Try The Click Method
At the present time there’s hardly anyone not being faced with the request to self isolate, so what can we do to put this time to good use regarding your training?
In a nutshell, Forms, but not just Forms, Forms trained properly.
I have said many times that practice makes permanent and that it is:
‘Only prefect practice makes perfect’.
So how do we make sure our forms are perfect, and even then, what’s the point?
Well let’s start by looking at the second part of that question,
What’s the point?
Ultimately, (inner health and well being etc. apart for a moment) you are probably learning Wing Chun to be able to defend yourself, true?
Yes, now let’s look at that final outcome of your training and work backwards from there, if you want to be able to fight properly, you may think that you must first be able to spar properly.
Training to be good at sparring is just one step up from Chi Sau, and Chi Sau just one step up from drills etc.
Now let’s think of this as four barrels with the first barrel being your drills etc.
It is not until this barrel is full, i.e. you are pretty damned good at them, that this experience and its benefits will start to spill over to help develop barrel number two, your Chi Sau, I mean, how can you possibly handle the fluidity and unpredictability of Chi Sau if you can’t even handle a simple preset drill?
When barrel number two is full and your skills are truly showing, will this barrel start to fill number three, therefore helping your sparring, and of course in turn when this third barrel is full we hope it will be filling your ‘self-defence’ barrel without you even knowing it.
Going back to the start for a moment let’s address barrel number one, drills.
When learning ANY martial art you must do this in three stages:
Learn the shapes (Blocking positions etc.)
Learn to defend yourself using these shapes
Learn to defend and counter attack
Any fool can through an attack, YOU need to know how to defend that attack, but before you try to defend that attack you need to know what you are going to use to defend that attack, hence the need for these three stages.
Forms, by way of a storyboard, are our way of helping us to remember those stage one key points, and, making sure it is run perfectly will ensure that what we allow to digest is correct, remembering:
‘It is only prefect practice that makes perfect’.
Too many people rush their training in this area and only have to spend a great deal of time later correcting these mistakes, basically using the, ‘Buy cheap, pay twice’ mentality.
So take the time to get it right the first time around.
I did a series of seminars some years ago, which I named as:
‘If you want to improve, stop making mistakes’
And this brings us back to the start of this article and answers the question,
‘How do we make sure it is perfect?’ (and therefore not making mistakes)
I see this all the time with people rushing through forms and then subsequently the rest of their Wing Chun.
In short, slow down and get your forms perfected.
I see SO MANY people playing their Wooden Dummy form at super speed, WHY?
This is not impressive, it makes no sense, it only shows your mistakes, sped up!
Take your time, and we do this by using my ‘Click’ method.
The Click method is something I made up to assist students ‘to stay in the moment’ an asset vital in being good at Chi Sau, and ultimately, in a fight.
It is the easiest thing when playing forms, to allow your mind to wander and lose self discipline is sight of quickly getting to the next move, it is almost as if the student can see the finish line and simply darts toward it.
To use the click method, imagine you are in a photo studio recording your form for a book, with every move holding the position for the camera and waiting for the click, ONLY THEN will you move to the next step.
And do take your time, even when teaching this I see that people have moved before I have said the word, “Click”, be true to yourself and check everything, stance, hand position, guard and direction of focus, ONLY when all of these are correct should you move on.
By doing this, and only by doing this properly, you will guarantee a perfect form every time.
“Never sacrifice technique for speed and power”
I am not saying that technique alone will defeat speed and power, it will not, what I am saying,
is that you need all three.
Using this method and taking the time to have perfect form will give you that technique, when it is ready, reintroduce the speed and the power.
Ignoring this advice, rushing technique through forms, and allowing that mentality to drift through the barrels, will only serve to give you faster and more powerful, shit technique.
Try filming yourself running through the forms as a before and after exercise, you WILL see a difference, common areas would be section 2 of Siu Lim Tau, section 1 of Chum Kiu, section 4 of the Wooden Dummy, section 6 of the Bart Jam Dao, to name just a few, and many of these mistakes will be based on your focus.
It is all well and good to run a form in front of your Sifu, but if you go to just one class each week for a two-hour session, that leaves six days and twenty-two hours for you to forget, this is why I created wingchun.online, so you can focus on each move step by step.
But if you are the kind of person who only likes to train at class, DO NOT BE GREEDY.
Don’t try to get everything in one lesson, you WILL forget things, poison your technique and only train mistakes for the rest of that week until you return to class only to hear your Sifu say that what you are doing is wrong.
What do I mean by ‘Don’t be greedy’?
Only take a couple of moves from the class, get them as perfect as you can while in the presence of your teacher, and then continue this perfect drilling until you next meet, this way you will make slow, steady, BUT guaranteed progress.
As Confucius said:
“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop”
He also said:
“To move a mountain you must first carry small stones”
Both are apt for this understanding, therefore I say:
‘Get it right and do not rush, and by not rushing, you Will get it right’