Teacher's Corner

Technique Thinking

A common question that arises in Wing Chun is whether the Wing Chun system has this move or that move. We call this technique oriented thinking. What is meant by techniques oriented thinking is a thought process like: "If the opponent does this movement, then I counter with this movement." Another example of such thinking are questions like: "How do I handle a boxer, a Karate expert, an Aikido man? What about Thai boxing or the deadly Indonesian fighting arts?" Such questions are endless. In technique oriented thinking, you try to think which technique will counter the other technique. Although this kind of thinking is necessary for the beginner, it should eventually be discarded in favor of more abstract thinking. Think of an opponent as a force coming at you. You have basic tools like mobility, timing, dis- tancing, and shifting for dealing with forces. Take the example of a dog. A dog like a Pit Bull does not care what opponent he is facing. It just clamps onto anything it can get a hold of. A dog uses general built-in fighting principles. Likewise, Wing Chun uses general principles and concepts to deal with an opponent from any style or background. The underlying principle is to hit the opponent as fast as you can. If what you are doing is economical, then that is good. If it is not, then you will find out fast. Technique oriented thinking limits your art too much; it is only our imagination and not the art which restricts us. There is a misconception that Wing Chun has a limited number of movements and that it can't grapple. As soon as you make Wing Chun a style, you will be beaten because of that style. Therefore, as Bruce Lee said, "Have no way as your way", and "Have no style as your style." This doesn't mean to mix 10 styles together, but within your style do not be robotic.

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