Oneironaut

Outer QiGong - Can it reverse the harmful effects of years of weight lifting?

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Is outer QiGong a Taoist version of physical yoga? I ask because I used to be a boxer and noticed that I was lightning fast until I stopped and got into bodybuilding/powerlifting for a good 5 years. While I gained very good strength and muscle mass I don't think it was worth the trade off to the physical attributes I had earlier. I'm getting back into the martial arts (boxing, kyokushin karate and judo) and would like to lose the added (mostly unnecessary) muscle mass, stiffness, bad muscle coordination and sluggishness that something as unnatural as weight lifting may bring. I'm getting back into calisthenics and thinking of looking into the Feldenkrais system to regain bodily and somatic awareness but desperately need my speed, reflexes and flexibility back. Is outer QiGong on par with yoga/pliates on helping me to tackle this issue? If so where can I learn more about it? If not, are there people here experienced in yoga/pilates who can show me how I can "normalize" my body again by reversing the effects of weight lifting and perhaps improving on my natural physical capabilities?

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I would say that no matter what you do, it might help to realize that Qigong and Yogic asanas (you are not going to find "Yoga" at a studio or a gym) are not explicitly meant to be purely physical exercises. Granted, they can have a great deal of benefits, but if you are not practicing them with the original integrity that they stood for, then they'll eventually fail you as well. 

 

If you are looking for a purely physical regimen, I can think of 1,000 better for you than Qigong or Asana. Charles Atlas' Dynamic Tension program was pretty awesome for me, and it corrected things with my mobility I did not know were being corrected. It's also easy to pick up, so for me that would be a recommendation. Another take on that would be Harry Wong's Dynamic Strength would be another that focuses on movements that have more practical basis in martial arts. There's also Pavel Tsatsouline's Super Joints.

 

Those recommendations are based on purely physical matters, although they all loosely touch on chi as well. Charles has an entire chapter devoted to "Vril", so if you follow the instructions in that book, you would be helping yourself out at least somewhat on the energetic end as well. However, in the end it might be more helpful if your reasons are specifically based body issues. If you are interested in Qigong or Yoga, it would be best to learn from someone who knows the primordial functions of each exercise. Neither is holistically superior than the other; that is something you would have to discover for yourself. I do Internal Exercises from Stephen T. Chang's Complete System of Self-Healing: Internal Exercises, and I got more out of that in 8 minutes than I had in 2 months of various forms of physical Yogic technique. I can't say that it would be like that for everyone, though.

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I would say that no matter what you do, it might help to realize that Qigong and Yogic asanas (you are not going to find "Yoga" at a studio or a gym) are not explicitly meant to be purely physical exercises. Granted, they can have a great deal of benefits, but if you are not practicing them with the original integrity that they stood for, then they'll eventually fail you as well.

 

If you are looking for a purely physical regimen, I can think of 1,000 better for you than Qigong or Asana. Charles Atlas' Dynamic Tension program was pretty awesome for me, and it corrected things with my mobility I did not know were being corrected. It's also easy to pick up, so for me that would be a recommendation. Another take on that would be Harry Wong's Dynamic Strength would be another that focuses on movements that have more practical basis in martial arts. There's also Pavel Tsatsouline's Super Joints.

 

Those recommendations are based on purely physical matters, although they all loosely touch on chi as well. Charles has an entire chapter devoted to "Vril", so if you follow the instructions in that book, you would be helping yourself out at least somewhat on the energetic end as well. However, in the end it might be more helpful if your reasons are specifically based body issues. If you are interested in Qigong or Yoga, it would be best to learn from someone who knows the primordial functions of each exercise. Neither is holistically superior than the other; that is something you would have to discover for yourself. I do Internal Exercises from Stephen T. Chang's Complete System of Self-Healing: Internal Exercises, and I got more out of that in 8 minutes than I had in 2 months of various forms of physical Yogic technique. I can't say that it would be like that for everyone, though.

So, do you feel it is hard to find a worthwhile QiGong class? I'm in martial arts limbo right now, having completed 2/3 of the wing chun system and having very little internal cultivation emphasis.

