Empty Force

by Paul Dong

Magnetic resonance comes through the media of water and organic compounds and flows through the body. The direction of the flow can be guided by the hands, because the palms give off a rather strong magnetic resonance during this practice. It also may flow from the point of highest energy to the point of lowest energy. If the energy flows through damaged, weak, sick or old organs, they will be restored. This explains not only the connections between the magnetic fields of the body, magnetic resonance in the body, and the mystery of chi, but also some principles of chi kung’s healing power.

Infrasonic sound, mentioned above, may be related to some of the injury-producing effects of the empty force. As we know, infrasound is vibration at a very low frequency, inaudible to the human ear; and, although its energy is also very low, some infrasound can injure a person’s internal organs, sometimes fatally.

External chi comes from the fingers and palm, guided by moderate intention, and enters the body. It has only good effects on the body. Chinese scientists studying chi kung point out that infrasound effects come primarily from wave motion and undulation, not energy. For example, in the healing effects of the infrared heat radiation in external chi, it is not its energy, but its wave motion and undulation, which can produce physiological changes and medical benefits. Tests with measuring instruments show that infrared radiation from the palms and fingers of a non-practitioner of chi kung does not have the same coherent wave motion and undulation, and so does not produce any noticeable effects. Before such measurements had been made, some people believed that external chi worked like an “electric toaster” in physiotherapy, producing effects merely by exposing the injured spot to infrared heat radiation. That this is not the case is shown by the results of repeated experiments: the infrared heat radiation in external chi has a power level of only a few tenths of a microwatt (?.W), while that of medical infrared heat radiators on the market is a few tenths of a kilowatt (kW). A microwatt (10-6 W) and a kilowatt (103 W) are several orders of magnitude apart. The infrared heat radiation given off by a chi kung master, although extremely faint, has much stronger healing effects than the infrared heat radiation of physiotherapy, which is hundreds of millions of times higher in energy. This indicates that the energy level is not a major factor in external chi’s efficacy.

The importance of gamma rays in external chi lies in his ability to destroy cancer cells both on the surface of and within the body. Its energy is higher than that of X-rays. China had already used external chi to treat cancer and there was nothing new about this. China’s research on gamma rays indicates that there is a difference between the effects of high doses and low doses of gamma rays. At the proper dosage, it not only does no harm, but is even beneficial to growth. Professor Wang Jialin from Sichuan Province imported a species of mushroom from Japan, and the largest one grew to 2.52 kilograms after external chi treatment.

A martial art technique called ling kung jing, which has come to be known in the United States as the “empty force”. This term refers to a power which can strike a person through the air, without physical contact. A mild attack by this force will hurt the opponent or “target” (inducing hot and cold spells, vomiting, dizziness, or headaches), while a strong attack is even reputed to lead to death. If the target of the attack is sensitive to chi and attempts to resist the force, then he may be throw back several feet or even be sent flying through the air. But if the force is used for healing, it can cure many chronic diseases.

Origins of the empty force

It is hard to trace back the origins of the empty force, but we know that Yang Luchan (1799-1872) – a famous tai chi chuan expert in China’s Qing Dynasty who was said to “draw blood with every step” – had mastered the empty force. For this reason, people say that the tradition of the empty force was lost and reappeared during the Qing Dynasty. It was claimed that whenever Yang’s life was in danger, he would kill one assailant with every step. However, what he let out of his palm was not “thunder,” but what the Chinese call “jing” (force). As soon as this force is sent out, nothing can block it except aluminum or a mirror. It has the power to penetrate not only wooden boards, but also walls, bricks and even iron. The tradition which “died out” here referred to the technique of “attracting a candle flame a foot away” and not the empty force as a whole. The empty force has followed an unbroken line from the alleged “thunder palms” to the “falling dragon palms” (which I shall discuss shortly); from Wang Xiangzhai’s empty force, which caused a sensation in Northern China in the 1920s (see p. 27), right up to the present when the empty force is so controversial in the U.S. It has existed continuously among the Chinese people and has never died out, although it appears that – for certain periods – there was a gap in the historical record of its demonstration by masters. I would speculate that the gap can be attributed to the difficulty of attaining the empty force, which requires two to four hours of practice every day, 365 days a year, without a break. This has to be kept up for at least three to five years before the results will be apparent. Of course, the strength of the power depends on the length of practice.

A kind of natural therapy which doesn’t require medicines, injections, doctors, or money, energy healing can take the form of self-healing or of healing for others. In the latter case, the healer performs a sort of “acupuncture” by transmitting rich vital energies from his own internal body into the appropriate acupuncture point in the patient. Because this doesn’t require needles or, indeed, any physical contact with the patient’s body, there is no pain (acupuncture involves slight pain). Energy healing is usually most effective in the treatment of chronic diseases. There is a type of chi kung, specifically designed for energy healing, which is called “healing chi kung.” By practicing an hour a day, one can master it in nine months to one year. However, its energy is not as powerful as that of the empty force – which requires at least three years of practice, without meanwhile releasing any of the energy in order to allow it to build up. The most serious practitioners would wait five years before using the energy. Although it takes longer to learn than energy healing, it is many limes stronger. Sometimes, for instance, one can use mind power alone to direct the energy to enter the patient’s body, without needing to use the fingers or palms. This is similar to the ability of those born with psychic healing power. Both are related to chi kung.

