Day 44: Two minds, two worlds

Day 44: Two minds, two worlds

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Learning Wing Chun in an English-speaking country is a little complicated to someone like me. For instance, the meaning of the phrase 甩手直沖 isn’t complicated to anyone who speaks Cantonese, yet I’ve lost count of the number of lectures, talks, discussions, and arguments that I have witnessed between non-Cantonese speakers about the possible meanings and interpretations, as though it’s a scene from a Shakespearean play. I stay out of it because, frankly, in an English-speaking country, they’re not interested in what I have to say.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that Wing Chun allows me to be unapologetically Chinese; where I can explore my roots without needing to somehow explain any of it. It’s something I’ve come to value tremendously in a country that is as conflicted about multiculturalism as Australia.

That’s why I make it a point to ignore martial arts politics in Australia. Many practitioners claim to have some affinity with the Chinese values espoused in Wing Chun, but nearly all of the feuds and grudges and whatnot that I’ve observed here are perpetrated by Westerners who basically don’t understand Chinese values. They only parrot the Chinese values they’ve learned when it suits them.

The Chinese practitioners, meanwhile, choose to stay out of it. A small group of us have all counselled each other to stay out of it. There’s an unspoken understanding that, even though we know better, we’ll never change their minds.

 


About today’s photo: I tried the Nikon D850’s multiple exposure mode for the first time. It’s not quite what I wanted… but it’ll do for today.

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