I have a thought. I noticed that recently some parties have been trying to explain their Wing Chun as if its some kind of high tech art using bombastic explanations and terminology.
My thought is this – if Wing Chun was an art taught to rebels to overthrow the Ching dynasty how could it be the super complicated art that its reasoned out to be? I mean in an age where most of the rebels were common, illiterate people with an urgent agenda to overthrow the government where would they have the time not to mention intellect to learn a sophisticated art?
The only answer I can think of is that Wing Chun cannot be that complicated. Instead of being an overburdened art it should really be simple enough to be grasped by even the illiterate based on what they know of everyday phenomena because the use of analogy to explain things was fairly common back then, just witness the fanciful names given to movements in forms amongst many styles.
So when I see a diagram used to breakdown one of these so-called older Wing Chun styles I really wonder if that was how the style really was or its just something made up by today’s intellect to made themselves stand out. Even so I could be wrong and there could be something to it i.e. until I saw a video posted on a friend’s FB page explaining about a punch that I know that its really a made up intellectual thing to make a particular style stand out.
Funny thing is that the person gave a fanciful name to the punch, demo’ed it but couldn’t do full justice to it which indicated a shallow understanding of the internal arts despite trying to make his art seem high level.
I don’t know about his art but in the old style Wing Chun I know force generation is really simple and yet its consistent with physics. One doesn’t need a lengthy video explanation to explain it. If anything, it can be shown easily and explained even easier within 5 minutes. Even with a graduate degree I find such lengthy attempts at explaining a simple punch as per this person’s many video clips, droning, boring and unnecessary.
If I feel this way can you imagine what rebels would feel? Here they were, itching to go out and kill and what they got was a series of many long lectures of what Wing Chun is, how high tech it is, with scant demo of how to use, just rambling on and on about the art. If this was the case it is not surprising that the rebels failed to overthrow the Ching dynasty.
You know what, GM Wei’s version of Yang style Taiji is super complex to a lot of people. But after more than a decade of doing it I have to say that in fact it is really simple. Its just that its so simple we can’t get it hence we need those elaborate models to help us master our intention. I heard that recently there are promotions of the art focusing on the 3 Qi Rings but seriously they are means to an end. By over focusing on them I can predict that in time to come the means will become an end and future practitioners will miss the big picture.
So folks please do not over intellectualize arts which at their heart are simple and pristine clear. I know that its being human to try to fit things to our own understanding, to seek a pattern where there is none. However, the heart of the matter, the Zen of it is that it is what it is. Once you give up on your need to intellectualize it you may actually glimpse that which has been with us since time immemorial and in that moment of enlightenment you will find what you are looking for. Just remember not to confuse the means for the end.