FIST LOGIC

VAX IT AND THEY WILL COME.

UNTIL THE NEXT LOCKDOWN!

This is simply one more different perspective that hopefully will provoke some constructive thinking.

As we are getting ready to getting back into it it may be a good IDEA to refresh our thinking and actions in respect of our stances.

Mushahi famously said “let your everyday stance be your fighting stance’ and because of this there is often a debate about the difference between ‘training stances’ and ‘fighting stances’, let’s have a dig at this.

 First up, have a good think about what YOU reckon stances are all about.

Take 5, do it, then come back.

O.K. How about this?

There is no such thing as a fighting stance!

Stances are static.

Fighting is fluid.

All stances are training tools, very important training tools but all the same, ‘only’, training tools.

The very fact that there is more than one way to look at, think about, perform and practice stances should indicate clearly that this is a training concept with specific training outcomes.

If this does not sit right with you think this way, all stances are a variation of a squat exercise, front squat, back squat and most importantly a pistol squat.

Now imagine yourself in a violent encounter.

Where do you see yourself performing a squat?

Accepting that stances are training tools allows us to focus on what this training exercise is teaching us instead of worrying about a shape that at best can only exist briefly and in passing.

It can also encourage us to access some excellent and ‘up to date’ information on preparing for and executing a squat.

Here on the BLOG there are several articles relating to stances highlighting the different aspects of training.

HERE. and. HERE

This is simply one more different perspective that hopefuLly will provoke some constructive thinking.

Here is something interesting I stumbled across on Quora, I have absolutely no idea of its validity but I must admit that it sounds at least possible, and we know what Sherlock Holmes would say.

“Funny thing about the “horse stance”. (This from a scholarly article on the history of Kung fu). In the past, it was considered to be a good job for a young man in rural China to join the army. Steady pay, “benefits”, etc. However, most of the Chinese army at the time consisted of cavalry, so, the applicant for an army position was expected to show some skill at riding a horse.

Unfortunately, in impoverished rural towns… Horses were a rarity. (They were all being used by the army!) So, to build up the leg strength for riding, young men would incorporate practicing the horse stance for as long as they could.

Eventually, this was incorporated into various Kung fu “forms”…. But it was never intended for fighting, but rather for training…To ride horses”.

Mark Werner

WITH REGARDS TO THE RETURN TO TRAINING.

All being well we can resume training from monday 11th of October.

There will be restrictions to comply with.

  1. We all need to be double vacinated and be able to show proof of that.
  2. We will need to maintain safe distancing of 1.5mtr.
  3. We will all need to wear masks if we are indoors. Out in the yard we are cleared for mask free training.
  4. We must comply with the 1 person per 4 square metere rule, as this is about air circulation the Studio is 56 square meters that allows us to have 14 people so we are well safe with that rule.
  5. And finally there will be the need to hand sanitise.

All the same please contact me if you intend to train.

If anything changes I will contact everyone via whatsapp.

HOKKA HEY.
WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?
FIST LOGIC

THE MISSING LINK — PERHAPS.

AHA! THAT GOES HERE.

The first goal of training is to frame this question. The second goal is to answer it.

I did not quite hit the marks I wished to in the last POST, without ‘in-situ’ feedback it is difficult to know if I am getting across the IDEA.

In the last video, it was as if I had started the conversation at the halfway point and the act of trying to explain myself with non – Wing Chun equipment and actions may not have helped.

At the end of today’s video, I say that it is ‘we that is Wing Chun and not the movements’, the extension of this is that if we ARE Wing Chun then anything we do is Wing Chun.

What all training is about is developing the ability to be in control of our inner selves which will in turn influence the environment, our opponent and the event we are involved in.

But it is not as simplistic as trying to do everything the same way as we perform the S.L.T. It does not take a genius to know that moving as softly and as slowly as when we do the first FORM can only end up in tears.

It is not just about observing what and who we become when we do the first FORM but also what and who we are trying to become when we do the first FORM.

