hen I was a beginner, this saying had a simple
meaning to me: The punch starts from a certain fixed position in front of my
chest. It was a technical thing; I also thought that SLT was a techniques list
or dictionary, useful mainly to develop good positioning and memorizing motions.
I was happy with this knowledge until I started having questions about the
real value of the forms. "Why do we have to refrain from any type of tensions
during the practice of the very basic aspect of the system?" Wing Chun is a
pugilistic art designed to deliver powerful blows to an enemy and yet we have to
practice a slow curious looking exercise as the core of the art. This seems to
make no sense, as it apparently provides nothing in terms of "training" when we
think about a fighting style or art. Why not simply forget all about this loss
of times and start doing the boxing routine?
I played with the contradiction for some times but I had to come to a valid
Conclusion: Wing Chun is a soft style…it was designed as an "internal" art.
The punch starts from the heart business really means that it should be
driven by the mind/intent of the practitioner. Heart= interior. The whole thing
about practicing SLT is to develop a mind/body link. It also became clear that
the very name of the form; "small idea" had to mean "The practice of constant
control of the motions, using awareness". It is impossible to accomplish this
task while thinking about something else.
I firmly believe that all Wing Chun practitioners would find great benefits
from the simple practice of relaxing and putting their consciousness in the
motions. It is not easy and it takes some dedication just to be able to keep the
mind from jumping around for a few seconds at first. Like everything else it
takes practice but what a revelation it is when we feel how it is to do
something with the awareness added. After some times, the motions are stronger
and the flow is better. The body has a way to conduct energy when relaxed and
the perceptions seem to be faster, or is it that the training partner is getting
slower and more predictable? ;-)
I don’t think it should be considered as a "faith" thing also. The so-called
"internal training" is not about religion. It is just about putting the mind and
the body at work on the same project. I hope that all Wing Chun people believe
that they possess a mind and that it is a big part of their being. It is also an
animal most of the times and it needs to be tamed.
Learn to put it to work during the forms practice and enjoy the benefits