The Eight Methods of Kung Fu Practice

In the following the eight methods of practicing Kung Fu in a proper manner will be described.

They are divided into the four outer methods and the four inner methods.

The four outer methods consist of:

Hands

Eyes

Body Movement

Stance

The four inner methods consist of:

Spirit

Breathing

Force

Skill

Old Chinese sayings describe the content of these methods as:

About the outer methods:

“The fist strikes like a meteor.” 

This is concerned with the execution of hand techniques. Which should always be executed with great speed and vigor.

“Eyes like a flash.” 

This implies that the eyes should quickly assess the situation and always be filled with attention.

“The waist moves like a snake.” 

This suggests the flexibility and agility with which a practitioner’s waist has to move.

“The stance is glued to the ground.” 

This suggests the strong connection between the feet and the ground. Even though moving the stance still makes it appear that one is sticking to the floor.

About the inner means:

“The spirit should be fully charged.” 

It means that the mind should be highly concentrated and fully alert. The resulting confidence and determination can invoke respect and even insecurity in the opponent.

“The breath sinks down.” 

It explains a breathing technique by which the practitioner breathes naturally and relaxed through one’s abdomen. Which is opposed to breathing by the help of one’s chest in a hasty manner.

“Force is applied in a fitting manner.” 

It explains the requirement of natural flow of ones force, which shouldn’t be blocked by one’s own tension or body posture. This way one’s force is executed in the optimal way and therefore with the greatest effectiveness.

“The technique should be pure.” 

It speaks of the skill being pure in its application. This can only be achieved through frequent hard training. This way one’s body condition, stamina, coordination and familiarity with the techniques enable the practitioner to execute the fighting techniques in the prefect or “pure” way. 

Master Yu Bin – translation by Felix