FIST LOGIC, Uncategorized

A LITTLE ABOUT THROWING PUNCHES

 

This is a quickie to help everyone correlate throwing punches with the dynamics of athletic throwing, in particular the discus.

In the video the mention to separation and stretch reflex should not be something to cause concern, they are present every time we defend and attack even if we are not aware of it.

Pay special attention to the weight shifts and the torque creation, in physics talk this is the summation of forces at play, and it translates to power.

Observe how the upper body balance is conserved even as the lower body is dynamically mobile, and then observe the weight transfer as the athletes lower body stops causing immense acceleration of the upper body in the same way that a Trebuchet works.

In the discus the sinking and rising is really quite pronounced, but sinking and rising is an inherent part of both Chum Kiu and Biu Gee, just much subtler.

Relate this to your Knife and Pole forms to get the most benefit, then go hit something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FIST LOGIC, Uncategorized

COUNTER ATTACKING. PART 1.

AN ATTACK ON MY DOG IS AN ATTACK ON ME!!!

 

it is so much more important to understand the philosophy of what we do as opposed to the methodology.

For many years now I have been attempting to explain to my students the philosophy of Counter Attack.

Whenever we try to get deep in to it we are confronted by the fact that we need additional information to put it into the correct context.

It is just not possible to talk about Counter Attack without a concrete reference of what an Attack is, and this of course opens up the need to have a concrete reference to what Fighting is, the different phases of Fighting, the difference between Attacking and Defending, Fighting and Attacking, Fighting and Defending in short we need to have at least a personal opinion of the dynamics of violence.

Without any intention of criticism to anyone and how they teach or approach Wing Chun it is important to be aware that I teach and approach Wing Chun as an answer to Violence.

This affects everything we do and everything we train, and it unavoidably creates a bias towards Function and Application.

I have been involved in enough violence to be acutely aware that no man can ever truly understand or in fact prepare for violence, it is just too expansive, its appearance is random and unpredictable but as individuals we owe it to ourselves to try to understand what we think violence is.

To be expected it will be different for every single one of us, this is why it is so much more important to understand the philosophy of what we do as opposed to the methodology.

At my school a decent amount of our training time is spent in attempting to relate what we are training to where and why we think we would use it, we often learn more about the practicality of our training from exploring our conversations than exploring the physical aspect of the training.

As a teacher I find these conversations so engaging because I find myself in a position where I am trying to answer many different questions with the one simple answer, this leads to my own further development.

Before we talk about the Philosophy of Counter Attack, let’s talk about the dynamics of  rightly or wrongly expected violence.

VIOLENCE – A GENERLISATION.

Violence is multi faceted, layered, it comes in many shapes and sizes, one on one, many against one, gang on gang, country against country every event is a new event that has so little in common with what came before prior experience is practically non existent.

From a M.A. perspective we will just focus in on personal violence, the stuff we could end up facing.

In general terms violence comes in two flavours, let’s call them Social and Anti – Social.

SOCIAL VIOLENCE,

This is a FIGHT.

Fights are events between two people that have agreed to fight, a Match Fight, a sporting competition or when outsides of sports someone says to the other something along the lines of ….

’I will meet you at such a place at such a time and we will sort this out’.

In this type of engagement both parties know why they are there and what is about to go down, it is consensual, they have given each other permission to use violence, there is no surprise here, there is usually some kind of support and a designated end point such as a knock out, one person being unable to continue or a submission and then the thing is over.

If one of the fighters is injured help is never far away.  Schoolyard fights fall into this category unless it was a bully situation.

ANTI-SOCIAL VIOLENCE,.

This is an unprovoked ATTACK, and in general what Martial Artists train for, only one of the people involved knows the reason for this, only one person knows what the end point is, and it is usually incapacitation, there is very rarely support for the person being attacked and if at the end that person is left injured there is no guarantee of help.

This is a bad headspace that has a dramatic often debilitating effect on performance.

In the middle of this event the intended victim may get the upper hand and turn the tables on the attacker, but only the roles change, the outcome remains the same, the victim simply becomes the attacker, and the attacker becomes the victim. This is not defending.

ANATOMY OF A VIOLENT EVENT.

Fighting, Attacking and Defending are three very different situations that cannot and should not be looked at as components of the same thing.

Fighting is when two people are both engaged in the same event, trying to reach the same goal,  for the same reason, it is consensual, usually preplanned and allows for strategies to be thought out and implemented. This is primarily a competition mindset.

Attacking is when one person without any thought or concern for the other uses violence to further their own agenda. This is predatory behaviour, a predatory mindset.

Defending is when a person that is under attack tries to prevent an attacker from hurting them.  This is a survivalist mindset.

