DON’T PUSH, DONT ATTACK.
I was at Friends School Anniversary event recently with some of my Wing Chun Brothers whom I have known for 20 years or more, to be expected soon we were all exchanging ideas and opinions about where our training and teaching is heading and how we approach the work.
To be somewhat expected our opinions differed.
I am not trying to imply that I know better than my contemporaries, but this is my Blog and in here I talk from my own perspective, I only show pictures of the view from “My Window”.
If you do not like this view simply look out of your own Window.
One thing that stuck out more this year than usual was how much people push when doing the work, especially Chi Sau, and how much people give you their weight. When I mentioned this to a few of the Guys the answer was something like ” I am not pushing I am just relaxing onto you” or “I am not pushing it is just my Springy Force”.
It was also very noticeable that all of their actions were “Attacking Actions”, but when we spoke their talk was in the direction of Simultaneous Attack and Defence and Redirection, as we all do they talk about Wing Chun as a “Counter Attacking Martial Art”, which I for one truly believe it to be.
Most people that do Wing Chun have been lucky enough to have never been attacked, most have never even had a fight, so it is understandably difficult for them to understand that nothing we do in training will happen on the Street, but they take it all so seriously and think that things like “Ultimate Angle” and “Correct Stances” are somehow important when in fact most of what we do would fail if performed the way it is done in training.
Why so precious?
Add to this that there is a world of difference between “being attacked” and “being in a fight” and understand that your understanding of this difference will colour everything you think and do.
A FIGHT is always something that both parties participate in, lets forget the whole “WHY” for the moment, both sides have decided to give it a go and it starts off with both people knowing what is about to happen and both people have the same opportunity to set themselves.
This is very much how your training operates, along the lines of “He does that, you do this”.
There really is no other way once you think about it, unless you actually fight, not spar but fight.
One thing that is just not possible to replicate in training is how Time and Space are consumed when violence occurs.
Unless both sides are well trained and well disciplined the action will take place Nose to Nose with the Bad Guy trying to get through you not to you, and definitely not at Guard or Chi Sau distance.
In a genuine Violent Situation there is just no Time or Space for you to Expand or Press or whatever you think it is that you are doing when you extend your Arms toward your partner to Relax Onto Him.
If your opponent is closing the space down, which they will be, “relaxing onto them” will just become a push with all the negative results that come from any type of pushing.
Giving them your weight, even when you think it is Springy Force, will simply add power to any strike that they land on you, and if this is not a Fight but in fact an Attack then you are already in second place and their first Strike will land somewhere on you so any advancing or expanding will increase the power of the Bad guys strike.
Most Students idea of Simultaneous Attack and Defence is a “Counter Attack” where you actually hit your Partner before he has landed his Strike, this can only happen if you are FIGHTING and are fully aware of what is going on, and of course it requires that your opponent is a “Bit of a Bunny”.
Real Simultaneous Attack and Defence means that the Bad Guy has very nearly smacked you, you have intercepted his Strike just prior to contact, and yes we do this purposefully, we wait and let it come in to us.
If you intercept something by going out to it then you are pushing it away and not absorbing it into your Structure.
This was really obvious when I was doing Chi Sau with people, they were constantly applying pressure to my Arm Bridges, as I pointed out, no matter how they tried to explain it away, forward force, constant forward pressure or simply relaxing onto me they were all in fact pushing against my Arms.
How is this even remotely useful in a situation where you are meaning to defend yourself against a Flying Fist?
There is another issue that concerns me with this approach, when you are deliberately applying pressure to your partner this is taking up Mental Bandwidth, you are focusing on something that is not going to stop the attacker, it may stop the attack, but it does nothing to put the Bad Guy to sleep and ensure your survival or at the least an escape, a large part of your Brain is involved in something that is not trying to get the Job of finishing the Bad Guy done, this is not Wing Chun at all.
I realise that Wing Chun is an evolving Martial Art but old wisdoms held in the Songs and Sayings are still the Heart of the Wing Chun Matter, the Kuen Kuit clearly talks about Wing Chun being used in a situation where we have been attacked and are Accepting / Escorting Force.
Where our structure “Neutralises” incoming force.
How is this achieved by going out to meet the incoming force??
How is this achieved by pushing??
If your Arm Bridges are advancing as the opponents Strike comes in you are in effect “Attacking” the incoming Strike, you may think that it does not matter because you are advancing only very, very softly, but the Physics of contact are that it is a “Shared Event”. The impact is the sum of both forces, from you and from the Attacker, so it makes no difference how little you a pushing, except for the fact that you are expecting a weak attack to dominate a strong attack.
At one time, and not that long ago, I was the type that “expanded my structure to the incoming strike” thinking that it was what Wing Chun does, constant forward pressure and all that.
I was very fortunate to spend some time with a very senior Hong Kong Master who pointed out that any forward movement from any part of your Body is simply “Pushing”.
It was quite difficult at first to accept that I had been pushing for almost 20 years, but I did the work and now I am very aware that what I often thought was Chum Kiu Concepts was just another type of pushing.
Do you think that you “Push”???