I spent the first 17 years of my life in Taishan County. I not only studied martial arts, I also heard many stories about it. For example, the most terrifying person we knew was a martial arts master from Beifen Village, a man called Huang Mingsheng. He was said to be able to kill a person with one blow. Not only that, he was also said to be able to cause severe injury to a horse or an ox with one blow. The art he practiced was “yin-yang palms,” an even more powerful technique than “iron pellet palms,” in which the fists are made to become as solid as iron, and one blow will be enough to “curdle the blood,” leave a scar, or seriously injure the target. “Yin-yang palms,” in contrast, does not “curdle the blood.” But instead knocks out the target instantly as if by a powerful electric shock, irreparably Martial arts, tai chi, and chi kung are three forms of the same essence, just like water, steam, and ice. Each has the same source, but each has different powers, so that they are at once independent and interconnected. This is the Chinese principle of yin and yang – many opposing things in life are interdependent. Martial arts concentrate on hard fighting, coming right out at the start with striking fists and kicking legs. This approach is characterized by swift, nimble motions with the aim of deciding the battle quickly. Tai chi is just the opposite. It has the power to beat the hard with the soft. Images of water putting out fire, or a woman winning over a man, are frequent metaphors for the “softness” of tai chi overcoming the “hardness” of martial arts. Martial arts enthusiasts often prefer to see the movements of tai chi as slow and unable to compete with their discipline, but they underestimate the soft” power of tai chi.

Tai Chi

I would like to emphasize that whoever understands tai chi, or wants to achieve better results, must first practice standing-on-stake. This strengthens the legs, providing a firm foundation for action, and ultimately gives rise to internal jing (force), which can improve the effectiveness of the fighter’s advancing and retreating, dodging or standing firm, counter-attacking, and so on. However, in my experience, more than half of the people in the practice are unaware of this and consider tai chi and standing-on-stake as two different things – as if the latter were a part of martial arts of chi kung, but not of tai chi. This is also the reason that the empty force is such a fearsome technique. But we must be clear about the distinction between jing and li (strength). They are impossible to define precisely because of the difficulty in translating Chinese into English – quite apart from the fact that they can really only be grasped through direct personal experience. However, li comes from the body and is present at birth. Even without practicing any martial arts, tai chi or chi Rung, a person has li. It may be thought of as energy, strength, power, force, etc. Jing, on the other hand, can only come from practice, notably that of tai chi or standing-on-stake. Moreover, jing usually comes from the muscles rather than the body. When we practice either the empty force or yi quan, we use the mind to strengthen the muscles of the arms and legs. Gradually, the muscles are not only strengthened, but they also develop jing. Further differences between the two can be expressed in this way: li is diffuse while jing is focused; li is floating around but jing is packed down and ready to explode; li is coarse but jing is fine; li is rectilinear, strained, and slow while jing is rounded, free-flowing, and fast. More importantly, li is tangible but jing is intangible. For example, if I hit you, the fist has to land on you to have any effect (cause pain), and the action is visible to the eye. This is the tangible strength of li. A force that doesn’t need to hit you and has its effect instantly is intangible, like jing. It could be likened to a powerful blast from a bomb exploding near you. Even though none of the fragments from the explosion hit you, the shock waves can injure you. The impact of an explosion comes from all sides (li is diffuse), but the jing in the empty force comes in one packet. I once asked three empty force masters their feelings about jing. One of them said, “Like an arrow”; another said, “like a spring recoiling”; and the third said, “like a car’s bumper, concentrating all the force of the car in a single point.” It’s hard for me to say which description is the most appropriate. This is something which can only be understood by experiencing it for oneself.

