CONNECTING THE FORMS

CONNECTING THE FORMS

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This is a deliberately simplistic explanation of the first 3 Forms {including Chi Sau}, it is a basic foundation that leaves plenty of room for the Student to build on through practice and thinking.

This is how I teach my Guys.

To quote General George S. Patton,

“Do not tell a Soldier what to do, tell him what you want done and see what he comes up with”

SIU NIM TAO {the First Form, literally the “way of the little idea”}

S.N.T. Firstly allows us to become familiar with what it means to be upright, stable and in balance, this is the static section before we bring in the Arm movements.

The Arm movements operate on different levels that really need to be observed independently, as a Motor Function, as an Alignment Tool and as a Boundary to Effective Operations.

Motor Function, learning to move the joints independently, then in concert with other joints, in an ordered progression and in a variety of directions, at this level our only thought should be on movement for movements sake, to be accurate and to be fully aware of what is happening.

Alignment Tool, understanding how to move the Arm as a whole and not loose the relationship of the Arm to your body, this is as much about feeling the totality of the unit that is the Arm, discovering what it means to keep the Arm straight and to move it in a straight line to a chosen place along a chosen path.

In application the place and path will be decided by outside influences.

As a Boundary to Effective Operations the movements of the First form lay out the Parameters of where our Arm Structure works to our advantage and not against us. If this statement does not make sense look up the meaning of Parameter and think about your own Wing Chun and how this can relate.

At this very basic level the First Form trains us to make a real and Tactile connection to our own Body.

To be able to move it and use it with our WILL / INTENTION {this is Wing Chun speak for deliberately and accurately} to awaken and recognise Springy Force delivered through the natural elasticity of Human Muscle .

The Arm shapes are just a Vehicle, any shapes repeated continuously over a long period of time would yield the same results so from this perspective “Consistency is Key”.

Developing INTENTION is the First Goal.

The First Form has nothing to do with Outside Influences or Actions, it is all about YOU, it is Body work, it is Chi Kung.

It is the IDEA that everything else references, it has no other function.

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CHUM KIU {the second Form, literally “Seeking the Bridge”}.

The “Second Form” is really an addition to, or expansion of the First Form, through practice it develops Unified Body Movement through the introduction of Waist Torque and then acts as a method to combine this Unified Body Movement with the INTENTION developed through the First Form, this is still very much Body Work or even Body Control training, centred on how to use the Waist, forget the Legs, forget the Arms they are add ons, learn to control the Waist.

Another aspect of CHUM KIU  is that we begin to understand how to support the Arms with the Body, this aspect of Chum Kiu is usually introduced well before the Student reaches Chum Kiu stage, in Chi Sau, in traditional Chinese Martial Arts the “BRIDGE” is most often a reference to the forearm, Chi Sau is one person connecting Bridges with a training partner.

CHI SAU is pre – movement CHUM KIU.

To prevent Information Overload we learn Chi Sau before we learn how to move, when we are static it is easier to explore how to use the acquired “Springy Force” from S.N.T. To absorb incoming Force / Pressure into the Body {and by doing so understand what it meansto “Support the Arms with the Body”} and down through the Legs and then later through the application of Chum Kiu theory how to redirect that force with our Waist while simultaneously attacking with our Arms.

The essence of the Chum Kiu is smooth and rhythmic movement, co – ordination similar to Dance.

Speed is developed through Smoothness, Smoothness is developed by moving slowly.

By nature Chum Kiu is defensive and a means to redirect Strikes away from us, not a way for us to advance on an opponent. In many ways it is a Bridge to nowhere, at least nowhere of your choosing.

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BILL GEE {the third form, literally “Thrusting Fingers”}

At this simplistic and very Basic Level of thinking BILL GEE introduces the other side of the CHUM KIU Coin.

Chum Kiu expands while Bill Gee contracts.

Chum Kiu moves at an even pace, Bill Gee accelerates.

Chum Kiu introduces the movement generated by the bottom of the torso { Waist / Hips} while Bill Gee introduces additional movement generated from the top of the torso {Shoulders / Chest} at this level even Bill Gee is Chi Kung, still just Body work.

