What Makes The Best Wing Chun?
Always back to centre
(Photo by Robert Anasch)
There will of course be many opinions to this question and I am no doubt, to its answer too, but this in one of simplicity, described beautifully in the photo above, as I will explain shortly.
I have just returned from a wonderful holiday around Alaska with my family, and, as always, if I am away for more than ten days my head starts bouncing with ideas and I am aching to get back to class to share them.
I did get to train my Siu Lim Tau day every day though, and in some wonderful places, with the freshest of air and spectacular views, but I couldn’t wait to get back to some contact, contact in particular through Dan Chi Sau and Pak Sau drills, in short, the basics.
The reason for this is that I believe we all need to revisit basics whenever we can, in just the same way as a spider may create a web, dashing all over the place but constantly returning to the centre, to it’s default setting as it were.
This same idea we see when playing badminton, a good player will stay near to the centre, darting to each corner to play the shot and then returning back to the same staring spot.
I remember watching a TV series by Dr Robert Winston (fertility Professor), where in one clip, a Mother allowed her baby to roam freely around a cafe that she was in, and as this was recorded on time lapse you could see (when sped up again) the infant crawling away then back, away then back, away then back and so on, just like that of a web, always moving away from its comfort zone in order to explore and discover new things, but always coming back to the core before setting off again.
This is just like training in Wing Chun, it is vital that we allow ourselves to relax these basics and discover new things for ourselves, yes, but taking this outward journey for too long can often take us so far off track that we lose sight of our principles.
‘A one degree change in the journey of a thousand miles, leads to a different destination’
So do return to these basics often, not just for the sake of doing them but to better understand what we are discovering as we develop in ourselves (I hope that makes sense?), what I mean is, if ever there is a problem with an advanced technique, the answer is always in your basics, if for nothing else but to offer clarity.
Master Ip Chun says:
“50% of your Wing Chun will come from your Sifu and 50% will come from you”
We are not all the same, there will always be some things that you do well that others struggle with, and vice versa, and there will always be elements that you will create for yourself too, I think the latter is your 50%, better understanding what you have created, that will be the 50% you gained from your Sifu.