Are they the same person?

Are they the person we would like to be in that time and that place doing that thing?

Do we know how to frame this question? Let alone answer it?

The first goal of training is to frame this question.

The second goal is to answer it.

Once again, as always, we must ask, ‘do we understand that training is not fighting’?

Training is a theory, a concept.

Fighting is action, reality.

When we train we are always and only trying to train better, develop a better theory.

If we have forgotten the reason why we began?

How do we move forward?

How do we trust the theory?

Each FORM, each passage of training is just another theory.

Are we collectors now or is there a method to this madness?

The theory behind a pair of running shoes is related to but very different from the theory of running, they are both important and vital theories and here we are, still on the couch.

When we get out on the road there will be so many variables to contend with, rough terrain, inclement weather, blisters, how do we stick to the plan?

Is running on a pleasant warm Sunday morning the same as running on a cold rainy Thursday evening?

It needs to be.

That is the work.

The purpose of Forms training is to grow, not to stagnate.

The person we found in the first Form is just a starting point, that person needs to undergo transformation into the person that is doing the Chum Kiu, it is not the same person simply doing different movements, that is truly pointless. 

And the same proccess applies when we do the Biu Gee and beyond, observing what and who we become when we do these things.

MOULDING, MELDING, GROWING.

With enough time every single move becomes a FORM.

Every single move is just us ‘DOING’ something.

What? Why? How?

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

Sifu Isaac Newton

IS THAT A BOOGIE I SEE BEFORE ME?

WHAT KIND IF DAY IS IT?
FIST LOGIC

THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN NOODLES.

THE THOUGHT WITHIN THE ACTION WITHIN THE IDEA.

Continuation is difficult if we lose sight of the original goal.

During ‘lockdown’ I have been in a running conversation on Whatsapp with our training brother and ‘INCa’ tribe member ‘Bo’.

He recently asked me a question that helped shape this post…

 “Hey master, I remember you talking about Bakers doing certain movements I was wondering if it’s the same thing with people who make things such as noodles rather than learning what they are making what is it that they are unconsciously learning”.

My answer…

“What they are learning is how to be themselves while making noodles”. 

With the end of lockdown finally in sight, this has a great deal to do with how we re-engage with the work.

Sadly, talking here about the global Martial Arts community, many people will not restart training and many others will be asking themselves why they should.

After the first N.S.W. lockdown our little outfit lost almost 50% of our people, mostly private one-on-one students, this will no doubt play out again, just hopefully not with our tribe.

There are many reasons people do not reconnect, but mainly it is because students forget why they started the training.

Continuation is difficult if we lose sight of the original goal.

Like all things in life, the original purpose was to solve a perceived problem.

What was that problem?

Has that problem genuinely disappeared?

Combat Sports players scoff at Traditional Martial Arts players by saying that we are involved in fear management and not danger management because we train for something that may happen sometime down the line {random violence} and not for an event that we know when and where it will be {organised fight event}.

This is of course a major reason we train in Traditional Martial Arts {which are at heart ‘Self Defence Systems’} as opposed to Combat Sports {that are flat out fighting systems}.

We are training to be prepared for a situation, not of our choosing, that we would like to avoid or at the very least get out of in one piece.

Despite this observation we are not learning how to fight or even learning how to defend ourselves.

We are learning how to be ready.

How to accept that somewhere, somehow, at some time, life will throw us a Bell Ringer or a Googly, and to be at peace with that.

All training in any discipline is training for peace of mind amid the chaos.

How to be the best version of ourselves we can be on the worst of days.

AND TO OWN IT.

That day is still coming.

Despite what I hope are the good intentions of misinformed teachers, we cannot expect the unexpected, but we can choose how to meet it.

All of my posts are intended to be the beginning of a conversation, not a definitive answer to this or any other problems.

Or at least that is the IDEA.

“The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.”– Socrates

HOKKA HEY.

