Cultivation and preservation of energy (chi) is important in Yi Chuan

Student: How does Yi relate to Chi?
Master Fung: Chi means energy. Intent and energy are directly related.

Student: I've spoken with several people who don't believe in Chi. I never know what to say, any suggestions?
Master Fung: Ask them what they don't believe in.

Student: I don't understand.
Master Fung: Ask them what they mean by Chi. If they don't believe in it, chances are they misunderstand what is meant by Chi.

Student: O.K....So Chi is energy, what energy?
Master Fung: Chi is what manifests in response to Yi. The Chinese concept touches on several western ideas so it can be a little confusing at first. Let's use driving and making a left hand turn as an example again. The Yi is to go left. That intention creates countless electro-chemical signals that trigger electro-chemical reactions in the muscles that simultaneously work the wheel, turn signal, gas, brake etc. The Chi is the coordinated and concentrated electro-chemical energy that converts into Li or physical strength in the body.

Student: So people who don't believe in Chi simply have a misunderstanding of what Chi is?
Master Fung: Pretty much, Chi is a very 'loaded' means different things to different people. Don't worry about believing or disbelieving in Chi or this or that definition of Chi. Chi is just a concept, just a word used to represent the energy that is actually there. Like I just told you, in Yi Chuan we are studying how the Yi and Chi create the Li or mechanical force. From a western perspective you could say it's like that conservation thing....remember we talked about it the other day.

Student: Conservation of energy, that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed?
Master Fung: Yes, that's the one. A human being of course follows this principal. In Chinese concepts we say from Shen to Yi to Chi to Li. In western concepts this means we are studying how the intent directs the potential human energy to transform into the bio-electric nervous system energy and finally into mechanical energy in the muscles. You see? Anything a human being does is a result of this energy transformation process, regardless of how you name the steps or what you call the parts. All the debate over whether Chi is real or not is the talk of amateurs, don't even bother with it. Just remember we are studying energy by working with it directly through our practice.

Student: I in Yi Chuan the Yi is a key component because it directs everything else that happens, right?
Master Fung: Yes. Strong Yi transforms into strong Chi which transforms into strong Li or strong intent creates strong energy which transforms into powerful strength. If you understand what I am saying then you can see how a relatively weak person can perform amazing feats of strength given to right circumstance and motivation.

Master Cheuk Fung demonstrates some Jam Jong postures

Student: This is starting to make sense to me. However, in some ways it seems overwhelming to try and train all these things. How do I find the time?
Master Fung: By addressing each of them at the same time, remember the 3 in 1 idea? 3 in 1 means we are exercising the body, developing its energy and practicing martial arts at the same time. Don't develop strength at the expense of energy or energy at the expense of self defense. Develop your practice in a balanced manner with each element in mind and you will simply get more out of each hour of practice. Also, keep in mind the idea of casual strength training. In class we practice casual strength in a formal manner. Outside of class you should learn to practice casual strength in a causal manner. Build up the habit of linking into Jam Jong in whatever circumstance your in. This way you can practice wherever you are and speed the process of making Hunyuan strength habitual.

Student: No offense, but busting out the Jam Jong while I'm at the office or waiting in line at the grocery store doesn't sound to appealing, you mean while in private, right?
Master Fung: I really have to spell everything out for you......practice anywhere! Nobody should know your doing anything different, be causal, act normal but still have the Jam Jong. Remember, this is a fighting art. We don't broadcast when we are going to hit people. The flower is hidden under the leaf.

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