Chi Kung

Chi kung is the foundation of martial arts and tai chi, and has a broad range of applications. One wishing to practice martial arts should first practice chi kung. Failure to do so leads to strength without chi – a physical, but not spiritual, strength. Unfortunately, many practitioners of martial arts neither practice chi kung, nor even try to distinguish one from the other. I have seen even more preposterous martial arts teachers. As soon as the words “chi kung” are mentioned, they shout: “What do you mean, chi kung? Let me have a match with them, I’ll knock them right down.” Knowledgeable listeners are amused by this. Of course, if you don’t take the basics seriously – that is to say, if you don’t take the source of power seriously – you can make the mistake of separating chi kung from martial arts. This is much the same as the ignorant tai chi instructors who separate standing-on-stake from tai chi. Like tai chi, chi kung is “soft,” whereas martial arts are “hard.” But both martial arts and tai chi place the main emphasis on action (with the exception of yi quan), while chi kung focuses on stasis. Its forms are classified as standing, sitting, or lying, but while performing these positions one must achieve three conditions – relaxation, quietness and emptiness. After maintaining these for a certain period of time (usually over 15 minutes), one will find that the cerebral cortex is calmed, the body enters a peaceful and comfortable state, the blood circulation is enhanced, the metabolism is enlivened, and the increased blood circulation brings abundant oxygen to the cells. This provides an improved distribution of energy to all parts of the body. With such energy, health is preserved, the spirit is invigorated, and sickness can be cured (especially in the case of chronic illnesses). This is why “chi kung therapy” is popular in Mainland China, with millions of people practicing it every day. Because chi kung is static while tai chi is active, the former trains “chi” (energy) while the latter trains the muscles and physique. But, together, chi kung and tai chi can compensate for each other’s deficiencies and achieve better results for health and healing. Now, if chi kung is combined with martial arts instead of tai chi, what are the results? In a word, yi quan. Other types of empty force have the same basis – the development of chi combined with the action of the mind (“guiding chi with mind”) in order to produce their uncanny effects. Thus, chi kung is useful for health and healing as well as for martial arts and self-defense. It also costs nothing, although it does require a great deal of time and patience. Also, the strength of the power depends on how much time is spent practicing it. It is inevitable that one who practices six hours a day will develop stronger power than one who practices three hours a day. To give an example: in recent years, Chinese athletes have broken many world records and won many gold medals. It is possible to account for this in three ways: first, rigorous training; second, extended periods of training; and third, the athletes being forbidden to visit with friends, relatives, and especially spouses, because it might disturb their concentration. This is the only way to maintain the focus – something Western athletes rarely accomplish – and is one of the secrets of the success of the physically smaller Chinese against the physically more powerful Westerners. Diligent practice, confidence, and concentration are always decisive factors. At the same time, the Chinese believe “all things in the world counterbalance each other.” According to this viewpoint, the universe is something like a huge system of checks and balances. Everything has its opposite side, every action has its reaction. Water can overcome fire, rust can corrode steel, the yin (negative) and yang (positive) principles are always keeping each other under control. If there are too many rats and snakes on the planet, hawks will appear to prey on them and keep the population under control. Even the spiraling growth of human population is counterbalanced by natural disasters, self-destructive activities by humans themselves, and disease. According to this logic, there must be some medicine or technique to beat those terrible scourges, cancer and AIDS. We just haven’t learned what it is yet. After some three years, having mastered the empty force, you will have healing power as well. At this point, you can test the strength of your healing power. The easiest way is to gather some people to test it on. Ask each one of them to hold out a hand and relax. Then, place your palm in front of each hand in turn – and send chi. After about 15 seconds, their hands should experience one of the following sensations: warmth, cold, swelling, numb- ness, tingling of the palm, a feeling like a cool breeze, a faint feeling like an electric current, pressure, or force. Because everyone’s physique is different, reactions vary. Those who are sensitive to chi will have a strong feeling of chi flowing through the channels. Some people begin swaying. Those without sensitivity to chi will only feel warmth in the palm or have no reaction. Because of these variations in people’s reactions, you must test your power on several people. Young people and females are generally most sensitive to chi and so are the most suitable subjects for testing your chi.

The most widespread form of medicine in Mainland China is the combination of wai chi (external chi, or energy healing) with acupuncture. This is an ancient medical technique, but it had gradually passed out of use until the revival of chi kung in recent decades. According to my research, adding external chi to acupuncture mot only improves its effectiveness, but can also help to correct mistakes made by an acupuncturist. For, if the needle is placed inaccurately, external chi can provide a back-up, simple because it is effective within a circle whose diameter is about an inch (2? centimeters) – several times wider than the range of acupuncture needles. In other words, external chi provides a much wider margin of error than acupuncture treatment. Moreover, external chi enters the paths of the meridians so quickly and deeply that one treatment by chi plus acupuncture is equivalents by acupuncture alone. External chi can even help an acupuncturist who has chosen the wrong point altogether. This is because, no matter through which point the chi enters, it spreads throughout the entire body via the network of meridians. Thus, a number of patients have reported that chi treatment of one ailment cured another at the same time! External chi and acupuncture have the same theoretical basis-both operate through the meridians, stimulate the chi, and regulate the chi and blood. In recent years, Chinese medical scientists have done a great deal of work on this ancient combined therapy, studying the classics and trying to improve on them, in order to revitalize a technique that was on the verge of extinction.

Healing: Questions And Answers

Energy healing has many applications. It plays a large part in reducing swelling, relieving inflammations, reducing tumors, destroying cancer cells, providing pain relief, and fighting rheumatism, hemiplegia, and arthritis. It works by strengthening the immune system. For treating any disease, the decisive factor is the patient’s sensitivity to chi – the more sensitive, the greater the effectiveness. In conclusion, I would like to present by way of a summary a set of questions and answers culled from many years of experience with energy healing and from the opinions of other chi kung masters.