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?
FIST LOGIC

‘WHATSAPP’ QUESTION REPLY.

THERE ARE NO BAD QUESTIONS.

he claimed that Ip Man created the Baat Cham Dao Form.

For any visitors this post is a reply to an internal question asked via our ‘WhatsApp’ group, it may not be of any practical value to people outside of our group.

As those of you that visit the ‘WhatApp’ group quite frequently will have seen, Rick asked if he could use a pair of weighted Kali Sticks in place of Baat Cham Dao.

I have addressed the role of the knives in our system before here is a link to an earlier post that deals with part of this training, the B.C.D. in particular starts at 3.30.

A UNIFIED THEORY.

The place of weapons conversation is quite massive so I will try to put together a post on how to approach and engage in this conversation, not only from the perspective of Wing Chun but to try to paint a much more global picture of weapons, how they evolved and most importantly how they devolved and then revolved.

Many years ago I read a transcript to an interview with Ip Mans nephew were he claimed that the Baat Cham Dao did not exist in Wing Chun before Ip Man, that he {Ip Man} invented the Form by simply transferring common Wing Chun moves.

If this is the case it does not bring anything negative into the conversation.

Everything has to begin somewhere, and a Master can add to his own style?

To get a better handle on things we should try to think as Ip Man would have been thinking in 1950s Hong Kong, what was the purpose of adding the Baat Cham Do?

Weapons were not permitted and those people that did have them, police and thieves, would be using guns.

As I say this is a big conversation that has lead me into some very interesting areas of research, from the plains of Africa to the fields of France.

HOKKA HEY!

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?
FIST LOGIC

CONNECTING TO NATURAL HUMAN BODY MOVEMENT

A General Theory of Fighting Arts becomes grounded in Human Movement and not, as it so often is, ‘Esoteric Ideology’.

 The General Theory of Fighting Arts is a term widely used to try to get students to identify the mutual movements of all martial styles, and the alignment with most dynamic sports.

One thing we have all been told, and if we are talking to beginners or non Wing Chun people often repeat is that ‘Wing Chun movement is based on normal human body movement’.

I do not think that students give enough credence to this statement, that ‘Wing Chun movement is based on normal human body movement’.

It gets treated as if it is just some sort of cagey advertising spin just as many Instructors still claim that Wing Chun was invented by a woman, a device to encourage smaller, less athletic men to take up Wing Chun instead of a rival code.

But Wing Chun IS based on normal human body movements.

If we approach the work from this perspective and look at what is presented and how it is presented, we see a pattern emerge, that in the progression of the FORMS, as we move from the first Form to Chum Kiu and then Biu Gee, this progression is nothing more than the introduction of more complex movement for people not familiar with this way of moving.

This approach more than likely had merit back in 1860s Foshan but today, due to the average sporting curriculum of most western schools every 12-year-old child is familiar with these moves.

A very large proportion of what is introduced through the Forms is simply unnecessary, at least from the point of view of controlling our body.

Do not get me wrong, the FORMS are needed for other reasons so I am not suggesting abandonment.

But we can easily be moving at a level that is needed for any aspect of the work be it the Dummy, the Pole or the Knives if we put more practice and focus into moving better as a Human.

Take any movement or action from any sport, especially a throwing or bat and ball sport, and you will find the moves somewhere in the Form.

 A General Theory of Fighting Arts becomes grounded in Human Movement and not, as it so often is, ‘Esoteric Ideology’.

This week spend some quality time exploring the similarities between Martial Movement, Sports and Dancing, once you see how they amalgamate, consolidate and integrate FORMS become a secondary consideration. 

IMAGINE, MANIFEST AND WORK ON THE IDEA OF THE FRAME.

And while you a re at it put some minutes into the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Here they are, and here is a recap.

WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND, THINGS ARE JUST THE WAY THEY ARE.

WHEN YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, THINGS ARE JUST THE WAY THEY ARE.

