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Wingchun Concepts Are Not Rules


Have you ever heard of the common WingChun terms such as centerline, gate theory, triangles, etc? Many people have a fanatical adherence to these so called rules. However, all of these have exceptions depending on the circumstances.

One major Chinese philosophy is Daosim which emphasizes being in the moment, recognizing opposites, and flowing with change. In order to be flexible, you need to be open to other possibilities and consider the concepts and techniques with each in context of how they fit in a broad perspective.

There are a few reasons why. You see, a lot of people speak about topics like WingChun geometry without really knowing what it means. It is like knowing a math formula without understanding how it works.

If you have a good understanding of all of the concepts, you will find that they are empirical guidelines, not rules. Fighting is too fast and unpredictable. There are too many variations and exceptions to narrow your focus.

A good example is the proper weight distribution in the lead leg stance. Many people have heard different numbers like 50/50, 60/40, or 70/30 and debate which is correct. (Why not 35, 65 or 68.229?) If you know the reason for putting more weight on the back leg than the lead leg then an exact number is a trivial point.

Another example is whether the angle of the feet in the stances are 30 or 45 degrees. A strict instructor would use a protractor to make sure the angle is exact. (Yes, some do this.) However, the angle is just an approximation that most people measure subjectively in their mind anyway. Using some measuring tool is overboard. Also people have different body types. A person with big thighs will have more difficulty turning their feet inwards than a slender person.

Most of these misconceptions come from making things more complicated and fantastic than what they are. A simple and flexible mindset towards WingChun practice helps maintain a clear understanding.

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