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.