Articles

2018 : DO WE REALLY KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING?


 

 

OPEN THE DOOR, END THE MYSTERY.

 

If Force Flow cannot exist without external input then it cannot be acquired through solo training for the simple and unavoidable fact that we cannot create a reaction to our own action, they would cancel each other out.

 

WHAT ARE WE LEARNING?

The majority of our time in training is spent engaged in activities that are not the overall learning objectives, all the punching, kicking, defending, Chi Sau and even the Forms are not what we are ultimately after, these are methods to prevent boredom and burn out while our Mind and Body engage in the real work.

Once we take away all the razzamatazz and football fan mentality it becomes obvious that simultaneous defence and counter attack can be achieved just as well with a Dust Pan and Brush as it can be with a Dai Sau and Punch.

What are we really trying to learn, is there a methodology and if so is there a  hierarchy of methods?

We are trying to learn how to be conductive, how to use our body correctly as a conduit. Conductivity is the effect, what we are training is the cause that brings about that effect and as with all training the hierarchy goes from easy to difficult, from static to mobile, from in to out, from solo to combined, from Form to Function.  It makes little difference what side of the Form or Function argument we may find ourselves, what we may or may not think is most practical, before we can ever hope to function correctly we need to understand the Form {a Form without an intended Function cannot exist because it has no frame of reference for self articulation}, the blueprint for the operation, the plan, the cause, this is the natural cycle of training evolution so it all becomes a bit like the Chicken and the Egg, there is no starting point to a circle.

Once we have some understanding of the Form we must temporarily give it away and focus on the Function, we absolutely must undertake this stage incrementally, a little bit of Form then move on to Function then back to Form and then on again, neither Form nor Function can be understood in isolation.  Just doing the Form, any Form for 5 years is the equivalent of spending 5 years punching a wall bag, both of which are great places to start but pointless places to stay.

Q. When we are doing the Forms what are we are trying to learn?

A. We are trying to learn how to deliberately control and use the joints as opposed to accidentally controlling and using the joints, this is done by the correct use of the muscles, without the use of the muscles nothing moves.  All muscles activate by contraction, when they contract they create tension, to say that we do not use muscles or we do not  create tension in the muscles is not strictly correct, something got lost in translation.

In both defence and attack what we are dealing with is the transmission of force, momentum and impulse, issuing and receiving energy usually as weight, we do this by becoming a conduit that allows the force to move freely without hindrance, similar to how oil is moved around a factory or water around a household, all of the activities we undertake in training are the equivalent of us building something similar to a hydraulic system, if we use this image we can research hydraulics to understand Wing Chun.

When a hydraulic system is activated it is measured and observed as Force Flow, the pipes contain and to a certain extent control the Force Flow but they are not a part of the Force Flow, but the Force Flow could not even exist without the pipes, without the strength and tension supplied by the pipes.

In Wing Chun our body, the whole body is the equivalent of the pipes, and we need physical strength and muscular tension to hold the pipes together and enable Force Flow, without the pipes Force Flow does not nor cannot come into operation, it just remains liquid, a lake, a puddle.

Force Flow is not real, it is a by-product, an effect.

Many martial artists will read this and think to themselves “yes Force Flow is Chi, or Nim Lik or whatever”, but it is not, if Chi was to be anything it would just be the liquid, the lake, the puddle.

Force Flow is nothing mystical or magic it is just the physics of our universe in play, it is Reaction Force, and like any reaction it is dependent on an action, in Wing Chun we talk of Forward Force, this is a synonym of Force Flow, if we understand Wing Chun properly we know that it is not us that creates Forward Force it is our advisory’s action.

If Force Flow cannot exist without external input then it cannot be acquired through solo training for the simple and unavoidable fact that we cannot create a reaction to our own action, they would cancel each other out.

When we push the planet the planet pushes back, to make Force Flow materialise I need to allow my adversary to use me to push the planet, contrary to some Wing Chun thinking this can be done equally well with a tense rigid body as it can with a relaxed body, the physics of our universe works the same way on steel as it does on rubber, the key of course is alignment, consider the mediaeval knights with their jousting poles, there is nothing soft or internal about a jousting pole, and I very much doubt that the horse knew about Chi but they still take advantage of Ground Force Reaction because it is a physical law and nothing to do with Jousting.

Ground Force Reaction by its very definition comes from the ground, no matter what Martial Art we do all of our power comes from the ground, we may think that we are instigating the movement from our hips, our waist, our shoulders or any centre for the matter but these efforts only push our feet into the ground and create the Ground Force Reaction that powers our actions whether they are for defence of attack. Even standing still gravity pulls our body mass down and creates Ground Force Reaction so that as soon as people touch us they receive their own force back.

But only if we have the correct alignment.

Relaxation makes it much easier to align our bodies so that incoming energy can push us into the ground but to think that this cannot be done in a tense or rigid state is completely incorrect, it just much more difficult, it requires precision, as ironic as it may sound,  stiffness leaves no wobble room for error.  If tension prevents the supporting of a structure how do suspension bridges work?  If stiffness prevents the transmission of energy why does it hurt when we get hit with an iron bar?

Wing Chun is simple, simple as in uncomplicated, our aim should be to hit it hard with Occam’s Razor and not start to bring in flights of fancy, no matter what style of Martial Art we may practice in the end all we are training is our understanding of basic physics and developing a method to use that understanding.

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
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