"THE WISE WARRIORS AVOID THE BATTLE."
- Sun Tzu
THE CONCEPT OF CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS
In western society, it is common to have activities that focus on physical, mental, or emotional aspects separately. However, it is very difficult to find an activity that fully develops the individual. The body is often regarded as strictly aesthetic. On the other hand, Chinese traditional thought focuses on the external and internal aspects as processes to be developed together, simultaneously.
Everybody knows or has the idea of what the word "art" means. Art is the effort that one - who is skilled or who simply has willingness - spends consciously to fulfill a purpose.
The word "martial" originates from Mars, the god of war in Roman mythology. It refers to anything that relates to or is characteristic of war.
Therefore, martial art is the act of spending effort consciously in war, or simply "the art of war."
The term "martial arts" normally is used to refer to a fighting style, in western society. On the other hand, the concept of Chinese martial arts is not only tied to fighting, but also to the culture and to the balance between the body, mind, and spirit. It consists of physical training, philosophy, and ethics. In this context, "war" refers to "inner warfare," which is waged within the individual.
When asked how he could fight so well, Bruce Lee used to answer that he had good Kung Fu.
The term Kung Fu was popularized in the West with a somewhat reduced sense of the term. Many people often associate the word Kung Fu as if it were a Chinese martial arts system. However, its meaning is much deeper.
Easiness and excellence together describe Kung Fu. It is when the person can easily express excellence in their work, their daily tasks, their behavior and so on. Therefore, there is Kung Fu in painting, in teaching, in literature, in martial arts, and all other aspects of life. It is the way of simplifying life; it is to be able to use a favorable condition to help achieve a certain goal; it is to be able to anticipate an unfavorable outcome that one's own attitudes can cause. Kung Fu is the emotional and strategic intelligence that allows a person to have the appropriated behavior to each circumstance.
Someone with elevated moral principles, combined with skill in some area of human knowledge can be considered a "Kung Fu" person.
When it comes to martial arts, Kung Fu is the product of practicing a system. There are several martial arts systems, which are commonly called styles. Wing Chun is one of several styles of Chinese martial arts that still exists today. The systems are not Kung Fu, but they teach Kung Fu. The way the system is transmitted can determine the quality of the Kung Fu one is going to develop.
Wing Chun Kung Fu is the Kung Fu one develops by practicing the Wing Chun system.
THE WING CHUN SYSTEM
Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art that uses simple, efficient and direct techniques. Based on the principle of economy of movement, it rules out all acrobatic movements. Therefore, Wing Chun lends its techniques to any type of person, regardless of size, strength, age, or gender. It's mostly an empty-handed system, allowing the person to defend themselves, even when unarmed. Because it's a close-range defense system, Wing Chun practitioners can defend themselves effectively, even in narrow and confined spaces. Wing Chun uses structure rather than strength, and timing rather than speed.
The main difference between Wing Chun and other styles is in its concept of defense. While in other martial arts the aim is primarily to block the aggressor's attack and then counter-attack, in Wing Chun, both are delivered simultaneously, so defense already works as an attack and vice versa, resulting in the conservation of energy.
Although it is important to perform the movements in a correct manner, seeking to apply its concepts precisely, Wing Chun's enormous energy source lies inside the practitioner, which is called Chi. When power is based only on physical strength, it becomes limited. However, when it comes from within and combined with Chi, it is wondrous.
Wing Chun has a philosophical origin from the concept of yin/yang. The pair of opposing and complementary forces is fundamental to promote the full power and effectiveness of the system. The soft aspect (yin) stands out by controlling energy, instead of the imposition of mere hard force (yang). In order to control energy and to be ready for a real defense, the ability to be relaxed, not only when the individual is at rest, but also when in action, is imperative.
Wing Chun is much more than just an effective and complete self-defense system. It builds up the external and internal power of the individual in a harmonious way and breaks the limits of the body's repertoire to which one is normally confined.
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