Now I am an old man I laugh as I drive into town at the young drivers racing between the lights. With all the noise, the swerving and braking they think they are getting there quicker, but in reality most of the time I am still behind them as we approach more lights. Some people resort to short cuts, dip in here and there, avoid one hurdle, but eventually the distance travelled is much greater than going direct.
The issue with the stop start approach is that it is inefficient. Your car will not get tired, but your fuel is burned up and if it was your body doing the work you would be knackered very quickly.
In wing chun we know where our destination is, our intention is to get there, but not at the expense of our own state. By remaining calm and relaxed we stay in control.
We get a lot of new students come to the class who have previous wing chun experience. Most of them have learned the idea that speed is the essence of power and skill, but they lack the key ingredient of applying mass to the equasion. Everything aligns behind the fist in order to drive in... but it is too late, they have forgotten that whilst they have been tensing into that great position their whole structure has been compromised. Speed is great at delivering the vehicle to the destination, but not if the vehicle falls apart before it gets there. You may as well throw a paper aeroplane.
If you take the analogy of throwing, once you let the object go you no longer have control of the trajectory mid flight. What if the target moves? If you have this idea of using a punch it will disassociate from the mass of your body and you will be relying on the weight of the arm, the acceleration and amount of leaning you put into it. Powerful and effective sometimes, but there is better. The arm should always connected to the centre, releasing away but releasing the mass forward at the target and able to adapt to changes and interference. The punch is not about getting the hand in at all costs, but making sure the connection made (whether it ends up being their face or their arm) is with your unified body mass. To increase your speed but lose this crucial ingredient is the quickest way to go backwards in your training.
Speed is crucial in a fight, but relying on it during training can mask a lot of problems. Trying to learn to do something quickly and then hoping to learn to do it well afterwards will teach you bad habits and not much more.
10/2/2015 08:17:12 am
Good Article, I like it, so very true, that's why I bought a diesel automatic and now relax, all the youngsters tell m its because I am getting old. I got the mark factor now.... aaah
10/2/2015 01:10:52 pm
OK Old Man. But a good article. I find people prioritise speed over other more important things but without structure and understanding of the use of body mass and other factors speed alone is completely useless. Theres more to it than meets the eye. I find practising slowly allows us to concentrate on the intricate details and the speed comes on its own after much slow practice.
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