– What is energy healing?
The energy is chi (vital energy). The healer sends rich internal body energy to the same points on the patient’s body as are used in acupuncture.
– Is there any pain to the patient?
No. The healing is performed without touching and there is no pain.
– Where does the energy come from?
The healer has practiced chi kung daily for more than three years to develop such energy.
– How familiar is the Western world with chi kung?
I have taught chi kung at the San Francisco YMCA since 1985. Many major cities in the United States, Britain, and Australia, among other countries, also have such classes. In recent years, at least seven different books on chi kung have been published in the United States and England, including my own Chi Gong: An Ancient Chinese Way to Health (co-authored with Dr. Esser). Another, Encounters with Qi, was written by an American doctor, David Eisenburg. (See also the Bibliography at the back of this book.)
– Is this like psychic healing?
No. Psychic “energy” may not always be present, but trained chi energies always are.
– How does the healing act on the patient?
The energy is guided by the mind from the center of the palm or finger and directed at the acupuncture points on the patient’s body. The energy can also be transmitted to a needle for combined chi kung-acupuncture healing.
– What kinds of diseases does it heal?
Illnesses of the nervous system, pains, and most chronic diseases.
– Does this healing have any harmful effects on the patient?
No. The healing is without touch and no medicine is given. All the patient has to do is to relax. Human body energy used in this way never harms anyone.
– How does it cure diseases?
According to Chinese medical theory, some people become sick because their energy is becoming weak or their meridians (energy flow channels) are blocked. The internal systems then lose their functions, causing the body to become “out of balance.” When the healer regenerates the patient’s energy, the body’s systems regain their functions. Vital energy stimulates the meridians, vivifies the nervous system, and promotes the blood circulation – all of which helps strengthen immunity to diseases.
– Is this kind of healing good for mental diseases?
No. There are no cases to show that energy healing can help mental diseases.
– How often should energy healing be applied?
Usually, every day or every other day, depending on the severity of the disease. One healing takes 10 or 20 minutes, or up to 30 minutes for serious cases. The first time, the healing should be tried for a maximum of 10 minutes, because some people are extremely sensitive to chi and may react too strongly.
– Which people are particularly sensitive to chi?
This can only be determined by testing. A subject extends a hand and relaxes. The healer then sends chi to the subject’s palm. After a short time, he will determine the subject’s feelings of warmth, cold, numbness, swelling, tingling, pressure, or something like an electric flow. If the subject experiences strong sensations, he or she is sensitive to chi. One who is particularly sensitive to chi may lose control and start moving around, or may feel chi flowing throughout the body. One who is not sensitive to chi will feel nothing.
– Is chi treatment effective on people with no sensitivity to chi?
The effects will be much weaker, with some exceptions. Chinese medical evidence shows that five percent of those not sensitive to chi will still be cured. The reason is unknown.
– Are there different levels of sensitivity to chi?
Yes. They can be roughly divided into four classes: highly sensitive, sensitive, and not sensitive.
– What are the effects of combining chi kung with acupuncture?
Of course the effects are stronger when the two are combined. This requires the cooperation of a chi kung master and an acupuncturist, or a person who has both chi kung and acupuncture abilities. This method is generally used in cases, which can’t be cured by acupuncture alone.
– Are there any special benefits of energy healing?

Yes. For example, if you come for a healing for your headache, the energy healing may cure other problems at the same time. When the chi enters the acupuncture points, it circulates throughout the body and has beneficial effects on all areas.
– How convenient is energy healing?
It is simple and convenient. It does not require any facilities and it can be done anywhere.
As its name implies, the empty force produces its effects without physical contact. We know that an electric current is transmitted through wire, but electromagnetism does not require any such physical link to attract iron. In the same way, the empty force doesn’t require any contact with the hands or the body to produce its effects. People imagine that this technique must be very difficult to learn but, in fact, another technique which comes from yi quan and which does require physical contact – is harder, and fewer people can master it. The reason will be explained below. Sometimes, the moment for action is more important than whether or not physical contact is involved. A power that normally requires physical contact can work without contact when a practitioner is taken by surprise and the empty force is, as it were, emitted spontaneously. At the highest level of yi quan mastery, for instance, at the instant one intuits a sneak attack, the jing exploders, manifesting as the empty force, without the need for any physical contact. Moreover, sometimes the empty force comes about in a border zone between physical contact and no contact. An experienced empty force master would say this kind of jing comes from shi jing (solid force) and kong jing (empty force), rather like chemical change which can be viewed either as “energy fluctuation” or as “energy transformation” regardless of where this energy came from. These three varieties of the empty force all come from standing-on-stake; and since this is the key to the empty force, it is hardly surprising if yi quan, which derives from the same source, can under certain circumstances produce the same effect. So, perhaps we do not really need to distinguish too exactly between physical and non-physical contact. The above three kinds of empty force can be categorized as martial arts empty force, or ling kong jing in Chinese. Another kind of empty force, used for healing, is a soft energy or force. Because it follows different procedures and methods of practice, it produces different effects and has different strengths and weaknesses. This soft empty force is called kong jing in Chinese. Non-Chinese speaking students often confuse the two and purchase the wrong kind of empty force video tape. (It might advertise itself as an “empty force” tape, but is actually about kong jing, not ling kong jing.) So, be warned!

