" aspire to manifest in the land of rivers and lakes (jianghu). An honorable hobby for honorable men, the two worlds are thus preserved for a little while longer.

Thank you all!  Your Humble Servant

Tarim Kim

The Masters "Mantle of Light" (Kung Fu's Radiant Force)

The Masters "Mantle of Light"
 (Kung Fu's Radiant Force)

By Tarim Kim

Greetings once again! I suppose you may be curious as to what kind of "gift" I have brought you all in this installment of Jiang Hu blog. This will be an energy & visualization based type of ability. Like many things in the new world this skill is not difficult to learn and employ. Believe in yourself. That is the key. To do that (to believe in yourself) the so called "SELF" must be of trust worthy character, accurate in all of life's many ways. Or the "belief" will be inaccurate. It is called false confidence. Such belief will fall apart and lead to a swift downfall. This is why the SELF must be first worthy (purified) of the quest before it is even undertaken. Savvy?

This is about the legendary "Flame" technique , it is recognized by all beings be they living or be they dead. Some will attract to it. Others will flee in primal fear of it. (Other names which it may be known by are the hero light / the aura of the mighty / the halo of the saintly / the spirit light of the ghostly / kundalini and the riastradh of the Irish warrior).

The flame is often seen behind holy beings from the Asian pantheon of powerful Gods. The "halo" seen behind the heads of Christian martyrs, saints and holy one's is also a rather muted version of the flame we speak of. It all depends on who can see the light. Some men see the flame differently from how others see it. Perception varies per man and his experience in such matters. A shaman for instances see's the world quite differently from a layman.

This energy is similar to an energetic mantle that cloaks the head and shoulders of a powerful person. At full force the entire body is encompassed in a cocoon of of powerful energy. This "field" can be produced at will once the trick is mastered. It can shut down aggressive beings in your immediate sphere of influence. (IE: make them ill, vomit, collapse, pass out, run for their lives, etc). I place my name, my word upon this as being 100%  TRUE. I and others know this claim is "real". I and others have used this skill in deadly situations with great success. Now YOU must discover this secret for yourself. But I caution thee O'wise one, you must really try, give ample time and be sensitive to the results you produce (or not). In some ways I have already taught thee of this, but to clarify further is never a bad idea when imparting such unique abilities. Diligence, intent & desire can assist in finding this center.

It all begins at the root. You see, the heels of your feet are the "strikers". They awaken the force within you and are the IGNITER'S of this energy. (Example: The fuse is ignited by the match, the fuse acts as the igniter to the explosive = boom. No boom of explosive without some type of ignition method.) In our case the energy is the symbolic explosive, that which ignites it are the heels. Yes, I know you struggle with this - it is counter intuitive like so much about Jiang Hu is. I know you must contemplate it thoroughly and someday you shall. All in due time! But for now, first learn it, then employ it, then experience it. It is then that understanding and the fruits of contemplation will bring thee even more gifts and greater skill. A side note: That which can harm can also heal.

Here is a paragraph from the Cuchallain legend. Can you spot the part where the light, the flame is spoken of? The "jet of dusky blood" was actually an energy mass that appeared blood like (bio-plasmatic). What is described is a most powerful rendition of "raising the shen" as taught in Tai Chi Chuan. All humans have this capacity. This is why Tai Chi is wonderous and mysterious. The same magical reason that we in Jiang Hu value it's miraculous benefits is the VERY same reason that fool's do not value it at all. For they all disbelieve it possible. Hence the secret remains secret. Not through hidden methods, but by hiding it in plain sight. To self awaken and to realize this truth on a personal basis IS a great enlightenment in itself. Read the paragraph below -

