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Shen Martial Arts Web Journal on Thoughts, Experiences, Tips, Ideas and just about anything relating to the lifelong practice of Chinese Kung Fu - Your comments are welcome!
Home | Kung Fu Babble

Posted by Shen     2 Comments Monday, May 29, 2006
The Best Dit Da Jow Part 3 - Tips for Selecting the Best Dit Da Jow for Your Needs

This is part 3 of this series addressing the all too common question: What is the best dit da jow? Parts 1 and 2 can be found below on earlier posts. As always, you comments are very welcome. Now, on with the topic at hand.

So, what is the answer to our quest for the best Dit Da Jow? If there is no one best formula, than what should one do? If you have been following the earlier installments it will be apparent by now that there is not a single formulation that is the best for everyone's needs but that does not mean that you should not look for specific elements to ensure you get the best quality Dit Da jow possible. Below are some tips to help you on your search:

  1. Look for a Dit Da Jow Formula that addresses your specific needs. Are you training hard and want to heal bruises and eliminate pain? Or perhaps you pulled a leg muscle playing racquetball. You may be having extreme sharp pain in your neck and shoulders or want to heal a hairline fracture on your foot. Determining what it is you want from the Dit Da Jow will help you look for and find the correct Dit Da Jow formula for your needs. And while general purpose formulas will work on a variety of needs, there are formulas for very specific needs that will work better.
  2. Dit Da Jow must be made from high grade herbs. The key to an effective Dit Da Jow lies in the quality of the herbs it is made from. Many formulas being offered up for sale are made with lesser quality herbs which are much cheaper than high grade herbs. The potency of the resulting Dit Da Jow is much lower. Still cheaper are herbs that are past their prime and this will result in even weaker, less effective Dit Da Jow.
  3. Darkeness, Murkiness or Sediment are NOT reliable indicators of High Quality Dit Da Jow. The Darkness or coloration of Dit Da Jow is a function of the type of herbs used and it is easy to manipulate color just by adding herbs that make the liquid darker. Floating herbal matter and amount of sediment are also easily manufactured simply by grinding the herbs into a powder prior to aging the Dit Da Jow. In fact, this is a common trick used by those selling improperly aged Dit Da Jow. It so happens that some of the best Dit Da Jow will be fairly clear, smooth and with little or no sediment. These are usually filtered prior to bottling so what you get is only the purest herbal essence as extracted by the alcohol base. Filtered Dit Da Jows are absrobed by the skin at a faster rate and are much less likely to cause a rash or upset the skin.
  4. Dit Da Jow Must Be Aged Properly. Dit Da Jow effectiveness increases with aging, and the longer it is aged, the better it will be. Aging occurs best at the batch level, when the herbs and alcohol are mixed and sealed. Some will say that Jow continues to age once it is bottled for use. This is incorrect and and excuse to sell you improperly aged Dit Da Jow. The extraction of herbal constituents takes place when the correct quantity of herbs is aged in the correct amount of alcohol medium. Period.
  5. The Bottle Makes a Difference. There are those who claim that using plastic bottles is ok. Well, it is NOT. While plastic is fine for other types of liquids and even for other types of liniments and formulations it is not good for storing or containing Dit Da Jow. Anyone with experience making Dit Da Jow will tell you that the herbal tincture will begin to decompose the plastic, almost melting it. The decomposed plastic will mix with the Dit Da Jow and will change its characteristics. You usually cannot see this as it happens on the inside of the bottle, but it happens and it is not good for the Dit Da Jow nor is it good for you. Dit Da Jow must be contained in glass. Dark, tinted glass is better to limit exposure to light. Bottles should be first use (not resused), and preferably be of food grade to ensure cleanliness. The bottles must seal out air completely. So you can see that the lowly bottle does play a key role.
  6. The Dit Da Jow Formulation must be from an Authentic Source. An authentic source can be a Certified Chinese Herbalist, or a more traditional source such as an ancient Chinese Herbal Text or a traditional formulation kept within a Martial heritage and passed on to students or members of that heritage. The key is that the formulation follow accepted formulation methods based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Beware of newer formulas or formulas that claim to have modern components or a mixture of eastern and western herbs. While they may be excellent, they are typically hodpoges of herbs thrown together by someone who just finished reading a book on herbs. Follow the tried and proven. If the formula has been around and in use by a particular group for a long time, you will probably experience good results. It is not that new formulas cannot be good or that western herbs will not work, but rather that there are multitudes of people with little knowledge or experience making up formulas and claiming to have the best ever. Be safe and don't waste your time and money. Stay with the tried and proven.