 

I am just curious. No QiGong, but there are Tai Chi classes in my area (like most) but wonder how valid they will be considering my current daily cultivation seems to be going ok (in cooking, cleaning, preparing/drinking tea and seated meditation)

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I ask because I used to be a boxer and noticed that I was lightning fast until I stopped and got into bodybuilding/powerlifting for a good 5 years. While I gained very good strength and muscle mass I don't think it was worth the trade off to the physical attributes I had earlier.

Funny you should say this. I stopped weight lifting when I began martial arts and dropped 20 lbs of muscle mass. I got worried recently when dropping more weight so I started 5X5 from scratch again but wonder if I should keep it up. Hmmmm...

Edited by Rara
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So, do you feel it is hard to find a worthwhile QiGong class? I'm in martial arts limbo right now, having completed 2/3 of the wing chun system and having very little internal cultivation emphasis.

 

I am just curious. No QiGong, but there are Tai Chi classes in my area (like most) but wonder how valid they will be considering my current daily cultivation seems to be going ok (in cooking, cleaning, preparing/drinking tea and seated meditation)

Well I can't honestly speak for Qigong itself in terms of classes, and if I implied or directly said that I did, my bad. I have been to a number of yoga classes, and I CAN speak for those in a sense that those are missing fundamental qualities of the practice. However, I think that perhaps certain forms of Qigong are harder to separate their original purpose; it might be harder to do Qigong on a purely superficial level. I mean, just in my experience, I was very poor at doing the Stephen Chang exercises, and yet I benefited greatly from them. I cannot say the same for my experience with yoga, so I would not recommend studio yoga unless you knew that person was teaching and practicing yoga from a primordial perspective.

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Is outer QiGong a Taoist version of physical yoga?

 

I never heard of this thing before, what is it?

 

Now, back to your question:

 

You need to become more Yin, period. It is as simple as that...well not that simple since you were born in a particular year, which will shape your 'personality.'

 

To get rid of excess accumulated yang, toxins and defilements: Internal Martial Arts + seated meditation + work with trees, flowers, streams and the sea if you happen to live near it. Then you'll need to change your diet completely + herbal medicine + acupuncture/acupressure to deal with the release of all those toxins, negative emotions, etc., which is a painful process.

 

Good luck.

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He meant Wei Dan (external) qigong.

 

Or maybe Wai Dan? Regardless, his observation about muscles/tendons is spot on.

 

Oneironaut: The tendon explosiveness you seek is developed most effectively in the static, standing practices. I suggest learning and practicing Zhan Zhuang.

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Funny you should say this. I stopped weight lifting when I began martial arts and dropped 20 lbs of muscle mass. I got worried recently when dropping more weight so I started 5X5 from scratch again but wonder if I should keep it up. Hmmmm...

 

ahhhh... well, muscles only get in the way, lol. I've met this guy, and a friend of mine gave him a 60-minute full body massage. She was flabbergasted at the suppleness of his body, said she'd never seen and adult like that. He has the limitless dynamic of a ten-year old boy, and very little muscle mass. He even has a little pot belly:

 

 

 

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Well I can't honestly speak for Qigong itself in terms of classes, and if I implied or directly said that I did, my bad. I have been to a number of yoga classes, and I CAN speak for those in a sense that those are missing fundamental qualities of the practice. However, I think that perhaps certain forms of Qigong are harder to separate their original purpose; it might be harder to do Qigong on a purely superficial level. I mean, just in my experience, I was very poor at doing the Stephen Chang exercises, and yet I benefited greatly from them. I cannot say the same for my experience with yoga, so I would not recommend studio yoga unless you knew that person was teaching and practicing yoga from a primordial perspective.

Thanks for this, the elaboration helped :) Originally, I thought emohasis was on more useful alternatives to both QiGong and Yoga so it's the way I interpreted it.

 

Still, as I said, it's all Tai Chi around my way. I guess my only way to learn if they are of any use is to have a go.

