As Humans everything we do is Mind, every connection we make is a Mind Connection of some sort, Language is Mind, Art is Mind, we think that we sit inside ourselves and look out at the world when the truth is that the light enters us and is projected in our Mind, sound comes in through the windows we call ears and echoes in our Mind.

There is no “out there”, everything is “in here”.

It is easy to believe that doing Kung Fu is different than doing the dishes or mowing the lawn, this is really just our precious opinion,  to our Brain / Mind it is just another exercise in Human Consciousness.

The Mind is in the Body, the Body is a reflection of the Mind, unity is a natural as the weather.

If everything is Mind we must work hard to be in the “Right Mind”, and the “Right Mind” comes from good information.

Form Sets are simply a mechanism to study this information, a type of shorthand,   there is nothing to learn in any Form Set, it is just data, analysing data cannot create new ideas because we can only see it through the lens of existing patterns, our old ideas.

There are 6 Forms in Wing Chun, we do ourselves no favours by regarding them separately, each new Form is really just fresh data. In the world of data collection, every time new data, or an updated set of data comes in it is is necessary to dismantle the old model, add the updated material and then reassemble in a new configuration.

If we do not Connect the new data in a new way it just remains old data.  Without this dismantle / reassemble component there is no possibility of progress. We are stuck in a past that is no longer up to date and hardly relevant.

Our first goal should be to combine progressive Forms into a single data set.  If you are at Biu Gee everything should now be Biu Gee, there should only ever be 1 Form.

In moving there are some things to keep in mind, certain relationships that help us function more effectively…..

The Shoulder / Hip relationship, The Elbow / Knee relationship, The Hand / Foot relationship, The Nose and the Navel relationship, certain hierarchies should be maintained, the Earth over the Body, the Lower Body over the Upper Body, the Centre over the extremities.

Body Unity is our natural state, if our balance is correct we will not require any tension to hold us still, if there is tension then you are not in balance, effective maintenance of our Balance is easiest to achieve when we align with Gravity.

Gravity infuses everything we do, constantly, and is always pulling us down, if we do anything to work against this we are fighting force.     When we move we must move with Gravity, so every move begins as a downwards move.  My Foot presses the Planet, and the Planet presses back.   We do not need to work towards connecting with the Planet, with Grounding, we just have to surrender to it.

If we are in trouble there is above all else a Mind to Mind connection, we are all Human and if we accept that everything is a Mind Game then it is the same for the Bad Guy as it is for us, it is quite pointless to try to defend against his strikes, this will only delay the inevitable,  strikes are just tools, the weapon is his Mind, we must attack his thinking, attack his Mind.

The Body can do almost anything, but first we must control our Mind.

Connect the dots…..


Connectivity is ultimately how we as individuals  connect the information that we possess to the actions we create.  We will all be different, always.   If we allow ourselves to think freely, if we suspend the accepted ideas and look for new ideas does this make us a heretic or an innovator?

Wing Chun was THE most innovative Martial Art of its time.  


Is this a Spoon I see before me?



wing chun sydney



Because we are doing what we think is correct we will think we are doing it correctly.

If you throw a young boy into a lake or a river, they begin thrashing about, legs and arms going furiously, very slowly and erratically they make their way to the shore where they climb out and survive, they realise that this action, what we call doggy paddle has just saved his life, soon he is jumping in the water all the time, doggy paddling up and down the lake, having fun and in no danger of drowning.

Because this young man lives in an environment where there is lots of water he likes to keep these skill polished and active, soon he gets a bit bored doing the same thing in the water all the time, so he learns the Australian Crawl, Backstroke, Breast stroke, Butterfly, how to swim underwater and how to propel himself while floating, learns all these different ways of getting out of the Lake, but at the end of the day they all do exactly the same thing as the Doggy Style, they get him out of the water and save his life.

When I do workshops and tell this story to students there are always some students that ask what happens if there is a tide running? what happens if the Lake is on a slope? what happen if he is hurt and can only use one arm? All these what if questions.

It does not make any difference because we do not care about how we swim, we care about getting out of the lake and doing a Rocky, Arms up dancing.

When you get obsessed by becoming great at Breast stroke, Butterfly or whatever, when you get obsessed with the swimming, there is no longer any thought of getting out of the water, you need to ask yourself a question, in regards to drowning, do your chances of survival improve the longer you stay in the water.

If you become obsessed with becoming a better swimmer, it requires that you spend more time in the water, pretty soon you lose the motivation to find the quickest way out of the water, it is very easy to loose focus on the reality of the thing we are doing when we have been doing it for a long time, we get involved in the mechanics, we got lost in the little things and make them big things, no matter what style you are doing it is the basics, the bread and butter stuff that saves the day, everything else is just another way of getting to the same result, and if you cannot identify that you may never be able to get out of the water.