It is important to acknowledge that defending does not mean fighting back, to fight back requires a change of mindset, this is the problem with thinking that Wing Chun’s Simultaneous Attack and Defence is a methodology instead of a concept, to be able to implement S.A & D we would need to be in two different mindsets at the same time, being in two minds is an expression used to illustrate indecisiveness or confusion.

MINDSET.

Mindsets govern how our body works, how it reacts to stimulus, what hormones the body creates and how much control we have over our movements.

There are major physical, emotional, mental and physiological differences between the mindsets that automatically develop when Fighting, Attacking or Defending, they are not even close to being the same thing, and they are not capable of being combined.

Do some research, check it out.

PHASES OF A VIOLENT EVENT.

From the Wing Chun training perspective of what we think we would face in a violent event would have three distinct phases that require different thinking and application.  This does not include totally random surprise attacks, they are undefendable, most violence has some kind of precursor so we will at least be aware of the possibility of violence.

Phase #1.

Attacker is aggressive and animated, Wing Chun man is passive and ready, attacker mistakes passivity for weakness and launches the attack without fear of retaliation, W.C man intercepts and presses forward with relentless attacks, possibly ending the threat there and then.  If successful move to Phase #3.  This is a typical training scenario.

Phase #2.

W.C.Mans first response did not end the threat, both men separate and regroup, the element of surprise is gone, the attacker knows the game is afoot and will now be cautious, possibly use kicks, possibly try to rush in and overwhelm us, possibly set in for a long thoughtful brawl, Mano e Mano.  This  phase is completely unpredictable, and as such is rarely if ever approached in training.

Phase #3.

W.C. Man ends the threat, enacts preplanned exit strategy. 

This is another aspect that does not get enough time in most training, it brings its own bundle of questions, the most pertinent being……..

What constitutes a win?

Do I stay or do I go?

To be continued in part 2.

COUNTER ATTACKING DOES NOT REQUIRE DEFENCE, ONLY THAT WE ARE UNDER ATTACK.

 

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FIST LOGIC, Uncategorized

CONCEPT OR CONCOCTION?

 

We must decide if we are learning to fight or learning Wing Chun, there is a difference, and the devil is in the details.

MANIFESTING THE FIST LOGIC OF WING CHUN.

A lot of the things we are shown, especially in the beginners phase, the  first 5 years or so,  are ways to explore the IDEA of  Wing Chun, an introduction or prologue and not in fact directions to take forwards and most certainly not techniques, I have for a long time now been of the opinion that there are no techniques in Wing Chun at all. 

The methods we learn should be looked on as ways to handle force, once we do this we see that they all do the same thing, and to a certain extent that there is only one movement in all of Wing Chun.

When we watch videos of Wing Chun people in fights against other styles the ones that do poorly are the ones that try to use their Wing Chun training, the ones that never managed to move on from the preliminary introduction.

The Wing Chun people that win in these fights, and there are many, usually just fight and allow their choices to be influenced by their Wing Chun training, in a fist fight adhering to the principles of Wing Chun is far more effective than using specific moves from specific Forms.

Fighting is always about the choices we make, not the moves.

Wing Chun is a concept based Martial Art, or at least that is how the story goes, but who out there actually knows the concepts?  I have trained with some of the worlds top Masters and when I asked them they just shrugged and said S.L.T.

But what does that mean?

If any one does know the concepts please leave a note in the comments.

If we genuinely do believe that Wing Chun is a concept based martial art we need to accept the position that there is no ground zero, there is no single Big Bang Theory to back us up, to have any hope of understanding Wing Chun we must firstly understand what OUR OWN CONCEPT is.

A concept is an abstract notion from which we can formulate Ideas, the more abstract the notion is, the more creative and numerous are the ideas formed.

By their very nature concepts can create movement in opposite directions to each other, IDEAS that when viewed side by side are contradictory or self defeating.

Internal – External arguments exposes this perfectly, in isolation they are both strong, exciting and fundamentally sound approaches but looked at together they clash, they both highlight the foolishness of the others approach and as a result tend to invalidate each other.

After more than 25 years continues training in Wing Chun I have come to the conclusion that it is what we do not do that defines us a great deal more than the Forms or Chi Sau, Internal or External.

What I see as a fundamental stumbling block with Wing Chun is the lack of meaningful contact in training, but ironically bringing meaningful contact into training would create major complications from the perspective of being a counter attacking martial art.

Sparring always becomes a mess that just looks like really bad boxing, Chi Sau sparring turns into grappling or some type of tug of war and Forms offer little if any interaction with opposing force.

How can Forms or Chi Sau bring genuine contextual understanding?

We must establish our own concepts to guide our own training.

We must decide if we are learning to fight or learning Wing Chun, there is a difference, and the devil is in the details.

FIST LOGIC requires that if we are touching an opponent then we must be punching them, this is the basis of simultaneous attack and defence, it could be any strike of course not just a punch, this is not always possible in the chaos of a violent encounter so simultaneous attack and defence becomes a concept to work from, to try to manifest.

