Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday



In the context of these posts Stability is ….

: the quality or state of something that is not easily moved.  {Merriam Webster Dictionary}

Balance is an integral part of Stability, balance is the ability to maintain the line of gravity (vertical line from centre of mass) of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway.


From a Martial Arts perspective our Stability / Balance needs to be functional against incoming force, to maintain balance against an incoming force our Base of Support {in the case of a Human Being the line between the Feet}, must be aligned to the Line of Force.

Most Wing Chun students believe that the Yee Chi Kim Yeung Ma is a balanced and stable position, but it is not, it is in fact a locked, ill balanced position that holds you in place due to the fact that the Legs have been adducted and are falling forwards into each other offering mechanical support.

This is easily tested, if a position is balanced it will be possible to move in any direction without shifting your Centre of Gravity, simply by pressing your Foot into the ground.

Test 1. Adopt the Y.C.K.Y.M. Settle in and Settle down, once you are still simply step forwards without shifting your Centre of Gravity, phase 2, regain your position then step backwards without shifting your Centre of Gravity.

Test 2. Adopt the Y.C.K.Y.M. Settle in and Settle down, once you are still have a partner come and firmly push you in the Chest with the intention of moving you, phase 2, regain your position and have your partner repeat the push from the rear to the middle of your Shoulder Blades.

The Y.C.K.Y.M. is extraordinarily good at redirecting forces through our Body to the floor, but only when there is a complete absence of Tension.

If a Body is in balance or out of balance it makes little difference if it is in a tense or relaxed state. I do not think that you would call the Eiffel Tower relaxed. A relaxed Body has the quality of a Jelly, it can absorb and dissipate energy, but do you really think a Jelly is Stable?

“It must be Jelly ‘cause Jam do’n’t wobble like that”

I am not trying to disparage the Y.C.K.Y.M. it is an exceptional “Training Stance”, it is just not very good as a Fighting Stance for the reasons already tested.

Any position can be forced to work, but only natural balanced positions can work naturally.

Why is  the Y.C.K.Y.M. such an exceptional “Training Stance”?

It is the fact that it is a “Locked Stance” and not a “Fluid Stance” that makes it so well suited to experience your Centre of Gravity and to discover how to move through various poses with the least amount of negative effect to your Balance / Stability.

It can allow you to discover how to move your Arms without working against yourself, disadvantaging yourself, weakening your position every time you engage an opponent.

Essential knowledge, powerful stuff.

If you observe the progression of movements through the A, B, and C sections it is clear that there is a progression from close in to the body and easily performed through to full extension away from the Body and dynamically performed, every direction is encountered, up, down { the double handed Jit Sau / Dai Sau to begin}, forwards, backwards { Tarn Sau / Tor Sau} diagonally {Garn Sau} and even helically {Bong Sau} each and every one of these movements affects your Centre of Gravity in a different way.

There are movements with a single Arm that have the potential to spin the Centre of Gravity out of balance horizontally, there are upward angled movements that have the potential to spin the Centre of Gravity Vertically and there are dynamic Palm Strikes that can create both disturbances.

Each and every movement is a challenge to control and maintain your Centre of Gravity.    The “B” Section is particularly complex as it uses both Arms through all planes of movement, forwards, backwards, up, down, left and right.

Going forwards in your training this is the most important Section to understand with regards to your Centre of Gravity mainly because the Chum Kiu Form is pretty much the “B” Section coordinating with the waist.


If we observe ourselves as we move from the ready position through Tarn Sau, firstly gently drop the Arm so that the wrist is placed on the Centreline {this Act of itself can completely destroy your position}, rotate the shoulder so that the wrist now travels forward along the Centreline feel how this movement is trying to pull you out of shape.

Gravity is working against you, and even though you may not be aware of it your Body is applying tension to prevent you falling over or twisting, this is your Body – Mind micro-managing your shape to retain equilibrium.

Equilibrium is not the type of balance we are after, Equilibrium is just a stalemate between two opposing equally out of balance forces.

There are a number of methods to combat this, or at least join in and gain a measure of control, some are mental methods and some are physical methods, it is unimportant which method you adopt, only results have any real value.


In some forms of Kung Fu there is a practice referred to as Marrow Draining, as you extend your Arm you Imagine that the very Marrow of that Arm is draining back into your body, essentially the idea is that the draining Marrow acts as a counter balance to the extending Arm through a weight exchange, the Arm gets lighter and the body gets heavier, obviously this is not really happening, this is a method of enlisting your Imagination to be able to communicate with your Body – Mind, but the Key is Imagination, so it can be anything that makes sense to you, Water, Sand, Chi, Marbles it really makes no difference non of it is real, but it must be real to you.

If you believe in Cosmic Forces then use them, if you do not then use Marbles, or any other device that you can clearly and strongly Imagine.

The clearer you can see your chosen method the clearer will be the communication with the Body – Mind, the clearer the communication the more appropriate and less forced will be the action taken by the Body – Mind as it micro-manages your Balance.


In the previous Video I spoke of rotating the Head so that the Chin moves back and up, there is another way to achieve this that is more suitable to our purpose, I roll my Shoulders up and back so that I can “PUSH” my Scapulae down my spine,  it is very important that this is a physical push and not just trying to let them drop, the engagement needs to be “Active” and “Constant” it does not however need to be very forceful.

Like the Chin back method this will cause your Sternum to rise so we simply fold it back into our body, this will in turn allow the Diaphragm to compress and contain the Centre of Gravity.

Extending the Arm from this position becomes an extension of the rotary down force, as such it aligns with Gravity and causes less disturbance, it is almost impossible to promote the Shoulder in this position so it acts as an anchor against twisting.

These are just the methods I use and there are many more that would do just as well.

Methods are nothing, results are everything so play with as many as you can find until you find one that suits you, and if at all possible use more than one in concert.

All and every Form in Wing Chun is a vehicle for you to explore the relationship between yourself and your Body through a range of actions.

Body Mind / Brain Mind.

I am of course referring to the Amygdala, Hippocampus and the Neo Cortex but most Kung Fu Students are Romantics and not Realists if you mention the Amygdala et al. their eyes glaze over and you lose them, but once you say the Body – Mind they are wide awake and all Ears.

When any Body part receives a stimulus a “Chain of Command” event is triggered,  it sends a request via the Central Nervous System to the Body – Mind, who in turn sends it on to the Brain – Mind to decide a course of action, once a decision is made the Brain – Mind relays the message back to the Body – Mind who then informs the Body what action to take.

This is almost instantaneous ….. but not quite.

In cases of emergency or acute stress the Body – Mind will act without sending the message upstream by choosing a preset or default action. This happens 100% of the time whenever the Body experiences a loss of Balance.

If your actions or shapes create ill balance your Body – Mind will kick in before your Brain – Mind even has the Email.

Why is this of any importance? All training, all learned knowledge is the domain of the Brain – Mind.

This is of of immense importance to Students that are engaged in Internal Kung Fu, or try to engage Internal Energies.  Chi, Kundalini, Nim Lik or whatever you align to are all products of the Brain – Mind and as such will be over ridden by the Body – Mind.  The ability to control your balance with Thought Force will not be an option, so learn how to move in balance from the beginning.


Wing Chun’s greatest strength is that it’s a Conceptual Martial Art.

Wing Chun’s greatest weakness is that it’s a Conceptual Martial Art.



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