The best way to ensure that the above points are covered and that you are getting the best formula possible is this: Find a reputable source, someone who is well known, of high reputation, that offers a wide range of formulas instead of one silver bullet. Someone who can answer your questions and who is willing to take the time to provide information, background and reasoning behind their recommendations. The biggest or largest organization may not be the best place to go. Use the Chinese restaurant criteria, small places do have great food and if the Chinese eat there, it must be good. In the case of Dit Da Jow, follow the line of martial artists and see whom they are getting their Dit Da Jow from. Experiment with various sources, examine their offerings, see how they stand behind they product and most of all, if their stuff works.

That is it, no magic, no silver bullets, just rational logical smart shopping and trial and error in a sea of offerings, all claiming to be the best. Good Luck!

Shown in the picture is the San Bao "3 Treasures" Healing Liniment. This liniment is specially geared for deep injuries and is particularly efffective for upper body injuries, pains or soreness such as of the shoulders , neck, upper back, etc. This formula can be found in ready to use form or in herbal pack ready to make form at http://www.shenmartialarts.com/smajow.html.


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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Sunday, May 28, 2006
Chinese Patent Herbs - Healthy Brain Pills
Over the course of the last 2 years, more and more people have been contacting me, asking questions and requesting information about Chinese Patent Medicines. So, I have decided to feature information about some of the most useful and beneficial Chinese herbal patents, in hopes that this will help some of you out in cyberspace who are searching for alternative supplements to help you feel well, and who are taking a more active role and responsibility for your health. So, I will start with one of my favorites, Jian Nao Wan - "Healthy Brain Pills".

There are many benefits to this wonderful herbal formulation. Simply stated, these pills improve mental function, increase the flow of internal energy to the brain, and help to optimize the replenishing effects of sleep.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terms, this formula tonifies the heart and liver blood, calms the Shen (heart/spirit) and sedates liver fire. Healthy Brain pills are said to Nourish the Heart, Tranquilize the Spirit (Shen), and Benefit Wisdom.

As a remedy this is used for sleeplessness, agitation, mental exhaustion, dizziness, poor memory, fatigue, insomnia with nightmares, palpitations and restlessness. It is also known to be very effective for vertigo and tinnitus (ringing of the ears).

Jian Nao Wan is widely used in the orient where there is a long history of effective results from its use. So, if you are feeling stressed, uneasy, nervous and/or irritable which basically describes almost everyone that I know, this is an excellent formula. When you need the most of your mental abilities such as when making difficult decisions, or solving tough problems, this is an excellent aid. For those working on mental improvement, learning, meditation, this is a wonderful supplement and tonic. Finally, this is widely used a preventive against memory loss problems associated with age (this herbal formula is actively being tested for the prevention and reversal of alzhymer's disease).

Let's face it, most of us live with daily mental stress and worry. Multitasking, information overload, rising costs, and the many other constant demands on our time and attention result in constant depletion of our mental energy. Add to that the effects of poor diet and exercise which dimish the health of the tiny artiries that feed our brain and you can literally say that your life is driving you 'crazy".

Healthy Brain pills are both a tonic and a medicine. As a tonic, they can help maintain and increase the health and capacity of the brain. As a medicine, this formula may help regain some of the ground lost to years of mental fatigue.

The original ancient formula contained cinnabar as one of its components. The current version(s) formula does not contain cinnabar and is made up of 100% plant ingredients making it safe for regular and continuous use as a supplement.

You owe it to yourself to give this great chinese herbal patent medicine.

Ingredients: Semen Ziziphi Spinosae, Radix Angelica Sinesis, Rhizoma Dioscorae, Herba Cistanches, Fructus Cistanches, Fructus Lycii, Fructus Schisandrae, Fructus Alpiniae Oxyphyllae, Succinum, Concretio Silicea Bambusae, Dens Draconis, Rhizoma Anemones Altaicae, Rhizoma Gastrodiae, Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Ginseng, Semen Botae.

Find Healthy Brain Pills at: http://www.shenmartialarts.com/brainpills.html

Note: None of the statements made here are to considered medical advice. The information provided here is observational in nature and is based on the experiences of a multitude of users. No claims or guarantees are being made. All responsibility lies with the user.

