On Thursday, as I was doing the form during the afternoon forms class, Sebastian had explained to me that as long as I stood with a correct posture (with Tai Gung on) and pointed all of my mass forward (to show forward intention), even if I tried to stand still, my limbs would start doing the movements of the form.
This morning I attempted to redo what I had done with Seb. After doing the warm up exercises which consist of spine rotations, knee raises, roll downs, etc. I prepared myself to do the form by getting into stance by turning my feet out and then letting my back rest on my pelvis to instigate Tai Gung and keep my back straight. I then started doing the Siu Nim Tau form at a very slow pace and shut my eyes so that I wouldn’t be able to physically visualise what movements I was doing. Over my 3 years of doing Wing Chun, as I look at myself in the mirror, I tend to either focus on the part of my body that is moving (and try to figure out how that particular movement happens) or focus on the rest of my body (relaxing and trying to eliminate any pain in all tension points). So, that would be using my mind to focus on my Skeletal structure.
In the other extreme, when I close my eyes, I feel like I am using my inner Chi Force because my thought process is much calmer and my movements are more natural and smoother. So, even though I feel like I may be at a stand still, it is not the case. When I occasionallyopen my eyes and realise that my arm has moved forward while doing the Wu Sau movement of the form, I get genuinely surprised and realise that the simple intention of moving forward, focusing on my center line and keeping my Tai Gung on, is enough for my limbs to start moving.
How is is possible to move without moving?
Well, two factors or variables would have to be taken into consideration: Friction and Gravity. These two forces of movement either work together, against each other or one at a time. As long as someones stance and posture is good (with Tai Gung activated) and there is a forward intention, the movements of the form will be done subconciously because of a gravitational pull that is created from the forward intention that the Wing Chun practitioner is using.
While gravity may be considered as how the movements of the form come along (either subconciously or unconciously), the movements happen because of friction in the joints. So, it can be said that while gravity brings about movement in the Chi body, friction allows the muscular body to move by letting joints move.
Wing Chun is all about movements coming from the spine (since this is the source of power generation), focusing towards the centre (in order to affect the opponent’s balance and structure) and being as relaxed as possible to allow ease of motion and maximum power generation.
What I have found through doing Wing Chun for almost 3 years is that the less I think about what I’m doing, the more powerful my strikes are and the more efficient my movements get. I have started to believe that ‘less is more’! The less concious effort you put into your movements, the more relaxed you are and the more effective your movements become.
We are in constant motion and tend to resist force. This is why our muscles naturally tense up when we are face with an opponent or hurdle. Which is why it is so important for a practioner’s Wing Chun to be constantly ‘On’.
As the amount of effort into creating force decreases, the amount of power increases. Also, as less thought is put into doing movements, the more natural the movements become and the more likely it will affect the opponent’s structure and balance.
So, while trying to ‘move without moving’ the practitioner is essentially trying to stay motionless and remain in one position but since he/she is doing Wing Chun they actually are moving because the Chi force connects to our skeletal and muscular body and makes our limbs move.
– Satchet Guilloux
Satchet is a student at Mindful Wing Chun, Hong Kong. He has been training with us for approximately three years and shares his experiences in this blog 🙂