Could You Go Back? (Part 2)
Keep those basics
As an example:
If you learn the first section of Siu Lim Tau and then move on to learning the second section, the first section should be improving all the time as it has had more time studying it.
Moving onto the third section, for every hour learning this section, time should be doubled on the second section and tripled on the first section.
And yet this does not happen… why?
“Never neglect basics!” is something I have shouted at students for decades, and of course this is important, but at the same time, at some point these basics need to be relaxed in order for them to work at their best for you.
Sticking purely to the ABC’s and NEVER allowing yourself to explore would be detrimental to your overall development, but NOT when it comes to Form work.
Form application is 100% open to interpretation but the pattern MUST be perfect every time or these blueprints will simply lose direction and eventually have no purpose and give no answers, which after all is the reason for Forms in the first place.
Forms are your textbooks and must be protected and preserved for this reason.
When learning any form I tell students that you must know your form techniques/moves four times.
For every move in every Form, you should know:
What it looks like (The move done correctly of course)
What it’s called (The terminology of that move)
What that means (The translation of that terminology)
And what it’s for (The application of that move)
And if you have an application for every move in that Form, great, now GET ANOTHER!
And never argue who’s application is correct, THEY BOTH ARE.
Do not be narrow minded, share your ideas, that way we all gain in knowledge and experience.
When I opened my school in February 1991, I said to my students, I didn’t want to teach Wing Chun but wanted them to learn Wing Chun.
I had an email once asking:
‘Is it possible to learn the full system through wingchun.online
How do you get round the fact that you are doing it remotely?’
Obviously I’m going to say…
YES IT IS!
Because it’s up to YOU to do the work, this is what I meant when I said I wanted my students to LEARN Wing Chun, and not to be constantly spoon-fed the information.
I once had some time away from my class while travelling the U.S. and on my return I was shocked to see a drop in Siu Lim Tau skill, a big drop I might add, and also in Pak Sau drills.
Now I do not mean to criticise my students or talk bad of them, quite the opposite, I love them all dearly and consider them my family, but this did concern me that the most basic elements had been allowed to slip in my absence.
One of the main reasons I started WingChun.Online so many years ago was so I would not have to keep repeating myself and hoped that students would constantly use this vehicle as a way of reminding themselves to keep up to the basic principles, therefore allowing the students to check themselves and even teach themselves.
As you can too!
So we come to a question I have for the more experienced among you (and I’m sure that will be many of you, as no-one likes to think they are not good do they?):
“When was the last time you looked at your own technique?”
(Through the eyes of a teacher I mean)
This could be focussing on Form perfection, Chuen Mar (Turning stance), Sparring mistakes, telegraphing of Punches, Paks, or checking for weight shifting while stepping in Biu Mar, anything.
Do try it, please, if possible, use the video on your phone and make a short clip of your training in a class situation is even better if possible, and then watch it back looking for those imperfections, overcommitments and telegraphs etc.
I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised by what you are doing (or not doing) without even knowing it.
“Never neglect basics!”
Even as an instructor.
Thank you for reading.