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ahhhh... well, muscles only get in the way, lol. I've met this guy, and a friend of mine gave him a 60-minute full body massage. She was flabbergasted at the suppleness of his body, said she'd never seen and adult like that. He has the limitless dynamic of a ten-year old boy, and very little muscle mass. He even has a little pot belly:

 

 

 

This is one thing I was always told by my Wing Chun teacher...leave the barbell under the bed and do body weight exercises only.

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Neither Qigong or "Yoga" would by themselves reduce the over-muscularization.

 

Your kidneys will do that. They will be eliminating the disintegrating proteins.

 

Ordinary light moving is good - walking, cleaning around house.

 

Keeping liquid intake good.

 

Watch out for kidney stones.

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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It's an old-school belief that weightlifting will make you slower. It is especially prevalent in old school combat sports like boxing or karate, in my experience. And it is especially prevalent among people who haven't done heavy bodybuilding themselves, also in my experience.

 

Look at Mike Tyson, he is a big guy, and fast. Look at the big MMA athletes like Andrei Arlovski, Vitor Belfort or Rashad Evans. All of them beefy guys, but pretty fast.

 

Weightlifting - especially the heavy kind, with few reps - will increase your fast-twitch muscles. This makes you faster, not slower. It has been scientifically stated and the evidence abounds.

 

I have lifted weights for many years and put on about 25 pounds of muscle in my late teens as a result. When I took up combat sports again I experienced an adjustment period, followed by a permanent increase in my punching speed.

 

However if the OP states that he has become slower we of course have to acknowledge and respect that. He is the expert on his own body. Just wanted to highlight that weightlifting in general should not make you slower.

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Perceiver, what you say about weightlifting should be true, but... well, if we're talking of bodybuilding, in practice a majority of people who follow the 'bodybuilding lifestyle' are ridiculously unhealthy. You just have to look to the YouTube "fitness community", and guys like Kali Muscle, Ben Pakulski, Furious Pete, to see what silly things people are doing to themselves and the bizarre lies these 'fitness professionals' tell their audience in order to sell supplements for their sponsors.

 

There are very many who focus solely on muscle growth and aesthetics and neglect flexibility, stamina, a healthy diet, and many other aspects that contribute to a more all-round 'fit' body.

 

There are of course many exceptions in the bodybuilding world. And UFC fighters, boxers, etc are different -- they train to be fast. But most bodybuilders don't care. They just wanna look good. Curls for the girls, as they say.

 

 

 

Anyway.. recently I've been focusing on flexibility and bodyweight control. I don't know if the OP would find Ido Portal of any interest:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/portaldo/videos

 

 

 

 

Edited by dustybeijing
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It's an old-school belief that weightlifting will make you slower. It is especially prevalent in old school combat sports like boxing or karate, in my experience. And it is especially prevalent among people who haven't done heavy bodybuilding themselves, also in my experience.

 

Look at Mike Tyson, he is a big guy, and fast. Look at the big MMA athletes like Andrei Arlovski, Vitor Belfort or Rashad Evans. All of them beefy guys, but pretty fast.

 

Weightlifting - especially the heavy kind, with few reps - will increase your fast-twitch muscles. This makes you faster, not slower. It has been scientifically stated and the evidence abounds.

 

I have lifted weights for many years and put on about 25 pounds of muscle in my late teens as a result. When I took up combat sports again I experienced an adjustment period, followed by a permanent increase in my punching speed.

 

However if the OP states that he has become slower we of course have to acknowledge and respect that. He is the expert on his own body. Just wanted to highlight that weightlifting in general should not make you slower.

Thank you for that post. Broscience that muscles make you slow :(

 

Perceiver, what you say about weightlifting should be true, but... well, if we're talking of bodybuilding, in practice a majority of people who follow the 'bodybuilding lifestyle' are ridiculously unhealthy.

There are very many who focus solely on muscle growth and aesthetics and neglect flexibility, stamina, a healthy diet, and many other aspects that contribute to a more all-round 'fit' body.

There are of course many exceptions in the bodybuilding world. And UFC fighters, boxers, etc are different -- they train to be fast. But most bodybuilders don't care. They just wanna look good. Curls for the girls, as they say.

