Wednesday, February 20, 2008

With Performance, Comes Function

Monday night we had part 1 of the first 2008 WT seminar (Part 2 is on Wednesday) and one thing that I took home with me after that (exhausting) session was that with performance, comes function. On the surface, it seems very obvious, but upon retrospect, it makes a whole lotta sense.

It's all about repetition to getting it right - doing it over and over again until the function of a particular movement is discovered. Lets use tan sao as an example. When starting out, you and I both know we are doing nothing more than mimicking tan sao. As much as we want to believe we can perform tan sao - we know that, in the back of our heads, we don't know anything about it. After how many hundreds upon hundreds of repetitions (performance), finally, tan sao is discovered. You understand how it works, what it does and how it happens. Bingo - that's function, my friends.

Once the function of tan sao is discovered, it's up to you if you still want to continue expressing it through tan sao. Hey, if your arms do what tan sao is supposed to do, why does it have to look like tan sao, right?

Like a chef, once he understands how to peel an apple with paring knife, he can use a cleaver to do the same thing. Sure you can fluff up an egg w/ a whisk, but a fork could also do the job, yes?

Ultimately, you can't cheat to find function. It comes through repetition, trial and error, and a bit a of faith. Once you got it, you have to own it - that's right, make it your own. If you want to continue using tan sao, go ahead. If you don't want to, use something else that serves the same purpose as tan sao.

And have fun doing it.

But you gotta make sure you can do tan sao. Without discovering tan sao, you can't deviate from it. How can you deviate from point A if you've never even got to it in the first place?

Your wing chun is bad because you did not defend with a tan sao/punch. FALSE
Your wing chun is bad because you could not defend with a tan sao/punch. TRUE

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