"The characteristic distortion or riastradh which seized him in his battle-frenzy is then described. He became a fearsome and multiform creature such as never was known before. Every particle of him quivered like a bulrush in a running stream. His calves and heels and hams shifted to the front, and his feet and knees to the back, and the muscles of his neck stood out like the head of a young child. One [pg 210] eye was engulfed deep in his head, the other protruded, his mouth met his ears, foam poured from his jaws like the fleece of a three-year-old wether. The beats of his heart sounded like the roars of a lion as he rushes on his prey. A light blazed above his head, and “his hair became tangled about as it had been the branches of a red thorn-bush stuffed into the gap of a fence.... Taller, thicker, more rigid, longer than the mast of a great ship was the perpendicular jet of dusky blood which out of his scalp's very central point shot upwards and was there scattered to the four cardinal points, whereby was formed a magic mist of gloom resembling the smoky pall that drapes a regal dwelling, what time a king at nightfall of a winter's day draws near to it.  At the sight of Cuchulain in his paroxysm it is said that once a hundred of Maev's warriors fell dead from horror".

Consider, many Silat djuru begin with a double drum of the heels, so do many styles of Kung fu begin with a stomp or a heel bounce. In old war-like Prussia when a new person was met you smartly clicked your heels together and offered a crisp, short bow. Musashi spoke of instilling vigor into yourself "from the heels to the hairline". The styles of Celtic club work like bata would begin by the fighter making a sideways leap into the air and clicking both of the heels together. Why even Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz learned that all she had to do was click her heels together and she would have the power to return home. Many of the older Brit military men know how to do this also when coming to "attention". Considering that in Jiang Hu world even mere words can have power - then please contemplate why it is called "attention" or "come to attention"! Because when done properly your attention and intent becomes concentrated. You change, a better change most of the time. If you do not stomp, bounce the heels or such as you come to attention then you are not at attention, you are merely standing up very straight. The inner presence is not evident. When proper attention is attained the inner presence is dramatic. You'll know it. Game changing. Sometimes addictive. A surge in confident energy plus!

In my own humble experience, when I have employed the flame technique it has served me well. I shall save my personal adventure stories for another time. But know that I value this skill immensely. That is why I write of it today. You too must learn it's value now. In the Tai Chi classics lie the secrets you must grasp. Study the raising of the Shen. Make your research directed towards this goal.

Whatever method of heel thumping you decide upon is fine. So now relax a little bit, breath and drum your heels (thump thump). Next is to straighten the spine smartly, neck and head bolt upright. This is the opening of the channels for which the energy to ascend unto the (floating) headtop (and possibly beyond). Slowly raise your hand to chest level. You shall experience a series of feelings and emotions that may be unfamiliar to you. This is strange ground upon which thee now tread. Slow and easy allow yourself to grow into your new energetic skin. Through regular practice your command of this energy becomes stronger. At some point you shall discover that you can summon your spirit energy at will, in some rare cases it will act on automatic response lashing out in your protection while you sleep or as in an ambush situation. When this energy comes (manifests) it is frightful, beware of this. Know what you have summoned. It's like a loaded gun, surely not a toy. The balance of your entire being now must be in prime order. Lest this energy begins running you instead of you running it! Savvy? Visualization, practice, belief in the self, sensitivity and sincerity all help in the quest for mastery and experience with this ability.

The hairs on your body will stand outward like spines on a cactus, your sight will clarify, a calmness shall regale you, your smile in the face of danger is genuine. Skills which often evaded thee in the past will now arise in full bloom. Opponents will be amazed, but no more so than your own self once you have returned from that dreadful place. But within that place anything can be made possible. It is the vital ingredient of authentic "Jiang Hu soup"

Begin your own study of the "heel phenomenon". How many other odd rituals and motions can you discover that use the heel ignition technique? Be very aware of your experiences in this realm. If you are unsure, contact me. Somehow we will ferret out a means to accomplish your personal training goal(s). Thank you to friends and readers.

Enjoy the healthy Kung fu life. Blessings!

Tarim Kim
Dockside / Jiang Hu

Understanding the Good Vibes of Good Gung Fu

(Vibration / The Song of Life)

Perhaps one the most controversial and unusual skills (concepts) in the kung fu world is that of "vibration". It sounds mystical already doesn't it? Good call, it is mystical in so many unique ways. Shaking, trembling, wobbling, shivering, vibrating, shimmering (vibration of the light spectrum) are a few of the terms that describe our kung fu oriented goal(s) in this particular area of the arts. Not all methods use or recognize the vibrating methods of the higher arts. Jiang Hu world recognizes vibrating energy methods more so than other places. But even so, the higher levels of vibrating skill are well beyond most dwellers even within the amazing Jiang hu reality. Irregardless of your current time-scape, you must earn such skills in the old way. After all these skills are not "tricks" like some aspects of Gung Fu are. And those tricks too are wonderous things, but KNOW the difference.