Wing Chun Sydney


Of all the possible connections this one is dealt with the least, and yet it is the most important connection of them all.  How we connect to an opponent should be the reason for and direction of our training, everything will be for nothing if this aspect is not in our control.

This run of posts is looking at the connections of Mind and Body and its many manifestations, every connection with any individual will always be a separate Mind connection and a separate Body connection but they will play out in real time as a combination Mind / Body connection.

Body Connection.

There are three options available to us,

  1. We connect with the Bad Guy.
  2. We allow the Bad Guy to connect with us.
  3. We attempt to do both.

Connecting with our opponent, I am not referring to the simple Physics of the matter, in simple Physics we connect with each other, it is a collision even if an unwanted one, it is mutual, what I am referring to are the choices we make.

If we have the time, if we see it all unfolding before us what do we choose to do?

How do we choose to connect?

The maxim LOY LAU HUI SUNG, LAT SAU JIK CHUNG advises that we Escort {accept} the incoming Force to a new place, to me Escorting is a relatively passive action, as opposed to dragging for instance, so I have always felt it inferred that we allow the Bad Guy to connect with us, absorb their force and then lead them away.

Absorption is another word that has a passive element to it, we can absorb force  or we can repel it, we can be passive or be active, I can either allow the Bad Guy to give me his force, his weight, passive or I can give them my force, my weight, active.

How about a bit of both?

2 bob each way, a foot in each camp, being in two minds, that never works.  I am a firm believer that the Middle Road is the Fools Road so I do not even think about some hybrid where we connect to each other, that is really just swapping punches.

If we connect to the Bad Guy we give them the opportunity to absorb our force, redirect our force and even use our own force against us.

Surely that’s our gig.

If we only approach this from the point of Physical Contact we will always fall for the trap of becoming over aggressive and connecting with the Bad Guy.

How do we connect with what is happening mentally?  Mind / Body Unity requires that our Mind be involved in more than just the action of punching the Guy.  Do we wish to resolve this issue with as little blood as possible or do we wish to tear them a new one?

Not every situation will be so clear cut as to have a blanket response.

People attack too soon and too aggressively because they doubt that they can control the situation if the Other Guy gets to make the choices.

Although he undoubtedly feels in control, the Bad Guy does not connect with us because he wants to, it is not his choice, we allow him to connect so that we can take control.

It is our choice.

Passive actions that are guided by aggressive thinking.




What do we allow the Bad Guy to connect with?

Our Arm?  Our Centre?

If we have developed an understanding of Body Unity whatever he connects to is all of us, not just a limb or lump. Every part of us is connected remember, so if he pushes our Arm our Arm pushes our Centre, our Centre pushes our Feet and our Feet push the planet.  Allowing the Bad Guy to connect with us will make it clear what part of themselves is initiating that connection, that one part of them is now connected to every part of us.   They are outnumbered.

We do not need to be any special shape to make this happen. Just Normal Human Body shape.

Always being passive will not win the day so at some point we need to stop escorting and start leading, even if we are leading them into a strike there is no need for overt effort, we will accept the weight that they give us and return it to them on the end of our Fist. If time allows it we can multiply that weight by some Body movement of our own.

Our Foot pushes the planet and the Planet pushes back, our centre directs the return force to a place of our choosing and the one part of the Bad Guy that is connected to every part of us has no choice but to go with us, it is not us trying to move the Bad Guy, it is a case of the Bad Guy having hold of something that is moving so he gets dragged along by his own connection and not ours.

By allowing the Bad Guy to connect to us means that anywhere we go they go, it is always our choice.  If we choose to connect with the Bad Guy we are in danger of having the very same thing done to us.

Ultimately it is each individual’s fight, each individual’s call, each individual’s health at risk so we can choose what suits us, but it is also each individual’s training, when we train do we practice asking the Bad Guy in or or do we try to chase them away?

How do we Chi Sau?



Mind Connection.

What is the biggest threat the Bad Guy posses?

A punch, a kick, a knife or a stick?

The biggest threat is none of the above, weapons { punches and kicks are just as much a weapon as a stick or a knife is} are just tools and not the real problem.

What do we connect with, if all actions come from Mind then what we need to deal with is the attackers Mind, the real threat is not what he is trying to hit us with it is the fact that his thinking is driving the intention to hit us,  if we take away the stick he can pull out a knife, if we disarm the knife he may throw a kick at us and if we stop the kick he will simply punch us, defending against any number of attacks is not going to get us very far very quickly, we need to change his thinking, we need to attack his Mind, and the best way to do that is to cause damage or at least severe pain.   Only once the Bad Guys Mind is attacked will his intentions become muddled, only then can we prevail.  A second way to interfere with the thinking is to repeatedly compromise the Bad Guys balance, Spinal Reflex actions will override the thinking to initiate emergency protocols to regain balance, all contacts should have at least this condition active.

