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Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Ace Up Your Sleeve: Implosive Wing Tsun..”TM”

Typical catch-phrases, buzz words and tag line for wing tsun – explosive wing tsun, dynamic wing tsun, ..what’s next, primal? etc etc.  The idea these terms invoke makes sense to people. You want to react quickly, with bursts of power unleashed onto the poor guy that is trying to hurt you…

Here’s one for the books – Implosive Wing Tsun.

“What the heck is implosive wing tsun?” you must be thinking.

It’s a new term I’m officially going to coin…

But really what is “implosive wing tsun”?

Ultimately, it’s an idea my SI-Fu has emphasized over and over…and over again – the ability to sink your body behind an action whether it’s an attack, defense or both.

Much easier said than done, especially at that moment of extreme stress – you know, when someone is trying to hurt you.  It’s also the most opposite of natural body reactions..so training oneself to fight “implosively” is going to take a while and probably not something a beginner or intermediate student could do.

It’s about sinking your entire center and bringing any forces into that center during a defense.

It’s about concentrating your energy into your center, dropping your weight into that center, and coordinating that “dropping” movement behind every hit (much like the falling step punch, without the step although a step could be used if needed).

The analogy I’d like to use:

When it comes to defensive actions, your actions/body would be like one of those huge inflatable mattresses that stuntmen land on when they jump off a tall building. As the stuntman lands, all that energy is absorbed into the center and the outer areas of the “mattress” folds inwards and around the point of impact. Your body would react no differently - you sink, absorb and transfer the energy into your center, and fold around the attack.

When it comes to offensive actions, think of your attack as a million rocks all fusing together to form one huge solid boulder at the point of impact.  All that energy from your legs, hips, core, back, shoulders, chest, etc. concentrated into your center and then shot into your opponent as you “drop” into the hit.
The harder you hit, the more you implode.

The harder the hit comes at you, the more you implode.

The only time you could “explode” is when it’s truly safe to do so – your opponent is compromised, off balance, stunned, etc.

You can train your body to hit or react implosively. It’s a long process and does not require hard hitting drills. In fact, quite the opposite. You’ll want to tone things down when training with a partner or to hit light on a wall or heavy bag.  It’s all about coordinating the dropping mechanics and concentrating all the energy into every hit, while still being able to hit fast and with multiple attacks and combinations.  You gotta keep elbows, shoulders, and body low while still being able to reach out to hit. It’s very contradictory when you think about it..but that’s what makes this so powerful.

When doing partner drills, slow things down a lot as you work on coordinating the dropping movement with your defensive actions in a way that doesn’t leave you vulnerable or hinders you from your next move. 
Implosive wing tsun is not necessarily an obvious dropping motion..it might be when you first start and that is fine..but the end product should be a subtle drop or transfer of energy to a lowered center that is not visible to outside observers. Of course, it’s always dependent on your opponent’s energy too..if the situation calls for an exaggerated drop, so be it.

Your legs will fatigue, your core will fatigue. It just goes to show you how much of your body is truly involved in the fighting movement, not just your upper body. Implosive fighting is more work than the more natural “explosive” fighting reaction. 

(Do note that, in the context of my sentence above, “explosive” refers to rising up of the center, reaching high to the head, elevating the shoulders and elbows, reaching for the opponent as you try to hit…)

The interesting part of all of this – one could progress through an entire wing chun curriculum without ever incorporating the idea of “implosive” fighting…yes, they could learn all the forms, double knives, long pole, wooden dummy, know all the chi-sao moves, drills etc and yet have no practical concept of implosive fighting.  Yes, they could still be quite a decent fighter, but implosive wing tsun is that extra ingredient that can really makes your wing tsun sing. 


Gary said...

a spring has to be compressed before it can expand. and it compresses/expands 'in perfect exactness' due to the pressure imposed. only difference in WT is the spring (our bodies) is a 'smart' spring. smartness comes from training, repeated full response to input. this builds strength plus sensitivity of the fully linked coils. hence 'implosive' WT.

smartness 'applied' reads the input and doesn't even allow/need its actual force received. hence offensive response to initial signal. instant response to slightest input. Explosive, fluid WT.

nice article, bug! whoops, I mean grasshopper

Pablo said...

As always, great, insightful post. I showed this to a friend I train with in order to help her understanding of the concepts behind WT, and it motivated her a lot, so we spent a lot more time training!
Keep up the great blogposts!

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