But as mentioned earlier everything references the First Form, no movement or acceleration can ever be allowed to compromise Balance and Stability, in this respect the First Form regulates all of the upcoming Forms.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

Wing Chun Wednesday 21 – 01 – 2015

FOCUS.

focus

There are a few words that we use frequently in Wing Chun that do not really reconcile with the everyday usage of that word.

FOCUS is a case in point, focusing our attention, focusing a beam of light, being the focus of attention and of course hitting a Focus Mitt.

Short focus, long focus, middle focus, out of focus, keep your focus, focus your attack on this spot, focus on how your joints rotate, keep your focus on your centre, take your focus off of yourself.

Unless we make a conscious effort to be certain that we are using a suitable meaning to Focus it is easy to become confused.

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I have a couple of new Students, while introducing them to “The Little Idea” I will find myself saying to them Focus a bit more, usually they will furrow their Brows, squint their eyes and basically change nothing else.

FOCUS mmmmmmmmm?

The first problem is a linguistic problem, what I am saying is often not what they are hearing, I had this difficulty as well early on, and to make things even more interesting English was my Sifu’s second language, he spoke it very, very well but to a large extent he just translated Chinese thinking into English words, this does not solve the problem as well as you may think, we are now in the realm of how good a translator is a person, for example one time when our Sigung Chu was visiting and my Sifu was translating, Sigung Chu was explaining a movement, he spoke for 20 – 30 seconds and my Sifu translated it as Relax and Focus forward, 20 – 30 seconds condensed {or perhaps focused} into 4 or 5 seconds.

Relax what?

Focus what?

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If we use the Tarn Sau as an example, if it is early training and it is still being performed in front of a Mirror I will recommend that they Focus their movement towards their own Throat, this is a similar idea to focusing a beam of light, getting as much as possible to converge on a specific point in Space, it is alignment, it is geometry.

Then some where along the curve I will say “Focus on how your joints are moving, or Focus on not overtly using Muscular Force”, this is now activating cognitive processes, selectively paying attention to just one aspect while ignoring everything else in the environment that is not connected to this movement.

And then when we move to understanding the operational components of Tarn Sau I will say “Focus on accepting incoming Force into your Tarn Sau do not try to repel incoming Force.

As Instructors we need to be vigilant in avoiding linguistic pitfalls, especially if your Student base is multi cultural, I am English and I speak good English, but many of my Students speak English as a second language, especially the Australians, my good English is not of any real value if I cannot convey the information to my Students.

This has the potential to become a very long post, so I will leave it here for the moment and come back to it later once we have all had time to ponder what our Instructor means when he says……

“When you Focus your Punch on the Focus Pad be sure to Focus on not using Strength”.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 14 – 01 – 2015

A NEW YEAR BEGINS.

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In my School any Student that is ready to move to a new Form does so as we begin the new year, so this year I have 2 Students moving on to Chum Kiu and 2 Students moving on to Bill Gee, frustrating times ahead for these guys.

One bit of advice I always give is to “Bring everything that you have learnt in the last form with you into the new Form”.

But what does this mean?

When I ask Students to tell me what they think I am going on about they usually look at me quite blankly, and then list some of the aspects of the last Form such as Centre line, Relaxation and other such nonsense.

This is not what I mean.

Some times in wing Chun we need to be very literal, to take things at Face Value and wherever possible to take the most simple explanation.

What I am trying to get the guys to do is to move forward with the same idea’s that they have discovered for themselves in their training to date, “Bring everything that YOU have learnt in the last form with you into the new Form”.

Not what you have been told or shown or have seen on YouTube, just the things that you have actually come to understand in your own way.

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My understanding of Wing Chun is that there is only 1 Form, and that we are learning it by instalments, it is not so much about moving forward, it is more about staying in place and expanding, if we begin to fragment the One form into 6 separate forms will will never achieve a functional understanding of how a body operates this Wing Chun thing.

We all have different ideas about how to live a Life, so why would Wing Chun be any different, if we wish to improve we must make it our own as soon as possible, observe it through the filter of our own experience, and not try to emulate someone elses path.

That path is for Fan Boys.

You cannot Master something by becoming its slave.

Onward Guardians, the future is calling.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 17 – 12 – 2014.

TRAINING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS.

