Injecting PURPOSE Into Your Practice: The Secret Motivator to Wing Chun Training For Self-Defense

Acting as the dummy while teaching a throwing technique for my class. Teaching is not a privilege; it is a responsibility to transmit useful and real info, not bullshit theory or fluff.

Ever had some days where your training seemed “ON?”  You felt powerful, strong and productive?  They’re the best aren’t they?  Yep, sure are.

By that same token, we have all had those days where training seems about as productive and enjoyable as wading through mud when your shoes take turns getting stuck and coming off.  God knows I’ve muddled through enough of those.  It’s like I would have a voice on repeat-loop in my head that would say to me, “I know Wing Chun is such an effective and practical system of self-defense and fighting…so why can’t I get motivated to do any of this stuff?”  Talk about frustrating.

The good news for me is that now I don’t have nearly the amount of the latter.  Why?  Easy.  I have trained my mind to inject a sense of PURPOSE into every session.  I was stunned at how much adjusting this one little idea changes the landscape of training.

What Wing Chun IS…

I have always taught and subscribe to the truth that Wing Chun is a system of combat borne out of necessity and adhering to the truths of self defense that all styles and systems are built around.

Much like any system of organized religion, leave it to people to take a once simple, direct and efficient process and completely f*ck it all up in the name of money, power and control.  Wing Chun is a system of guerrilla warfare and close quarter combat designed to overthrow an oppressive regime that was created to be learned quickly and used almost immediately.  It was created to make fighters quick, not sages who would meditate on the beauty of a dewdrop on a leaf.

Now I am a regular dude and know good damn and well that saying something and training it are two different things.

I noticed that on those days where I seemed to fart around through training, muddling along and merely “going through the motions” that my mindset was not locked in on that truth.    The good news is that once I caught myself, a simple mindset shift as to “why” I was training was all the juice I needed to re-focus on whatever skill or technique I was working on.

If I am sick or laid up with an injury and can’t physically train, watching one of the instructional DVDs in my extensive library is a productive substitute.  I simply review the material on screen and process it through the lens and filter of PURPOSE.  That helps me not only understand it better but also prepare to apply it once I am able to do so.

When viewed through the lens of purpose, even such basic actions as the chain punch with a forward step (seen here) become of paramount importance since now you can see how it links to the big picture; once you do that, you can see how important every thing you do in training is, and nothing gets taken for granted anymore.

30 Seconds to Supercharged Skill

So the next time you begin a training session, take 30 seconds and remind yourself of why Wing Chun was created, why all martial arts were created and align your mind with the universal truths of self-defense.  Then focus on whatever task you happen to be working on.

  • If you are doing forms, focus on feeling the body move as one unit.  Ask yourself WHY you are moving as one unit and why this is important.  Train from that place.
  • When drilling one particular technique, pay attention to the mechanics until the basics have been grasped.  Once you mechanically can perform the skill, slow it down a bit and practice with the INTENT of whatever you are drilling as it pertains to combat.  If you are drilling a bong sau, for example, throw it out with authority since your bong is not a passive block; it is a forward meeting of your opponent’s attack for the purpose of space preservation and setting up an attack follow-up.
  • When engaging in chi sau or gor sau sparring, ask yourself WHY this is so valuable.  Answer: it drills all the attributes of fighting while not focusing on the mentality of competitive “sparring.” Put another way, when I roll with someone, I am completely open to learn and refine my skills; I am not trying to avoid getting hit at all costs-if I get hit it exposes a weakness in my structure.  I can take this attitude because I know why I train, why this is important and that if I needed to I could explode in a hellfire of eye gouges, throat strikes and ball-shots, so I can focus on the task at hand fully without worry.

As I have always said and will do so until the day they box me up, the shortcut to combat skill in Wing Chun is to keep the end goal in the back of your mind while concentrating fully on whatever skill or technique you are working on.

Give it a go and see what happens.  I think you’ll like it.

 

Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

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