As I will probably repeat too often, the purpose of this website is to share generally the information and thought processes Sifu Wang shared with me, and what they have led to since then.
Wang Kiu always said that Wing Chun is a Principle-Based Art. His basic organizational scheme was the KunKut (KuenKuit, etc.), into which he put immense thought, reducing them to their functional minimum. I will discuss these separately because students seem to get more from those after they have some basic technical skills.
Here, I focus on concepts I use to get a student’s mind moving in unexpected pathways, while also understanding that there are rich patterns in the physical motions these concepts will help mold and direct.
Wang Kiu liked to say that:
“If you learn to type with two fingers you will get stuck there; better to learn with all ten from the beginning.”
This suggests that, with some patience, Wing Chun can show us how to use ourselves to best advantage. That might include unfamiliar ways of thinking.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” –Marcel Proust
As an educator, I avoid tidbit “factoid” teaching which limits us to bean-counting and memorization. I prefer adopting and developing meaningful patterns that build critical thinking and understanding. Around the site I emphasize YumCha (tea-time discussion), which Wang Kiu said was fundamental to Wing Chun practice in earlier generations.
I allow the following topics to generate four categories as “Foundations”. I hope that this will promote thoughts on how the topics support and complement each other, showing larger patterns in them.
I especially want to engage the student in training the best all-around life-tool we have—our minds—through the cohesive, patterned (Principle-based) nature of Wing Chun, from the very first lesson.
“Wing Chun is an art for people who value education as well as training.” –Wang Kiu
To support this, I will attempt to incorporate relevant material from domains other than martial arts.
The following topics will exist as regular, searchable blog posts, but are also centralized here through fixed links:
- Time: Time includes Rhythm as well as Speed, and interacts with Distance.
- Distance: Distance is an aspect of space. It influences available Tools, defines sources of Power, and through these enforces Economy to manage both Complexity and Time.
- Tools: Tools stimulate inventiveness of technique. I do not say “creativity” as that commonly implies a lack of rules. Much inventiveness arises from the patterns found just under the surface of the tools. Tools express in sometimes surprising families of variations that must satisfy principles of mechanical engineering to transmit Force. This category also includes tool-kits, the encyclopedia of “forms” that store our tools economically, but perhaps a bit inscrutably.
- Ideas entice students to look at the “obvious” in different ways.
“Before Wing Chun is a Fighting Art, it is a Thinking Art.” BaiSao: Wing Chun’s Taproot, Back Cover.
Copyright HNMaier 2017