Anyway.. recently I've been focusing on flexibility and bodyweight control.

Bodybuilding is a different style of weightlifting. Purely aesthetic. Powerlifters develop explosiveness. Very good for a martial artist to incorporate this kind of training.

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I stopped and got into bodybuilding/powerlifting for a good 5 years

 

This is what I was responding to Perceiver with regard to.

 

To put it simply: no, lifting weights and having big muscles does not necessarily make one slow.. but the OP was talking specifically of a bodybuilding/powerlifting lifestyle. This is a focus on the weights, above all else, in set patterns, over and over again, with a poorly balanced diet (in favour of animal protein and other excesses). And in most cases this does serve to make one slower and less generally coordinated than before.

 

Anyway, yes, I agree that a focus on reducing muscle mass won't be particularly helpful. A focus on the process of becoming more quick, flexible, and coordinated is what he's looking for, I think?

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Perceiver, what you say about weightlifting should be true, but... well, if we're talking of bodybuilding, in practice a majority of people who follow the 'bodybuilding lifestyle' are ridiculously unhealthy. You just have to look to the YouTube "fitness community", and guys like Kali Muscle, Ben Pakulski, Furious Pete, to see what silly things people are doing to themselves and the bizarre lies these 'fitness professionals' tell their audience in order to sell supplements for their sponsors.

 

There are very many who focus solely on muscle growth and aesthetics and neglect flexibility, stamina, a healthy diet, and many other aspects that contribute to a more all-round 'fit' body.

 

There are of course many exceptions in the bodybuilding world. And UFC fighters, boxers, etc are different -- they train to be fast. But most bodybuilders don't care. They just wanna look good. Curls for the girls, as they say.

 

 

 

Anyway.. recently I've been focusing on flexibility and bodyweight control. I don't know if the OP would find Ido Portal of any interest:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/portaldo/videos

 

 

 

 

Do you have an opinion on Elliot Hulse? If you haven't seen him, check out "Strengthcamp" channel on youtube. While he is a beefcake with his own gym, he appears very sincere in how he found his way, and also seems very in tune with Taoist philosophy...

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Is outer QiGong a Taoist version of physical yoga? I ask because I used to be a boxer and noticed that I was lightning fast until I stopped and got into bodybuilding/powerlifting for a good 5 years. While I gained very good strength and muscle mass I don't think it was worth the trade off to the physical attributes I had earlier. I'm getting back into the martial arts (boxing, kyokushin karate and judo) and would like to lose the added (mostly unnecessary) muscle mass, stiffness, bad muscle coordination and sluggishness that something as unnatural as weight lifting may bring. I'm getting back into calisthenics and thinking of looking into the Feldenkrais system to regain bodily and somatic awareness but desperately need my speed, reflexes and flexibility back. Is outer QiGong on par with yoga/pliates on helping me to tackle this issue? If so where can I learn more about it? If not, are there people here experienced in yoga/pilates who can show me how I can "normalize" my body again by reversing the effects of weight lifting and perhaps improving on my natural physical capabilities?

To answer your question, depending on the qigong (there are many, some very effective, some not so effective) it will heal the body and develop the energy body. This will bring somatic awareness.

 

It sounds like to me you may need Tai chi, Xing yi or Bagua, in that you are attempting to work with your soft tissues, coordination, body awareness and over all pliability. The internal martial arts are what it sounds like you are looking for. 

 

 

Personally, I disagree that weight lifting is the negative things you suggested above. Poor weight lifting is though. Weight lifting is what you make it.

 

Olympic lifts man.. that is where it's at if your liftin. Compound movements.

 

John

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I agree 100% with what John stated:  "Weight liftring is what you make it."

 

When I was in high school, the football coach set us up on a weightlifting program but spent very little time teaching us proper form and technique, so it resulted in creating more injuries than it prevented. 

