A Different Point Of View (Part 2)
There’s a big difference between class and street
In Part 1 of this blog, we focussed on searching for perfection in drills, especially on the defence side, in this blog we look at the higher end of your training and where it may take you.
During my classes throughout this year, I have tried to emphasise that there is no Tan, and there is no Bong, it is Tan/Punch or it is Bong/Lap/Fak Sau, but even this is not quite right, mainly because such training can easily allow the student to believe that this singular action is enough, when it is clearly not.
Never believe you will get the knockout, if you do get the K.O. then well done, but never expect it, especially when we consider that Wing Chun is supposed to be defending against the bigger stronger opponent, and it is for this reason that we must Tan/punch and continue the punching until the threat is gone.
The same for the Bong/Lap/Fak Sau, we do not stop there but continue, on and on until you are safe.
A fight, a sparring session, an exchange of Chi Sau, all of these can be thought of as engagement is the same way as a conversation, with that initial Tan/Punch or Bong/Lap simply being a ‘How do you do?’ to get things going.
To simply go no further with the conversation would be odd to say the least.
Likewise with teaching lengthy combinations, how on earth are we to possibly know how a conversation would run between two adversaries when we do not know their views or opinions, never mind what topic this chat will be about.
So do train your basics yes, but do not let each move be thought of as being the only move, to train this in a class is short and sweet, safe in fact, but it is also dangerous and irresponsible to allow a student to think that outside, this will then be the end of the matter.
It is not over until you make it over.
When we play Chi Sau there seems to be an unwritten rule that we do not tend to hit after we have been hit, and this is nice, it is polite, but I also think that from time to time this does need to be addressed, and for these same reasons.
Now, I fully understand that Chi Sau is not a fight, but it does take all the aspects from a fight situation and put them into a game format, therefore let’s, from time to time, remind ourselves’ of one of the main elements of a fight, both sides are always hitting, no matter if you managed to get one in or not!
I am not suggesting that we turn our Chi Sau into a scrap, not at all, all I am suggesting is two simple trains of thought.
If you manage to get a technique in while rolling, keep trying to get them in, do not stop after one well timed strike, THIS is the very principle you are going to need in the fight so why not train this mindset while playing your Chi Sau?
If you manage to get a technique, and you do keep attacking as mentioned in point one, never take your mind off of the defence side too.
It is all about balance, never do anything you cannot recover from, do not stop attacking if the gaps are there, and do not take your mind away from the need to still think defensively.
The way I am passing on this information may in some way imply that your only reason for training in Wing Chun should be for self-defence and fighting in general, but this is most definitely not the case.
Do not learn Wing Chun just to be able to fight, otherwise you could train for ten years for a fight which could last five seconds, or better still, train all of your life and never have that fight at all!
Try to think of the self-defence side of your training as a massive bonus, because as we know, you could train for just six months and it could save your life.
What I am saying is that while developing through your partner training, it is important that on occasion you remind yourself of what is realistic and what isn’t, class training is always a safe environment, the street is not.
Imagine if you came home to find a feral cat in your house, and after a chase you finally corner it, the cat is wild and in fear, what will happen when you suddenly thrust your hand forward and grab it?
The beast would go crazy on you, biting, scratching and kicking, probably tearing your hand to pieces, that is what you should expect in a fight.
When someone rushes at you in a fight, they are on level ten (just like that cat), you, will likely be on level four at best, so be prepared.
It is only when we compare such craziness of the street attacker to that of the tame singular defensive move of the schoolroom that we begin to realise where dangers may lurk.
This blog is in no way designed to scaremonger, it is purely to ask you to remember what dangers there MAY be in a real situation,
and to therefore, from time to time, address this mentality in your classwork.
Happy training everyone!
I’m a savage beast!