Wing Chun Fishing (Revisited)
Recently I wrote a blog relating your Wing Chun training to daily life, and your Chi Sau, to driving a car, well today it was raining and this reminded me of the phrase, “Nice weather for ducks!” a phrase that is also used for going fishing (apparently the rain brings the fish to the surface).
Anyway, as often happens this got me thinking of the connection between our daily lives and Wing Chun, or in this case, Fishing 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, get it?
Anyway, putting that story to the side for a moment my thoughts are more with that of patience, 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 the patience needed to train Wing Chun like like that in growing a flower…
Here is a clip of a blog from eighteen months ago explaining this a little further:
Too many people rush their training in Wing Chun and only cheat themselves out of time and experience.
Think of this as growing a beautiful flower, you plant the seed give the soil food, sunshine and water, but you are still just looking at soil.
The next day again, you give the seed food, sunshine and water, but still you are just looking at soil.
It is at this point that many students leave Wing Chun because they do not see immediate benefits, only soil.
After a while you begin to see a shoot growing out of the ground, this is exciting, but it is also slow, and you are eager.
Each day you give the young flower food, sunshine and water, but in order to make it grow faster you give it a pull.
Again, every day you give food, sunshine and water, but again in order to make it grow faster you give the shoot a little pull.
The outcome of this will only serve to see the flower die.
So give the young flower food, sunshine and water, but also time, and eventually you will enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.
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!
This connection between fishing and a students development can be taken even further by looking to that of the teacher.
This next clip is also from a previous blog, early 2017:
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, granted 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 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 I inform them that their students are not as good as they think, as it is not just that the students are moving up but the teacher (skill wise) is dropping down to meet them.
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 leave this blog here and let you try to think of other water connections within the system.
Happy fishing everyone!