“In theory … theory and Reality are the same … but in reality, they are not”.

When someone attacks us when they strike us they are giving us their weight.

Our job is not to try to stop them from doing this but instead to accept that weight and then give it back to them, we do this by joining them and not by sending them away.

The way that Wing Chun does this is very clever, very subtle, and practically a passive action on our part.

Essentially we allow them to walk into something they have stabilised and secured ‘solidly’ to the planet.

The majority of students struggle with this because they do not fully understand Wing Chun Pivoting.

The reason for this misunderstanding is that there is Chum Kiu Pivoting and Biu Gee Pivoting but so few students stay around long enough to deeply study Biu Gee.

There is nothing secret or magical about the Biu Gee philosophy of pivoting, we are talking Wing Chun here where simplicity is the rule, in many ways, like so much of the difference between Chum Kiu bits and Biu Gee bits, we are just flipping the coin, playing the ‘B’ side, Yin and Yang.

Chum Kiu accepts force while Biu Gee issues force.

All ‘FORCE’ exists as a wave, even physical force, think of a Shock Wave.

For this conversation, the stimulus for this force is always a reaction to an action between ourselves and the ground.

Even in defence.

If our alignment is correct and our structure reliable contact with a strike pushes us into the ground creating an action between our feet and the ground which creates a reaction.

Our friend “Return Force”.

Quick recap…

The strike, and as such the line of force, comes into our arm and from there is transmitted through the shoulders, to the spine, then the pelvis then the legs, then the heels, and into the ground.

This transmission is pretty much instantaneous.

Our connection with the ground is responsible for what happens to that force, whether we dissipate it or return it.

If we rotate our feet as the strike lands, which changes the position of our heels from the contact point with the ground, we dissipate the force at the ‘grounded contact point’ by preventing an alignment for the ‘return force’ to enter back into the heels and as such into our body via the Kinetic Chain or Chain Reaction.

What return force does enter into our body experiences a Doppler Shift.

Although a Doppler Shift is usually used to describe light or sound waves it also relates to shock waves.

In brief, when compressed a wave becomes faster, louder, and stronger, when stretched it becomes slower, quieter, and weaker. If you are not familiar with the Doppler Effect Google it.

When we use Chum Kiu pivoting, where we move our feet, the aim is to negate any return force from entering our body where it could destabilise us and do other mischiefs, it is an intelligent use of basic natural physics.

How Wing Chun exploits this passively is what has always impressed me.

 If our alignment is correct, when the attacker steps into us he is essentially pushing himself into a statue of a person with an extended arm that he stabilises with his mass and stabs himself.

This is the bit that gets missed.

Did you miss it?

We“, -do not hit the bad guy.

Chum Kiu’s philosophy, is good for us, very bad for them.

Flip that coin.

Many students with incomplete knowledge of Biu Gee Philosophy think that the opening pivots are Elbow Strikes and ignore the pivoting.

It is subtle, what begins as a Chu Kiu pivot of the lower body stops before the end of the movement, which in application would be ‘almost contact’ with the target, but the torso is still rotating into and through contact.

Feet and hips are still, while the chest, shoulder girdle, and arm are still moving, our hips, legs, and feet are like a Bar Stool, our torso and all the other bits are like a kid swinging around on it.

Did you miss it?

When we use Biu Gee pivoting, which is happening from a solid base with no foot movement, we return the original force through our kinetic chain and add acceleration by torque brought about by upper body rotation.

Summation of Forces.

Another reason to research the Doppler Effect is to understand, from a dynamic Wing Chun perspective, both sides of the coin when it comes to the compression of time and space.

If we are standing still and the attacker is standing still, which is highly unlikely, everything is happening in standard Earth time, training hall time, the space between us is a shared space under equal control.

If we are standing still as the attacker steps into us, Earth time is being compressed, everything is now happening faster, with more power {louder and stronger} and the space it is happening in is now controlled by the Bad Guy.

If we step or pivot in toward the attacker we accelerate the compression, and “Up Size’ everything that is happening…… 

Understanding this can lead to better decision-making. 

If we pivot or step away, which would see us joining with the attacker’s line of force, we stretch space, weakening the Bad Guy’s attack and give ourselves more time to assess and react.

It is tempting to think that during a Chum Kiu pivot, as we are defending ourselves if we lock our pelvis and legs, rotate our upper body, and extend our arm while stabilising the shoulder girdle and spine just before contact then we can hit the Bad Guy as he steps in and hit him “really hard”.

In theory yes, however…

“In theory … theory and Reality are the same … but in reality, they are not”.

It is possible to pull this off in the training hall where all we need to focus on is our technique, but if we find ourselves in a genuine violent situation we will have other things to think about than pivoting.

Things like pivoting, shifting, and positioning need to be trained responses that we can trust our intention and intuition to make the appropriate choice.

In training, we should firmly set in place the IDEA that when pivoting for defence we move our feet and in attack, we keep them still.

Good judgement comes from experience.

Experience comes from bad judgement?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s