Preparing To Practice The Empty Force

  1.  All physical exercises, including tai chi and martial arts, emphasize motion, but the empty force emphasizes stillness.
  2. All chi kung, tai chi, and martial arts exercises should be practiced outdoors, particularly by trees, lakes, or rivers, but the empty force should be practiced indoors. If the indoor space is too wide and open, the doors and windows should be closed. This is one of the secrets of practicing internal arts. Outdoors, chi and energy are easily dissipated, but indoors they remain concentrated and, as the months pass, the space will be organized into a “chi field.” This energy field will be good for the growth and health of the power.
  3. Ninety-five percent of the power of the empty force comes from standing-on-stake. How well you stand, and how long you spend standing, affect the level of power you will attain. Standing-on-stake is an exercise in stillness.
  4. Other martial arts also make use of standing-on-stake as one of the main practices, so why is the empty force so much more powerful? In my opinion, there are two reasons. First, the standing-on-stake practice in martial arts doesn’t last as long. It usually involves three to six months’ practice of 15 minutes to half an hour a day. For the empty force, practice starts at 10 minutes a day, adding five minutes to this every week until it reaches an hour or more; nor does the practice stop after three or six months. Second, and more important, is that martial arts standing-on-stake practice uses strength, but the empty force is just the opposite – it uses relaxation. Training with the strength is an external practice, but training with relaxation is an internal practice. The former develops the arms, legs, and muscles, but the latter develops nei jing (internal jing, or force). This book has had much to say about jing, and all jing comes from standing-on-stake.

Empty Force A

Part One
Warm-up Exercise

First do half an hour of tai chi movements. There are many forms of tai chi, such as Yang style, Chen style, Sun style, Wu style, and so on. The best choices are Yang style and Chen style. Since this is a book on the empty force, we will not go into details on how to practice tai chi. The Bibliography at the back of this book gives information on relevant reading. Besides, tai chi has become more popular than martial arts these days, and one can find classes in most cities, many of them free of charge. At the same time, tai chi involves many movements which are hard to describe in words, and even harder to follow. As the experience of many people has proven, it is difficult to become good at tai chi even by studying a video.
It is not essential to know tai chi in order to warm up – any soft exercise, such as dancing, will do instead. But it ought to be noted that a knowledge of tai chi is not only helpful but highly desirable for attaining the more advanced levels of the empty force.

Part Two

Push Hands Exercise

  1. Stand upright in a natural posture.
  2. Turn your right foot about 35 degrees to the right.
  3. Move your left foot one step forward. Bend your legs slightly, keeping the eyes open.
  4. Starting in front of the chest, push your hands forward and circle them back around. The left hand moves around and back to the left side, and the right hand back to the right, until the hands meet again in front of the chest. Do this 12 times. After one month of practice, increase it to 24 times, and by the third month increase it to 36 times. From then on, keep doing it 36 times.
  5. Pull your left foot back to the normal position, and return Ac right foot to its normal position. Straighten the legs.
  6. Stand upright in a natural posture.
  7. Turn your left foot about 35 degrees to the left.
  8. Put your right foot one step forward.
  9. Push your hands around and back to the chest 12 times. This time, the circles go in the opposite direction. Increase the number of circles month-by-month to 36 times, as before. When doing push hands exercises, be sure to concentrate on the palms and imagine that your palms are touching something such as water, sand, grass, etc. [see Figure 15, p. 78).

Part Three – A

Standing-on-Stake Exercise

  1. Stand upright.
  2. Move your left foot to the left, such that the feet are about a shoulder-width apart.
  3. Relax, empty your mind, and close your eyes.
  4. Concentrate on your hands and imagine your hands getting light and floating up slowly, palms down, then bend your legs slightly. (See Figure 15.) Imagine the chi (energy) coming from the sky and filling your body; then concentrate on the whole body or on natural scenes like oceans, mountains, the cosmos, etc. Begin practicing this posture ten minutes a day for the first week, then add five minutes each week up to a total of 30 minutes.
  5. Practice the above posture for three months, then add a new posture to practice after this: raise your hands from posture one to your forehead (see Figure 16) and continue your standing on-stake practice. Practice this posture five minutes a day for the first week, and add five minutes each week up to 30 minutes. Now the total time including both postures is one hour.
    Practice the above for one year, then add the following.

Part Three – B

Projecting the Chi (Energy)

  1. Drop your hands on both the left and right hand sides. Concentrate on the fingers (both sides) for five minutes. Imagine your fingers have a lot of chi, and move your arms up and down alternately, left arm first, fingers pointing to the ground. Imagine your fingers are shooting chi bullets into the ground (see Figure 17), and project your chi into the ground three feet down or deep into the earth. Practice each side 12 times.
  2. Raise your hands to the sky with the fingers pointing up and palms facing each other. Concentrate on your fingers for a little while and then bend your legs a little more and project the chi to the sky. Raise and lower the arms alternately, starting with the left arm. Imagine the chi flowing into the distance. Do this six times on each side.
  3. Lower your hands to the chest area and turn your body and arms to the left, your left hand in front of your right, and stand motionlessly. Project the chi from your fingers ahead and into the distance as in Figure 18. Then turn the body and arms to the right and practice the same thing, right hand in front of left. Practice this 12 seconds for each side.
    Practice in Leading the Chi to a Dummy
  4. Hang a dummy or a picture in front of you, at a distance of about ten feet. Concentrate on its feet for a while and focus your mind, eyes and fingers to guide the chi from your toes straight to its toes and up to its chest. Swoop down with your arms as if scooping the chi from your feet toward the dummy. Concentrate the mind strongly on making the dummy fall backward.
    Silent Sitting Meditation
  5. Sit in a comfortable chair, about a third of the way in, without leaning on the back. Place the legs about a shoulderwidth apart. Drop your hands beside your body. Relax and close your eyes. Imagine that the chi is coming from the sky and filling your body. Now concentrate on the whole body or on nature scenes (ocean, mountains, cosmos, etc.) Practice this meditation for 30 minutes and add five minutes each week until the total reaches one hour or more.