A simple maxim to keep in mind is…

How you feel changes how you think.

How you think changes how you feel.

They both change how you act.

In Wing Chun we put great emphasis on and work tirelessly towards keeping our own Mind calm and easy, Chum Kiu Form is to a large extent about maintaining balance and stability as we move into or through contact, we know the reasons, we know why we do this, so it should be obvious that we benefit by taking this away from the Bad Guy.

Down the line I will do a series on Motor Function and I will expand on this there.


When we connect with the Bad Guy we connect in Space and Time, when two Bodies approach each other Space and Time are compressed, everything happens quicker and closer and our margin for error increases, this is a difficult environment to operate in and nothing like the environment we train in.  When two Bodies move apart Space and Time are stretched, everything takes longer and happens farther away and once again our margin for error increases, this is an equally difficult environment to operate in and also not where we train.  What tends to get overlooked is that if we are still and our opponent is moving then Spacetime is being deformed and we have no control over it.  There is an aspect of Wing Chun referred to as ‘Chasing the Shadow, Facing the Shadow’  that is how we maintain our relative position in Spacetime with the Bad Guy, and of course  LOY LAU HUI SUNG, LAT SAU JIK CHUNG is how we work it.

Make the Bad Guy believe he has a Spoon.






Staying connected to the planet is an important topic in any Martial Art, most styles have their own particular approach that is usually played out in different stances and movement patterns, but in this Universe the only thing we ever need to align ourselves with is Gravity.

Because we have lived with Gravity for every second of our lives we tend not to notice it, and we need to.

Gravity infuses everything we do, constantly.

Gravity is pulling us down towards the centre of our planets mass, the reason we do not end up flat on the floor is that all of our collective Body parts are FALLING {in reality being pulled, but falling is easier to relate to} into our Feet in such a way that they stack up on top of each other to create a balanced structure. This is the same with buildings, trees and even increasingly cute Giant Pandas {and now I think of it even Fatso Jack Black}

In most Martial Arts the first learning objective is to be able to stand in this Balanced State that prevents us from falling over, there are numerous ways to achieve this, but they all have the same Goal.

Aligning ourselves with Gravity so that all of our weight FALLS into our Feet.

If our balance is correct we will not require any tension to hold us still, if there is tension then you are not in balance.         This is easy to test, just stand still.

If you are out of balance you will use tension to stop you from falling, this will fatigue the Muscle providing the tension, when this happens your Body will independently move to a new position that will also be out of balance and require tension to prevent falling over, you see this all the time, people shifting from one leg to the other, mostly unaware that it is even happening.

It is easy to think that we use the Muscular Tension to hold us IN balance, but this is incorrect, the tension is holding us out of balance.

When we are in balance there is no need for tension.   Gravity is always pulling us down, if we do anything to work against this we are fighting force.



If you are engaged in anything except allowing all of your Body to sink down, to drain into the Earth you are fighting force and cannot possibly be relaxed no matter what you may think you are doing.

Once we have established balance and stillness it is time to introduce movement.

All movement is a result of our interaction with the Planet, all power comes from our interaction with the Planet, even being still is a result of our interaction with the Planet.

The first moves are usually small, minor often just an Arm, if my movement takes any of my weight out of my feet, if it in any way interferes with the constant sinking into the ground of every part that is me then it is no longer working with Gravity but is in fact fighting it.

Wherever I may choose to move it the weight of my Arm must go to my Feet, or at the very least the action must not take anything away from my feet.

As difficult as this is to imagine if you think deeply on it you realise that there is no other way if we are to remain in unity with Gravity.

Take 2 minutes every day for a week to think about this.

When you understand …………………. things are just the way they are.
When you do not understand ………. things are just the way they are.

When we move we must move with Gravity, so every move begins as a downwards move.

My Foot presses the Planet, and the Planet presses back.

Even when I am standing still the stacking of my body that allows my weight to fall into my foot creates this press.

Even when still my Foot presses the Planet, this is the fundamental connection.

The more aware of this you can be, the more you can accomplish with it.

Think for a moment about what happens when you fall over, where do you fall from?    People tend to initially think that they fall from their Head or their Shoulders, but of course you fall from your Feet, from you Connection to the Planet.

If you are sitting on a wall and you fall off where do you fall from?

The most important aspect of any stance or any movement is the relationship between ourselves and the Planet.

We do not need to work towards connecting with the Planet, with Grounding, we just have to surrender to it.

This type of knowledge is not like being struck by a bolt lightning out of nowhere, it is much more like falling into a hole that was always there but we did not see.





