Flow

When training or using a martial art, we tend to favor force. We want to hit hard, kick hard, throw hard, submit hard, block hard. However, hardness is not always the best option.

Wing Chun employs constant pressure. With small steps, a small movement, the practitioner moves in to the opponent. The goal is to get in close, trap up, or neutralize the opponent’s defenses, until the practitioner can directly affect the opponent’s body – to knock them down or out, throw or pin them – to end the fight.

Many view this forward pressure from the viewpoint of being “hard” – using a lot of power and strength to block and push. However, that is not the Wing Chun way.

Very often, the approach in Wing Chun is to deflect – to use the opponent’s forward movement, say from a punch, as a means to slip around the punch, like water flowing around a rock in a stream. The Wing Chun practitioner exercises a constant, measured forward pressure. When encountering an obstruction – the opponent’s punch, block, et al. – it is not resisted force for force. It is encountered, measured, and if not easily moved, the practitioner spills their energy around it.

Envision the football lineman. After the snap, he moves forward and encounters the blocker in front of him. Some choose to plow through, to push force against force. The bigger man wins. However, the savvy player feels the direction of the blocker’s energy, spins or slips in the opposite or open direction, attempting to flow around the blocker so he can get to the real target – the quarterback with the ball. It is the same for the Wing Chun practitioner. The punch, kick, or block of the opponent is not the real issue. The problem is the opponent themselves. The goal is to get to them. To flow around their obstructions in order to get to and neutralize the source.

It’s Wing Chun – Relax.

Sifu

About Sifu

I teach Wing Chun, both traditional and practical, at KDA Karate Academy. I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager. In addition to being a Martial Arts Instructor, I am an author. My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge".

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