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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Friday, May 19, 2006
The Best Dit Da Jow - Part Two (Again)
This is a re-issue of part 2 of a series of 3 posts addressing the so often heard question and the endless quest for "What is the Best Dit Da Jow". This picks up where the last posting left of. Remember, your comments are welcome so let me hear from you. OK, So the response was less than overwhelming, but I have to assume someone is reading this and will now end the gnawing suspense I left you with. Drum roll please - THE BEST DIT DA JOW IS ...... There is none. There is no one formula that is best for everyone or for every type of use. That is why there are many different formulas and different approaches used in the combination of herbs, number of herbs, Alcohol type, mixing, making, storage, aging, etc. Over time, like the martial arts themselves, different variations have been developed from many particular viewpoints of what each believes to be "the best" or better than the others. And being that there are so many herbs in the Chinese Pharmacoupia, there are many different combinations that will lead to a good formula that exhibits good results. But what are good results? Well, what is it that you are looking for? What results are you seeking? In Martial Arts, this usually means a distinction between 2 categories: Healing or Conditioning. Healing jows are those that have warmer formulations, increasing blood circulation and dispersing congealed blood. These are the formulas that clear up those nasty training bruises like magic, some much better than others. Conditioning jows are the Iron Palm formulas which are cooling in nature, disperse stagnation, and mobilize Chi. These are the formulas used for repetitive striking, such as done in Iron Palm training, or in blow resistance exercises like 3 star, shin star, roller bar, or in OkinawanMartial arts, Makiwara training. The conditioning formulas will prevent damage, avoid swelling, and dramatically increase the resistance and strength of the areas being conditioned. It would be nice if these two categories were discrete and distinct but that is not the case. First, there are formulas that have elements of both, a category of all purpose formulas, if you will. That is not too bad, a formula that takes care of healing and conditioning? More combinience. Yes but... there are so many people marketing Dit Da Jow these days and invariably there are formulas being sold as healing that are not, and others being sold as Iron Palm formulas that are not. In other words, these broad categories are being mixed and the terms are being used interchangeably. This further muddies the waters. But that's not all. No one said that there were only 3 types(Healing, Conditioning, General Purpose). In fact there are many more. There are formulas for healing deep tissue, formulas for healing muscle tears, formulas for fractured bones. There are formulas that heal conditions located in the upper body and others for lower body. There are specific formulas for the shoulders, for the knees, for the waist. And then there are those for internal, soft tissue bruising. And we can go on and on. So, in our search for the best Dit Da Jow, the first question that must be asked is: for what purpose? Stated differently, What do you want it for? And with that I will end todays installment, leaving you all on pins and needles, anxiously waiting for the next. Pictured is Grandmaster Ark Y. Wong's famous Iron Palm Dit Da Jow (5 Family / 5 Animal Style). See this and the many other formulas available through Shen Martial Arts at http://www.shenmartialarts.com/arkyeuyjow.html.

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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Thursday, May 18, 2006
The Best Dit Da Jow - Not Quite That Simple (Again)

This is a re-issue of a posting I made on the first Kung Fu Babble. In fact, it is a series of 3 posts addressing the so often heard question and the endless quest for "The Best Dit Da Jow". Remember, your comments are welcome so let me hear from you.

This morning, while reviewing e-mails, I received one with a very common question: Which one of the Dit Da Jow's that you offer is the best? The answer: "It is not that simple", a close cousin to "It all depends". Unfortunately, most folks do not want to hear this, so for those that want the long version, this is my attempt at a giving this question the response that it deserves.There a literally hundreds of different formulations for Dit Da Jow. Thousands if you count the ones that are just slight modifications of a true traditional formula. Why so many? Let me ask an unrelated, yet similar question to help get us all to the same frame of mind... "Why are there so many different car brands, makes, models and types?". Here is one that is closer to home: "Why are there so many different styles of Kung Fu?". Let's maul on this for a bit, let the old noodle get a good grip on this.In fact, here is what we will do. I will end this entry for now giving you time to ponder this dilemma, determine if these are just trick questions (designed to muddle the issue and keep the best Dit Da Jow secret), and to send in your comments, and suggestions. Socratic method at its best.

Pictured is the latest addition to Shen Martial Art's selection of authentic, traditional Dit Da Jow formulas, Grandmaster Brendan Lai's 7 Star Praying Mantis formula. See this and the many other formulas available through Shen Martial Arts at http://www.shenmartialarts.com/smajow.html.

