Joining the dots.

May 20, 2009

An extension on the topic of “roots”.

The concept of “swallow, spit, float and sink” must be the cornerstone of many Chinese boxing systems, northern/southern internal or external notwithstanding. 

The styles that I do – Lohan, White Crane and Grand Ancestor, the importance of learning and mastering this cannot be overstated.

Sanchiem or Sanchin training revolves around this central principle. 

From “habit to 2nd nature”, most trainees will do nothing but hone this until spontaneity is attained. This is specially so in White Crane and Grand Ancestor. 

“Before you go 4 doors, you must accomplish the 3 battles” – cannot recall the number of times this is drilled into us during training.

Ah Teck, my Grand Ancestor sifu, used to say this; no Sanchiem, you got no kung fu!

So where did this “SSFS” concept comes from; theories and conjectures abound, of course!

In White Crane, both Whooping and Ancestral, we believe that one of the base arts is Shaolin Lohan.

Most Fuzhou masters traced “SSFS” training back to Shaolin. 

Old classical texts described 2 forms attributed to Tat Mor or Bodhidharma – one of which is “yijing jing易筋經”; here again the topic has been subjected to all kinds of arguments and you can read most over on Wikipedia

This much I know; for the longest time, elders in Fuzhou White Crane lines quote yijing when explaining qi and “SSFS”. 

Got an old book on yijing that might give you an idea why and interestingly, I picked up a book in Singapore recently about Crane Boxing in Taiwan and that book is illustrated with almost “yijing” like training methods.

And the 4 cranes: Sleeping, Whooping, Flying and Feeding …. One Fuzhou elder explained this to me a long time ago:-

To swallow is to absorb like sleeping.

To spit is to throw out like singing.

To float is to extend like flying.

To sink is to retract like feeding. 

All pieces of a same picture ???

And look at the yijing pics – do you see SSFS?
yijin_Page_26 copy

yijin_Page_27 copyyijin_Page_32 copyyijin_Page_31 copy

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