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WING CHUN WEDNESDAY: THE VIEW FROM 30,000 FEET.


FROM UP HERE EVERYTHING IS A COMMON DENOMINATOR.

 

Deconstructing the Forms and reassembling them in different patterns is the key to mastery. Breaking apart the practiced sequence even the direction of travel is enlightening.

When we are training in Wing Chun something that should be held front and centre in our mind is that Wing Chun is based on normal human body movement, if for some reason we are struggling with any particular action or any section of any form it is because we are not moving like a normal human.  Once we get past the dance, at their core all Forms are just dances, Forms function as an observation deck into how much we understand about our own body, they are not really teaching us anything, we already know how to move ourselves, placing special emphasis on any particular set of movements is a trap that binds and blinds, it prevents us from understanding the totality of the Wing Chun system, the end game of which is to be able to create power on the fly, from any position, any shape with any part of our body.

There are ideas introduced in Chum Kiu that are not repeated in Biu Gee that we are meant to take along with us just as we are meant to bring the ideas from the First Form with us into Chum Kiu. In particular in Chum Kiu we have a Bong Sau / Dai Sau movement that is performed in the first section with a pivot and in the second section with a shift. This is a clear indication that all arm structures can be performed either pivoting or shifting.

All arm structures.

Biu Gee is predominately performed with pivots, but if we follow what was introduced in Chum Kiu the moves can also be done shifting, and of course we see that in the Dummy with the Kwan Sau and Garn Sau movements being performed with shifting in the first section and pivoting in the second and third section of the Dummy Form.

By the time we complete our study of Biu Gee we have been introduced to the complete repertoire of movement in Wing Chun, but it is still to a large extent a jig saw that needs putting together, looking ahead we see that there is backwards shifting and stepping in the Knives and the Pole, the straight back shift to the cat stance from the Pole is introduced in Chum Kiu albeit in two separate parts, the lateral curved backwards shift in the Knives was introduced in Biu Gee.

Deconstructing the forms and reassembling them in different patterns is the key to mastery, bringing forward the idea from the S.L.T. to use only one hand breathes new life into the Chum Kiu and Biu Gee, performing the opening sequence from the S.L.T. with the movement and aggression of Biu Gee is exactly what we do with the Dummy and of course in application.  Breaking apart the practiced sequence even the direction of travel is enlightening.

For reasons I really do not understand the majority of the people that I began this journey with over 25 years ago base the majority of their training on the First Form, do not mistake me I know that the First Form is important, the first step of any journey is important, we cannot build without foundations but unless our training is imbued with the knowledge of the Chum Kiu and Biu Gee it is of no functional value, the First Form is an imaginary Form in the very realest of senses, everything that we can come to understand through the First Form can be learned by studying Chum Kiu and Biu Gee but there are numerous aspects of the later Forms that can not even be approached through the First Form, focusing on the First Form is not enough if you expect to be dealing with nasty, violent and more than likely larger people.

People train for many different reasons, but at the end of the day Wing Chun has a specific objective to achieve, and that objective is to defend ourselves, which Form, if any, is the best training to prepare us for this? In Wing Chun how we approach the work is of as much consequence as the work itself, if we perform Biu Gee the same way as we perform S.L.T. then we are in point of fact still doing S.L.T.  If we do Biu Gee the same way as we do Chum Kiu then we are in point of fact still doing Chum Kiu, this is not necessarily a negative, it also means we can perform S.L.T. with the aggression and intent of Biu Gee and still be doing Biu Gee!

Standing still moving slowly will most certainly help us understand how our joints work and how to use them correctly but it does not energise a kinetic chain, it does not increase velocity, it does not create greater momentum and as such is not representative of dynamic contact especially the type we are expecting if we ever get into a violent situation.

We should ask ourselves what is normal human body movement in respect of a Martial Art. 

Wing Chun is a system, although we have six Forms all the relevant information is in the first three, the Dummy combines the three into one and brings into being a workable whole, Knives and Pole Forms add complexity and difficulty due to the tools themselves this allows us to approximate challenges in controlling our body mass and balance that we may face when confronting the force of an opponent.

How we train is how we will fight, how could it be any other way?

 

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