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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Kung Fu's Deep Knowledge - Still Reserved for the Few

There are those that spent many years training in the martial arts but that never sought out the deeper aspects of their discipline, style or tradition. One can spend many decades without ever graduating from movement to deeper understanding.

In Kung Fu, each style has deep wisdom that is passed on only to a select few and to those that truly seek more than the outer. This is true Internal training, seeking the deepests aspects of your art, internalizing the art. This internal sphere of knowledge is where the "secrets" lie. A better description than secrets would be proprietary information, knowledge that is reserved for a few that deserve it, earn it and that can preserve and expand it.

This by the way is true of any field of study, discipline, art, science, sport, etc. There are stories of pitchers only passing on their best personal pitch technique to their son, mathematicians working on a problem for decades and giving their research and work to a selected succesor or a craftsman passing on his special skill to an apprentice. The key to this transmission is not just the desire of the student/aprentice/disciple, but also their ability to comprehend the knowledge and their respect for the knowledge received.
There are those that say there aren't any secrets. These are usually the people that never had a peek inside, that have stayed on the outside so long that they can't imagine there is more. Sometimes these people stumble on inner knowledge, but without the correct mindset, and prior preparation, it won't reveal itself to them.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that years of training sometimes yield arrogance instead of understanding, and what the scholar is blind to is sometimes revelead to a babe (babe = unpretentious, humble, eager to learn, good heart, right intentions, desire to know).

Concentration, Spirit, Aura
Postures, Waist strength, Stances
Hardness can not withstand extreme softness
Softness can not withstand extreme hardness
Nothing is impenetrable
Only speed is impenetrable
Power is at mind (thought)
Internal (jing) comes from “den ten” (dan tien)

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Posted by Shen     5 Comments Monday, May 15, 2006
GrandMaster Wong Ark Yuey's American Seal
The seal used by GM Wong on student certificates and on all of his truly important documents to confirm authenticity can now be seen again. GM Seming Ma, grandson of GM Wong and inheritor of the Ng Ga Kuen(TM) system of kung fu has decided to use the original seal to confirm authenticity of materials and products associated with the style of kung fu. The seal will now be seen on GM Wong's original books, photos, posters, manuals and more. (visit http://www.shenmartialarts.com/arkprod.html)

This seal is full of history and nostalgia and is of importance to non-chinese Kung Fu practioners all across the world. In the late 50's GM Wong began teaching non-chinese his system of kung fu, being the first to do so. His Wah Que studio was the first to openly accept students of all races. Wah Que roughly means "overseas" kung fu studio perhaps hinting to his vision of teaching non-chinese or maybe just pointing to its location outside of China. While most Chinese masters use a chinese "chop" or ink stone as their symbol or signature, GM Wong chose a seal with an American eagle and english words for the definitive mark of his school. And while GM Wong also used a traditional seal and Chinese characters on certificates and other important documents, it was the english seal that denoted the school. The seal has some characteristic errors from missing words to not using the address of the school. However, this all adds to its unique quality and to its special mystique.

GM Ark Y. Wong personally touched the lives of many and indirectly influenced that of thousands. Many claim to have had a special relationship with the old master... Many more still never had the chance to meet him and only imagine what it would have been like. For those that did have the privilige and for those of us that only wish we had, GM Seming Ma has shared with us a great gift that only he could have and that most of us would not have otherwise ever seen. GM Wong's seal is now back in use by choice of his heir to continue as a symbol of authenticity and tradition.

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Posted by Shen     5 Comments Wednesday, May 10, 2006
In Memory of Grandmaster Brendan Lai
I first visited Brendan Lai's martial arts supply store in the early 90's. It was all that I would ever imagine a martial arts supply shop to be. It was not particularly clean or organized. If it had been, it would have lost something. It was just like it should be, rough, a bit cramped, with many nooks and corners ready to be explored. To a martial artist, specially a kung fu enthusiast, it was an almost magical place. Every time I visited, I would spend hours admiring and examining their many unique items, and each time I would find wonderful new things. I visited as often as I could and after a while, my face became familiar to Master Lai and his wife. These visits inspired the idea of Shen Martial Arts. One day, Master Lai asked me about my training and from then on he made me feel like I was part of his circle of friends. That first talk lasted hours and Master Lai even took me to the back area of the shop, the mysterious back room. There we practiced techniques and specially Chin Na which Master Lai was an expert in. He was loud and excitable, full of enthusiasm for kung fu. My wife was in the front and thought we were fighting, but after some time, we came out smiling, shaking hands and exchanging telephone numbers. I cannot say I was close to Grandmaster Brendan Lai, as I only new him for a short few years and saw him a few times a year. Yet he made me feel like I was part of his family, his kung fu family. His excitement and love of kung fu were contagious. I am a better person from the little time I spent with him. His memory and his energy live on.