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

A BOOK REVIEW. THE CREATION OF WING CHUN. BEN JUDKINS and John Nielson.

Three complete make-overs in ten years! What The..?

Over Christmas, I treated myself to a ‘Kindle’ copy of Ben Judkins & John Nielsons…

“The Creation of Wing Chun”.

Ben Judkins is the creator of the blog ‘Kung Fu Tea’ if you have been to the blog, and if not ‘why not’? You will know his style, he is an academic researcher and not an Ernest Hemingway imitator.

Although the title is the History of Wing Chun there is far more to this book than imagined by the title.

Three-quarters of the book describes the social and political environment that Wing Chun emerged from, and we are all the better off for this, it adds depth and much-needed context.

It is academic work by a professional academic, be prepared for this, a few sections are like ‘wading through a swimming pool of leftover Christmas Custard’.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill…

“If you are wading through custard, keep going”.

Understanding the historical/social and political context that influenced the formation of Wing Chun answered so many questions I had not even realised I wanted to be answered, filled so many gaps I never knew existed.

The final quarter of the book focuses on Yip Man and Hong Kong and the creation of modern Wing Chun.

How it happened.

Where it happened.

Why it happened.

There are numerous enlightening insights into the beginning of what would become the most popular Martial Arts style on Earth.

One part that ‘really’ caught my attention…

 In 1949 the Chines Communist Party closed its borders with the European Enclaves of Macau and Hong Kong, this act separated thousands of people from their families, Ip Man was one of these thousands of now displaced people.

He did not see his sons, Ip Chun and Ip Ching for over 10 years.

Without giving too much away during the 1950s Ip Man changed the content and the way of training his Wing Chun three times, so much so that when he was eventually reunited with his sons they hardly recognised what he was teaching.

Three complete make-overs in ten years! What The…..?

When we consider that two of his most notable and respected students, Wong Sheung Leung and Chu Shong Tin, also made their own major changes to the content and teaching of the style it becomes almost redundant to talk of “correct” Wing Chun. 

This is a slow and sometimes sluggish read but if you are at all interested in Wing Chun it is essential reading.

The history of Wing Chun is not at all as we think it is, one thing that is clear is that through its “Golden Years” the only constant was constant change.

as I always say…

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

BACK TO THE ROOT.

WE ARE ALL HOBBITS NOW.

Q. Does your training prepare you for this situation? A. It can and will do if you know what to look for.

Week 10 of the “Lockdown” with at least 7 more weeks to follow, when we return we will all be starting over, we will all be beginners again.

This is not a bad thing, after years of training we often forget why we started this journey in the first place.

I said in a previous post that if we know what the basic IDEAS or Fundamental Concepts of Wing Chun are, we know ‘all most’ everything.

What is Wing Chun in its most fundamental state?

It is a ‘Counter-Attacking’ Martial Art.

Just knowing this tells us so much and sets the agenda for an intelligent approach to training.

Let’s ask a simple questions about this premise.

Q. Why are we counter-attacking.

A. Because we are under attack.

As obvious as this is many students just don’t get it, they do not see that this tells us all we need to know, it tells us of the environment that this event is happening in, it tells us of our mental and emotional condition, it tells us of our level of preparedness.

Once we see this it tells us what and how we should train.

Being attacked is not consensual, it is not a joint operation, when we got out of bed on this morning it was not in our plans, whatever is happening we did not ask for it and we do not wish to be there.

We will be on the back foot, surprised and quite possibly in shock.

Keeping all this in mind another simple question.

Q. What outcome do we hope for?

A. Escape, hopefully uninjured.

You may well have answered these two questions very differently, and that is fine, the answers you gave will still tell you what and how to train.

Q. Does your training prepare you for this situation?

A. It can and will do if you know what to look for.

What should we look for?

Let us just lay it all out and see what we have, let’s put all the pieces on the carpet and then start doing the jig-saw.

