Image by Jonathan Zerger
Some time ago I broke a wisdom tooth which left quite a sharp piece pointing outwards, over time this had caused me some annoyance, mainly due to the fact that whenever I open my mouth, the tooth cut it, leaving the inside of my cheek looking like a carwash roller!
Yesterday, during a visit to the dental hygienist, I asked if this could be filed down, ‘Of course‘ she said but instead, took the thing out, which felt amazing, but it did leave me thinking what it must be like for a fish being caught on a hook and then released.
This in turn, reminded me of an old blog which I posted a couple of years ago, with a principle I really wish to share once again.
As often happens for me, common events get me thinking of the connection between our daily lives and Wing Chun, or in this case, Fishing/water and Wing Chun.
We know the story of Wing Chun being used within the Chinese Red Boat Opera Troop and that the Pole Form (Luk Deem Boon Kwon – ‘Six and a half point pole’) was a later addition to the system from the Shaolin pole master who was reportedly working at the time on the river crossing.
Boats – Water, see the connection already?
Anyway, putting that story to the side for a moment my thoughts are more with that of the patience needed for fishing and the ability to allow things to come to you rather than you chasing all the time.
Siu Lim Tau is a classic example of this;
Once we have the feeling of energy in our elbow we will not want to rush the Form and risk losing that connection, in the same way that by yanking a fish out of the water as soon as you feel a bite will probably lose the catch.
Siu Lim Tau takes time to perfect, as does all of your Wing Chun.
Grandmaster Ip Chun once compared Wing Chun to water by saying:
A good teacher (who at the same time is still trying to improve oneself),
Is like a fish trying to swim up stream.
It’s hard work yes, but worth the struggle.
If you are happy to just tread water then fine,
You will not improve but you will not decline either.
But the moment you stop your personal training,
And begin walking around as though you are something special,
You will begin to be dragged downstream.
I have seen this personally many times, when a teacher has proudly spoken to me of how his students are improving so much that they are even testing the teacher!
Unfortunately this joy is short lived when, after me seeing what is going on, I inform them that their students are not as good as the teacher thinks they are, as it is not just that the students are moving up to the teacher (skill wise) but the teacher is dropping down to the level of the students.
While searching for images to fit this blog I was quite surprised how fishing even began to look like Wing Chun!
Anyone else think this resembles a relaxed punching hand?
Even a Tan and Fook Sau!
This guy isn’t fishing, he’s playing Chi Sau!
And while we’re on the topic of water:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water.
When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup.
When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can drip and it can crash.
Become like water my friend.”
I’ll leave this blog here and let you try to think of other water connections within the system.
Happy fishing everyone!