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‘Qigong’ for good health

I AM the older twin boy, and the third youngest in a Hakka family of four children.

Voon Kan Kwee (right) with his master (right) and the grandmaster in Plentong, Johor. Pix by Peggy Loh

Wan Sifu
at ’qigong’ practice.

Voon Kan Kwee in Montreal, Canada, 1975.

  We lived at 84 Jalan Trus. At that time, our father owned a tin mine in Kota Tinggi. One of my fondest memories of living here was paying just 10 sen to watch black-and-white films Tarzan and Batman screened at the nearby Foon Yew Primary School.

  In those days, besides going to Lido Beach, we had very little to amuse ourselves with.

  I remember catching grasshoppers and tying them with string. I would let them fly and reel them in again and again. After the insects grew tired of their futile attempts to flee, I would release them.

  I was a student at English College (now Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar) and while my twin brother attended Chinese night classes in Foon Yew Primary School, I chose martial arts training with Kwong Siew Wui Koon, the Cantonese clan association in Jalan Siew Nam.

  At age 10, I began training in Hung Ga kung fu, a southern Chinese martial art that is synonymous with the legendary Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung.

  Around 1963, my father moved the family to Queenstown, Singapore. I started working as a tool room clerk with Metal Box, where I was later moved to the purchasing department.

  I went on to work with several other companies including General Electric, National Semiconductor and Litten Components in Singapore.

  I was married in 1969 and when my two daughters were aged 3 and 18-months-old, a cousin in Canada urged me to move to Alberta because there were good career prospects there.

  In May 1975, my family migrated to Canada and I found employment in Montreal with CAE Inc, the world’s leading supplier of civil flight simulators.

  In 1970, I started learning qigong a practice to cultivate and balance life energy (qi), especially for health. My second qigong master, Wong Lip Nam, was very strict and I remember how he used to wield a stick and raise his voice at any mistake.

  Today qigong practitioners observing me can tell that my master taught me well. I kept a close relationship with Master Wong when he was alive and remain in touch with his family in Johor Baru.

  My mother told me about a neighbour who, having lost his job as a bus conductor, had set up a stall to sell eggs in the market. One day he decided to sell his stall and to work instead as a spiritual medium.

  When I heard this, I decided that if I ever received any spiritual gifts, I would use it to help people through the practice of qigong and neiqong, a powerful system of qigong based on the principles of the inner flow of qi.

  As a practitioner of these martial arts, I wake up at 3.45am daily to pray, meditate and practise both the earts for one and a half hours.

  Qigong and neigong been used by practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for centuries and are now widely accepted in modern communities.

  I teach a few students in my own home nightly, and hold three-hour morning classes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in a community centre in Montreal for between 15 to 25 students aged 55 and above.

  In May, just before visiting Johor Baru, I was waling in a group in Beijing, China, towards the fourth tower of the Great Wall of China, when a lady suddenly collapsed from exhaustion.

  I responded to that emergency by reviving her with qigong. News about what happened spread like wildfire. By the time we returned to the coach, everyone knew about the lady’s recovery through the help of qigong and our coach driver was so impressed that he could not resist asking me to diagnose him!

  Every two to three years, I visit Johor Baru to promote qigong for good health.  The last time I was here in 2009, I did not have time to tour the city but this trip, I saw some interesting changes and developments in the city.

  Wherever I go, it is like a spiritual mission for me, and I always look for ways to share goodwill and help people with qigong.

  Voon Kan Kwee, 76,  better known as Wan Sifu, practises and promotes qigong and neigong for better health and wellbeing

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