Not Counter-Attack as a method or Counter-Attack as a strategy but as an IDEA or group of IDEAS that can give purpose to method and direction to strategy.

O.K. Guys.

This mini-essay was way too big for the WhatsApp chat and anyway you may need to bookmark it to come back and re-read it.

Wing Chun was hybridised in the late 1860s from various Shaolin Styles by Dr. Leung Jan, this is history, not news, but do we understand why it is worth remembering?

If the physical shapes we use began as Shaolin shapes they are still Shaolin shapes.

Therefore Wing Chun is everything else apart from the Shaolin shapes.

The everything else package is the “Little Idea”, the five principles, and one concept.

The “Little Idea” of uniting the three aspects of Body, Mind, and {fighting} Spirit to the same end. 

The principles of Directness, Practicality, Simplicity. Economy of Movement and Non-use of Brute Force.

The concept of Counter-Attack.

Not Counter-Attack as a method or Counter-Attack as a strategy but as an IDEA or group of IDEAS that can give purpose to method and direction to strategy.

If we watch anyone trying and failing to use Wing Chun in a violent situation, it is usually because they are FIGHTING and not Counter-Attacking. 

They are using shapes we would recognise as they walk into punches or stand still for kicks and take-downs, but these are Shaolin shapes.

People that have little to no experience of what Geoff Thompson referred to as the ‘Pavement Arena’, street violence, struggle to understand how to take this dance we are learning and make it shine out there in the dark.

Without experience, there is no way to compare our training to the ugly mess of violent reality.

But we do not need experience of violent street contact to understand a Concept.

A concept is a head thing, ‘reality’ is everything else.

I know that you guys think that I am some kind of sports nut and that’s why I bring everything we do into the sports universe.

As Hercule Poirot would quip, ‘au contraire mon ami’.

Sports is ritual warfare, it was a semi-civilised substitute for violent contact between rival tribes, you only need to watch Liverpool v Everton in the English Premier League, New South Wales v Queensland in ‘The State of Origin’, Chicago Bears v the Green Bay Packers in the American National Football League or the old U.S.S.R.v Czechoslovakia ice hockey teams in the Olympics to see that it still is.

A good starting point for this chat, what is Counter-Attacking in Sport? 

Counter-Attacking begins with a turnover of the ball/puck in the build-up attack by team ‘A’.

Up to that point, team ‘B’ was either not in the play or under the cosh.

This can come about from a tackle or a bad pass but to be relevant to Wing Chun it comes from team ‘B’ reading the play and being in the right place at the right time.

A team ‘B’ player unexpectedly intercepts a pass while team ‘A’ is still pressing forward, breaks free unmarked and heads for the team ‘A’s goal.

I can almost hear you all saying ‘DUH’ we know how does it help?

To ‘GROK” Counter-Attack we need to understand what team ‘B’ is NOT DOING before the interception.

Of great importance is they are not trying to force the play. 

They are simply taking up intelligent positions, moving with the press, filling gaps and waiting for that moment their training tells them will come, waiting for their window of opportunity to open.

And when it opens, they dive through.

Recently when we were working on defending against an opponent that kicks, I suggested that the learning objective should be to understand why the kicks failed and not why we succeeded.

This is tricky stuff because we need to refuse our ego the credit of a job well done and reduce it to a bad decision by the attacker.

As I said at the time, we should work on these defences against opponents kicks to understand the futility of unsophisticated, obvious attacking.

As we know Wing Chun is based on everyday human body movements, if our attacker is an everyday type of human, which they will be, there is a random chance that they could come up with the same response as we would use to the same attack. 

Without realising or intending it.

I realise that this is Chimpanzee typing out Shakespear level of possibility but it is a possibility, and Wing Chun does not take chances no matter how small.

Wing Chun is not for sport, if we are using our training someone is actively trying to harm us.

Not a place to take chances.

 Wing Chun training shows us is that when we use our shapes and movements, working from the perspective of Counter-Attack, the majority of what others see as effective, useable attacks do nothing more than put the attacker in a perilous position. 

Returning to the Sports counter-Attack for a moment, once the breakthrough has been made the counter-Attack is completed.

From this point on it is an attack in its own right, do not miss this.

 Did you miss it?

There is still a lot of work to be done, team ‘A’ will turn and chase, if it is Soccer or Hockey there is a goalie to take on and there is every chance of the break fizzling out and it is back to the drawing board, once again taking up intelligent positions, moving with the press, filling gaps and waiting for that moment, waiting for a window of opportunity to open.

Counter-Attacking is not a method or strategy it is a conscious and deliberate decision not to force an attack.

It is a waiting game.

Once taken, this decision can apply our method and prosecute our strategy.

I realise that this is a bit wordy and may take a few run-throughs to get it, there is another way, go watch some Football or Ice Hockey.



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