Most M. A. Styles spend most of their training hours on this aspect of Connectivity but it is in no way specific to the Martial Arts, the Hand / Eye co-ordination of all Ball Sports, the ability to be able to ride a Bike without falling off, in fact simply Walking are all working in the same direction,  often it is more to do with ensuring there are no surplus or erroneous movements introduced, the action becomes Right once we stop doing things Wrong.

Body Unity requires that all of the Body parts be responsible for how they interact individually with all of the other Body parts.  Body Unity is often as simple of being aware that we do this naturally.

With just a few minor adjustments we can change normal everyday movement into Functional Martial Art Movement.  Connecting the Mind and Body is always the first step, once we understand what and why the how is quite simple.

Of particular importance are …..

The connections of Shoulder / Hip ensuring that they move together to the same place in the same direction.  Especially during rotation, when Hook Kicking for example both the Shoulder and Hip must move towards the target.

The connections of Elbow / Knee ensuring that they move together to the same place in the same direction.  In normal walking where we allow our feet to cross, which results in us twisting our Torso the Knees and Elbows adopt a counter action to keep us stable and stop us from walking like a Drunk and loosing fine control of our direction. Most Martial Arts, especially the Fist Arts advocate not crossing the Feet for this very reason.  That is why most Arts shift instead of step, as Wing Chun does in Chum Kiu.

A few years ago I began teach my Students do a rear Hip rotation to keep in synch with the Bong Sau when shifting in Chum Kiu to maintain the Elbow and Knee on the same line, it is not an original thought it is just bringing in {Connecting} some of the ideas from the Pole.      The increase in power is astonishing.

The connections of Hand / Foot ensuring that they move together to the same place in the same direction.  This is the easiest of the connections to work on, and usually if this is working so are the others, the stepping from the Knives is a fine example of this action.

The connections of the Nose and the Navel ensuring that they move together to the same place in the same direction.  Wing Chun’s Chasing the Shadow / Facing the Shadow Idea make this second nature.

If we allow the connections to be out of synch then our upper Body and lower Body are moving counter to each other, dissolving any kinetic energy chain, effectively fighting ourselves.

Although this is more Functional Human Movement as opposed to strictly Natural Human Movement it should be performed Naturally.



Taking the Body as a whole there are some priorities that we should hold as being vital.

Align with Gravity.  Mostly we do this without thinking, but we can improve our awareness of it by allowing ourselves to sink down into our Abdomen at all times, and then by extending it to feel for our Foot on the Earth.  Posture, Structure are just elements of being in Balance and being aligned with Gravity. A specific M.A. Styles Shape of Body is often as much Fashion as Function.

The Earth takes precedence over the Body.  All actions begin with the Earth, no matter what we think we are doing the Feet create the movement, the Foot presses the Planet and the Planet presses back, the Centre’s function is to direct this return force.

Lower Body takes precedence over the Upper Body.  The Feet, Legs  and Centre  are both the drivers and the supports for the Chest, Shoulders and Arms {this can be difficult to accept at first for Wing Chun Students, there is so much emphasis on the Spine and Arms, both of which are Upper Body} when the Waist or Hips move, the Shoulders follow, this allows the Upper Body to SIT or RELAX on the Lower Body, when the Shoulder follows the Hip the Spine remains in a natural and relaxed way.

Centre takes precedence over the extremities.  Both the Arms and the Legs are directed by the Centre, when we move, our Nose must follow our Waist, no matter what direction we are moving, basically remain in one piece, take the Waist to where you wish to do the work and look where your Waist is going, this prevents the Shoulders from falling out of position.

All movement is Human Movement, and we are Humans so it is how we do every task once we allow ourselves to move NATURALLY, the main aim is to become aware when we introduce movement that is UNNATURAL,  this is the function of all M.A. Forms, but too often  Form turns into per-form-ance and how we do it becomes more important than just doing it and observing, the most important aspects of training are consistency of action and understanding the task at hand, being mentally involved with what our Body is doing as in Mind/Body Unity.

Sometimes understanding what is WRONG is even more important than understanding what is RIGHT, once we remove the errors all we have left is correct and indisputable.

Body Unity is as natural as breathing, we do not need to try to develop it, very few people are truly uncoordinated, Students that struggle to move their Arm in a straight line to place their Wrist to a partners Wrist in training have no problem posting letters into a 3 inch high by 12 inch wide slot, even as they are walking past it, they have no difficulty in lifting a full cup of Tea to their lips while reading the Breakfast Newspaper without looking at the Cup or spilling a drop of  Tea.

There comes a point in everyone’s training  when Arm shapes, Stances and Movements are no longer important, you just deliberately move stuff out of the way with one simple Intention and normal Human Body Movement, this is the Grail after all.

We are all born with Body Unity, why doubt that we still posses it?