Part Four

Ending Exercise

  1. Tell yourself that you are going to end the exercise. Then open your eyes and stand up.
  2. Take three deep breaths. With each breath, circle the arms up and around, raising the hands (palms up) when you breathe in, and dropping your hands (palms down) when you breathe out.
  3. Rub both hands together in front of your chest until they become warm, then wipe your hands all over your face a few times.
  4. Use your right hand to pat your left arm from the shoulder to the hand a few times, and your left hand to pat your right arm.
  5. Bending over, pat your legs a few times from top to bottom, using your right hand for the right leg and your left hand for the left. Then straighten up your body.

Note: it is very important to do the ending exercise after the practice.

Extra practice (to begin after two years)

Alert Posture Practice

  1. Stand upright in a natural posture.
  2. Turn your right foot about 45 degrees to the right.
  3. Move your left foot about one step forward, bend your legs and raise your hands up to the chest area, left hand in front of right. This posture (see Figure 19) is performed facing to the left.
  4. Stand upright in a natural posture.
  5. Turn your left foot about 45 degrees to the left.
  6. Move your right foot about one step forward, bend your legs and raise your hands up to the chest area, right hand in front of left. This posture is performed facing to the right. Practice this alert posture for a maximum of five minutes in each direction, two or three times a day. During this exercise, you should be highly alert, as if facing a tiger and ready to fight.

Energy Penetration (following alert posture practice)

Stand about 10-12 feet (3 meters) away from a dummy or a big tree, focus your mind and spirit, and then look at it very hard. At that moment, send out all of your energy to penetrate the dummy. It is essential that you believe you can do it. If you can penetrate the dummy, you can easily penetrate the human body. Practice this for half a minute. Next, concentrate the spirit and loudly shout “Hey” (or whatever you usually shout at people), at the same time putting out both arms to send the empty force toward the dummy. The sound of the voice combined with the empty force is designed to knock down the target.

Strong chi can penetrate all kinds of materials, but do not try to penetrate aluminum or a mirror. You might sustain an injury because they reflect the energy.

The following factors determine one’s success in acquiring the empty force:

  • Practice every day except when sick.
  • Practice for more than three years.
  • Specialize in one kind of empty force.
  • Maintain a happy spirit, free from emotional problems in your marriage, family or workplace.
  • Maintain confidence in the practice.
  • In the first three years, preserve abundant energy. Don’t give healings or demonstrations, because these will decrease the energy. After mastering this practice, your empty force will knock down anyone sensitive to chi (about six out of every ten people). Those who are not knocked down will suffer a greater misfortune, because they will be injured more seriously than those sensitive to chi.

Empty Force B (Empty Force From The Fingers)

Part One

The procedure is the same as for Empty Force A. Follow the instructions for push hands in exactly the same way, except that you should concentrate on the fingers, especially the index and middle finger, rather than the palms of the hands. Similarly, follow the instructions for standing-on-stake, except that, having imagined the chi filling your whole body in step four, mentally concentrate it into the fingers. At step five, begin a new practice for the index and middle fingers, thus:

  1. Light an ordinary long candle. Put it on a table or shelf about 5-6 inches (12-15 centimeters) away, at a height of somewhere between the chest and the shoulder.
  2. Stand upright in a natural posture, facing the candle.
  3. Put your left foot to the left, about a shoulder width apart from the right.
  4. Take one step forward with your right foot. Bend your legs slightly and keep your eyes open.
  5. Place the left hand on the hip, and the right hand on the side of, and slightly above, the chest, with the right index finger and middle finger together (called “sword finger” in martial arts).
  6. Focusing the mind with strong intention, point your sword finger at the candle flame. Use the mind to guide the chi energy from the sword finger to the candle. Practice this exercise for five minutes a day; then, each week, add five minutes to the daily exercise until it reaches 20 or 30 minutes. Practice should take place between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 and 12:00 midnight, and should continue until you can make the candle flicker and, finally, go out. Do this practice indoors.

Part Two

  1. Make a cotton ball about the size of a ping-pong ball and hang it in your room by a fine thread. Close the windows and doors.
  2. Stand upright in a natural posture, bend the legs slightly, and face the cotton ball.
  3. Point at the target with the sword finger, holding the fingers very close to, but not touching, the cotton ball. Focus the intention, as if pushing yourself strongly toward the cotton ball. Do this practice twice a day for five minutes, once in the morning and once at night. The exact time doesn’t matter, but the two practice sessions should be at least four hours apart. Do this until you can move the cotton ball. Then, stand slightly farther from the cotton ball. Gradually practice from farther and farther away. Stop when you reach a distance of 8-10 feet (2-3 meters).
  4. Replace the cotton ball with a ball made of half cotton and half cloth, or something heavier than a cotton ball. Practice in the same manner until your pointing can move the ball at about 8-10 feet (2-3 meters).
  5. Now use a heavier object, such as a cloth ball, and practice the same thing.

