Sifu Lind and Sifu Garry spent a number of years studying wing chun kung fu and practicing medical qigong.
Master Xu invited myself and my husband, Sifu Garry Baniecki, to study Muscle and Tendon Change Shaolin Qigong.
My spiritual journey was taking me further than I could have expected.
We would meet at his house at 7am every Tuesday morning for a three hour class.
This meant getting up at 5am, have breakfast, drive into the city to be there on time.
I would then spend all day at our city school teaching the 12pm, 3pm and 6pm classes.
At 8pm I would attend the medical qigong class, to interpret for Master Xu and return home around 10pm.
I’ve always known its never an easy task where knowledge is concerned.
The universe was going to make me earn it.
He had a tiny side yard next to his kitchen, which was probably about 8 foot wide and 25 foot long.
We would practice our cleaning methods, which were quite vocal, in this area for about 40 minutes.
His children would come out and practice with us, which would make us laugh.
The master would say that this was a good function.
We began our strengthening with 10 postures he referred to as Dat Mao Postures (Buddha Dharma).
We would always finish with some Tai Chi and sitting qigong, to create a balance between the hard and the soft.
Then we would go inside for medical theory.
Lee, his wife, was a wonderful cook and she loved to make us snacks to eat whilst we studied.
Pan fried spring onion pancakes, sweet pork buns and pork and chive dumplings were just some of the treats.
We soon decided to move the class to our school in Elizabeth Street, which was only around the corner.
Being winter it was great to have somewhere out of the elements. But alas, no more treats from Lee.
Now that we had room to move we were introduced to five animal moving qigong.
The practice was to bring out the primordial animals within us.
While cleaning the internal body through the lungs and the Liver.
Forty minutes of this type of practice is a real workout on its own.
It is great for both strengthening the internal and external body.
It was now time for us to start learning Shaolin postures.
The weeks went by, one could feel the body becoming stronger.
The energy within becoming stronger and our health becoming much stronger.
My muscles began to develop quite rapidly into long lean rope like muscles down my forearms and across my shoulders.
The training was certainly having an effect on my physical appearance.
Sifu Garry had managed to break a thick paving brick with his hand, much to the surprise of the Master.
Dr Xu decided to hold an open day to promote his clinic and Qigong.
There would be demonstrations of his power and a free clinical diagnosis from him personally.
He informed Garry and I that we would also be doing some demonstrations.
I was curious and a bit nervous to say the least.
I knew I was stronger, but I was not sure what sort of feats of wonder, I might be able to perform.
Each morning I pushed myself to the limits.
I would be sweating by the end of the practices, no matter how cold it was when I started.
Whatever the demo’s would be, I would be ready.
Training at home each day was that we were required to get up between 4am and 5am every morning.
Five minutes from home we have beautiful park land and a river to do our martial arts practise.
It was extremely chilly at 4am but it was freezing at 5pm, so we had chosen the 4am time slot.
It is a wonderful time to practice, there is no one out and about in the park at that time.
I am able to make as much noise during animal clean body practice, as I like.
Against a Southern sky, the stars are so glittery bright and the moon is golden yellow huge when it is up.
The moonlight gives the clouds a silvery lining as they float across the star studded sky.
The beautiful gum trees are silhouetted in the soft light giving them an eerie but magnificent presents.
Nature is the only thing out at this time; an Tawny Frog Mouthed owl watches us approvingly from the limb of a eucalyptus tree.
Another regular visitor, a thick furred red fox, circles around wondering if we might have something it may be able to steal.
There are a few possums disapprovingly scurrying and growling in the trees above, not happy with our presence at all.
When D day arrived (Demo day) I felt ready, but the nerves were flying.
We had practiced some of the demonstrations, but not to the extent that we were expected to perform that day.
I prepared myself and gathered my energy, Doctor Xu also prepared.
I stood strong and he began to punch into my abdomen, he was giving it his best shot and I was not flinching.
It did not move me or hurt me in any way.
My next demo was to have a number of people ride over me on a bicycle, five guys weighing in at 70 to 80 kilo each.
I had never practiced this before the actual day.
If we could have fitted a few more on the bike I could have handled the weight, no problems.
We then did a joint demonstration.
Garry and I laid on the ground, with a plank of wood resting on our abdomen creating a bridge between him and myself.
We would have 8 men stand on the plank, total weight being roughly 7 t0 800 kilo’s.
Bearing in mind I only weighed 49kgs. My final feat was to have 7 bricks smashed over my abdomen with a sledge hammer.
I did graduate to a slab of cement and seven bricks on a bed of nails.
Sifu Garry had the most impressive feat of laying in between two chairs.
Three slabs of cement and 5 bricks being smashed over his abdomen with the sledge hammer.
His body never moved, he was like a piece of iron, it was very impressive.
If you would like to view some photo’s please go to my face book page.
Sifu Linda Baniecki, scroll down through a few photo’s and you will find them.
Master Xu told us, that what he had achieved in 2 years would have taken someone in China 10 years to achieve.
We were both very proud of what we had accomplished.
There was no doubt in our mind about the training, it definitely worked.