Over the coming weeks I will attempt to put together a comprehensive guide to help us get back up to speed as quickly a possible but for now let’s just talk about FORM.

What is the First Form, {Sil Lim Tao} showing us in its most fundamental state?

  1. It {Sil Lim Tao} teaches us how to develop a well-balanced body, balanced as in the usual understanding of this term but equally important balanced as in having equal tension throughout the whole body.
  2. It teaches us the most efficient way to engage our arms from the perspective or ‘IDEA’, of accepting and issuing force.

That is it, all she wrote. If we can develop an innate understanding of these two simple factors, we are almost there.

What is the Second Form, Chum Kiu, showing us in its most fundamental state?

  1. The second form {Chum Kiu} teaches us how to support our limbs with our Torso {centre if you prefer this term} primarily with the thought of accepting and transferring force. The conduit we develop, understand and engage that allows us to accept force is the same conduit that issues force, The Kinetic Chain.
  2. It introduces the basic movements of shifting and twisting while maintaining the IDEA from the first form. 

Here again. that is it, all she wrote. If we can develop an innate understanding of these two simple Chum Kiu related factors, without forgetting the S.L.T. factors, we are approaching complete comprehension.

What is the Third Form showing us in its most fundamental state?

  1. The third form {Biu Gee} teaches us how to generate force by use of the same conduit we developed an understanding of in Chum Kiu, the Kinetic Chain, from the perspective of how to issue that force.
  2. Biu Gee teaches us how to accelerate the force issuing from our Kinetic Chain using weight shifts, torque, torsion and sequential acceleration.

Here again. that is it, all she wrote. If we can develop an innate understanding of the two simple Biu Gee factors, combine them intuitively with the 4 previous factors we now have 90% of the Wing Chun knowledge.

The final 10% is the refinement of what we know, there is nothing else to learn.

The next 5 – 10 – 20 years are about refining and owning the IDEA through combining the three forms into one.

Go outside and throw a ball, it can be a tennis ball, soccer ball or rugby ball, observe yourself closely, all of the factors we are talking about are there in that simple well-known action.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

HOKKA HEY.
WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?

FIST LOGIC

GETTING THE MOST FROM OLD VIDEOS.

ONLY THIS, NOTHING ELSE!!

You will in turn present the information in your own way when you have students, you must of the style will petrify.

Hi Guys,

It is 7am and very chilly as I am filming this so my back is just not moving the way a human back should move, do not use me as a role model.

The main drive behind this post and the last post is for us to get the most from any videos we watch throughout the lockdown, even if they have dialogue this is a good approach.

This youtube channel that I have recently become aware of is a fabulous resource, it has a number of clips from 1991 when a group of guys from our Adalaide Headquarters visited with our Sigung, Chu Shong Tin over in H.K..

There are some minor differences between how my Sifu presented the knowledge he was taught just as there are minor differences with how I present the knowledge I was taught, this is natural evolution, each generation amends the information to fit the present circumstances.

But in essence the ‘Fundamentals” remain the same.

You will in turn present the information in your own way when you have students, you must of the style will petrify.

Begin with what we know for certain and not with what we think we see, depending on where you are at in your training some will relate this to Chum Kiu, some to Biu Gee, some to the Dummy, eventually you will just see it as Wing Chun.

One Form.

One method.

The exploration and understanding of potential.

Wing Chun Forms are not Kata, not shadow boxing drills, they are closer to callisthenics than Kata.

Chum Kiu is not a stand-alone set of information, it is a sub-set or aspect of Siu Lim Tau, the ‘Little Idea’.

It makes little if any difference what exercise we are using to explore Chum Kiu, we are always doing the same thing “Seeking the Bridge”.

The exercises are how we refine our idea of what it means to “seek the Bridge’.

However we must avoid slipping away into Kung Fu Fantasyland and all of our training becoming a “Finger pointing at the Moon”.

