Let’s talk simplicity
We all know that Wing Chun is all about economy of motion, and using the shortest distance between two points.
That makes a lot of sense on paper, but as human beings sometimes we tend to over-complicate things.
I like to look at Wing Chun as a language
When we do a drill, somebody usually ‘asks’ a question, or in other words poses a threat, and somebody else answers the question through fast and decisive neutralization of the opponent.
So it’s like a conversation, if you will. Somebody asks a question and somebody else answers back.
Unfortunately, sometimes we tend to overcomplicate things. We tend to give very complicated answers to very simple questions.
Example number 1:
Here we have Bob and Jim.
‘Hey Bob! How are you?’
And Bob says,
‘Hello dear Jim, today is a fine day indeed, if it were in any different than how it is right now, I would probably not be in such a good mood. But, today is a good day indeed.’
Now, if you would hear somebody talk like that, you’d probably think that he’s either on crack or he doesn’t go out of the house too often.
Example number 2:
Victor is a neuroscientist. He’s so proud of his profession that he just can’t leave the robe in the lab, so to speak, so wherever he goes he starts to talk to people using sciency terms and talks about his last experiments on lab rats, and stuff like that.
With how many people do you think Victor can have a conversation with?
He can only talk to neuroscientists that are obsessed with their work, of course.
That’s what sometimes happens with Wing Chun. If you get used to
defending / attacking only against Wing Chun, when you meet a different style, you’re gonna feel confused.
It’s a whole new playing field. And the only common ground that you can use to have a conversation, or a fight, is the simplest elements of Wing Chun: Punching, Kicking, with the integrated complex elements of Timing, Cruelty, Decisiveness, and of course, Structure.
If nobody asks you about neuroscience, why do you need to start a conversation about it? In other words, if the situation doesn’t require you to use complex form, why would you be so stubborn not to just Punch him in the face?
Einstein was also famous for being able to make things very simple. He stated that ‘all physical theories, their mathematical expressions apart ought to lend themselves to so simple a description that even a child could understand them’. He also explained that, ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” (Wikiquote, Albert Einstein)
So, why should Wing Chun be any different. I mean there are of course situations where you need a complicated answer. But usually the complicated form is already in the simple form.
What do I mean by that?
When you see a good punch, you kinda feel the power behind it, the stance or horse, if you like, the speed, the focus. All that complicated form is condensed into simple answers.
In my opinion, as Wing Chun practitioners, we need to end the conversation as soon as possible.
For example, somebody, walks up to you and says, ‘Hey you! What the f… do you want?’ and you reply back ‘BAM!’ Punch in yo’ face!
No need for complicated answers. Problem solved.
Don’t play around!
Just finish it and go for lunch.
So, in my opinion, we should always look for the simplest solution when we fight. That is not to say in by any means that we should only learn the basics and that’s it. No, we need to learn the whole system and by looking for simplicity we actually close the circle.