As some of you know, I’ve been out of training for a year with a shoulder injury.
On Wednesday, I had my first private with my Sifu (Greg LeBlanc) and last night I had my first class in over a year.
As has been my habit when returning after a break, I’m starting at the beginning again. I asked to begin with Dan Chi Sao and the stance and as always, we immediately found a few issues with the way I was doing things!
The basics are the bread and butter of the system and something we should all return to again and again, to see the elements with new eyes. This is the meaning when they say “go back to the well” or “return to the source.”
The stance and the structure of the punch are far more important (in every way and especially in a fight) than the third or fourth fung hao drill (even if these hands seems more fun or sexy). I remember when I first started Wing Chun how we were all so anxious to get to learning the Siu Lum Tao. Once we sort of learned that we all wanted to learn Chum Kiu. Then halfway through that, we were already eyeing “Biu Gee.” Or the knives. Or the pole.
Happiness in the form of martial excellence was always just around the corner embodied by the next form. But eventually I realized that we misunderstood. We thought the “secrets” of power were hidden in the higher level drills (or why would they be higher?). Later meant better. Later meant more advanced. Which meant more power.
This is completely wrong and I’ll tell you why.