A drill is a set of actions you conciously try to instil as habit. They make sense as a learning method to deal with a predictable situation which needs a quick solution. When you first teach a child to cross the road they represent a set of instructions to adhere to, or a fire drill or even a mental process like remembering multiplication tables. When there is only a limited time frame to learn techniques which can save your life they are great. The army classically drills soldiers to act in a methodolical may; to follow orders. Is this method fit for learning a martial art?
Unless there are only limited outcomes possible, and if there is no opponent actively changing the situation to suit themselves, then drills fit the bill. An 80% success rate might seem good odds in a game. The army does not want it's soldiers to think, their job is to follow orders. That is apart from units like the SAS who are told to adapt, problem solve and do the unexpected. This means they cause a big problem for their opponents. Who would you rather be?
I do not believe that drills are fit for purpose for an adult learning martial arts. An art is about being in the moment, being in the zone. By surrendering conciousness to a set of one size fits all solutions you are giving away your free will and responsibility for yourself. Why would anyone want to train that way?
The way we teach and train at Sung is a bit more demanding, it asks you to look at yourself, how you move and how you react to situations. Do you give in to knee jerk responses or allow your deeper more inate self to take control? We are capable or more than we know if we learn to trust our relaxed selves. We aim to teach you a process of setting up your body which in time will allow it to find its own solutions. Over the years I have practiced with a lot of wing chun people who have followed drill based systems; 95% of them were lost once in contact with my arms. They simply blanked and began to struggle when I did not react in a programmed way which they expected. Some people come to us looking to kick start their failing wing chun method. The issue is that it is not the wing chun which is at fault, it is the bogus Mcdojo training method which has stripped the individuality from their body movements.
The human body is capable of great effortless power and speed if you can let it return to its natural state. For me, the CST method is our tool to do this. Wing Chun itself is just a system we use to test our ability, to marvel in what we can do. In the same way a gifted musician can play several instruments, once you truely know your ability it is just a matter of how you wish to express your body.
You see lots of videos on YouTube titled 'wing chun vs karate' or 'wing chun vs boxing' etc, this is nonsense. There is only ever one person vs another. The more focused someone is on the movements of their system, the more they are confined to a dead pattern dreamt up by a dead individual. Wing chun at its heart allows you to be set free from limiting habits of movement; it is not a restriction.
2/26/2017 12:40:58 pm
Thanks again for a good article Dan. I understand the point you are making and mostly agree with it. I think drills can be useful though.
2/26/2017 12:59:28 pm
Thanks Alan, nice to hear from you again. Your friend was lucky really, chasing someone's hands to knock a knife out of them could easily lead to a slashed wrist. This is an example of a drill being useful up to a point, but I would always suggest running away in this scenario. Or even better avoid this type of situation it at all possible.
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