Articles, Food for Thought, Weekend Headspin





Only a fool would think that in a violent exchange they are not going to get hit.



What makes any M.A, effective is its ability to navigate the Mobility – Stability Matrix in a fluid and rapidly evolving situation.  In general most Wing Chun training focuses on stability, but we really should question what  value should we place on stability in a violent environment that is more than just mobile it is fluid?

There is no doubt that we can be more effective and transfer body weight more efficiently from a stable position, a stable base, but what is the chance of us maintaining that stable base in the midst of the storm that is a street attack?

The Chum Kiu, which teaches how to move in a way that returns us to stability, or to be more accurate better stability,  is by far the most important Form to understand if you are training Wing Chun to genuinely deal with an attacker, but even Chum Kiu does little to teach us how to deal with the momentum of an attacker that is moving very dynamically. In fact it is not until the Knives Form that we come across movement that combines rotation and shifting that we are genuinely learning how to deal with dynamic momentum.

In early Wing Chun training a  great deal of time and energy is spent developing a strong and stable stance, a solid stance is looked upon as a perfect stance, having the ability to not be moved let alone pushed over is looked upon as being a high level of skill, and under the right conditions it most certainly is, as I have already mentioned body weight transfer is far more effective when a body is still and stable, well balanced stable, but body weight transfer does not discriminate against who is moving and who is not moving, that perfect stance allows any attackers strike that we fail to stop to be even more powerful, we add all of our own unmoving body mass to the strike it is just inertia and the conservation of momentum, the physics of collision.

Only a fool would think that in a violent exchange they are not going to get hit.

It is not the training that I think needs to be brought into question but the implied recommendations that come with that type of training, namely that stability is preferred to mobility.

In a perfect Wing Chun world we would indeed just stand there in the Y.C.K.Y.M and knock people out that tried to attack us, the thing is that our nervous system will be unwilling to allow us to just stand there in the face of a real and present danger, we will move before we think, once we move we are no longer doing stand still Wing Chun, we are no longer working in the environment we have been training for.  We all hope that in a time of crisis we would automatically adapt our training, but what this means is that we expect to use it in a completely different way, time and place to what we have done up to this date through our years of training, in reality we are hoping that we will do something radically different.

If we genuinely hope to do something different than what we have trained, if we pin our survival on doing something different than what we have trained, then would it not make sense to train something different?

And I do mean train something different, and not just try to train the same thing differently.  It does not matter where it comes from body movement is always and only body movement, it is how we use it that makes it Wing Chun.

Chum Kiu teaches us how to re-establish stability from an unstable situation, to a large extent it is about stopping, but how can we hope to understand how to stop effectively if we do not know how to move effectively, they are two sides of the same coin.

There are methods inside the Forms, they are broken down and isolated in the Chum Kiu and Biu Gee, they are not presented as a complete package until the 5th and 6th Forms, even then they are subtle and often overlooked or just plain missed, what we need are bigger circles, grosser movements that are easier to identify, but this “bigger, grosser” IDEA flies in the face of Wing Chun thinking so we need to take something from outside of Wing Chun to prevent contradiction and personal mental crisis.

Never forget that a circle is a shape and not a size, train large until you understand it then make it smaller and smaller.



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