If you watch carefully the most simple of things, like an adult getting out a chair, you will witness a lot of grunting and groaning, perhaps even a huge amount of power being generated and internalised into a body. It is like an unintentional game of tug of war being played against the spine, causing long lasting damage without much conceivable benefit. The human body has evolved to work perfectly (watch a child under 5 years old and you will see this), but once the mind gets involved in consciously (or subconsciously) controlling our movement there soon develops an internal battle of pulling and pushing which ultimately damages our health. Animals move beautifully as they are not conscious of their movements, we on the other hand are told from childhood how to walk, stand and sit to the point that our natural movement instincts are totally overridden.
When a new student starts a class, be they new to wing chun or with several years of experience elsewhere, when I touch their hand to test their movements I feel the same tell tale tension. They feel my force and automatically not only do they push back at me in order to equalise, but they also push against themselves using a system of connected muscles through their body. One part of the body braces against the next, and even if their arm is relaxed it is likely that the movement in anchored to the scapula for support. Unless they are a lot bigger than me, it is generally not difficult to cause them to loose their balance with a small rotation of my arm.
You can read these words, watch endless videos on youtube, but experiencing what it means to release and let go of the muscles which we have come to rely on for so long is only going to happen if you train properly with an experienced teacher. We all think we are doing it correctly, but the truth is the tools we are using to gauge our body awareness are faulty, and the whole point of training is to recalibrate those tools. This takes a lot of internal practice with hands on guidance by a teacher.
So the truth is that we are all capable of producing a great amount of internal power, but unfortunately we are literally turning that power on ourselves throughout our day by overusing muscles and pitting one against the other. Tight hamsrings, compressed lower spines are a result of YOU tightening those muscles yourself. No one else is doing it to you. Think of what you could do with that power if it was released and your muscles could elongate to their full length! That is the potential which wing chun has to offer. We need to stop fighting with ourselves before starting to think about fighting w
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