The skills themselves and the ways we can identify them are perhaps in need of listing. A defining of what is, what may be and of what shall come through the medium of vibration? The Masters of the past have echoed one anothers admonishments about the material world being comprised of solely vibration. Why do so many adepts in the arts speak of the same things? Because they are true principles and once realized offer the potential to self empowerment via that realization of vibration from the station of creation itself. I will share insights, examples and applications in this installment with the open minds that now see these words in both vision and mind, in sound and silence. Peaceful warrior / dissolves the violence.

Vibration: The term might (could) refer to one of these dynamics (below) that express some of the different characteristics of "vibration".

Let's start with "Shaking": This is vibrating done at a larger, often slower scale. Shaking is a back and forth action (to and fro). In Tai Chi Chuan the aspect of "severing the root" is spawned from such a type of energy. Push-pull done at the same time, a capturing synch of motion sensed. When earthquakes strike (quaking), it the shaking what disorients people and scrambles our normal senses. Shaking hands is a slow, sincere clasp of hands to inately sense the character & mood of the other person now standing before you.  Here's an Experiment: Try not to "shake" when you are shaking hands with someone and you find yourself merely holding hands with a total stranger. Awkward at best! When someone pats you on the shoulder for doing a good job. By patting you, they shake you. Yes, shaking in some cases can be reassuring and positive. Other kinds of shaking are negative experiences, creating an unsettled spirit through out the  ten systems of the body of the one being shaken. The rhythm and timing of these shakes have consequence as well. Shake your head up and down for "yes". Shake your head side to side for "no". Shake your finger in their direction to warn them. When you really give someone a piece of your mind you can "shake them up". A religious group called "Shakers" (people who shake when the holy spirit takes them over) find religious ecstacy within the shaking. All vibration - from one energy comes one thousand things! Miraculous!

Next comes shivering or trembling types of vibratory ability. Their mechanics can be expressed in several beneficial ways. Some obvious and others well hidden from casual curiousity. We all know that via shivering when cold we can warm ourselves to a certain degree. This is good. We also know that some men will shiver when they become frightened. To "shiver with fear" is a well known saying in many languages. Shivering with fear is usually not a good quality. It slows you down and constricts the chi. One's breathing must be adjusted for calm assurance to return.  

In some internal arts the solo set (fist set) begins with the practitioner executing a full body shiver before lithely springing into motion. A shiver like that can disrupt a grappler's energy weather it be on a limb(s) or the torso. Yielding is a factor as is rooting - master these skills as you swiftly contract and expand the minute quick twitch muscle fibers few people ever develop. It is also a shiver of re-setting the mind for a more intensive level of focus.
A shiver is an important psychic link as well. There is good shiver and also not so good shiver. We often shiver in the presence of a spirit manifestation or when caught up in a mysterious phenomenon of some kind. Goosebumps and shivering are natural alarms that tell the adepts they are in the audience of those who've passed on. (The court of the ages). An effect that is often experienced when one delves into ghost boxing. Learning specific arts from the spirits of long dead warriors, masters and scholars of the martial  arts is the gist of the phenomenon. In a later installment I shall explain more about "Ghost Boxing" and spirit training.

Wiggling and Twisting: Vibrating can take shape as a rapid twitchy, twisty motion. Almost a nervous twitch, a trick of the joints isolated in sections to confuse and defuse an attackers intent. Part of Silat's "bump and dissolve" counter lock methods. Acts of physical strength are a joke to this vibratory trick. Valuable when being grabbed or man-handled. Combined with a counter strike of some kind this is a viable means to get someone off your back.

