Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:25 am

I recently finished shih shui training with James McNeil.

The training took two hours per day for ten days. It was remarkably practical and spent very little time on theory. It combined aspects of breath retention, body locks, a unique take on the six healing sounds, self massage, wire beater exercises and, of course, swinging.

Mr. McNeil has a reputation for repairing students injured by other teachers and not hurting his own students. I support this view based off of my experience with him.

All instruction was one on one. No video recording of any kind occurred. All discussions were both private and very frank.

His system consists of a unique form of the Eight Brocades exercise, extensive self massage, the hanging/swinging, and wire beater exercises. The Six Healing Sounds utilized are completely different from what I've seen, or read about, anywhere else. They also incorporate a very soft form of energy packing that I've never seen with these as well.

The approach he takes is very conservative. He only recommends increasing weight after three, or four, sessions of using the same weight for 100 swings in which no tension swinging the weight occurs. If pain occurs at any point, you stop immediately. Using this approach, it could easily take a year to swing 50 pounds. Unlike many other systems I've seen that do it in 100 days.

He maintains that the peak effect from the practice occurs at 50 pounds of weight. Everything after that is a nice metric, but reduces many of the effects as you cannot swing as much with higher weights. At his peak, he used over 200 pounds, so he speaks from a position of authority. He is also in his late 70's and looks damn good for a man his age.

A lot of the training is tailored to the individual, which is why he does not have a video, or distance learning, option. This includes how the weights are tied down as well. By tailoring the training it reduces the rate of injury.

Basic training takes 100 days of daily practice. After that it can be reduced to three days per week of swinging and still progress. At two times per week, you can maintain the effect. The full set takes about 90 minutes to perform. Of this, roughly half is self massage. Swinging itself may take 90-120 seconds.

I will post lab results on endocrine system function over the next year at 90/180/270/360 day intervals.

The training also requires revision once per year for one day to correct mistakes and add exercises as needed. He will be teaching for two more years and is currently certifying long term students to teach as well. Senior students stopped by while we were training and many of his students have been with him over two decades. At no time was anyone in the room with me, except for Mr. McNeil, while I was undressed. All of which are good signs.

Overall, he is a very nice man with a solid system. Well worth the investment for those interested.

If anyone has questions, feel free to post here or PM me.
Last edited by Peacedog on Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby G. Matthew Webb on Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:18 pm

Thanks for the detailed training report. I look forward to your follow-up reports and reporting of lab tests. Did you get baseline endocrine testing done before you did the training with McNeil?
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:21 pm

No worries. And yes, I did.

My endocrine system is compromised from chemical and radiological exposure. So, it will be interesting to see if this has an effect or not.

I've seen bloodwork from one older gentleman that indicated an increase from 250-895 ng/dL of testosterone over the course of about a year. He also reported losing 17 pounds with no change in diet either.
Last edited by Peacedog on Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:17 pm

Good to see you mentioned how important the binding is
I have seen some very dangerous alternatives
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:04 am

Wayne, that was the most interesting interaction I had initially.

I was injured tying the knot on the bottom a couple of years ago. When I was getting set up, and Mr. McNeil did not know how I had previously tied the knot, he said in my case I needed to tie the knot on the top. When I asked him about this he said most people need to do this on the bottom, but some should use the top.

It is another reason why he doesn't teach online. He said he has to observe the student to figure out how their individual tissues responds.

The man knows his business.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby D_Glenn on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:12 am

“The man knows his business junk.” Corrected ;)

I know a part of the training is to prevent hernias from happening and strengthen the fascia, but ask him: ‘what if someone already had an inguinal hernia?’
Last edited by D_Glenn on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:03 pm

I'd email him at [email protected]

I suspect I know the answer, but I don't want to speak for him involving something technical.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Quigga on Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:50 am

I just wanted to give a hint: natural penis enlargement. There is a big community on the net, I can recommend thundersplace.org . They have good tutorials on stretching and jelqing and IMO, you don't need more to start exploring your manhood and associated tissues down there.

In the end it's about stretching the fascia bag in your lower torso via pulling on the penis in different directions, feeling the tension/pull and strengthening the pelvic floor via contracting in the opposite direction of the pull.

I think it's hard to get started on this training because 1) many people are iffy or weird about their sexuality causing a lot of pathogenic tension in associated structures and 2) with those blockages in place it's hard to feel the pulling force travelling through the body.

So IME it's not very beginner friendly and you should already be in a healthy vital loosened condition to properly benefit from this training.

A fun feat: when you can contract your pelvic floor strong enough, the testicles can actually travel up inside your body which was quite scary the first times... If it happens just relax and allow them to pop back out.
I can't really speak for martial applications of this since the sucking up takes at least 7-8 seconds for me... better not to get hit in the groin either way.

Differentiating the pelvic floor in the front, middle and back muscles is another important step. Your body should be able to move in a connected way with these muscles just like opening and closing the hand.

Have you ever observed deer, cats or dogs stretching or breathing? Their anus sometimes moves accordingly...

