Newly popular in the Western world, the Chinese art of feng shui has a history of over 4,000 years China. Literally translated, feng shui means wind and water, because in ancient times if the flow of water and wind were both in the correct direction and intensity the annual harvest was always fruitful.
A good example of the wind and water principle is, if a salt sea is next to land and the wind blows salt over any part of land, that salted land does not produce good crops. If wind blows too strong it destroys plants. If there isn’t enough water, the land won’t grow anything and if there is too much water, it floods and destroys crops.
Feng Shui Today
Feng shui has become so popular that feng shui masters even govern the locations and patterns of shopping malls. People buying houses routinely employ a feng shui adept to approve and decorate their new residences.
So, why not feng shui for martial arts schools? After all, two of the purposes of feng shui are to promote prosperity and safety to those within the building.
Tai chi and choy li fu kung-fu grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong has been studying from a notable Chinese feng shui master for the past three years and has applied feng shui principles to his own martial arts schools.
Throughout his life he has studied martial arts, Chinese medicine and now feng shui. We use feng shui to insure that students are safe practicing in the school and that the business is prosperous. Our monthly receipts have jumped dramatically since implementing good feng shui, Wong explains.
Wong adds that today the five main elements of feng shui are fresh air, sunlight, magnetic energy, colors and positions or locations. A room with not enough sunlight and fresh air produces disease, he notes. Magnetic energy, once four
FINDING A FENG SHUI MASTER Finding a competent feng shui master is not unlike looking for the right doctor. The best way is by referral from somebody who has had good results. Discovering a feng shui master is not like shopping for a kung-fu school or teacher, where you can watch a class. There is no degree or ranking or certificates from a college or school to prove the master’s background or ability. However, there are plenty of phonies out there. Trust someone who has seen the positive results of a feng shui master.
The most common cure for bad front door feng shui is to a hang a mirror (usually a paqua mirror) at the front door. The feng shui master determines the correct mirror strength. If a mirror is too strong it may deflect all bad energy, but can also deflect any beneficial energy or luck. Think of the feng shui master as a house or building doctor. He is the one who knows the correct amount of feng shui medicine to cure the problem.
For bad front door energy at a martial arts school, the feng shui master might recommend placing a traditional weapon near the front door to reverse the bad energy.
The School Site
As for the site itself, Wong notes that it is good feng shui to find a building standing neither too tall or too small between the buildings around it. A building that is too tall (called crane standing among the chickens) doesn’t fit the surrounding group of buildings and people stay away from you. If you are in a tiny building that stands next to regular-sized structures, it appears that you are a tight and petty person without the self-confidence and ability to do a big job.
Good feng shui is a building on the left of yours that is a little taller and a building on the right that is slightly smaller. Left and right are determined as you are standing in the front door looking out.
The building to your left represents a green dragon, which means lucky or noble and someone who helps you or brings support. The building on the right side is the white tiger, or troublemaker’s side.
Business Sign The color of your business sign is very important and depends on the direction your front door faces, Wong says. While many martial arts school owners like to use yellow or red as the primary background for their sign, that is good only if your school faces south. South represents the element fire. Red is a fire color. Yellow is an earth color. A red sign background that faces south is good because red and fire are brothers. If the sign is yellow, designating earth, and faces south it is still good feng shui. According to feng shui principles, fire becomes ash and then earth. Fire helps earth grow better crops, therefore one complements the other. Blue or black sign backgrounds are bad feng shui, because those are water colors and water defeats fire. If your sign faces east, yellow is a bad color to use as the background color. East represents wood or trees. Wood or trees penetrate earth with their roots, so opposes earth, making yellow (earth) a bad color for signs facing east. However, red is all right as the sign’s background, because wood becomes fire. A sign painted any green tone is good feng shui for a building that faces east. Blue or black backgrounds are also good, because they are watercolors and water grows trees or wood. One of the worst colors for a sigrf facing east is white, because white or anything close to a white tone represents metal and metal chops wood.
Since north represents water with the colors blue and black, either color is a good background col&Yfor signs facing north. White, the color representing metal, is also a good color for north-facing signs because metal turns into liquid or water. Water represents fortune or wealdi.
However, red is a bad feng shui color for signs facing north, because fire and water don’t mix. Yellow is bad because earth stops water (sandbags).
West is represented by metal, whose color is white. Earth produces metal, so a yellow background is also good feng shui. Red is bad because fire destroys metal. That includes any warm tones, such as pink or peach.
The above sign color combinations are all background colors, not the lettering on the sign. If you understand the principles that determine background colors it is simple to use the correct color for the sign’s writing. For instance, metal grows water, therefore a blue background with white lettering is very good feng shui.
Any sign or outside color scheme are determined by the front door direction. Indoor walls or floor colors are determined by the direction the rear of the building faces — the opposite of outdoor colors. For example, if the front door faces south, the inside color scheme is determined by north colors — water. Carpets, drapes and mats also should match the correct elemental color.
Inside Rooms and Furnishings The school altar seen in traditional Chinese martial arts schools should always be against the back wall, facing the front door. This is called the turtle position. The front door is the phoenix position. The left wall, looking toward the rear of the building, is the dragon side and the right wall is the tiger side. Animal pictures should never be reversed from their natural feng shui position. Don’t place a picture of a tiger on the left wall, or a dragon on the right side, because placing these animals on the wrong walls brings bad luck.
Wong maintains that it is bad feng shui to have the front and back doors in line with each other. From a feng shui viewpoint, front and back doors in line with each other means that you will never save money and the building will not hold good energy inside. An example is the school that has plenty of students, but the head instructor is always broke.
To correct this kind of bad feng shui you can put a partition or wall between the two doors that blocks the connection. This prevents energy and luck from going straight through the building. Dressing or changing room doors and the restroom door should not face the door to the school office. If that occurs and you cannot rearrange the room location, make sure the restroom or the dressing room door is always closed.
A lopan compass is necessary to detect the proper location for the office, dressing rooms and storage rooms. Feng shui also matches your year of birth with the school interior. For instance, if two brothers have separate schools located in the same direction, they must be arranged differently inside because the brothers’ year of birth is different.
Many kung-fu schools have lion heads for lion dancing. It is good feng shui to have the lion heads facing the front door. The lion is a lucky animal who scares away evil energy.
Doc-Fai Wong uses his schools as representatives of feng shui’s positive effects. What looks to an outsider as attractive exterior and interior decorating has made his schools far more successful than before the application of feng shui principles.