Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wing Chun

Well, last night I went to my very first Wing Chun class, and even brought a friend! It was fantastic and it feels like the beginning of a new relationship. My friend was even delighted by what she experienced (she has experience with Judo and Kung Fu but hasn't trained in quite some time.) We began by observation, watching the first and second forms. As I sat watching I was amazed at how the Sifu moved and how simple those movements were. Every move came from the elbows, pooling the chi just below the bone. It was fascinating. Sifu Dan Leahy studied in China for fifteen years with a man whose name escapes me. So much was said and so many moves were shown that my brain couldn't quite keep up (I'm purely a kinesthetic learner.) The only moves we did were the vertical punching. It was very difficult to do. The move was so different from what my body has been used to, but the longer I did it, the easier it became. The rest of the class performed this punch 800 time. It was so intense!

What struck me the most was the simplicity of the moves. Every technique was performed from the center line of the body, with the waist providing the thrust. I'm so used to low stances, upper blocks, moving to the outside. There were some moves to the outside, but they were done very close to the attacker.

That's the other part, the closeness. Every block also contained a strike. It was done simultaneously, not with the block and then the hit. The kicks were all low. In fact, only three types of kicks were employed - front kick, upper rising kick and a side kick. Very simple. I can't stress that enough!

So, I'm hooked. Sifu was very engaging and full of information. You could see the passion in the way he moved. That's what I want in a teacher, not someone who professes his style is the best, but one who loves what he does and desires to pass along that information.

I was supposed to go train this morning in Rutland, but we ran into a SNAFU with the child-watching. You know what, I was okay. Before I moved I was so worried about continuing my training with Koro Ken, but now that I'm here I'm forced to see that I may not be able to train in that style (unless it's by myself) as much as I would like. I'm starting to feel that, and it makes me sad because before I left I was really in a groove. That doesn't mean I can't translate that groove into Wing Chun. Now that I know how to move and how it feels to move that way the transition from one style to another will be relatively painless, I hope. However, that does not mean that I will stop training in my style, just as often in the dojo.


Blackbeltmama said...

That sounds really cool. It sounds like it will be a nice addition to what you're already doing.

Bob Patterson said...

Totally different isn't it?

Before I got on the road to taekwondo black belt I cross trained with a professor who studied wing chun and a reality style. He taught me his stuff and I taught him some PPCT and boxing.

I've forgotten much of the wing chun and only remember a few simple things from it. Oh and at one time I could make the vertical fist work but that's gone too.

But I hear you about learning new stuff while trying to keep the old. That's pretty much every chin na class now!

I honestly think it's good to be pushed out of your comfort zone. At first you'll have blockage but in the long run I think it will make you a better martial artist.

While a respect masters who have studied only one style I also tend to think it puts you into a box.


Martial Arts Mom said...

I'm excited for you! Sounds like you have found a new love!

Ikigai said...

I think you might find your styles starting to flow into each other eventually.

Either way, best of luck with wing chun!

somaserious said...

BBM: Thanks! It will definitely add to my current MA.
BP: I agree about going outside of your box. There are masters who just study one thing, but to me that seems very limiting, too. There's so much more out there that will only add to what you already do. The fact that WC is so challenging makes it even better and I will get used to the moves the more I practice them!
MAM: Thanks!!
Iki: Yes, I agree that they absolutely will flow into each other. There are a lot of similarities in my style that jive very well with WC. Thanks for commenting!