Part Three

  1. Light a candle in the room, but this time put a thin piece of paper between you and it.
  2. Stand upright in a natural posture, bend the legs slightly, and face the candle which should be placed four to five feet away (about one-and-a-half meters).
  3. Point with the finger as described above. Since the flame is blocked by paper, the power cannot immediately penetrate it. However, gradually, it will be able to penetrate, like a light breeze, and make the flame waver – slightly at first and then violently. The flame will bob up and down and be on the verge of burning out. Finally, it will be put out completely. It takes at least half a year or so to achieve this power.
  4. Replace the paper with a thicker paper and practice in the same way.
  5. After succeeding with the above, use a piece of cloth instead of paper to block the candle and practice in the same way. Gradually increase the distance, until it reaches about six feet.

Note: After the exercises given in Parts One to Three, massage the fingers after finishing the practice (because the fingers will be tired), and then do silent sitting meditation for 30 to 60 minutes. Whereas Empty Force A sends chi from the palms, this Finger Empty Force sends chi from the fingers. The latter focuses on a smaller area, is more powerful and more flexible, but is harder to master than Empty Force A. For both Empty Force A and B, you must obtain the approval of your physician and physical training specialist before undertaking the practice.

Empty Force C

Part One

Similar to yi quan, this technique can be practiced indoors or outdoors, as follows:

  1. Rise at dawn every morning. After washing your face, do confidence-building practice in front of a mirror. Imagine you are the strongest person in the world, with the ability to knock down any opponent, no matter how powerful. Survey the world with supreme confidence.
  2. Practice Yang-style tai chi for half an hour per day, gradually increasing it to 45 minutes or more.
  3. Do a push hands exercise as described earlier in Empty Force A or B. Take a little break.

Part Two

Standing-on-Stake Exercise

  1. Stand upright, eyes open and looking straight ahead or into the distance at hills, forests and rivers.
  2. Move your left foot about a shoulder-width to the left, with both feet rooted to the ground like a tree, toes clenched down, and head upright.
  3. Relax and empty your mind.
  4. Bend your legs slightly. Slowly raise your hands level with the stomach, positioning the arms as if they were holding a large ball. This is posture one (see Figure 21). Practice this three times a day for five minutes at a time, raising it to ten minutes after a month.
  5. After completing the practice for posture one, raise the arms up to the chest area, palms facing the chest. This is posture two (see Figure 22). Again, imagine you are holding a ball in your arms. Practice this three times a day for five minutes each time, and raise it to ten minutes each time after a month.
  6. After completing posture two, raise the hands up to head level, palms facing the forehead (refer back to Figure 16, p. 79). This is posture three. Practice this three times a day for five minutes at a time, raising it to ten minutes after a month.
  7. Stand upright, move your left foot about a shoulder-width to the left and half a step forward. Bend the legs and shift the body weight back. The sole of the foot should be slightly raised, and the knee sticking out. The body weight is distributed about 60 per cent on the back foot and 40 percent on the front. The hands are raised to shoulder-level, elbows bent in an embrace position, palms inward, fingers spread apart, eyes looking straight ahead.
  8. Stand upright and move your left foot to the left more than a shoulder width. Move your left foot half a step forward, bend both legs, and distribute your weight about 40 percent forward and 60 percent back. The hands are above the knees, and the arms are in a grasping position as if holding down a tiger (see Figure 24). This is posture five, also called the “big step posture” or the “tiger-controlling posture.” Practice this posture as a continuation of posture four three times a day, three minutes each time.
  9. Practice the alert posture – this is posture six {see Figure 19, p. 82) – for 1 to 2 minutes, as instructed in the Extra Practice section of Empty Force A. Practice this posture twice a day, as a continuation of posture five.
    Practice all of the above postures for a year. Then, you can vary the order of the postures (but the alert posture must always be practiced last). Practice the combined postures in free order for 45 minutes or more, once a day.
  10. Now, you can add posture seven to replace posture one (i.e. step 4). This posture is similar to the little step posture (Figure 23) but without raising the soles of the feet. Change the hand positions.
  11. Add posture eight to replace posture two (i.e. step 5). Every- thing is the same except the head is swivelled to the left or to the right alternately, as in Figure 26.
  12. Add posture nine, with the arms facing out on both sides, as in Figure 27.
  13. Add posture ten as in Figure 28, with the hands up, elbows bent, palms facing outward, and knees slightly bent.
    Practice the earlier postures (i.e. steps 1-9) combined with the more advanced postures (i.e. steps 10-13) for another year.

Part Three

Muscle-Stretching Practice</3h>

Muscle-stretching practice starts with the third year of the practice. You can select any posture for this practice (except postures 4, 5 and 6). After doing standing-on-stake for one minute, use the mind to move the flexors and extensors of the arms and legs. The purpose is to strengthen these muscle systems, increase their flexibility and mobility, and to link the limbs together into a single system.

