FIST LOGIC

PLATEAUS.

The old map has been shattered and the discomfort comes from the delay in the delivery of the new map.

I was working with William, one of my students, this evening, he has been with me for several years and his progress makes me think that I might just be a decent teacher.

He is at the Chum Kiu – Bill Gee cusp.

However, he finds himself frustrated, not making any significant progress, finding everything foggy, confusing.

The dreaded PLATEAU.

Not just a normal Plateau, but the ‘Beast’, the mother of all Plateaus that seems to stretch beyond every horizon.

In the fiercely formated Japanese Arts, this stage is called ‘Brown Belt’.

We have all been there.

Not everyone came home.

For many, a Plateau is where ‘that thing they love’ starts to lose its magic and within a year or so they have walked away.

This stinks of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

A Plateau, as uncomfortable as they are, is an indication of an incoming paradigm shift.

A lightbulb moment.

The old map has been shattered and the discomfort comes from the delay in the delivery of the new map.

Sometimes, only sometimes, but for sure this time, the best course of action is inaction.

 Settle in, settle down, be still and let the universe change around you.

Instead of thinking that somehow we can change the universe.

You all know my love of cheesy maxims…

“You cannot push the river”.

During the course of the evening, the training prompted William to ask…

“Do you think that my mindset is attack influenced or defence influenced, which one works best”?

This is a great question that we should all address.

But address it just like Frank, in our own way.

There are always and only personal answers to these type of questions.

My ‘two bobs’ worth was that the appropriate answer will present itself if we treat our opponent with respect.

If we respect our opponents’ ability to hurt us then it is a no-brainer that we initially adopt a defence influenced mindset.

If it turns out that we have overestimated our opponent, perhaps paid them too much respect, we can simply change our opinion and fix the problem.

If we have no respect for our opponent it becomes a game of chance, 50/50, this is and never has been the Wing Chun Way.

The challenge that I see a great many Wing Chun people struggling with is understanding exactly what a ‘Counter-Attacking’ mindset IS.

If we do not understand it how can we be expected to adopt it?

Who we are never changes through our whole life time.


Who we think we are changes every Day!

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

BRINGING IT HOME.

‘if we are initiating the action we are attacking if we are responding to an opponent’s action then we are defending’…

Having the ability to transfer the training into a way of doing the work is frustratingly completely different and separate from both the training and the work!

This is a task that can be easy to overlook as there is a tendency to think that the training is the work.

The majority of the training we do is focused on defence, for very good reasons.

Reasons that have a great deal more to do more to do with developing confidence than developing capability.

This is the best reason.

‘Without the confidence of thinking we can defend against a hit we will hesitate to engage the Bad Guy’.

Construct – examine – deconstruct – examine – reconstruct – examine.

Rinse and repeat.

Below are a couple of Video take-aways from recent training sessions, they are a little long winded as is the way with live training, it is more important that the information gets accross than it is that it sounds cool and crisp, this is ‘fly on the wall’ video.

There are some important ideas here if you can grasp them.

This is just everyday training, no one is trying to show off or even do their best, it is just a normal evening, before thinking poorly of anyone be aware that you would look just like this.

One important aspect to spend some time thinking about is…

‘if we are initiating the action we are attacking if we are responding to an opponent’s action then we are defending’…

What does this mean?

Does it change your approach?

As with all of our training how we relate to what we are being shown and how we can connect that to the work is the main difference between being capable and effective or not being capable and effective.

Context is so important.

Try to view everything that we are doing in these Vids as an aspect of Chi Sau or as an expression of our FORMS, in this way we are at least attempting to connect the training to the work.

We will be working on this approach for at least the next 6 weeks, if anything is being shown here that you want me to expand upon mention it when you come in for training.

HOKKA HEY
WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

PUNCHING?

‘Know that life is not fair, and you will fail often’.

Admiral William H. McRaven

April is focusing on punching.

Let’s get started.

How many punches are there in the Wing Chun System?

If you answered anything other than one, you are mistaking the training for the work.

Something we must align ourselves with is that punching is not physical, it is emotional, it is a desire.

In Wing Chun, the punch comes from the heart’ says the Kuen Kuit, this is not a G.P.S. thing, not a location, position or physical place.

This is being – Body Being.

 Think it – feel it – be it.

If a punch fails it was not because of positioning or technique but because of a lack of emotional commitment.

Understanding this…

…and understanding that this is also true for the ‘Bad Guy’ and that is why when we attack we attack their thinking and not their body, but this is for another post…

…understanding this takes our actions off of the dance floor and into reality.

The ONLY requirement of a punch is that it lands on the target flush in a direct line from where it came from to where it lands.