Poem
Spirit, Posture, Body, and Mind
Spirit should be like an eagle swooping down to catch a rabbit,
Posture should resemble a cat ready to pounce on a mouse,
The waist should be as flexible as a dragon,
The arms should have the strength of a tiger,
Footwork of the monkey (quick and agile), Heart of the fox (cunning and strategic),
Hands of the praying mantis (lightning speed).
From: Praying Mantis Martial Arts Institute,
20th Anniversary, 1982-2002, Commemorative Issue,
New York, NY, USA, 2002.

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Posted by Shen     3 Comments Thursday, May 4, 2006
Challenge The Impossible!

New York Times: May 6,1933
LI CHING-YUN DEAD; GAVE HIS AGE AS 197.
Inquiry Put Age At 256.

“Keep a Quiet Heart, Sit Like a Tortoise, Sleep Like a Dog,” His Advice for a Long Life.

Peiping, May 5 – Li Ching-Yun, a resident of Kaihsien, in the Province of Szechwan, who contended that he was one of the world’s oldest men and said he was born in 1736 – which would make him 197 years old – died today.

A Chinese dispatch from Chungking telling of Mr. Li’s death said he attributed his longevity to peace of mind and that it was his belief every one could live at least a century by attaining inward calm.

Compared with estimates of Li Ching-yun’s age in previous reports from China the above dispatch is conservative. In 1930 it was said Professor Wu Chung-chien, dean of the department of Education in Minkuo University, had found records showing Li was born in 1677 and that Imperial Chinese Government congratulated him on his 150th and 200th birthdays.

A correspondent of The New York Times wrote in 1928 that many of the oldest men in Li’s neighborhood asserted their grandfathers knew him as boys and that he was then a grown man.

According to the generally accepted tales told in his province. Li was able to read and write as a child, and by his tenth birthday had traveled in Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria gathering herbs. For the first hundred years he continued at this occupation. Then he switched to selling herbs gathered by others.

Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, took Li into his house to learn the secret of living to 250. Another pupil said Li told him to “keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”

According to one version of Li’s married life he had buried away twenty-three wives and was living with his twenty-four, a woman of ’60.’ Another account, which in 1928 credited him with 180 living descendents, comprising eleven generations, recorded only fourteen marriages. This second authority said his eyesight was good; also, that the finger nails of his right hand were very long, and “long” for a Chinese might mean longer than any finger nails ever dreamed of in the United States.

One statement of The Times correspondent which probably caused skeptical readers to believe Li was born more recently that 1677, was that “many who have seen him recently declare that his facial appearance is no different from that of persons two centuries his junior.”

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given, than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare.
Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is nothing.

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Posted by Shen     2 Comments Thursday, May 4, 2006
The Little Things - 3:00 am Inspiration

Ok, So this is not exactly Kung Fu, but work with me a little and you can see how your training and practice fits in. These thoughts came to me at around 3:00am and I just had to put pen to paper. This happens to me from time to time. So, stay with me and if this makes sense, great. If not, thanks for taking time to read it.

It’s the little things….

They say it’s the little things that count
So why do we long for the big things?
Little things happen every moment, every day
And add up to everything that is great and worthy
In this life

We are on this journey where every step is a lesson,
And each tells a story, a million stories of a life well lived,
Yet we seek to forgo the steps and leap to our end destination,
whatever it may be
Not realizing that the destination is determined while on the way

Everything Matters…
Every decision is meaningful,
Every act chiseled in the Heavenly Tablet
Every thought carved in the Cosmic Ether
And every word inked into the Book of Life

It is said that life is but a play
And as actors we must play our part well
But our role is not predetermined,
We do have a choice
To be a Hero or a Villain,
A King or a Pauper
A glorious Redwood or a Thorny Bush

It is the little things that make us who we are
And shape us daily,
Action by action, Word by Word, Thought by Thought

A kind word, a simple smile, a good morning to a passerby,
A heartfelt word of encouragement to someone in need,
A white lie, an exaggeration, a criticism behind your brother’s back,
A secret wish for someone’s lack of success….