Trembling Jing: Issuing energy in a mysterious way that creates a number of curious effects within the opponents mind and body. This is a combination of physical and energetic skills. Rare, shocking, but done right trembling jing is deceptively deadly. It's way is to strip the power out of the enemy, a total gas-out in one soul sickening shiver of the contacting limb.

Vibrating Palm: The stuff of legends. Wuxia wonder working wallops that kill. Effortless power , done with a rapid twisting action. A sucking, pulling energy or a pushing, prodding energy. A power-burst straight forth or simply a light brush - a suppressed power on, silent job done (see "pulse" below). There are degrees of this material you see! The breath must mesh with the motion, motion follows intent is best sent through the lens unbent (pure spirit). The spirit flies swiftly, fire and water training builds the power. The controversial concept known as vibrating palm originates with the Chinese martial arts Neijing ("internal") energy techniques that deal with the qi energy and the type of force (jin) used. It is depicted as "a technique that is part psychic and part vibratory, this energy is then focused into a wave"

Kiai-jitsu / voice vibration: The power of the voice. Spirit-shout, sound is vibration, sound directed is target location, a sensation. Developing this voice based vibratory ability is a life long pursuit. It's a very rare form of the vibration family of tools & tricks. Spoken of, rumored and dishonored as fake this high skill should be re-considered by all martial arts men. In Jiang hu this "trick" is used often. The SCREAM of the martial artist is also the chant of the monk, the call to prayer and the awesome "Aum" of the yoga person. Sounds can change hearts and minds. My drum is sound. Power is found. Is it live? Or is it Memorex? Master sound, sonic ground, victory found. Learn the power of your own voice. Study tricks of voice. There are many!

A "pulse" is also a type of quiver or shaking, wave-like energy released in a burst form. A PULSE vibration strike can be completely non-physical. It is an energetic jing application. Some body parts are better suited to deliver this strike than others. But a master can and should be able to "pulse" with any body part available. Even in sexual kung fu applications the pulse technique is a renown trick of the master lover. It goes beyond a twitch of muscle and is actually a powerful tool taken from the teachings of tantric yoga toolbox!

The pulse can be seen as part of a true "transmission" of knowledge, power or skill. The chela kneels before the master. The master extends his hand, two fingers leading. The master lightly touches the forehead (third eye) of the student kneeling before him with his fingertips. The transmission (gift) is sent through the fingernails themselves more so than the fingers proper. Vast amounts of information and great levels of skill can be swiftly given (acquired) via pulse based transmission methods. The master must be familiar with how to open the channels (circuits) of the body or the pulse will not take root. Being pure energy, the pulse knows no limits. Space, time and energy become stumbling blocks until true pulse realization is attained.

Healing - we have all heard the coach say to the injured athlete "getup, shake it off". That's right, shake off the energy of the injury and continue onward. And lo, it works (and many of you know this already from playing sports as kids). More, while seated on a firm floor, legs outstretched in front panda-bear style try drumming your heels lightly. This sets up a vibration inside your body that is super beneficial for controlling pain, healing broken bones and creating a general sense of wellness. Takes about three minutes and actually produces noticeable effects in sensitive subjects. Drumming the heels pre-combat is an ancient trick warriors have embraced world wide. The vibration awakens the serpent energy at the base of the spine sending it rippling outwards in a channeled format learned two decades prior for just this moment. Raising the shen, a question of when.

Vibration is all over the healing realm. We "raise our vibrations" to discover a higher mind and a better life path. When we get "bad vibes" it is our inner self warning us away from problems and negativity. In Jiang hu world there are specific sounds that tonify organs and systems. They go along with physical posturing and breathe control. These healing sounds are said to vibrate each organ accordingly. Health can be found thus if done well.
The "heng - ha" of Tai Chi Chuan is just one example of such methods as is the magnificent (Tiger-Crane) Iron Wire (or Iron Thread) set. .

