'Searching' for effortlessness
Almost without exception, every lesson in wing chun I have taught has been an exercise in getting someone to do less. At first it is just a gentle coaxing to release tension, remove the desire to finish a movement, but the truth is it is hard to change someone's belief that by allowing movement, not forcing it, the desired outcome will occur. Fundamentally there is a part of us that believes we cannot do it. Like a parent who takes the control from the child's remote control car to show them how it is done, a part of the brain believes our own body is not capable and therefore the conscious mind wants to take full control. If this belief was really true you would not need to come to a class, YouTube would be your teacher and you could work it all out from there. How ironic that our bodies mess up so much because we micro control them. Have you ever been in the 'zone' whilst playing a sport or an instrument? If you have you will have experienced a feeling of almost watching yourself, a separation and an elation; all without any concious control. Walking on a tightrope... I hope you have had such experiences in wing chun but in reality most people reading this will have no clue what I am talking about.
Doing less is really difficult, being expected to do virtually nothing is almost impossible. Just to reiterate what we say in class, your body mass is your prime source of power, you do not need to tense up your muscles as that is just an attempt by your concious mind to take control. That tension will set in motion a chain reaction of tense muscles seeking to align your body to the opponent's power; it you do that better hope they are not bigger and stronger than you. For me I like the idea of using my intention of standing up, working with gravity as nature intended and then using my intention to point my body at the opponent. I am not aligning to them, they are forced to align with my body mass in a direction they did not expect and cannot fathom. This is not easy, the concious mind is screaming feel for their force, align to it. It takes willpower and some faith in yourself to instead follow the process you have been taught and to make them play your game.
Final advice; your body is capable than more than you can imagine if you can just switch off that critical concious mind. The mind should set the direction but it does not drive the ship. Try really giving up the next time you practice, follow the basic SLT instructions and see where it takes you.
P.S - the title to this blog is a trick. If you are searching for a sensation you are likely to be consciously trying to feel. Try the opposite.
Keeping you up to date with what is happening in class