The book covers “external” (WAI) and “internal” (NEI) training methods practiced by traditional schools of the “Shaolin family” (SHAOLIN PAI). The following proverb has been passed down from generation to generation of people who were occupied in martial arts: “Strength can not overcome style, style can not overcome mastery.” There is one more saying: “Style is the flesh of mastery, mastery (GONG FU) is the skeleton of style.” All this stresses paramount importance of training in the “internal mastery” (GONG FU).
Now many exercises presented in the book are almost lost and practiced by very few people. However, earlier they were an integral part of training in traditional schools of Chinese martial arts. Those and similar training methods allowed masters of the past to reach staggering results. Now their skills seem to us supernatural and unattainable. For instance, FEI YANG ZOU BI – “Flying up to a roof ridge and run up the wall”, this skill belongs to the section QING GONG – “Mastery of Lightness”. Or DAO PI FU KAN ER BUNG EN RU - “Swords cut, axes slash but can not harm”, this skill is from the section YING GONG – “Mastery of Hardness”. But those and similar abilities are based on following proper methods, diligence and persistence. That is the main (and only) secret and “no mysticism at all”, as the author writes.
The book includes the preface and five chapters. The first chapter covers general aspects of training “internal” and external” mastery. Then requirements to the practice NEI GONG and two exercises for regulation of QI are given. Additionally, there are several exercises from WAI GONG for developing the ability to hit powerfully and to the mark as well as for hardening and strengthening of limbs. The whole second chapter covers YING GONG – “Mastery of Hardness”. It describes a method for developing the ability to sustain cold-steel blows. The third chapter covers QING GONG – “Mastery of Lightness”. A methods of acquiring the ability to run up the wall, walk on a rope, quickly and easily move on the tops of poles is described. The fourth chapter covers the art MEI HUA ZHANG – “Poles of plum blossom” proper. It contains 15 exercises for developing the exactness and speed of motion and 9 exercises for developing the technique of continuous arm and leg blows at five poles. The fifth chapter describes QI GONG of “Dragon and Tiger”. That practice results in better QI circulation, strengthening the body and internal organs, improving eyesight.