Saturday, June 23, 2018
I’ve been taught five different ways to achieve this level of relaxation in Wing Chun.
The first method is what’s told to beginners. I never found it particularly effective, and I consider it a placeholder for something much more complicated when one is ready for it.
The second method is something I learned much later, but which I feel is still only appropriate for beginners. It focusses on achieving a short-term physical state, but does not allow one to maintain it as a state of mind.
The third method is a completely mechanical exercise that involves a detailed knowledge of biology, requiring constant repetition and correction. It is difficult to make progress.
The fourth method is complicated, but is very effective. It involves a mental process of finding a particular feeling; progress is made slowly but surely by finding that feeling with each repetition.
The fifth method is also incredibly effective. It involves a more complicated mental process to find a slightly different feeling; but it’s a feeling that can be applied across every move of every empty-palm form.
All of these methods fundamentally teach the same thing, and they are all ultimately correct. Practitioners who appreciate this tend to have 規矩 – the (sometimes unspoken) rules of civility.
Those who would insist one method is correct or another is wrong do not have 規矩.
It’s difficult to quantify how 規矩 works in English. But if you want an idea, pay attention to who the Chinese speakers tend to hang around.