Form analysis is not based in reality and as such it does not…

  1. Teach a fighting skill.
  2. Teach situational awareness.
  3. Teach decision making or judgement.
  4. Teach the ability to execute the action under pressure.

27 Ninja’s jumping out of the Air Conditioning?  You’re not likely to face that here, however it feels safe for many to have a solution for unlikely threats. Or worse, amazing solutions to fantasy problems.

HOKKA HEY!
A FINGER POINTING AT THE MOON.
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT?
FIST LOGIC

LEARNING FROM VIDEOS AND WHY IT IS SO DIFFICULT?

SO MUCH DATA, SO LITTLE MIND.

At this point in time C.S.T. was teaching a physical ‘FIST LOGIC’ oriented version of Wing Chun.

Here is a clip of our Sigung, Chu Shong Tin teaching one of the final movements in the Chum Kiu Form

Before anyone on either side of the ‘Internal – External’ debacle gets their knickers in a knot this video is obviously from before C.S.T. changed his mind about Wing Chun, I recognise at least one person in this video and numerous in other videos from this time in Hong Kong on this channel, I reckon that it is from the 1980s, as such it is the Wing Chun he taught to my teacher and as such very in line with what I am passing on to you guys.

At this point in time C.S.T. was teaching a physical ‘FIST LOGIC’ oriented version of Wing Chun.

This clip IS what we do.

There are 2 reasons I am using this video, firstly it gives all of you guys access to this channel,
Wing Chun – Simple kung fu which has some exceptional historical footage of our Sigung, Chu Shong Tin, never doubt that C.S.T. was an astonishing Wing Chun proponent and teacher.

Secondly and most importantly because it is a shinning example of a situation where as comedians would say ‘You really had to be there’.

As this post is about the merits of learning from videos and not any kind of critique of what is being covered in the clip we really do need to think beyond and behind what is going on in front of us.

I intend to pose a few questions for you to mull over that I have no intention of answering in this post.

The exercise that is being shown is an exercise that I did with my seniors on many occasions and something I spoke of in some depth with my teacher, so I know what is expected and being covered.

Watch it numerous times, watch some of the other videos from this historically valuable channel and then see where it takes you.

First thing first, what do we think is going on here? What is the purpose of the exercise?

Is it one movement or a sequence of separate /individual/independent movements?

Is this in any way practical?

I will revisit this post and give my IDEAS on this clip as a vehicle for instruction in a few days so get stuck in and form some opinions.

As with any exploration the best place to start is by asking “What would need to happen for me to be doing this thing in this place and in this way”?

This is not about the content of the video or the relative or otherwise value of the instruction, do not fall into the trap that thinking that pointing out what you think is wrong is in any way related to what is right.

Get into this guys, we have at least 5 more weeks in ‘LOCKDOWN’ before we can go hands on so developing the ability to look at videos with as little confirmation bias as possible can help you train at another level.

WE LEARN FAR MORE BY DISPELLING OLD ILLUSIONS THAN WE DO FROM LEARNING NEW SECRETS.

HOKKA HEY.
WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?
FEAR IS THE LITTLE DEATH!
FIST LOGIC

A STICK PRIMER FOR OUR MAN KUNAL.

It is not ‘Rocket Science’ it is just another level of understanding.

These are a few IDEAS to work with when playing with sticks.

They are primarily for Kunal but you would all benefit from playing with this stuff.

Any decent Martial Artist should be able to transfer their knowledge from empty hands to full hands.

It is not ‘Rocket Science’ it is just another level of understanding.

Do not feel that you are expected to work with what I am showing here, I am an old and half broken man so get on line and find someone that you would like to look like.

Try not to pick an American, this is not bias on my part, in the U.S.A. Karate is a performance sport and not a combat sport, in Karate in the U.S.A. Kata are super important and finding new almost ‘Hollywood’ ways of doing Kata becomes essential.

Flashy moves never work in genuine violence, keep it simple.

HOKKA HEY.

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?