MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Duality of Wing Chun Training

There is duality in everything..

Dark, light

Feminine, masculine

Yin, yang

Positive, negative

Summer, winter

Giving, receiving

Anabolic, catabolic

If you’ve taken a moment to observe the yin/yang symbol, you’ll notice the dynamic of this duality and, as well, within the yin there is some yang and within the yang there is some yin.

When it comes to kung fu training, the method my instructor encourages is to go soft, sink more, exaggerate body movements, take things slower.

On the surface, it contradicts the essence of fighting. Fighting should be aggressive, fast, strong, crushing and indeed it is.

And to a very good extent, such training is needed. However, that is only half of the equation..and is usually the type of training our body is more familiar with. Perhaps maybe too much..too much yang.

So, training at a slower pace, over emphasizing certain moves, exaggerating sinking and yielding..is more yang..it’s more feminine. But it comes with the purpose of fulfilling the other half of the equation.

Your training and your fighting skill should be both yin and yang..it cannot be one or the other.

And in every moment of yang, you must maintain some yin and in every moment of yin, you must maintain some yang.

You can be flexible or soft, but not weak.
You can be strong and hit hard, but not tense.

It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, about getting out of what you’re used to so that you can progress to the next level.

One step back, two steps forward.

For the majority of people studying the fighting arts, aggression and tension is easy to come by. But there are certain people are by nature not aggressive, strong or tense and in their case they must train more yang.
I realize this is common sense and can easily be overlooked. Instead, I would consider this a reminder to reflect in yourself and your training to see if there’s an opportunity here to add more yin or yang to your training.

There is duality in everything. Make sure you cover both grounds.

Until then.

1 comment:

Ralph Haenel said...

As always very good points. The real problem for many is actually much more simple. This recent example might give you a few ideas:

Practitioner ‘A’
Within the course of only one week, that person worked in two group classes (five hours) with many different partners. Due to differences in
- height, weight, reach,
- even a more or less serious training approach,
- a more or less aggressive training approach,
- a more or less supportive training approach,
he had to adjust hundreds of times for better judgement of distance, timing, positioning and hand & footwork coordination within the same exercise group.
During a private lesson (45 min) we worked extensively on the personalized details that are paramount for that particular practitioner, including stress test, taking it even if just for minutes to the point of “punch-outs” where fast and aggressive under pressure fists hit fists and forearms, until the shoulders feel as if they are about to fall off.
During the open-air bonus class on Saturday (2 hours) that practitioner worked again with other training partners on dynamic combinations of punches, using the whole body, checking which one of the punching methods may not have been trained intense enough.
On Sunday he met with a couple of training partners for one of the voluntary Sunday meet-ups (2 hours).

Practitioner ‘B’
He made it only to one half group class (1.5 hours).

‘A’ did group classes, a private class, an open air bonus class, a training meet-up: total training time nearly 10 hours
‘B’ got in a total training time of not even 2 hours.

That was one single week for practitioners ‘A’ and ‘B’! Now imagine the difference and missed workouts after 3 or 6 months.

We know that among other issues work and family schedule can influence our workout routine.

Sometimes the only secret to get the yin and the yang part of our workout (to get back to Brian’s blog post) … is simply our dedication, the choices we make for or yes even against training.

‘A’ worked hard, was sore and exhausted, but felt he accomplished yet another step on improving himself, his performance, was happy about his persistence, achieved his goals.

‘B’ posted that week on Facebook about going to the movies, meeting up for dinner and other social activities. He made different choices.

As Brian wrote, ‘B’ might miss a side (or more) of the workout, think that we don’t do that, because he simply wasn’t there!

As a last thought; just the other week I was asked after a private lesson: “How come you are still so much better?” We did the math, every single week I do an average of up to 30 hours more training time than he does. Now do the numbers for one whole year …
OK, I think that’s enough for tonight! :-)

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