The Gentle Sex
Man and the Animals
At the recent health forum held in Telford to mark the 25th anniversary of the TCUGB,and organized by Faye Yip of the British Health Qigong Association, I met and interviewed Professor Yu Ding Hai 虞定海 from Shanghai Sports University. He is a man with extensive martial art training, teaching and research experience, He is also the creator of Health Qigong Wu Qin Xi and had agreed to visit the UK for the first time to support the British Health Qigong Association’s Instructor Course in May 2015.
Infirmity in old age, Professor Yu told us, was one of the major problems faced by society and Qigong was a very good way of dealing with it. He then went elegantly through the moves of the 5 Animal Frolic. The physician Hua Tuo (c.140-208 AD) is said to be the creator of the original 5 Animal Frolic . The animals are the deer, tiger, ape, bear and bird.
The exercises show the characteristics of each animal; the fierceness of the tiger, the peacefulness of the deer, the calmness of the bear, the agility of the ape, and the lightness of the bird. The professor showed good humour and struck a rapport with the audience as they frolicked.
I had a chat with Professor Yu afterwards. He told me that in his opinion the term Qigong referred to the training/ exercise being done while the term Neigong was used when the adept had internalised the method and was thus doing it at a higher level with spirit and intent.
Empty Force also came up during the discussion. Professor Yu said he had never seen convincing demonstration of ‘empty force, except in the movies and when masters used it on compliant students.
Professor Yu said he had not gone through Bai Shi initiation nor did he take on disciples in this way. In the old society it was a restraint of trade whereby masters protected their livelihood. Though he conceded it had made a comeback in recent years.
We also discussed the subject of ‘Zou huo ru mo’ [Walk fire enter demon] which refers to incorrect or dangerous Qigong practise leading to nasty side-effects (enter demon). Professor Yu said that this normally happened when people tried to go too far too soon and there was a specially trained group of experts who tried to cure adepts afflicted with this problems, though some are beyond help.
I hope, with Faye’s assistance, to bring this excellent person to the UK again and introduce him to a wider audience.