In CST Wing Chun we use the term ‘effortless’ a lot. Effortlessness is an idea that, once broken down, consists of many elements to make one whole idea. For example, a car consists of wheels, engine, seats, steering wheel etc. If something were missing we cant call it a car anymore because a car is only called a car when it consists of all its component parts. For my own training and understanding I have concluded a few elements to sum up the idea of the word effortless moving.
In Wing Chun we move effortlessly by first building up our foundation, which is the connection between the body and the mind throught the Siu Lim Tao form. We connect our upperbody and lower body through feeling taigung and using this as the support for all movements. Imagine building a house, before you build a house you need a set of tools and the first thing that you need to build is the foundation to support the rest of the house. This element is the number one priority. Without this, other elements won’t come into play.
Element number two, completing the shapes in the form allows you to connect your arm and leg technigues with taigung. Nevertheless, the shapes themselves have the power to overcome and redirect force. Imagine the chair your sitting on right now is not in shape and balance .The maker of the chair was in such a rush that he forgot to carve the legs of the chair properly. It is a bit tilted to the side so when you sit the uneveness of the surface makes you lean to the side which makes the chair fall over due to the fact that it cant support the weight of your body. So when we train, we make sure we complete our shapes in the form, putting in hours of time to perfect the movements is a must!
Element number three, triangulation of the body, is vital to have the intent to move forward. I visualize a ship piercing the seas. Before touching the ship, water is already being diverted to the side carving out the course the ship has to make.
Element number four, moving in a fluid motion. One must do the form continuously without stopping. Have you ever driven in the country side before where the highway just goes on and on in a straight line and you notice how it feels as the car drives so smoothly, almost by itself? Now imagine you were driving into the city where there are lots of cars, road blocks and people runnning around. Suddenly the fluidity of motion has dissappeared. We can see that our thoughts are similar to the road blocks and busyness of the streets. Thoughts become the stumbling blocks of how we do the form and keeps us away from doing the movements fluidly.
Element number five, openess of the body. One must have the ability to acknowledge that in every movement in the form you should not feel any compression of the body, joints should be open and relaxed.
Element number six, persistent and correct practice, which allows you to build upon the previous 5 elements together in order to sum up a whole idea, moving effortlessly.
One must spend many hours practicing to understand how these key elements will form a state of effortlessly moving. All of the 6 principles listed are necessary to complete the movements in the most efficient and effortless way.
– Lawrence Monsalud, Mindful Wing Chun