Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeTai ChiBeginning Wing Chun | The Tai Chi Pocket book

Beginning Wing Chun | The Tai Chi Pocket book

Because of a collection of fortuitous occasions, this week I ended up studying Wing Chun for a few hours from a trainer from Hong Kong in a chilly, damp, lockup someplace off the crushed observe in an industrial property. As we ran via the opening sequence of the “little thought” type, (Siu Lim Tao), the glare of the electrical gentle bulb solid our stationary shadows out via the open door into the darkish, wet yard exterior and I keep in mind pondering that this actually felt like the actual factor. I may really feel the magic of Kung Fu right here.

We’re studying from “Bear”, a nickname now we have created from his household title (Xiong). Bear has lengthy hair and glasses and has a type of laid again vibe. He appears extra concerned with being pleasant and making pals than combating. He speaks little or no English, however YaYa his girlfriend does and acts as his translator. I’d say about 60% of it will get via, the remainder I can hopefully work out due to my earlier martial coaching.

He’s constructed a bit like a bear too – he takes his prime off so we will see his arms – his tendons and muscle mass are clearly very conditioned and large, but his arms really feel tender to the contact. He used to coach “5 hours a day once I was studying”, which I feel means when he was a pupil.

He doesn’t have an ego in any respect. He demonstrates his pace on a regular basis, however with out hitting us, simply stopping brief – however on the similar time his instruction is extremely exact and demanding. Elements of the physique have to maneuver and different components should keep nonetheless. He touches my arm and says “Ooooh! Very sung”, which I’ll take as a praise 🙂

The concrete ground is damp and slippy, however fortunately we aren’t doing footwork but. We’ve to bend our legs on a regular basis, as if sitting on a stool and grip with our inside thighs as if using a horse. The evening air is cool and the breeze blows in via the open door as we undergo the opening actions of Siu Lim Tao, time and again.

I’m used to bending my wrist again so the fingers are vertical to type “praying hand”, and sitting down into my stance as if using a horse, due to years of coaching different types, however my companions should not, so there may be a number of stretching out aching legs and speak about situation tendons so wrists could be bent again additional.

The three of us have ended up right here after an opportunity assembly, and a number of mistranslation. I used to be initially instructed that my good friend had met Bruce Lee’s nephew who was going to show us Wing Chun. OK, I assumed, it was unlikely however theoretically potential that he may very well be Bruce Lee’s nephew, however the “nephew” bit turned out to be a mistranslation based mostly on the phrase “Sifu” that means each father and trainer. So, he’s a “marital nephew”, however not a household nephew. However who cares, we’re all right here now studying collectively and we’re having a good time, so I’m going with it. You possibly can study from any good trainer, and the possibility to study a brand new martial artwork is at all times an awesome alternative.

Bear pulls out a guide, which seems like a hand-written coaching notes, and begins to inform us the story of the creation of Wing Chun, which YaYa interprets. It was, we’re instructed, created from “the remark of a snake and a goose combating”. (I think he actually means crane). The goose(!) makes use of its wings in a type of sideways swiping motion, like Wing Chun’s Bong Sau. The important thing characteristic of the snake, Bear emphasises, is that it doesn’t retreat to strike, it simply strikes from the place it’s at. Bear pulls out his telephone and exhibits us this clip from ‘Enter the Dragon’ the place Bruce fights O’Hara to display:

I’d considered Wing Chun as being extra based mostly on a number of relaxed arm trapping, however Bear appears way more concerned with hanging as shortly and explosively as he can, with minimal motion, which I feel he was making an attempt to inform us was the purpose of coaching the “little thought” type, very very similar to Bruce on this clip. Not huge motion – minimal motion. There appears to be a snap on the top of every little thing, too, and he says the phrases “fa jin”, which Tai Chi folks needs to be accustomed to, very often.

Having learn all these snake and crane origin tales for years, to not point out listening to tales of lots of my very own British academics having to work out what their Chinese language trainer was truly saying via the constraints of translation, I’m discovering this expertise of residing the custom fairly magical.

In direction of the top he begins displaying us some kicks and these are quick, low and look very cool. He desires us to repair some tires on the wall to follow kicks on. He appears to pendulum his higher physique backwards as his legs flash ahead, as if avoiding a head strike and countering low. The impression I get is that no matter we’re studying it’s not designed for an extended protracted engagement. It’s fast, to the purpose and also you get it over with then transfer on. I’m wanting ahead to studying extra subsequent week.

To be continued.


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