Through a sequence of probability occasions, I ended up studying Wing Chun for a couple of hours this week from a Hong Kong instructor in a chilly, damp enclosed area someplace off the overwhelmed monitor in an industrial property. As we walked by way of the opening scene of the “little idea” kind (Siu Lim Tao), the glare of the electrical mild bulb forged our stationary shadows by way of the open door and out into the darkish, wet yard exterior, and I keep in mind pondering that this actually felt like the true deal. I may really feel the magic of Kung Fu right here.
We be taught from “Bear”, a nickname we created from his final title (Xiong). Bear has lengthy hair and glasses and has a type of laid-back vibe. He appears extra occupied with being pleasant and making buddies than preventing. He speaks little or no English, however YaYa, his girlfriend, does and acts as his translator. I’d say about 60% of it comes by way of, the remainder I can hopefully practice because of my earlier martial coaching.
He’s additionally constructed a bit like a bear – he takes his high off so we are able to see his arms – his tendons and muscular tissues are clearly very conditioned and large, however his arms are gentle to the contact. He skilled “5 hours a day when I was reading”, which I feel means when he was a pupil.
He has no ego in any respect. He demonstrates his pace on a regular basis, however with out hitting us, simply stopping briefly – however on the similar time his instruction is extremely exact and demanding. Parts of the physique should transfer and different elements should stay nonetheless. He touches my arm and says “Ooooh! Very sung”, which I’ll take as a praise 🙂
The concrete ground is damp and slippery, however fortunately we do not do any footwork but. We need to bend our legs on a regular basis, as if we have been sitting on a stool, and seize with our interior thighs as if we have been using a horse. The night time air is cool and the breeze blows in by way of the open door as we undergo the opening actions of Siu Lim Tao many times.
I’m used to bending my wrist again in order that the fingers are vertical to kind a “praying hand”, and moving into my horse using place, because of years of coaching in different kinds, however my companions are it would not, so there’s plenty of stretching aching legs and speaking about methods to situation tendons in order that wrists may be flexed additional again.
The three of us ended up right here after an opportunity assembly and plenty of translation errors. I used to be initially instructed that my buddy had met Bruce Lee’s cousin who was going to show us Wing Chun. OK, I believed, it was unlikely however theoretically attainable that he could possibly be Bruce Lee’s cousin, however the “cousin” bit turned out to be a mistranslation based mostly on the phrase “Sifu” that means each father and instructor. So he’s a ‘marital cousin’, however not a household cousin. But who cares, we’re all right here now studying collectively and having a good time, so I’ll go together with it. You can be taught from any good instructor, and the prospect to be taught a brand new martial artwork is at all times an amazing alternative.
Bear pulls out a ebook, which appears to be like like handwritten coaching notes, and begins to inform us the story of Wing Chun’s creation, which YaYa interprets. It was, we’re instructed, created from “the observation of a snake and a goose fighting”. (I believe he actually means crane). The goose(!) makes use of its wings in a type of aspect swiping motion, like Wing Chun’s Bong Sau. The important attribute of the snake, Bear factors out, is that it would not retreat to strike, it simply strikes the place it’s. Bear pulls out his cellphone and reveals us this clip from “Enter the Dragon” the place Bruce fights O’Hara to reveal:
I believed Wing Chun was extra based mostly on plenty of relaxed arm locks, however Bear appears rather more occupied with hitting as quick and explosive as attainable, with minimal motion, which I feel he was attempting to inform us was the purpose. of coaching the “little idea” kind, identical to Bruce on this clip. No main motion – minimal motion. There additionally appears to be a click on on the finish of every little thing, and he says the phrases “fa jin” very often, which tai chi folks ought to be accustomed to.
After years of studying all these tales concerning the origins of snakes and cranes, to not point out the tales of a lot of my very own British academics who had to determine what their Chinese instructor was really saying by way of the restrictions of translation, I discover this expertise of dwelling the custom fairly magical.
Towards the tip he begins exhibiting us some kicks and they’re quick, low and look very cool. He needs us to place some tires on the wall to follow kicks on. He seems to swing his higher physique again as his legs flash ahead, as if dodging a head punch and countering low. The impression I get is that no matter we be taught will not be designed for long-term long-term dedication. It’s quick, to the purpose and also you’re carried out with it after which transfer on. I sit up for studying extra subsequent week.
To be continued.