Most of the time when we meet a force we either push or pull it! This is usually the way we deal with force… through resisting with muscular strength and bracing with a tense structural alignment…
Wing Chun’s system of movement works differently! In Wing Chun we try to use the natural rotations and levers of the body’s mechanics to work for us. Very simply we start by becoming aware of the tension and stress that resides in our bodies (because this tension inhibits the joints movements) and let it go through ‘mindful relaxation’ (not sloppy relaxation i.e. when we are let our posture sag on a chair).
This relaxation in turn frees the joints to move freely and without blockage and allows the joints of the arms and legs to roll freely. When the joints loosen up and start to roll freely in their sockets, we realize that we no longer need to push and pull against force but rather roll it, deflect it, move it through natural circles (shoulder ball joint for example) and levers (freely moveable elbow joint).
When the joints have adopted this state of relaxation and freedom of movement, with the added bonus of heavy and relaxed muscles, then with our mind we can start to gain control of the every movement (rather than muscular tension voluntarily controlling the movement) allowing it to move freely without the obstruction of tension! This gives every movement a wonderfully effortless feeling and it lessens the chance of injury since the muscles are not tight and the joints are moving the way they should.
Ever wonder why babies and young children don't get back and joint pains and actually don't get injured as easily as adults when they fall over? Why can they sit on the floor with their backs straight and play or watch something for hours while we as adults feel our hips and back lock up after only a few minutes of sitting in one position on the floor? What is it that makes us go from such a naturally effortless physical state to a naturally tense and locked up state as we grow old?
Wing Chun, through mindfulness, can help us regain the natural state of relaxation and freedom of movement in the joints and muscles. Imagine being able to move in this way in our daily lives when we walk, climb stairs, sit, stand, carry our children etc. Then it would change the quality of our lives tremendously!
- Mindful Wing Chun Hong Kong