Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday

W.C.W. 12-08-2015




What is the best way to strike someone?

When we think of the enormous variety to be found in strikes and the numerous Targets and reasons to hit them is it even possible to come up with a “Short list”?

I do not think that you can create a generic “Short List” but I firmly hold to the idea that we can build a “Personal Short List” and that we are doing ourselves a disservice if we do not.

If you are a smaller Male or an average Female do you think that Punching is your best tool?

If you are a larger Male with a Fist the size of a Loaf of Bread well yes I get it, but how about the rest of us? My own Fist is about the size of a medium Grapefruit, borderline effective against very large Men?

When we first come to any Martial Art we all come to learn how to defend ourselves, but Martial Arts teach Martial Arts, a very large part of any Martial Art is as much about training Curators, safely passing on the complete knowledge to someone so that it can be preserved over time for future generations.

It is of course vitally important that we do this, that we keep the whole of the style alive because not every student will use the same strike or the same defence.

How many Kicks do you know? How many Kicks do you genuinely think you would use? How many kicks do you train?

It could of course be any Strike not just a Kick, the important distinction is how many do you think you would use?  If you practice lets say 5 Kicks but genuinely believe that you would only use 2 of them is this reflected in your training regime, the 2 kicks that you would use are “training for today” while the other 3 kicks that you may never use are training for the historical record only.

Do you need to train everything to the same level and same intensity as the useable items?

This is where all systems of grading not only fall down but build in mediocrity.

If you look to Sport Fighting , the best fighters usually have a limited number, you could say a core set, of techniques or moves that they trust implicitly and with those few they defeat all comers, all their opponents know that they always use the same moves but can do nothing about it.

Q. So what is the “Best Strike in the World”?

A. It is anything that can effectively release your Kinetic Energy into the Target.

For Females and smaller Males the use of Open Hands, Forearms, Shins and even Head Butts are the most effective way of delivering a huge and instant release of Kinetic Energy into the Target, but these have a shorter range than Fists and Feet, require more confidence, better mobility and a deep understanding of Chum Kiu, and by that I mean reaching a point where you realise that Chum Kiu is not how we move, it is what we move {I am not talking Body Parts here}, and where it lives on the Mobility –  Stability Axis.

The amount of Kinetic Energy released in a Strike is the same if you hit slowly or you hit them quickly, the effect of that energy release on that person changes enormously with the speed of the release of that Energy into the Target, this is the difference between a “Push” and a “Punch”, it is not the acceleration attributed to the speed of the Punch but is in fact the acceleration of the time it takes for the energies dissipation, how quickly it comes down to Zero, how quickly it STOPS, and is another aspect of the Movement – Stability Axis.

This is something that we would do well to think about as Wing Chun practitioners, if we make Attacking Contact with the same Body Method that we make Defencive Contact, i.e. without Physical Tension, then we will absorb our opponents Body Mass Kinetic Energy {our main source of power} into our Structure until it pins us to the Planet and returns that Force, this will extend the amount of time it takes to release the Energy, lessen the Impact Force and basically turn it into a heavy shove, just like in training demo’s that are after all just a representation of the Potential Force that could be used.

This is the reason that we stiffen {tense} the Wrist on contact, to prevent us from absorbing their Body Mass Kinetic Energy.

Hitting someone in a “Soft” or “Deep” area of their Body also extends the amount of time it takes to release the energy.

The rapid “Machine Gun Punches” of Wing Chun do not stay in contact very long and as a result aid in the immediate release of the stored energy, but Punches are inherently unstable, there are just too many moving parts, and if you do not land the correct knuckles {needed to align the forearm} then the fingers just move on contact and act as some kind of suspension device and absorb impact shock, understanding this point lets us see the wisdom of multiple continuous  hitting.

And of course trauma is cumulative.

In many ways the best move is not to move and just let the Bad Guy collide with you, but for reasons I have explained many times before this will just not be an option.

In defending we understand that wish to stay in contact with the incoming strike as long as possible {this is why we shear} to extend the release of the Kinetic Energy and lessen the Impact Force on ourselves, in attacking we want the Kinetic Energy exchange to be as instantaneous as possible.

It needs to be the opposite of how we defend ourselves, this is of course built into all of our training but are you aware of it, do you know where it lives and can you use it?

Here is a  Video I posted previously on developing an understanding of Fa Jing, a purely physical practice that can help us understand how to achieve rapid Energy release.

Many Westerners attribute practices like Fa Jing to some level of mysterious Internal Energy, this is such a “Can of Worms” with serious Martial Artists, personally I have very mixed feelings about this aspect, I do not doubt its existence I only doubt the thought that it can be developed and manipulated, but in respect to this article Fa Jing needs to be Physical, we need to get that snap, if you are hoping to achieve it any other way than physically then you are hoping on something Magic happening, there is no Magic, only Physics, but as we all know to people that do not understand Science the most ordinary things can look like Magic.



1 thought on “W.C.W. 12-08-2015”

  1. Thank you “D Man” for another well written article, I always look forward to Wednesdays to see what you may be writing about next to help me with my Wing Chun training.


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