First as always we would like to point out that we at WingChunGeeks.com are not and do not claim to be masters of any kind. We are just two dudes who have been practicing wing chun for a long time and simply wish to share OUR training methods. We by no means are suggesting that there is only one way to practice wing chun – we hope this all helps and feel free to share your own training tips!
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu
1. Give Up Your Need to Win
As you will see, the majority of this article is about creating an environment of learning – (hereafter EOL :)) This particular point is huge if your goal for going to Wing Tsun class is actually to learn Wing Tsun/Chun! When you are focused only on victory you tend to experiment less and are not likely to try new stuff you have learned. Try to get caught up, instead with the process rather than the result. These first three point are very similar in that way. It’s like learning how to paint. If you get too attached to your work, you won’t try new techniques because you’ll be afraid of ruining the painting. As a result, you end up learning nothing.
2. Give Up Your Best Technique
This is a similar idea. I see this a lot especially with new guys that come to class and find a technique that they do very well. It is always too early to have a “signature move”. What eventually ends up happening is the practitioner does his/her favorite move over and over instead of trying to ’master’ other moves. The end result: everybody else advances and the individual starts to realize he/she can’t ‘get’ everyone anymore once he/she tries it on any of the senior class mates. Don’t get attached to a technique or a match – remember you are there to learn new stuff! Which brings us to:
3. Put Your Pride on the Side
This point sort of summarizes the first two points. The best EOL is created when you can finally admit that you DON’T know something rather than trying to prove that you do. I see many guys come in to class trying to prove they are tough guys – this makes no sense! Why are you there? To prove what you know? No, you’re there to open your mind and like a sponge suck up every bit of information you can! I see this problem at the weight training gym as well. Guys come in and put like 300lbs. on the bench press bar, I guess to show off to the girls. Then I find myself laughing and shaking my head as they bounce the bar off their chests, screaming and contorting themselves while 2 ‘spotters’ are breaking out into a sweat!. The sad part is that these individuals would actually make FASTER gains if they lighten the weight and execute perfect form to failure, safely!
4. Preconceived Ideas About What You THINK You Know – especially if you are a newbie
It’s easy – repeat after me: I don’t know a damn thing! Say that to yourself before every class and you’ll be amazed at how much more you pick up. On a similar note, if you are doing a sensitivity drill with your partner, try to let go of what you think your partner will ‘feed’ you next. Your response will be slower at first if you honestly try to ‘listen’ to the question rather than trying to predict the ‘question’. Of course you need to have NO PRIDE if you’re going to pull this off.
5. The idea that if you can hit your opponent once, the fight is over
Bad idea! So there you are at the bar when you get into a fight with the one guy, drunk, high, on crack, you name it. You managed to hit him hard enough to take out some teeth but guess what… he just smiles back at you and then attacks with a blood thirsty fury – dont think its possible? Yeah, think again. Putting your hands on your hips and saying, “ Ha HAA!! I gotcha! will probably get you in trouble – stay in it until it’s over.
6. The Idea That There Is Only One Right Way to do Wing Chun. This is just silly
There are 50/50 systems (meaning weight is evenly distributed between both legs) there are 100/0 systems, systems in closer range like Hong kong version vs. Traditional wing chun (William Cheung) and even within each version, a good Sifu is not trying to produce a carbon copy of himself with his students but rather allow each student to grow and develop according to his/her strengths while staying within the tenets of wing chun.
7. Give Up a Minimum of 15 Min Out Of Your (non-workout) Day.
You should train something everyday – anything, could be 3 rounds- 3 minutes of punching, or at least THINK about wing chun. Run through your latest form or technique in your mind while on the train, for example. Get up and punch for 3 minutes during commercials…
8. “Let go” of the shoulder (empty) whenever lopped
9. Let go of the bon position whenever pressure is applied toward your elbow (flip it to tan)
10. Let go if sticking to the opponent’s arm if it goes outside your gate.
11. Let go of incoming pressure on your bridge when your horse can no longer hold you
Do this by either shifting or sidestepping, t-stepping, NOT by stepping backward
12. LET GO!!
If you find yourself grabbing and holding an opponent’s arm. You are only handcuffing yourself. Moreover, just because your opponent’s arm is being held does not mean it is not still usable!
13. Let go of your plan!
Wing chun is all about interruptibility – don’t force anything. If it’s not working give up the attack plan, and ‘listen’…
14. Let go of the technique, similar to give up a target.
Like the ‘conversation’ of chi sao, do not invest more energy in loss. Rather give up your ‘argument’ in favor of a better technique and, hit the target that is given.
15. Finally, give up the timetable.
No, you don’t have to be a master or finish the system by a certain date or number of years or months. As stated above, get caught up in the process of learning and experiencing all that Wing Tsun has to offer – there is no rush. “When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left to find the way” -Lao tsu.