The point of this article is to bring awareness to the VIBRATIONS of life. Fervent prayer often results in vibration for those inclined toward spiritual pursuits. Also more specifically the role vibration plays in Kung fu and martial arts in general. If this piece gets you to thinking then it has done it's job! For the already open minded men this should encourage you, for the closed minded men (skeptical) this may offer future growth potential once veracity is proven! Sadly once again I must leave. Contemplate what we have covered in this lesson. Allow the hero's light to flicker about your brow. In the next installment I talk more of this flame-like light some call the "hero light". Relax and command this to occur. The acquisition of arcane battle skills is often accelerated thus. (Read about: "Transmissions" in my earlier post). For now, thank you all for joining me in study and readership.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tarim Kim 2017

The Exchange of Hands: With Only One Hand!


The one handed exchange of grips requires a fencers mind and a Gung fu man's skills. The complete understanding of half beats and tempo shifts must be completed. You must be able to "attract", if you cannot attract then you must re-study your Tai Chi manifestos and learn of it. In one handed applications there is another element from Tai Chi Chuan that must be incorporated into your studies. That element is known as "raising the shen". It is an esoteric practice from times long ago. Some do not get the idea of it. Never argue the fact of "shen" with men below your standard. It is a pointless exercise. Let them retain their highly prized ignorance at all costs! (It's your gift to them). The Shen is the SPIRIT. It is the kundalini's invention of the 2nd attention. It is the source of power in legend and lore, it begins with the heels, just drum the floor. Standing straight you may enter the gate. When you raise your hand all fears and doubts you may have harbored are dispelled! You will depart the physical and enter the realm of spirit & intellect. Mind first, then everything else follows.

The "changes" themselves must be clearly evident. If they are not, then neither shall be the effects we seek to instill in the opponent. Clearly the use of only one hand is a limiting thing. But we train in the method because it provides us fertile ground for growth on many levels. The counter-intuitive trick to mastering the one hand exchange of grips is to rest assured that it is easier to learn than you'd think and that it works better than most people think it would for self defense purposes as well. In fact the use of one hand in combat is the masters way. It offers substantial benefits over using two hands. To fully understand, you must experience these things for yourself. The miraculous effect is addictive and captures the attention completely.

The hidden elements of the one hand way are difficult to describe by written word. They are best taught through touch and experience. The actions of your specialized grip(s) are very, very slight and hard to see. They are totally imperceptable in most instances when used properly. Combat takes on a surreal look when this type of skill is employed. In training it is quite enjoyable, it can take on a dance-like quality that is part of the learning fun. Clever exercises and skill developing drills are the vehicles which transport you from level to level as your abilities ascend.

To make these effects occur you need to have the sensitivity and the know how. A refined sense of timing is critical. Command over the types of speed that are required to do this is another factor to figure in. Highly (and I mean highly) specialized grips begin your physical education that you'll need in order to understand the coming tsunami of information you're going to be processing. You are going to have to think differently. The body must do the techniques it has been taught. Both technique and skill must manifest in real time and speed, otherwise what's the point? This skill is not like a ridiculous video game, make not light of it's nature. To do so is to risk total failure. A true ability, a real path. It requires a real, true dedication. A level of integrity that few other things in life can sustain. A focused intent, that is bent on achieving goals in life, particularly in the fighting arts we speak of. (If it were too easy, then everyone would have this skill. It is hard work and study. You either earn it and have it or not.

As with all such feats, changes in grips, ranges (distances), postures (planes), timings and tempos must all happen at once (simultaneous). This is the ability. Each individual skill is easy enough to do. It is the doing of all of them at the same time that makes the greatest difficulty for most people.

Light Kung / Jin Shen Shu

Thoughts of Light Kung (Jin Shen Shu)
From the Gateway of The Southern Kingdom Comes The Pure Spirit of the Hawk

The truth of the light kung is a marvelous personal realization. Only if and when one can master the tricks that comprise this ability can it be fully appreciated. It has to do with breathing, a shift in body mechanics, a manipulation of the spirit and adaptation to your environment. Many people do not understand where such a skill set would be employed. Or even why they should take the time to learn of this confusing material in the first place? Well friend, this is Jiang Hu. Or did you forget? You must be from the other side. I know because your thinking gives you away. Here things are different. Here these skills actually mean something. They ARE power, things like light kung may be myth in other places like the old world you came from. But here, they are merely hard won truths of a masters path learned well. Please re-focus your attention and let us try once again to approach light body research via kung fu tradition and in the Jiang Hu manner.

