It is the weapon sets and not the dummy set that allow us to combine all of the aspects of the earlier sets and ultimately discover the “Little Idea”.
Saturday morning training is all about deeper understanding, my senior students attend and to be honest I learn as much as I teach most of the time, this week we worked on the Baat Cham Do.
The first thing to understand about the Baat Cham Do, and the Luk Dim Boon Quan for that matter is that they are not real weapons, and the training we do with them is not weapons training.
From the perspective of weapons the movement of both sets is pedestrian and the applications one dimensional.
I know many people that disagree with this statement but they have not trained real weapon styles and I have, firstly I studied Bo Jutsu, Japanese staff training and later Doce´ Peres Philippine sticks and knives training, I assure you that the Wing Chun weapons sets are not comparable.
Why does a clever style like Wing Chun have these components?
My Sifu once joked that the main purpose of the Knives was to practice the Pole, and that the main purpose of the Pole was to practice the Knives, that is worth thinking about.
It is really tempting to say that the weapons are there to hide what we are working on from outsiders or casual students, this fits nicely with the belief that for many years Wing Chun was a secret martial arts style, unfortunately if that was the idea it also hid it from many normal students, this is so noticeable when you watch them moving, they lose their shape, their body unity and their stances.
This is the purpose of the Knives and the Pole, maintaining body unity while changing stances, coordinating hands, feet and body weight, and developing focus and projection of intention.
In Biu Gee we project our intention to the end of our fingers, in the Baat we project it out to the tip of the blade, and of course with the pole we extend that projection out towards infinity.
It is the weapon sets and not the dummy set that allow us to combine all the aspects of the earlier sets and ultimately discover the “Little Idea”.
As always the greatest strength / weakness of Wing Chun is that there is no standard way of doing things, we all need to find our own way, and this is mine.
It may be different from what you or your favourite Guru think but at least it works as a learning tool.