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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Divorce !

It's true. Me and Wing Chun (my beautiful springtime) are getting divorced !

It's the upright stance. I believe this is a barrier to learning moves from other disciples. The hook and cross type moves from boxing have the top-half move. The angling-off with the stick again head moves off line. Judo moves have head forward and so does wrestling. (I wrote about chin up below, in another post).

I have invested time in the forms and 'being correct' but the dividends maybe minimal, given that the rewards from other disciplines are being removed. This is a point worth considering if you want to cross-train. Wing Chun could be a barrier to learning mmmmm ..... *if* the upright stance is creeping into your other moves unintentionally.

Actually this isn't a real divorce. it will be a separation of that element. The dummy moves will have to be less upright therefore. The arm shapes can look like other shapes too. The kicks are ok as you still sit down when kicking too, in other applications. That can stay.

Arbitration maybe needed to settle costs and payout for Wing Chun. Or she can pay me. Either way the association cannot continue the way it has been.


Michael said...

The fully upright stance is kind of like "training wheels". Practicing this way, it's a little easier to learn to push/hit/project energy with your whole body working as a unit. Beginners have a natural tendency to hit with the upper body seperate from the lower body, so the stance was probably developed too teach people to come forward from their center of gravity instead of from their head and shoulders first. Once you're comfortable maintaining the integerity of your whole body as a unit, you no longer need to hold the butt tucked in. When appropriate, you can still use wingchun to fight from a lower silat or wrestler type stance, as long as your whole body works as a single unit, and not as two or more separate pieces.

I've recently strarted to discover how closely wingchun is related to white crane style. White crane, like wingchun, was developed in Fujian province. "Wingchun" is the Cantonese pronunciation of "Yong Chun". Yongchun is the name of a city in Fujian province. The style of white crane practiced there is called "Yongchun white crane". Their forms are different than wing chun, as is their "push hands", but I'll be damned if their stances and movements don't closely resemble the stances and movements of wingchun kung fu! just because the share the same character (yongchun) in their name, doesn't mean they are directly related, but after watching some video of yongchun white crane I find it highly likely. Anyway, most other crane styles have more forward lean, unlike wing chun, but still with the spine straight and head up. I have classmates in wingchun who stop tucking their butt in once they learn how to move correctly, and relax into a more natural fighting stance, slight forward lean. But by the time they learn how to fight from that stance, their good engough to bounce me off the wall like a ping-pong ball.

Michael said...

Remember that if you are doing "moves", you are not using kung fu, you are imitating kungfu. Imitating kung fu is the first step in learning it, but is not the same thing as learning kung fu.

All kungfu (not just wingchun) is about learning to feel. And every move feels exactly the same. If you know what several moves are supposed to feel like, you know what all moves are supposed to feel like, so you stop focusing on which move to use and focus on maintaining the correct feeling of projection and connection at all times, and the correct moves just appear spontaneously. It requires faith and diligence to learn, but it works, and when it works it is very powerful.

I believe this to be true of all traditional, non-sport martial arts, including FMA and silat, taichi, even Okinawan karate.

When you train wingchun, train feeling from the upright wingchun stance. When you train silat, train feeling from the lower, crouching stance.

Feeling is feeling, projecting energy is projecting energy, and connecting your center of mass to another person's center of mass is the same, regardless of stance.

So long as your body maintains integrity as a unified, unbroken whole.

Wooden Dummy Central said...

Thanks very much Michael for your thoughtful and detailed comment on my blog.
You obviously know a thing or two and are very knowledgeable.

Do you have a blog or webpage or anything ?

Thanks !