As I was saying,  to create and employ the light body kung is something you must want or desire. Then you must practice. And keep practicing! I personally found that pranayama helped me in the breathing element. Changing my gait also helped. I did that via wearing heel-less, sole-less moccasins for two years straight. Intuiting what you touch, feel, walk on and sense is "listening energy". It tells you when to change into another element. Raising the shen (Tai Chi) also makes the body either very substantial or very insubstantial. All by the will of the warrior who wields the way is the desired effect brought forth. Visualization is also used as can be sound in certain cases of light body kung. Light kung can not only make light your own body, but objects external to your person. I ask: "Is the ability to levitate an object due to a kind of "sticking energy"? Or could it be the placement of the light kung energy into a solid object that makes it easier to move and float"? Consider what I ask, be aware of energy fields about you. 

"Light" is a concept to be construed many ways.

It seems to me that when the topic of light body kung fu comes up what most people always think of is walking on sand or snow and leaving no footprints. To them that is "light kung" - but you know there is more to it than that. But yes, even that is a fine example of what we speak. So let's begin there, since it is handy. Lets talk the talk of the light body kung fu walk. An ability nearly anyone can possess. Other light kung not so.

Depending upon your skill level and also upon what it is you are walking upon your light kung skills will alter as needed. Snow walking is different from sand walking. Mud walking is different from ice walking. I will advise you to begin your training with sand. It is best to learn with and it's easy to see results with sand (in my opinion). I do not like beach sand. I like the up and down uneven terrain of actual sand dunes. The ascent, the descent, the flat land, these elements present the challenges. The way to play your light kung on sand is to relax and have fun with it. Experiment and note effects. You probably already know that to breathe in the dan'tien (lower abdomen) balance is improved, stability enhanced and control over the emotions assisted. In the martial path it is always the lower abdomen. But that is the limited external path of thought. More knowledge required.

In Pranayama Yoga one learns to use breath as life. Timed breathing forms are the regimen of some. The breathing process itself is taught thus: First the lungs are divided into three chambers. Each have purpose, so in order to find health and balance each chamber and it's breath traits are taught individually. Each chamber is isolated and developed. Yes there are times that all three chambers are employed obviously. You can change yourself as in which we speak now. Or you can change others by recognizing their breathing patterns and the effects. Meaning this: People who are nervous, who have allergies, who experience anxiety are all negative upper lung shallow breathers. When the disease of emphesymea hits someone, the upper chest raises along with the shoulder line. The disease forces them breath hard in the upper lungs. A bad situation for several reasons. Breathing issues must be remedied quickly.

Light kung requires command of the positive high chamber breath, avoid the Tan'tien breathing. The placements of your hands during this is also very important. The palms face down most of the time. Tuck the thumbs into the fists lightly. This aids some, others not. Like walking a tightrope. Hands and arms are to adjust the carriage particularly when in motion. So Practice. To walk as you wish please consider the sliding step of ba gwa (modified) initially. Heeled shoes will work, flat soles are easier. (The moccasin makes you use different muscles. Your feet go from heel to toe action to toe and heel action. The connection with the earth is also gained via the moccasin or bare feet. Vibrations are picked up through the feet. Vibratory learning of natures secrets sometimes comes through the ground - your feet. Try, experiment and be sensitive to it all. Training on smooth ice is also beneficial. Thin ice is good too. But stay in shallow areas, fall through the ice and die = no! Caution on ice at all times. But it is next to sand for easy learning and breath control development. The Ba-Gwa body weight shift is clearly seen on ice surfaces during motion and weightlessness should be felt as you move. In movement there can less weight than when standing still.