Which of course is the ‘Textbook’ explanation of the Wing Chun Punch.

Everything else, the footwork, the arm shape, the positioning even the strategies are just how we navigate the environment we find our selves in.

 Think it – feel it – be it.

When we arrive at that place in our training where we see and truly understand that all and any movement is about free access to the target we see how simple Wing Chun is.

I watched an amazing presentation by a U.S.Navy Sea, Admiral William H. McRaven talking to a new crop of Navy Seals, one truly amazing IDEa was that the first, and most important thing you do is make the bed.

Never leave the house if your bed is not made up, tidy and ready to use on your return.

Think about that and what it means to you.

Before you decide that I am having a Seniors moment watch it now from the link.

Know that life is not fair, and you will fail often’… Admiral William H. McRaven.

How do we describe our punch to ourselves?

What do we want this punch to do?

This is an Is our bed made? type of question.

This should be the departure point for all of our training.

THE WING CHUN PUNCH COMES FROM THE HEART.

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

WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND NOTHING, THINGS ARE JUST THE WAY THEY ARE.

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

FIST LOGIC

THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD.

JACK OR JACQUELINE?

No matter what you think you are seeing in the training video, and it is only a training video, do not doubt that all three of these men could end you instantly.

I am a Wing Chun believer, a true believer, in my own way a genuine champion, but we really should be honest, when it comes to being prepared for that dark day our training sucks!

As an Instructor and {very} long term student I understand and realise that what we are doing is not what we hope to learn.

This is by far the most problematic aspect of the work.

If we can resolve this issue we are truly golden.

The snippet of this mornings training, 03/03/2021, is with very senior Wing Chun players, my three students are all Junior Masters in their own right.

Why are they Junior Masters?

Because they choose to still have a master instead of running their own school.

If they wished it they could do it without breaking sweat.

But we are all people.

No matter what you think you are seeing in the training video, and it is only a training video, do not doubt that all three of these men could end you instantly.

I know they can do this because it is the thing I taught them to do, and they are great students.

It is just training, we are trying perhaps odd IDEAS, doing odd shit, seeing what WE can make work.

IF Wing Chun is normal human body movement why do we struggle?

VIDEO

If you do not have the vision to see what is happening here, save it for later, this is all of us trying to be the thing we think is Wing Chun.

The most important attribute for a Martial Artist to develop is honesty.

‘Why am I trying to use this skill’?

WHEN YO UNDERSTAND….

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

GET A VIDEO RECORD OF YOUR PRIVATE LESSON.

BE YOUR OWN ACTION HERO.

But the next day it is just a head full of Wing Chun Soup.

Something I offer that can be a great help to your understanding is that I Video Record a Private lesson were we go over any specific areas that you wish to work on.

If you wish to go deep into a Form.

If you wish to go deep into Chi Sau.

If you wish to go deep into Body Structure, or Body Being.

If you wish to go deep into Fist Logic.

If you wish to experience and understand Mind boxing.

Going deep into any subject usually results in receiving way too much information to be effectively retained.

At the end of the session there is excitement about how much new stuff has been covered.

But the next day it is just a head full of Wing Chun Soup.

Having the video of your lesson on a U.S.B. means that you can revisit it at any time, in fact numerous times.

This is not a free service, it takes time to produce the Video, but it is not expensive.

I have just provided Kunal with almost 1 hour of edited study, here is a taste.

VIDEO

If this sounds like a good idea talk to me today.

TWO THINGS TO BE AWARE OF…

  1. We work on anything that YOU wish to work on.

2. I am “Closer Than Hong Kong”

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

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.

vid

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

FABRICATING THE FRAME.

Simplification of information requires that at some point we need to be overcomplicated and moderately confused.

We all know that Wing Chun is a concept based Martial Art that is based around the Sil Lim Tao.

The ‘small thought or little idea’.

But what exactly is that?

After 30 years of training, I have concluded that the Sil Lim Tao as a concept is a Chinese equivalent of the ‘Law of Parsimony’.

Simplification of information requires that at some point we need to be overcomplicated and moderately confused.

We better get started is all I can say.

The IDEA of the ‘FRAME’ as a virtual reality 3-dimensional construct that we constantly use as our method of representing points in a space of given dimensions by internal physical coordinates. may sound a bit whacky at first but it is simple, quite elegant and readily accessible to anyone with any imagination.

Over the coming weeks I will attempt to expand and simplify the whole IDEA of building and working from the FRAME as opposed to using more common, physical or mechanical means.

This methodology is central not only to Wing Chun but to most other Martial Arts, all sport or any form of movement technology that is intended to be functional such as dance or acrobatics.