Be self true and understand your heart
Lest you fool yourself by good deeds but dark thoughts
It is better to be a good Villain that to be a false Samaritan
Who helps others only for self gain ….
This is a great trap where many fall

Can’t we see the truth before our eyes?
That little things beget great things
And little things are the fabric of existence

So mind the little things, as they will take care of you
As it is the little things done and the small steps taken
Moment to moment, Breath to breath,
Thought to thought, and Day to day
That lead to all things great

Thus is the unguarded secret, in front of us all
It’s the little things that count……….


By Mario Figueroa 12/13/05

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Posted by Shen     4 Comments Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Ho Family Dit Da Jow - A blend of Chinese and American Indian Herbology

Dit Da Medicine and Chinese herbology are fascinating fields of study and have long been of great interest to me. To this end, some time back I embarked in formal study with the Institute of Chinese Herbology along with my hands on mentoring by Master J. Wong, a highly skilled and very well respected traditional herbologist. Even after years of hard work, I find that I am but a novice in a field that is so rich and deep that a whole lifetime would not suffice. I am continously awed by the knowledge and experience of collegues and fellow martial artists and am thankful for their willingness to share what they have learned. My friend, Mike Biggie is one such person.

Mike is a long time practitioner of Chinese Kung Fu. He teaches 7 star praying mantis and has much knowldege of Choy Li Fut and a deep interest in the Ng Ga Kuen system of Great Grandmaster Ark Y. Wong. Mike refuses to accept the title of Sifu, which is a testament to his humble nature and his ongoing committment to learning. Over the years and through his Kung Fu training, Mike has amassed a great deal of knowledge about Chinese Herbs, particularly Dit Da Jow. The Ho Family formula is Mike's personal flagship formula and one that has received accolades from anyone who has had the fortune of being able to try it.

The Ho Family formula is based on a the Shao Lin Die Da Shen Yan Liang Fan or"Young Forest Striking Divinely Proven Effective Prescription". This traditional formula was brought over to America by Chinese immigrant railroad laborers in the 1800's. The Ho family formula differs from the original in a number of ingredients. The reason is that certain Chinese herbs were at some point un- available here. This is where the Ho family formula is unique. Chinese herbologists had observed that the indigenous people of America practiced a similar herbology with herbs that were found locally. Through research and probably some trial and error, and exchange with native americans, Chinese herbologists learned to use some of the western herbs as replacements for their Chinese counterparts. In fact, some of the resulting formulas proved even more effective than the originals. The Ho Family Dit Da Jow is such a formula, and the only one known to date to have this blend of Chinese and Native American ingredients.

The formula survived in the San Francisco area and was available through the late 1980's and early 1990's from the Great China Art Company. It was in wide use by Pa Kua (Ba Gua) practitioners in the Bay Area. After that, the formula was no longer openly available and virtually disappeared.

Mike Biggie was given the formula as a gift and was able to continue filling it but only at San Francisco's Chan Ning Kong (Peter Chang) through the 1990's. Since that time, the herbs have been harder and harder to obtain, many having to be ordered individually from separate sources around the world.

Over the years, Mike has gotten to know this formula intimately and has had the opportunity to research and experiment with the formulation. Using his background and also his knowledge of Michael Tierra's planetary herbology teachings, he added a single herb to the Ho Family prescription. This increased the strength of the Ho Family formula and its blood and chi circulating characteristics.

There has been much written about "Mike Biggie's Dit Da Jow" on internent forums and discussion groups. By and large, everyone agrees that his is one of the best, if not THE best all around dit da jow formula available. It is an excellent all around healing formula and is very effective for strengthening and conditioning. It has shown a special affinity for tendon injuries and for tendonitis and thus will help with heavy flexibility training. And while this is not an Iron Palm formula, many advanced practitioners report great results from using this formula for their Iron skills training.

The Ho family formula has a rich history dating back to the days of the railroad construction and to Shaolin before that. Thanks to friend and collegue Mike Biggie, it is still available. For more information post a comment here or you email
shenmartialarts@cox.net referencing Ho Family Dit Da Jow. This formula can also be found at www.shenmartialarts.com.

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