First, we must understand that there are three types of muscle: smooth, myocardial, and striated. Their location and features are as follows:

  • Smooth muscle: The muscles of the stomach, intestines, bladder, uterus and the walls of the blood vessels. Their contraction is slow and long-lasting.
  • Myocardial muscle: The muscles of the heart. Their contractions are faster than the smooth muscles and are coordinated.
  • Striated muscle: Mostly attached to the skeleton, and therefore also called skeletal muscle. These include muscles of the head, torso, arms and legs. They contract quickly and powerfully, but are easily fatigued. They can be contracted at will, so they can be contracted and released by turns.

The two groups of skeletal muscles are distributed on either side of an axis of motion and they function in opposite ways – one consists of the flexors, situated on the side of a joint bending in, such as the palm side of the hand; the other refers to the extensors, situated on the outer, extending side of the joint. Although these muscles function in opposition to each other, they are interdependent. When a joint is bent, the flexor is working and the extensor is at rest. Conversely, when the extensor is working, the flexor rests. Both contract alternately, and they cannot contract at the same time. Now, do some mind-directed exercises to contract the muscles of the limbs (especially the finger muscles). This is to train the body to become a more unified system. The training method is to maintain the standing-on-stake posture while using the mind to stretch the muscles. Since the mind controls this exercise, it must be done when in a state of spiritual contentment. It can only work if distracting thoughts are eliminated and the spirit is united. This training should not exceed 15 minutes, and should be abandoned when the mind becomes tired. The muscle-stretching exercise is started by using the mind to contract and release the flexor, so it is also called the loosening and tightening exercise. If you persist in this exercise every day, the muscles will build toughness and endurance. The next step is to link the muscles of the different limbs. Your arm and leg muscles will become like a rubber band – tough, durable and powerful. The linking method is to “pull” forcibly at both ends of the limb, or to “pull” at one end while “holding” the other end steady, tensing and relaxing in turn. The point of this is to organize the flexor muscles of every joint of every limb into a unit. It begins with the feet, then moves to the shank, thigh, but-tocks, stomach (do not practice this with a full stomach), back, arms, and head. When all the muscles in the body are working together, you gain more power and can beat an opponent stronger than yourself. (At this point I am filled with admiration for the foresight of the inventors of yi quan. After we understand these training methods, we come to believe in what was previously unbelievable – the source of yi quan’s fierce power. However, such a complex and demanding technique is not suitable for self-instruction, and should be done under a master’s supervision.) The arms are very important in muscle-stretching practice. All the joints from the wrists to the shoulder should be stretched and linked. The last are the palms and the fingers which, like an automobile’s bumper, bear the brunt of the opponent’s force and carry your own force. They must be trained in the same way. One year of this practice can be seen as basic training, two years’ practice improves the quality, and three years’ allow you to face a strong opponent.

Training for Winning Through Mind Power

After three years of practice, you should begin a special training called “training for winning through mind power.” This is a higher-level mental activity requiring the uniting of all the flexor muscles of the limbs, before “expanding the spirit,” and extending its force to make a connection with a target out-side the body.

First, practice with a large tree in front of you. Expand your spirit and extend its strength so that it feels as if the fingers of both your hands are connecting with the tree trunk. Visualize your arms grabbing the trunk and slowly pulling it toward you, then pushing it back. Repeat this practice over and over, for the purpose of gaining control over the target and achieving a state in which your power penetrates, suffuses, and controls your opponent. In actual combat situations, this will give you a strategic advantage. Before the enemy goes into action, your power has already gone through him, assuring your victory. The ability to use ling kong jing comes from developing strong, smooth-flowing chi channels. Where the average person’s chi is easily dispersed and scattered from the body, chi kung practitioners who have done a lot of standing meditation (zhan zhuang) have chi that adheres to their bodies as if in a thick, closely-packed formation. Chi is emitted from their bodies through a process the Chinese call shen, yi, chi. Shen is spirit, yi is intention and chi is the internal energy or force. When these three come together and are directed at a target through the chi kung practitioner’s eyes, the result, providing their chi is strong enough, can be ling kong jing.

Using yi (intention), a ling kong jing practitioner can cause the other person to do many different gymnastic movements – from leaping in the air to somersaults or rolls. I have seen and experienced all of these, including being forced to the ground where I could not move until my teacher released me. The feeling from ling kong jing is difficult to explain. The person emitting empty force often feels a subtle connection between the fingertips and the general area around the recipient, who sometimes feels as if he or she had run into a brick wall. One outcome, however, is universal for those receiving ling kong jing: if their chi is weaker than that of the person transmitting, they will have no physical strength or mental desire to counter his or her will.

Ling kong jing is developed through daily standing meditation (“standing-on-stake”) and special chi kung exercise practice. Standing meditation develops chi that is stronger and more quickly rejuvenated. Exercises that teach the chi kung stylist to emit chi from his or her fingers develop the ability to send chi out of the whole body. Some chi kung doctors in China use ling kong jing for healing purposes, sending chi into patients’ bodies to affect pressure points (acupuncture points) in the areas they wish to treat. Their training is the same. My original teacher, Professor Pengxi You, trained many of the doctors at Shanghai’s chi kung hospital.

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