Articles

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.


FORMS ARE WORKOUT ROUTINES, NOT MAGIC BULLETS.

wing chun sydney

Doing any Form from any Martial Art is nothing more than a Little Dance if you are not approaching it in the correct manner.  If waving our Arms about created incredible Kung Fu Skills then Traffic Police would be awesome, there is more to it, and it is not that complicated.

Here in the Western World,  going to Gyms is part of growing up for most young Men, and it is the same if it is Sports related or just for exciting the Ladies, it is common knowledge that you need to do specific “SETS” to work on Specific Muscle Groups, you need to have good information and you need to have a structured plan of how you are going to Build that Body, just popping into a Gym and lifting weights, even if it is day after day, year after year is not going to cut it, and I think most of us know this.

Even in the Gym FORM is an important aspect of the program.

There is a lot of misconception and even misinformation about what any Form does and what we should be looking for.

Most of it is Marketing but a lot is also ignorance.

If you have any personal experience with Gym Training then you know that it all begins with an IDEA, and that IDEA is usually either a specific look you are after or an improvement in physical ability, you then do some research to find out what is needed to reach your goal and develop a PLAN , we could even call it a CONCEPT to achieve this.

Then you choose a Mentor / Instructor / Gym and put in the physical work.

THIS IS WHAT KUNG FU IS.

If you wish to maximise this work then you need to be sure that you are working on the correct Muscle Groups by doing accurate correct movements.

A well planned and administered weight training regime is exactly the same as any Martial Arts Form.

QUESTION: How much faith would you put in a Gym Coach that told you “Push them weights up in the Air” without telling you what you were working on, how could you know if is it a Leg exercise, a Back exercise of just an Arm exercise, what Muscle Group are you aiming at and of even greater importance what Muscle Groups must you avoid engaging.

This last point of understanding what parts of the Body need to be not involved is of extreme importance.  I think we can all imagine how ineffective it would be trying to raise a 100 Kilo Bar with our Waist twisted and our Knees sticking out.  We would not be able to deal with the weight {downward force} of the Bar, at least not safely.

When you intercept a Punch from a Big Man you will be dealing with Forces far in excess of 100 Kilo’s.

One inherent problem with all Martial Art Schools is the constant turnover of Students, even in Ip Man’s School most Students did not last 6 months, in my Sifu’s School at least 50% did not last 3 months, this is quite normal and if you are running a Commercial School and using Advertising to bring in a steady flow of new people this is very much what will happen, the result is that before too long no serious attention is paid to the Student until he has displayed some inclination to stay the course.

Instructors do not deliberately withhold information it is just Human Nature stopping us from “throwing Pearls before Swine”, but it happens to all of us.

In Wing Chun there is a great deal written and said about our first Form the Sil Lim Tao, as correct as most of it tends to be it is often presented in such a way that it becomes almost meaningless.

Keep your Wrist on Centre…… WHY?

Unless you have been lucky enough to work closely with a GENUINE MASTER the chances are you are still doing everything the same way as you were shown in the first 6 months by people that knew precious little more than you did.

As is the norm in Kung Fu Schools most of the training in my Sifu’s School was carried out by Senior Students and supervised by my Sifu, often the things that I was told by my Seniors was confusing, each one having a different IDEA, a different understanding made much worse by the belief that they knew as much as Sifu did, luckily I am a “Squeaky Wheel” and I would get it corrected by my Sifu by taking my concerns to him.

One thing I was instructed to never do was to try to work on the whole Form at once, how can you keep your Focus, how can you pay attention to 1 Joint when you are moving 3?

Most Students that I have met spend their time doing the Form thinking of so many things it is impossible to be effective.

Turn the toes in, relax the Thighs, contract the anus, straighten the spine, drop the Shoulders, tilt the Head, drive your Nim Lik up your spine, allow your Centre to sink, this is all before any movement of any Joint is performed, and it only leads to “Analysis Paralysis”.

I said earlier…   I think we can all imagine how ineffective it would be trying to raise a 100 Kilo Bar with our Waist twisted and our Knees sticking out.  We would not be able to deal with the weight {downward force} of the Bar, at least not safely, how do we improve this by adding more movement and diminishing our concentration by spreading it around?

One of the things my Sifu encouraged me to do was to VISUALISE my self doing the Form with absolutely no physical involvement, this is a great deal harder than I anticipated, in the mid 1990’s I was unfortunate enough to undergo Spinal Fusion, as a result I was laid up in a Body Cast for a couple of months, as strange as it may seem my Sifu said that now was the time to work on Visualising the Form, which I did and eventually succeeded {there is a very real chance that it was more the Morphine than myself L.O.L.}, when I returned and informed him that I could now do the form in my mind he told me to now break it down into “Single Movements”, not as in Tarn Sau, Fook Sau or whatever, but just a Shoulder rotation, or an Elbow hinge or a Finger Extension, if I was moving the whole Arm then I moved the Whole Arm and not separate pieces of it.

Once I brought this IDEA into the Physical action of the Form, and to be honest this took quite a few years , everything changed and I finally understood what my Sifu meant when he would say that there is only one move in all of Wing Chun.

When you do your Form do you know what you should not be doing????

Do you FOCUS on this aspect,  keeping the wrong things out or do you just try to stick the right things in.

If you can be certain that you are doing no incorrect movement then everything else, no matter what it may be has no other possibility than to be correct, this is the path to the top of the Mountain, and if you wish to reach the summit it is more important not to fall of than what side of the path you are on, or even what path you choose.

Learn the form, but seek the formless. Hear the soundless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

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