Shaolin Kung Fu: Introduction Into the True Methods of the Fisticuff Art of Shaolin Monastery
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An article from "ZHONGGUO WUSHU ZENMING CIDIAN" - Dictionary "Well-known Masters of the Chinese Wushu" edited by Chang Cang and Zhou Lichang.
Lam Sai Wing

Short Historical Essay on Master Lam Sai Wing Written by his Disciple Zhu Yuzhai

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Secrets of Southern Shaolin Kung Fu
Southern Shaolin
Canonical books by Lam Sai Wing.
Lam Sai Wing

"Since my young years till now I have been learning from Masters during fifty years. Fortunately, I earned the love of my tutors who passed me the Shaolin Mastery..."

Hung Gar Bible - canonical books by Master Lam Sai Wing

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Tiet Sin Qi Gong



Secrets of Southern Shaolin Qi Gong 
Lam Sai Wing

        book by Master

Lam Sai Wing (1860 - 1943)

Tiet sin Kuen 

"The Iron Thread"


TIET SIN, or the Iron Thread, is one of the Fighting Arts1 inherited from Tie Qiao San2. It is a perfect training system aiming at setting into motion body's extremities and the whole body and thanks to it to improve blood circulation and the circulation of the internal energy Qi. Bones, muscles and sinews are subjects of outer strengthened, the internal organs and the spirit Shen are subjects of internal strengthened. Therefore, the Spirit and Health are improved. A physically weak man becomes a strong one. Besides, those who practice this method of Qi Gong can prevent from falling ill with many diseases and live a long life. That's why this method is unsurpassed one among all the methods of Qi Gong.

The founder of the Iron Thread Qi Gong school is Tie Qiao San. In his time he was called one of "Guangdong Ten Tigers". He is a well-known and esteemed master among Kung Fu followers. Tie Qiao San, a favorite disciple of Shaolin monk Jue Yin, was famous for his mastery, he had no rivals equal to him. He was on friendly terms with Chen Yi and Xiu Yi Ji, monks from the Haichuang Temple3. Tie Qiao San taught his disciples Cai Zan, Qu Zhu, Wu Xiguan, Ma Zhi Tien, Ling Fu Chen, Shi Yu Liang and some others. Some time later Ling Fu Chen taught Wong Fei Hung his skills and the latter Wong Fei Hung taught Lam Sai Wing. Lam had about 10 000 disciples4, but only a few inherited this secret method of Qi GongHu Li Feng, Pang Ji Yi, Wei Shao Bo, Su Jian Shen, Wong Ji Wen, Zhang Zhu Xiang and my tutor Zhu Yu Zhai, all in all seven men. By now5 my tutor Zhu Yu Zhai passed his skill in the Iron Thread to his son Zhu Jia Yui and his disciples — Hu Zhen Yan (died), Lo Ji Yi, Tan Xing, Cheng Yun Sin (missed during the war), Zhung Wei Ming, me and some others.

The Iron Thread is based on twelve secret methods for "arms-bridges"6, each of them corresponds to a certain principle. Those are GAN — hardness, steadfastness; ROU — suppleness, softness; BI — constraint; ZHI — straightening; FEN —separation; DING — steadiness; CUN — quickness, brevity; TIE — lifting; LIU — restraining; YIUN — movement, motion; ZHI — suppression; DIN — change. Besides, it is necessary to keep in mind several factors. Using Qi, or vital strength of Spirit, one should be able to increase his physical strength, pay special attention to strengthening his waist and kidneys7. Exhalation is done with shouts, it is the external manifestation of such emotions as joy, anger, sorrow and gaiety.

Those are the essentials that make this method of Qi Gong different from other kinds of Fisticuff Arts. I think that the most difficult thing in acquiring TIET SIN is to control your breath and to regulate Qi, to utter sounds and to use the internal strength. At the same time the above mentioned points are key factors for successful training. A wrong practice can be useless or even harmful. Each kind of Qi Gong has its own method of training and its own secrets. This book just gives the most complete and visual guidance for correct training in TIET SIN. It is indispensable for all who like Qi Gong and Kung Fu.

From my own experience I know that the most impressing thing in TIET SIN Qi Gong is that the physical strength of those who train themselves can be increased by nine times. It is hard to believe for those who did not practice this method. Of course, the benefit of TIET SIN lies not only in bigger physical strength. The most important thing is robust health and longer life.

Li Shi Hui

  Hong Kong, the summer of Din You Year (1957)


Translator's notes

1According to the modern classification the method TIET SIN belongs to a branch of "hard", or fighting Qi Gong. However, the division of the Fighting Arts into Qi Gong and Kung Fu (or WUSHU) is rather conventional in character, it appeared only in the XX century as the result of the Western approach to the study of specific oriental phenomenon. Traditionally, Qi Gong, or work with the internal energy, was studied in China in the mainstream of general fighting practice, it did not form a separate branch. Therefore, the author of this article uses Chinese terms Quan Shu (literally "fist art") and Quan Fa (literally "fist technique") in relation to TIET SIN in their original wide meaning. In our translation we substituted them for "Qi Gong", a more narrow term that can be understood by a modern reader.

2Tie Qiao San is translated as "Iron Bridge III", it is a nickname of the great master whose real name was lost in history. He lived at the end of XVIIIth - the beginning of XIXth century and had superhuman strength, hence his nickname. He could supposedly to raise up six big men with one hand and carry them more than a hundred steps without changing his countenance ( Zhu Yu Zhai "Short Biography of Master Tie Qian San").

3The Haichuang Monastery is situated not far from Guangzhou (Canton), the administrative center of Guangdong province. As a wide-spread legend says, after the famous monastery of Southern Shaolin was burnt to ashes (supposedly in 30-th of the XVIII century) monks who escaped spread in China "like stars in the sky". Few of them found refuge at the Haichuang Monastery where they started to teach monks, and later on laymen, the Fighting Arts. This monastery is the cradle of the most famous Kung Fu styles of the Southern China — Hung Gar Kuen, Fo Kuen, Li Gar and some others.

4At the beginning of the XX century Lam Sai Wing founded WU BEN TANG ("The Hall of Fundamental Study") in Guangzhou (Canton) where he taught the Fighting Art. In the 20-th of the XX century Master Lam together with his closest disciples (Zhu Yu Zhai, Zhang Shi Biao, Li Shi Hui, and others) moved to Hong Kong where he taught fighting styles of Kung Fu - Hung Gar Kuen and Fo Kuen. In his life he had more than 10 000 disciples, but he taught Tiet Sin Qi Gong, the most secret part of training, only to a narrow circle of the closest disciples. In his declining years, being anxious about the preservation of this invaluable treasure for posterity, he wrote the book that is offered to your attention.

5The article was written in 1957.

6The term QIAO ("bridge") in the Hung Gar style means a forearm. There are 12 techniques where QIAO "bridges" are used. Those techniques were inherited from the Kung Fu school of the Southern Shaolin. They are also called "Hung's 12 bridges".

7In accordance with postulates of the Chinese traditional medicine the kidneys are a receptacle of inherent vital energy YUAN Qi and a strong and flexible waist is a prerequisite for successful practice in the Fighting Arts.

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  Canonical texts of Shaolin Monastery
Ten Precepts Requirements 18 Wonderful 72 Secret Arts of QIGONG ( Chi Kung ):
of Shaolin to a Shaolin Methods of Shaolin  Monks from the Secrets of the Use of Breath-Chi
Fighters Fighter Monks Shaolin Monastery in Martial Practice


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