This is all theory, reality is rarely similar, fights care little for style or lineage, to give ourselves the best possible chance of surviving a violent encounter we need two things above all others.

1, the ability to move efficiently so as to be in the right place at the right time to deliver the perfect shot.

2, the ability to be able to hit with power from the wrong place when we find ourselves there.

Both are skills that need developing, exploring and understanding, neither can be learned by moving slowly or standing still.

Most students think they understand motion but when you watch them practising there are some obvious grey areas, things like rhythm and timing, three dimensionality, how do we affect it and where does it fit in? 

Wing Chun footwork is portioned out in drips through the Chum Kiu, Biu Gee, Knives and Pole Forms, it is a conglomeration that is not plug and play, some assembly is required.

How do we deal with variability, accept it as a threshold and not allow it to become dogma and bully us? Is it more important to control our own movement or our opponents?

Treating  movement as a concept instead of a methodology will revitalise and enlighten the Forms.

By far the most important and misunderstood aspect of  Wing Chun is the concept of counter attacking, how we perceive this will change everything we do in an instant, counter attacking is not simultaneous attack and defence, we can counter attack without defending.

Exploring what counter attacking is will be a long post, one that I am working on at the moment, apart from anything else it is complicated by the very fact that it requires someone to attack us and that could take any shape or form that the other person can think of, it is multi layered, it is not attacking, it is not defending it is not even fighting.

 

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FIST LOGIC

DO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE LEARNING?

 

The biggest threat we will ever face is our own unpreparedness.

LEARNING / USING A MARTIAL ART.

What is the underlying reason for a Martial Art?

Any Martial Art not specifically Wing Chun.

At its most basic level every Martial Art is a tool to solve a specific problem.

As important as it is to become as capable as we can in our chosen style, our tool of choice, it is of even more importance to understand the problem we are training to deal with.

Reflective of how I teach the why’s and the where’s of what we are working on get more attention that the how’s, before we try to learn how to deploy the tool we are learning how to use we first try to identify the problem, identify the options.

Because of this approach it is important that my guys maintain personal honesty, no Kung Fu movie daydreaming, my own part in this process is to encourage everyone to question everything I teach, this leads to some revealing foresights, the most revealing being that many do not know what problem they are trying to solve and this makes it almost impossible to look past simple technique.

If we do not know the problem how can we hope to choose an appropriate solution?

In many ways learning a Martial Art is the same as learning how to use an Adjustable Spanner , we learn the theory behind it, why, how and where it was invented, then in a controlled environment we work through possible reasons to use the Adjustable Spanner, different situations, different size nuts, bolts or whatever we imagine we may come up against.

Then we go out on a job, just us and our Adjustable Spanner and pretty soon realise that while an Adjustable Spanner is better than nothing, it is  not better by very much.

Let’s take a mental side step, we and our Adjustable Spanner prepare for a D.I.Y.  Job, nothing life threatening so when we get overwhelmed by our unpreparedness we call in a professional who turns up with a complete toolbox of spanners, metric and imperial, open ended and socket, even Allen Keys.

Why so many tools?

I am tradesman, and yes there have been times when I have used the wrong tool for the job, as most tradies have, but it is only when for some reason I have not been properly prepared for the things I needed to do, and I assure you that it was never a good situation, only my previous experience and my ability to adjust and bend the rules that deep down I knew should not be bent got me through.

The biggest threat we will ever face is our own unpreparedness.

I am not a fan of the old cliche´ of “expect the unexpected”, for what I hope are very obvious reasons, but I do think we can ask how do we  “prepare for our unpreparedness”?

The first thing would be to stop treating our Martial Art as an Adjustable Spanner and increase the content of the virtual toolbox.  But even this is nothing more than a Band-Aid if we are to be honest, a box full of the wrong tools is of less use than a Shifter.

A good place to start would be to list all the possible problems we could face, write them down, make a real list, then against each problem write down what would be an appropriate solution, then check this solution against the style we are training.

I think we all know that having the answer to a problem is not the same as giving the answer to a problem, call it performance anxiety, exam nerves, even when the problem is physical and the answer is physical the ability to give the answer or use the solution is mostly mental.

The most important aspect of our mental training is understanding, only when we have a good understanding of the answer will we have the confidence to use it.

We must attain a deep understanding of what our Martial Art is even before we try to understand what it does, I have been teaching Wing Chun for more than 20 years and if I call up just one observation it would be that the majority of students do not come anywhere close to understanding what it means to be a “Counter Attacking Martial Art”.

This is a philosophy not an operating method.

Depending on how deeply we connect to this and how accurately align with this is the difference between our IDEAS working or as we see in far too many Youtube videos failing miserably.

As a philosophy what does it mean to “Counter Attack”.

This is at the heart of Wing Chun, this is our FIST LOGIC.

 

 

WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?