Active control

Posted By : Michel Boulet
Date: Mar 17, 2014

When a student begins his journey in Wing Chun, his head is full of new moves and concepts. Just remembering the stuff and trying to perform to a certain level is a lot of work and requires most of his attention.

But after some times, our student finds that there is not a lot to be learned in terms of new moves. His teacher is always remembering him about important principles like relaxation, good posture and things like that but the visible part of the art is already learned to a point.

This is when things often get too easy for many and some may fall into habits instead of creating real progress for himself.

The student falls into some kind of cruise control mode!  The forms are practiced by the physical body alone…Chi-Sao is played with trick in mind and with stiff arms to force the tricks in…  The student is going nowhere and he might practice all his life this way, he would still be going nowhere.

What is missing is the “active control”. The seed of it was already within the awareness that was present in the beginning, mostly because of the need to learn and that was replaced by muscular memory and habits.

To picture this active control, we could use the analogy of the bicycle rider who stops pedalling and lets his bike go on its momentum versus the person who is training on a stationary bike and must not stop pedalling unless he wants to end his training. Are your Wing Chun motions fully controlled or are they at some point going on some kind of momentum?... Are you daydreaming while practicing your Siu Lim Tao?  

Everything in Wing Chun should be practiced with the active control. If someone has to defend himself and fight, he will use the results of his training and it will flow freely but in order to get there, there is a process that must be done and controlling every move with a calm awareness is a big piece of the cake.

This is the small idea.