Saturday, August 29, 2009

What wing chun is and what it ain't

Anyone who has taken my class knows that I would really prefer to call what we do something other than wing chun. The reason I do call it wing chun is that otherwise people may think I am one of those guys that did a little karate, a little jujitsu and a little wing chun and just combine it in some willy nilly way and call it Will-fu or something. Yuck.

Wing chun is a fighting and training system created by one or more people (I will leave the details of that statement to all those budding kungfu scribes). Most versions involve 6 forms, two weapons and chisao. Chisao is a training method that essentially helps you train fighting in a non-cooperative manner without constantly getting punched in the face.

From studying wing chun, you may discover better ways to move your body, you may learn better ways to generate power, how to relax so that your speed and reactions increase. You may learn better ways to interact, lead, follow, use your opponents energy. I think it is important to remember that all of these things are not wing chun, they are simple physics. For me I try to follow the physics as closely as I can. As you observe the physics you will see simple principles emerge and you will begin to notice the principles at work in other activities such as social dances like tango or in wrestling. I think it is important to do things the "wing chun way" only as far as it corresponds with reality. If it doesn't, dump it. I am sure that many will say that using whatever works IS the wing chun way.

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