 

There are a lot of ways to heal abused and misused tissue, and qigong is one, but I've got to say that I think rolling it out with a foam roller or massage ball is probably your best bet.  Kelly Starrett of mobilitywod.com also recommends "flossing" joints with big rubber bands.  I can't comment on that, as I don't do it, but it might be worth looking into. 

 

Combine that with your movement practices and I think you'll start to see results quickly.

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Do you have an opinion on Elliot Hulse? If you haven't seen him, check out "Strengthcamp" channel on youtube. While he is a beefcake with his own gym, he appears very sincere in how he found his way, and also seems very in tune with Taoist philosophy...

 

Haha! I just watched his new video, 10 seconds ago!

 

Enjoy watching him very much, actually. Got into him a year or so back, when still in Beijing and lifting at a gym. His outlook is refreshing, and many of his videos have been really helpful. Stuff on posture, stretching, confidence.. he introduced me to bioenergetics. Would love to train with him!

 

Yeah good suggestion for the OP to check out, perhaps.

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Edit: Pinch of salt before reading perhaps, im not offering an answer to the question, merely posing new ones. If OP want to do qigong then do, i've just been ruminating and the following keeps coming up:

 

Stretching and massages might help you get started at least?

 

It's easy to see all that is missing when one gets back into a thing and be frustrated over it, but clearing the path anew might give you deeper insights and new knowledge, if you see the path of return as a hurdle you might get stuck on the idealized image of the past experience? Start out slow with what you aim to do and let your body take its course through it, if you start mixing in yet another discipline to get back to something you know already you might get stuck in that as well right?

I'd recommend a kung fu approach to it: work on and analyze body structure and how it works for you (not the other way around), focus a lot on footwork drills and aim for relaxed explosive power and deep breathing.

 

Idk if this helps.

Edited by Rocky Lionmouth
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Haha! I just watched his new video, 10 seconds ago!

 

Enjoy watching him very much, actually. Got into him a year or so back, when still in Beijing and lifting at a gym. His outlook is refreshing, and many of his videos have been really helpful. Stuff on posture, stretching, confidence.. he introduced me to bioenergetics. Would love to train with him!

 

Yeah good suggestion for the OP to check out, perhaps.

He has a new video?!! Wow...I must take a look.

 

Yeah, he certainly does have a good outlook on form and this is where I see his self mastery coming in to play.

 

Bioenergetics, again just like you, I began this because of him as well. He did a dark video when he was depressed and gave us a 6 minute insight there and then...he took it down but you can still find it somewhere. But because of this, among other training in tai chi and yoga, he seems much better and holistically fit, not just muscle.

 

His "Campaign non-job" channel was good as well. I think it's his second video when he shared his journey to help people escape the rat race. That one really touched me...that guy has gone through all sorts of hell to shape the life that he has and I too am on that journey.

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He does. 2 short ones. I'm not sure in which direction he's going with it all..but I'll be watching.

 

I'm still working on the non-job thing too... yeah... :wacko:

 

Come to think of it, it was also through Elliott that I first heard of Ido Portal, whose videos I have been using as a basis for my latest workout regime..!

Edited by dustybeijing

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So, do you feel it is hard to find a worthwhile QiGong class? I'm in martial arts limbo right now, having completed 2/3 of the wing chun system and having very little internal cultivation emphasis.

 

I am just curious. No QiGong, but there are Tai Chi classes in my area (like most) but wonder how valid they will be considering my current daily cultivation seems to be going ok (in cooking, cleaning, preparing/drinking tea and seated meditation)

Yea, I'll be honest in saying that I am also partial to things that can be done by oneself, and for me I found the Stephen Chang work to be very much in line with that ideal. If I had to find a guide from a Yogic source that I felt could be done solo, then I would say Swami Rama's Exercise Without Movement. But overall, I am a bit partial towards things that are solo practiced, since classes often don't allow for the type of one-on-one interface that I feel is conducive to having a teacher in the first place. 

 

It's easy to see all that is missing when one gets back into a thing and be frustrated over it, but clearing the path anew might give you deeper insights and new knowledge, if you see the path of return as a hurdle you might get stuck on the idealized image of the past experience? Start out slow with what you aim to do and let your body take its course through it, if you start mixing in yet another discipline to get back to something you know already you might get stuck in that as well right?

