Sunday, January 4, 2015

"I'm Studying Wing Chun, can you give me any advice?"

“I’m studying Wing Chun, can you give me any advice?”

1)   Study the system but do not be bound by the system.
2)   Realize that every system is flawed, you need to learn from the system and create your own expression.
3)   When you have studied for about 2 years or more, start to read Bruce Lee’s books starting from the basics to the advanced, it will take many years to understand, but Bruce will teach you not to be bound by any system.
4)   Realize that the Founder of Wing Chun has passed away a very long time ago, what you are studying is not the real way of the creator, it is an interpretation, what you are studying is not really Wing Chun, it is something that cannot be adequately labeled, focus less on the system and more on the teacher, is the teacher a good teacher?  Don’t get overly focused on the label.  Bruce Lee was living truth, but he passed away.  Jeet Kune Do is a label that has been used to profit, learn from the living truth, not from the label.  Learn from your teacher, not from the label “Wing Chun.”
5)   Remember that the creator of the Wing Chun system was a woman, you are a man.  What she deemed to be relevant and practical for her may not be necessarily relevant and practical for you, especially in modern times. 
6)   Understand that even Bruce Lee himself realized that the Wing Chun system had much to be improved upon, do not deny this fact, accept the truth, and when ready, discover the flaws and fix them.
7)   Understand that the techniques of Western Boxing are like the American version of “Wing Chun.”  Very simple, effective, powerful, and scientific.  There are many great Boxers that have lived, much can be learned from their style and technique that will enhance your understanding of the system of Wing Chun.  A lot of Wing Chun techniques look pretty during cooperative demonstrations, but when engaged in a spontaneous sparring situation, much of the techniques that are practiced become ineffective and useless.  The way of Western Boxing and their methods of free sparring highlights the flaws of Wing Chun.  Bare Knuckle Western Boxing Free Sparring is much more realistic in unarmed street combat than Wing Chun Sticky Hand drills.  Constantly engage in free sparring with fellow practitioners and you will see.  
8)   When you study Wing Chun, you are not just studying ways of self-defense, but you should study the Chinese culture, the traditions, the philosophies, the ways of life, the language, it all comes together in one total package. 
9)   Your teacher should be a living example of his teachings.  A truly great teacher does not need to speak when he teaches, you watch, you follow, you learn. 
10)                  Make sure you put great emphasis on fitness development as you study Wing Chun, otherwise all the techniques you learn will become useless against somebody who is just as trained as you but has fitness and athleticism on his side. 
11)                  The Wing Chun system places high emphasis on close quarter hand-to-hand techniques.  Do not forget about the effectiveness of long-range kicks and of the effectiveness of weapons. 
12)                  If you are a practitioner of Wing Chun, you should never be engaged in combat sport, Wing Chun is an Art, it is a way of life to bring peace, love, and harmony to your life, if you ever get engaged in combat sport, that is not the way of Wing Chun.  Wing Chun is for self-defense on the streets, not for competition and ego.   

“My ankle hurts during certain movements and I can’t move fast, any advice?”

Try to build strength and flexibility in your ankles.  Practice stretches for the ankles and calves.  Perform calf raises at different angles.  Develop strong stances such as horse, arrow, cat, and cross stances which are common in traditional Kung Fu systems.  Try using wood lock oil to massage into your ankles, feet, and calves.  Massage your feet, calves, and ankles with deep tissue massage.  Check what kind of shoes you are wearing to ensure that you are wearing the proper shoes that are fit for your feet.  You may have a special arc in your foot that requires special shoe fittings.  Going to a foot doctor can help.  Try visiting an acupuncturist and let the person know about your problem.  Walking on stones and developing feet strength can help.  Jump rope and jogging can help develop foot and ankle strength.   Visit a physical therapist.

If you cannot fix your ankle problems through the above mentioned then I suggest to not worry about making explosive movements.  This will be a time where you will have to learn to make the system adjust to you rather than you adjusting to the system.  Figure out ways of standing and movement that work for you.  You do not need to move that fast in order to defend yourself properly.  You can use less movement towards your advantage.  Basically, a Cheetah should not try to move like an Elephant and an Elephant should not try to move like a Cheetah.  Our bodies are all built a little differently and no system will be able to provide the Way for all, we need to discover what works for us and express it. 


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