candle training

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candle training

Postby Josh Young » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:49 am

How effective is candle training and what does it signify?
What is the range employed before it stops being easy?

Have you ever used incense smoke and seen how the blast of air travels?

what about delayed reactions, as in you are about a meter away and you strike, but nothing happens for about one whole second, then the wind arrives and the flame goes out. Is this a sign of bad technique or a low skill level, because the flame does not go out as the hand arrives, but instead goes out as the wind arrives.

Can some people shove the air so that they put the candle out that way, like pushing a column of air, instead of a wave of wind that must travel to the candle? this way the candle would be extinguished as the hand arrives, not moments later after the wind from the body or hand moving arrives.

What about extinguishing the flame by plucking the air, causing the flame to be blown towards the training student, instead of away? Can this be done?

How easy is the regular, palm strike toward the candle and it goes out move? Can't most anyone do this from 2-3 feet away? The first times I tried it, it was not challenging unless the (tea) candle was about 4+feet away. Now more than a year of training later, I do not seem to be any better or worse at this so called test.

what are the experiences of others regarding this test?
is it a bit silly after all?
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Postby clairvoyager » Thu May 13, 2010 6:12 am

As far as I know, you can use the candles in two major ways.

One, to focus your mind. Stare at it and don't get distracted. This is a sort of meditation. Once you can stare for many minutes, then put the candle into a swinging device and follow it as it moves. This will train you to keep your eyes on the opponent and maintain that focus. It can also help you to be more focused in your daily affairs.

Two, to focus your jin. For this, I would not train with the candle all the time but rather use it from time to time to check your progress in jin emitting. That is, putting off the candle is not the goal, it's just a feedback tool, you can invent your own too.
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Postby Josh Young » Thu May 13, 2010 10:21 am

I have used candle gazing successfully
but what I found is not worth telling
it can be seen, but seldom is by those who see it
it is found in paintings of candles, and of saints
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Re: candle training

Postby aromaworks » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:36 pm

There are three candle training techniques that I know about. The first one is to stare at a candle for a while in a darkened room. Does this make everyone's eyes start to produce tears, or is it just me? And is this bad for you? Then there's the one where you try to put out a candle with a punch about five inches from the candle. If anyone has any tips on how to do this I'd like to hear, because it seems impossible to me. Then there's the one where you try to direct your chi through your fingers and make a candle move. Does anyone know of any other techniques, or have advice on how to practice these techniques better?

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Re: candle training

Postby Josh Young » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:36 am

Gazing, nope no tears for me.
This exercise teaches about aura and focus.

Punching candles out, not really hard from a couple of feet away, depending on the type of candle, but you have to use a flowing technique with crisp energy to make it easy.

As for the last one, the mind does it, so while the flame moves in accord to the will the real work is done with the mind and not the fingers. It is also important when working on this that one makes sure to breath away from the candle so that the breath does not influence the dance of the flame.

I do not know why someone would do any of these for their own sake. If you want the skills they build that is another story, but what for?

Seeing auras doesn't seem to be useful for most people who do it, other than they can laugh at the new agers when whey describe them wrong.

Punching out candles won't teach good punching skills by itself but can fit into a training regime where it helps.

Making the flame move is the most interesting exercise. What it teaches is the power of the mind and body reacts to will. This one is perhaps the most useful in terms of martial arts. It teaches the effects of intent, but one must also learn to read the intent of others and it helps to know how intent works first hand to understand it in others. Will is everything.

At least these are my thoughts on the topic.
I am no expert, but i have worked with Candles a great deal.
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Re: candle training

Postby chh » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:11 pm

I think the candle training (punching) is especially informative to me about the relationship between relaxation and good fa jin. I can only reliably get the flame to go out if my waist, torso, and arms are really relaxed. As I understand it, this is the only way the whipping energy will come out.

The more times I fail to put it out, the more frustrated I want to get, and the more I am forced to attend to relaxing the mind and then the body. This has turned out to be a really productive experience, and I try to go back to that feeling when practicing other fa jin exercises.

It was cool to see a post on this topic right now since I just started working on candle training.

Edit: I forgot part of what I had initially wanted to say. Josh, what I've heard from others is that training jin with a candle usually involves the situation you described in which it's a wave of air returning to the practitioner that puts the candle out. Personally, I get the impression that it's the disturbance in both directions that does it, and it seems that if you're using a whipping energy you'll always get that. I've never thought about trying to get a column of air to move one direction only- I'm not sure it's possible with the kinds of strikes I'm used to practicing. I'm interested to see what other posters have to say.
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Re: candle training

Postby pete5770 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:01 pm

Josh Young wrote:Gazing, nope no tears for me.


Punching candles out, not really hard from a couple of feet away, depending on the type of candle, but you have to use a flowing technique with crisp energy to make it easy.

I do not know why someone would do any of these for their own sake. If you want the skills they build that is another story, but what for?

Punching out candles won't teach good punching skills by itself but can fit into a training regime where it helps.



Couldn't agree more. Other than being a party trick or winning a beer at the local bar I don't see any purpose. I was watching a Karate class, some years back, with 8 to 12 year old kids who were learning to break boards. I mentioned to the instructor that they sure did enjoy busting up all that wood. He said "yeah, I've tried to tell them that it won't do any good unless they get in a fight with a lumber yard, but they love it none the less". Same sort of idea, I guess. :? :?
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