 

I'm gonna have to agree with this, primarily because I was in this rut just trying to start doing something period. I find that a major problem with modern society is that there is TOO MUCH stuff that you can find that you may conceptually believe is helpful to you. There was a point in time where I had [downloaded] every Pavel Tsatsouline book, Charles Atlas, Mantak Chia, Brooks Kubik, Bihar Yoga... I just had every damn thing a person could read on physical fitness and on "spirituality". I had the idea that doing "everything" was gonna help me out, and in trying to do so, I realized something: I was doing nothing.

 

There's a reason why successful people are often seen focusing on a singular discipline, and that's because strength comes from focus. It is nice to see other people doing stuff and being inspirational on youtube, but those folks are doing things that are very personal for them. What they are doing is not so much as important as is the fact that they are actually doing it for themselves. 

 

Doing 10 different things is probably not the answer, and I wouldn't actually suggest trying to find the right fit for you with people on youtube. I've been there, and it's not the greatest idea unless you are 100% sure that this is gonna give you EVERYTHING you want to get out of a particular program. But in my opinion, this is a journey that you have to dictate yourself; and you'll find out way more doing what you can do now then searching for what you want to do. There is probably more than enough in kung fu to help you, if you got the right teacher. If your teacher sucks though, you can do anything and it will still be a pretty huge flop. But I would say that the best thing is focus and concentration on what you choose to do, and understanding that you can realize a great deal, if not everything you want from a holistic investment in what you choose to do. I mean, the OP's name is Oneironaut, and through learning deep, conscious dreaming, that laone could heal this problem. So it really is the investment in a work, not so much the work itself.

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Yea, I'll be honest in saying that I am also partial to things that can be done by oneself, and for me I found the Stephen Chang work to be very much in line with that ideal. If I had to find a guide from a Yogic source that I felt could be done solo, then I would say Swami Rama's Exercise Without Movement. But overall, I am a bit partial towards things that are solo practiced, since classes often don't allow for the type of one-on-one interface that I feel is conducive to having a teacher in the first place.

 

 

I'm gonna have to agree with this, primarily because I was in this rut just trying to start doing something period. I find that a major problem with modern society is that there is TOO MUCH stuff that you can find that you may conceptually believe is helpful to you. There was a point in time where I had [downloaded] every Pavel Tsatsouline book, Charles Atlas, Mantak Chia, Brooks Kubik, Bihar Yoga... I just had every damn thing a person could read on physical fitness and on "spirituality". I had the idea that doing "everything" was gonna help me out, and in trying to do so, I realized something: I was doing nothing.

 

There's a reason why successful people are often seen focusing on a singular discipline, and that's because strength comes from focus. It is nice to see other people doing stuff and being inspirational on youtube, but those folks are doing things that are very personal for them. What they are doing is not so much as important as is the fact that they are actually doing it for themselves.

 

Doing 10 different things is probably not the answer, and I wouldn't actually suggest trying to find the right fit for you with people on youtube. I've been there, and it's not the greatest idea unless you are 100% sure that this is gonna give you EVERYTHING you want to get out of a particular program. But in my opinion, this is a journey that you have to dictate yourself; and you'll find out way more doing what you can do now then searching for what you want to do. There is probably more than enough in kung fu to help you, if you got the right teacher. If your teacher sucks though, you can do anything and it will still be a pretty huge flop. But I would say that the best thing is focus and concentration on what you choose to do, and understanding that you can realize a great deal, if not everything you want from a holistic investment in what you choose to do. I mean, the OP's name is Oneironaut, and through learning deep, conscious dreaming, that laone could heal this problem. So it really is the investment in a work, not so much the work itself.

My friend's Dad told me a few konths ago that I am like an octopus. I have many arms reaching for a bit of everything.

 

His advice (career wise) was to settle and focus on one discipline.

 

Now this has been echoes, I do agree...I can no longer hold so many things.

 

Thanks for this.

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