Of course, the bladder and bowels benefit as well. Integration of the pelvic floor in all movements, positions and breaths is very revitalising. I would call it "stopping unnecessary leakage of kinetic force and vital energy".

Metaphorically I would say it's definitely about getting your shit together and being aware of the "waste" your actions produce.

My goal would be to first feel the pull in ming men and then bai hui. But that's gonna take some time :D. IME practicing after showering or bathing is ideal. The tissue is warm and pliable, the skin is slightly dry so easier to get a good grip. Don't forget to massage before and afterwards.

Stay safe!

Edit: I forgot to add "The wise one's breath with the heels." Again, without pelvic floor work this is impossible to achieve since you literally leak the feeling of breath from down there.

Edit 2: The stretching and contracting are different methods. First you learn to stretch and contract on it's own. Once that's ok, you can gradually start to contract the pelvic floor when you stretch, making the exercise more intense. But you shouldn't do this as your only practice because injuries are more likely to happen because more force is involved. Just keep stretching and occasionally add it to see what feels differently. Experiment and be careful.
Last edited by Quigga on Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby wiesiek on Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:17 pm

O,
good post Quigga,
thx, have typin` less.
I would add, that there is more points on the Governing vessel which you have "open" before full circulation occurs, or maybe there is more than one system to get the fruit.
Anyway, Full description can be found in Johnson`s book"Essence of Internal MA"
Joyful Fruits of the Live
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Trick on Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:43 am

Eat Zink and Selenium rich foods. Most kind of nuts do good for the nuts and their companion.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Trick on Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:18 am

Have you ever observed deer, cats or dogs stretching or breathing? Their anus sometimes moves accordingly...
how deep into the wilderness do one actually have to go to make ones gongfu wild again ? ?
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:18 am

Quigga,

Shih shui gong has a variety of stretches and locks involving the genitals. In total, I'd say at least half of the practice involves this kind of thing.

And this brings up a bigger point as regards qi gong in general.

One of the items I've been exploring in the last few years is the use of weighted resistance to amplify qi gong effects.

The use of weighted resistance significantly increases the effect of most qi gong systems. And by this I mean at least an order of magnitude and maybe more as the amount of resistance is gradually increases. The effects when properly leveraged border on the miraculous.

As it involves shih shui gong, the addition of the weights makes a huge difference in the effect.

On a generally healthy man the massage and meditative techniques can certainly maintain healthy endocrine levels for life. The addition of weight pushes this into the supra-normal range and I've seen this demonstrated on a number of occasions. By the same token, if someone has suppressed levels of endocrine production the use of weights can push this back into the high normal range. I haven't seen this effect with the unweighted techniques.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:19 pm

First interesting effect of shih shui.

While well known for helping with lower back pain, I was skeptical of this particular claim.

Until today.

I spent most of the morning and afternoon clearing deadfall and logs from some felled pine trees. I was by myself and the heaviest of these weighted in at about 150 pounds/70 kilos.

A few hours later, I had hurt my lower back. Normally this would result in a trip to the chiropractor.

Before I started making calls trying to get my bone setter out of his house, I went and performed my shih shui routine.

Through most of it, I didn't feel much of a difference.

Then I got to the hanging. I loaded up 22.5lbs/10kg and got to swinging. The pain relief was almost instantaneous.

Finished up with the wire beater exercises and an hour later I feel 95% fine. Just a tad of inflammation. I'll probably throw some dit da jow on it later tonight.

All in, it was a very pleasant surprise.
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Trick on Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:35 am

I’m somewhat an dull and unimaginative person, but I suspect there’s quite a few things here for the imaginative to make humorous comments about...8-)......
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Re: Shih Shui Gong training with James McNeil

Postby Peacedog on Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:28 am

Trick,

No doubt. Lol...

But as one of the "hidden" power generation systems within IMAs, I feel compelled to let people know how it actually works.

A big part of my meditative/yogic work over the years centered around removing the mystery surrounding the various methods used.

While my reasoning mind could see how pulling on the tendon network at the bottom of the pelvis could effectively align the hips and lumbar vertebrae, experiencing it first hand was an interesting validation.

The old martial masters certainly knew what worked, but they were wholly ignorant of anatomy, modern physiology and generally hampered by speaking languages that being inherently non-specific required context to accurately define things.

Being, mostly, English speakers here we don't suffer from the lack of specificity inherent in languages like Mandarin that, as an example, have no words for yes or no. We are penalized by being forced into the position of translating the deliberately vague into something specific.

I post stuff like this in an attempt to clear a lot of that up.

Sometimes it is embarrassing and other times painful. Frequently I don't have good answers for things people want to know as the science just isn't developed enough to have the tools necessary to measure extant phenomena. The situation is oft frustrating for all of these causes.

However, if any further development of these things is to happen, people are going to have to get off their bullshit codes of secrecy and actually discuss them openly with others in a way that allows the parties involved to compare notes/data points.
Last edited by Peacedog on Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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