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Christmas is upon us and this will more than likely be my last post for 2014, to everyone that follows my Blog I hope you have a happy and joyous end of December, no matter what you may personally call it, and that you do not find a reason to use your training.

I know from personal experience that trying to maintain any kind of training regime through these few weeks is very difficult, just about everyone has something else to do, so it is often a month without Chi Sau, but this can also be a blessing, reflection is as important as action.

We will all find ourselves with some free time to sit and reflect about the “Whys” and “What Have You” of our training, here are a few suggestions to improve your connection to this thing we do.

Try to deepen your understanding of what we mean by “INTENT”.

There is a Japanese proverb that goes something like…

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.””

We could say the same thing from a Wing Chun perspective by replacing “VISION” with  “INTENT”.

These things we do need to be physically done!!!!!

Do you GROK?

Try to evolve and expand your understanding of what it means to “AVOID FORCE”. 

Are we simply referring to redirection, or perhaps we need some other interpretations, as Mr. Miyagi would say “Not being there”?

A constant thought that keeps me looking for new answers that still drives me to this day  came when my Sifu said to me “There is only one move in Wing Chun”, after more than 20 years of contemplation I finally understand this.

But can you make any kind of sense of it?

A very sad fact that all School owners are well aware of is that something like 30% of their Students will quite simply not come back to training next year.

It is what it is.

If you do not wish to be one of the lost, keep your Eye on the Goal, if it was worth beginning it is worth continuing.

 

Have a great

Christmas,

St. Nicholas Day,

St. Stephens Day,

Yuletide,

Mōdraniht,

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti,

Shabe Yaldā,

Hanukkah,

Pancha Ganapati,

Kwanzaa,

Hogmanay

or Dōngzhì.

Even have a happy Festivus, if you have a length of Aluminium Pole.

JUST BE HAPPY AND STAY FROSTY.

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See you all in 2015.

Look for us on January 7th.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 10 – 12 – 2014

TRAINING — WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?

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There has been a fair bit of press lately about Bogus Martial Arts Instructors, and without a doubt there are some out there, just check out the W.O.M.A. Crowd, or check out this FB page, Fraud In Martial Arts Awareness Society, but there are also a great many genuine and dedicated people who suffer from the “Bad Press”.

 

For some reason I have had more than the usual number of enquiries about training with me over the past few weeks, and of course eventually the conversation comes around to Fees.

My response to prospective Students asking me “What do you charge”?

Is to ask them “What do you think you will be paying for”?

Their answer, to be expected is Wing Chun tuition.

My answer to this is to inform them that the Wing Chun is only a very small part of a much larger package, that the reality is that what they are paying for is for me to give them something that can never be replaced.

My TIME.

And not just the 2 hours twice week that they think is involved in Hands on Training in any Martial Arts School, but also the TIME involved in getting to know individual Students to the extent that I can make adjustment to suit each and every individual and unique person that make up the average training group to give them the best chance at understanding the Art.

The TIME involved in maintaining a clean and friendly Studio for them to train in.

The TIME involved in maintaining the condition of all the Pads and Mitts.

The TIME involved in the normal, everyday behind the scenes running of any School, preparing lessons, learning First Aid, securing and paying for decent premises.

My COMMITMENT.

Students can never learn if their Instructor does not take a keen personal interest in their advancement, any and every decent Instructor will be at least as involved in the training as the Student themselves.

Any and every decent Instructor will be at training on every training day, even if they have something far more fun to be at, Dinner with friends, Staff Christmas Parties from work, major sporting events all take second place too being at the Training Hall, this very rarely applies to the Students who take this commitment for granted and do not think to inform anyone that they will be going on holiday for 6 weeks.

My PATIENCE.

Especially in the beginning going over the same thing time and time again and finding new ways to keep encouraging the struggling student, even if as they told you one day one “I pick things up really quickly”.

SHELTER FROM THE STORM.

One very well known benefit of Martial Arts training is that when you are at training the “Ordinary Madness” of the Everyday World is left far behind, for 2 hours you are transported to a place with no Wife, no Kids, no Boss, no Bullshit and no Stress.

This last aspect alone is worth more than any Student pays.

At the end of the day the Wing Chun is free.

Oh and by the way I am putting your Fees up.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?