Wing Chun was Kung Fu for the new age.

Hey Tribe;

RICK recently sent me an article, written by someone about their experience while training in Wing Chun in Hong Kong.

To my sensibilities, it was a very odd article that used magical thinking as a way to explain how to do what we do.

It is not the first time I have read such opinions.

In fact, I first read about them as a 12-year-old boy while studying Chinese history in high school, way back in 1965.

This was the story of the Boxer Rebellion.

When the British established the first trade mission with China in 187? It was the beginning of a culture clash that China would never recover from culminating in the Boxer Rebellion.

The Boxer Rebellion was an officially supported peasant uprising of 1900 that attempted to drive all foreigners from China. 

“Boxers” was a name that foreigners gave to the Chinese secret society known as the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists” that was spread throughout Kung Fu Kwoons.

It was the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists” that prosecuted the peoples anger at the foreign interlopers.

The leaders of the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists” genuinely believed that Kung Fu, specifically Iron Shirt and Iron Body training, made them invulnerable. 

This was magical thinking of the highest order.

In August of 1900, this magical thinking was proven to be wrong as dozens if not hundreds of Kung Fu Masters fell to the European Muskets.

It was the old world v the new world. 

Mystic Superstition v Science.

In the wake of the Boxer Rebellion and the second Sino-Japanese war, both sides of Chinese politics embarked on a program to modernise itself and dispel all of the old superstitions.

It is worth noting that it was in this social climate that Wing Chun blossomed, with its principles of Simplicity and Practicality and its abandonment of the more esoteric aspects of traditional Kung Fu.

Wing Chun was Kung Fu for the new age.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

There has always been a split in the Kung Fu community along these lines,  some schools still look to the past with Chi Kung and the BaGua while others modernise by embracing sports science.

Even in Wing Chun.

My Sifu’s school was a massive school with something in the vicinity of 1000 students enrolled at any one time in 3 states and 30 sub-schools, to be expected there was a sliding scale of opinions.

A small cohort of the school would pilgrimage to Hong Kong and would return with a different IDEA of what Wing Chun is and how it should be trained.

There is no harm in this, training is not fighting, but many of the IDEAS began to spread like a virus through my Sifu’s school, and these IDEAS flew in the face of established science.

There was talk of being able to generate force without that force returning from the ground, dismissing Newton’s Third Law of action and reaction, and talk of the training accessing an area of the human brain unknown to Neuroscience.

Training that develops a force that is only known to the initiates of this specific type of training.

Echoes of Iron Body Training.

One side of this coin is that it is harmless fun to use magical thinking in our training, and to a large extent anything that helps and encourages someone to train more often and invest more effort is a good thing.

But the negative side of this harmless fun is that it ignores the things we know to be true, it leads us away from the honesty of everyday existence, and it encourages naive students to trust in things that do not work.

I understand the allure of this IDEA.

Who would not like to achieve Top End results without putting in any hard work.

It is the Kung Fu Law of Attraction.

Claims that we can create force without pushing the floor are disingenuous, to say the least.

Even when we stand completely still our body weight, powered by gravity, pushes the floor.

And the floor pushes back.

I think we can all understand that if force could be created without interacting with the floor, both N.A.S.A. and Elon Musk would be using it for rocket propulsion.

Yes, it really is Rocket Science.

what moon?

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