Raghava Janaka Ananda was a friend of mine until the day he passed away. I knew him since I was a young boy. His sincerity in his devotion to yoga and to helping others was genuine. He was a gentle soul who experienced many setbacks in his life. But he never lost his sparkle for life. He practiced pranayama (breath and vital energy) yoga and jnana (high intellect-wisdom) yoga. He was often a guest teacher at my old martial arts academy in the old world. He penned the small book "Seven breaths to a better life" by Raghava Janaka Ananda late in his life. I have a signed copy and still refer to it as a valued resource. I state this so that you all will understand that I studied pranayama as much as I did the other arts in my day. When I tell you of these things I am not spouting some new age tripe or para-phrasing someone else's work. I have LIVED this stuff for years. It is a part of the Jiang hu life style that a Master must know about. By "master" I refer to YOU my friend, not me! Back to the breathing and light kung we go!

In my youth a friend and I studied the light work and attempted several stunning experiments which came through in varying degrees of success. One experiment where light body kung was employed was in climbing sheer walls. We first learned "sticking" ability with the entire body. Mind control was also something we pushed hard onto ourselves. Remaining calm was paramount. Calm and concentration upon the breath cycles was the glue which brought it all together. In the parlance of Jiang hu such light kung climbing skill is sometimes called "wildcat climbs tree" or even "gecko skill". Whatever the name or purpose, light kung figures into the equation in each instance. Once the authorities caught us mid-climb, about 50 feet up a sheer wall. The standard fare ensued: "How you get up there? How you get down? Where are the ropes? - yeah, rich and heady kung fu soup! Instead of arresting us they were impressed enough to offer us a job. We jumped at the chance and soon other opportunities arose as well. Jianghu Rewards the Faithful!

Jumping too is assisted by light kung. To jump upwards or to jump down from a height. The Light Kung glide therein is employed (or not). Light body is also a part of a skill what is called "reverse jing". Using a strong energetic burst of issued force is normally employed to repel and knock down an opponent. In this instance you conduct the energy so that while the opponent is still struck quite hard it is you that is then repelled away. The jing aspect is not the hard part. It is the light body trick that allows your own jing and the anchor point of the adversaries body to give thee wings. In some instances Tai chi masters repel men up and out. Some up to ten feet away and four feet high at times. So now we must see the opposite of that and teach ourselves to cover great distances when we employ reverse energy jing or when we absorb a blow from an enemy as would a feather or blade of grass. (you use the opponent as a base to launch yourself backwards and away from them as part of a planned jing strike) It is safety and trick all in one, allow their force to aid your own powers. It is this sensing of the opposing forces that makes the magic to the eye and brings hidden power to your slightest movements. (when they do it, you simply exploit it).

As far as the "trackless form" material goes that is the real thing, the ability to move, do a form on any surface and leave little or no track at all. At one point in my light body kung regimen if I could leave such a minor print in the soil or sand when I did my form as to where it would blow away in an hour or less - I felt even that minor thing was advancement and success of sorts in this challenging field. Remember there are external methods taught as light kung and then internal methods. External methods are foolish, childish equations that waste time and entertain the stupid and lazy. The internal path is easier and evolution is seen by yourself and those about you. Nei chia is the idea, use energy not force. Mind first, then body. Directed energy of ten thousand things in the form of one glistening pearl racing through the nine passages of the Jiang Hu cosmos. The "secret path" is found. Hidden power's awaken, the hero's way up taken.

Things I have Noticed: (Observations)
Light body is like moving on a a sawdust covered floor. Like ICE, but a bit tackier. Slippery? It isn't too bad, but balance is different, particularly in motion. You can fall down easily. Called "losing your legs". As advised earlier, suspending the headtop, erect posture, raising the shen (spirit) keep the body upright and focused. The body moves as one unit, all together. Like a "Golden Pillar" gliding across the floor, a narrow doorway of light from an unknown source. A human feather, a leaf in the wind, the golden pillar of the western gate embodied. Thunderbird spirit mountain roar. The rush of wings and weightless things. Balance like a scale and understand that the air-wind-smoke and fog are your allies (study them) in this light body work you dare chase. Time frames to competency? Well, you can get the idea in less than three weeks. You can be fairly confident with this skill in about two years or less. The real advanced stuff may take a lifetime. Casual and free, allow the light kung to "be" with you. You'll like the feeling!

I remain your most humble servant:
Tarim Kim (owner) and
Keeper of Blog Jiang Hu
Jiang Hu / Dockside


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