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

FIST LOGIC

WILL THE REAL WING CHUN PLEASE STAND UP?

MY TEACHER, JIM FUNG, PASSED ON 18 – 03 – 2007.

Wing Chun is in danger of becoming a dinosaur or worse yet a religion.

Who did what, where, when and why?

Back in the mid-1850s, Leung Jan of Foshan {the creator of Wing Chun} was a doctor, herbalist and bonesetter working with the Red Boat Opera Troupe in Guangdong Province.

From his experiences with the Martial Arts actors of the Red Boat Troupe, he formulated a new Martial System that he called Wing Chun.

As a bonesetter, he would have been conscious of anatomically correct movement, and of course, would have avoided any of the injury-causing movements that he would have been treating the Red Boats Martial Artists for.

If we relate his situation/position then to what occurs today he would have been akin to a modern-day Physical Therapist working through a CrossFit Gym.

Perhaps along the lines of T.R.S’s Kelly Starret or Smashwerx’s Trevor Bachmeyer.

He was coming from a position of avoiding injury but more importantly doing things better than before.

Fast forwards to 1950, Hong Kong, Ip Man opens a school that would ultimately bring Wing Chun to the world.

It is doubtful that Ip Mans Wing Chun was remotely similar to Leung Jan’s, his knowledge came from a variety of sources and from the outset his ideas reflected the living experiences he had as an undercover policeman and intelligence officer.

Dark alleys, multiple attackers.

It is well documented that Ip Man deliberately removed many of the traditional Chinese elements from his Wing Chun, such as the Bagua and 5 elements, to appeal to the more modern thinking young people of post-civil-war Hong Kong.

Three times Ip Man changed the presentation and content of his Wing Chun to the point that when his sons joined him in Hong Kong in the early 1960s they did not recognise the art he was teaching compared to the art he taught them in Foshan.

Ip Man was feeling the pulse of the times and quite possibly created a new Martial Art.

Just like Dr Jan of Foshan, he was coming from a position of doing things better than before.

Two of Ip Mans more famous students, Wong Shun Leung and Chu Shong Tin, went on to make severe departures to what Ip Man had taught them, interestingly their changes were in contrary directions to each other.

Their reason for the change was more an update than a reinvention, they were coming from the same position of doing things better than before.

Ip man passed in 1972, Wong Shun Leung passed in 1997, Chu Shong Tin passed in 2014.

If we look around the Wing Chun world, everyone is ideologically stuck in the late 20th century Hong Kong.

Wing Chun is in danger of becoming a dinosaur or worse yet a religion.

Surely it is time for someone to be coming from a position of doing things better than before.

The old torches have long since burnt out.

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

SOLO PLAY, THE RULE OF THREES AND SOME OTHER STUFF.

“Are these moves really important, or are we being played”?

The ‘RULE OF THREES’ is a useful tool when presenting anything to an audience, it tends to get more engagement.

When we consider how closely related Kung Fu is to Theatre and Ritual it is easy to see why this tool is so widely used in Kung Fu Forms.

In Wing Chun, we are told that any movement in any form that is done three times is of more value to our training than something done twice or only once.

The question arises, unwelcome as it is…

“Are these moves really important, or are we being played”?

All that aside, on Thursday evening we did some things that I would like us all to be on the same page about.

Solo training can be difficult to value, but I assure you without a serious approach to solo training we remain nothing more than players.

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
FIST LOGIC

SINKING AND RISING.

SINKING INTO AN UPWARDS ARROW.

Getting a better understanding of Dai Sigung Issacs theory of the “conservation of momentum” will be of more value to us, from the perspective of practical application than 5 years Chi Sau.

All power production is the result of how well we move or control our weight.

The most natural and easiest method is to simply drop our weight down toward Mother Earth or lift it towards the Heavens, and of course we experience this in our Heaven and Earth stretch.

The most important thing to remember when we drop our weight is that it goes with gravity, straight down, not towards a chosen place or target.

In line with this when we lift our weight it also travels in a straight line, from the floor to our Pelvic Centre and not toward a chosen destination.

Dropping and lifting our weight is what I refer to as “Sinking and Rising”.

I prefer this term because it implies control and not happenstance.

Getting a better understanding of Dai Sigung Issacs theory of the “conservation of momentum” will be of more value to us, from the perspective of practical application than 5 years Chi Sau.

Work hard at understanding the IDEA of “Sinking and Rising” but do not think that it is any more important than everything else we do.

Knowledge is gained by adding something every day.  Wisdom is gained by taking something away every day.

HOKKA HEY

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?