Another fine blog entry from Cam Evans, sharing his perspective on Ving Tsun in life.
Kung Fu is often used to describe Chinese Martial Arts, but it’s much more than that. It describes that special something, attained through long periods of difficult practice. Anyone in any profession or hobby can achieve Kung Fu.
It’s commonly said that the Ving Tsun system will train both the body and the mind. Be it socially, mentally, at work, or at home; there is no boundary to the areas in which the Ving Tsun system can help someone achieve Kung Fu. I believe that this is because Ving Tsun’s design is based on a set of principles rather than by collecting a series of specific techniques to be used in specific situations. As one develops Kung Fu in Ving Tsun, they will begin seeing correlations with their personal lives through these principles.
I’m going to attempt to break down my understanding of how this works.
When encountering a physical confrontation, risk is automatically introduced. The longer the situation continues, the greater the risk. Ving Tsun strives to minimize this risk by maximizing efficiency in time, energy and motion.
It’s why we train things like center line, relaxation, timing, and body structure. These concepts and principles enable a skilled practitioner to knock down an opponent in one hit; which is certainly more efficient and less risky than spending time playing the grappling game or trading punches.
What if you could dissolve the need for a fight before one even begins? If there’s no fight, there’s no physical risk to your safety, and you don’t need to spend any energy executing a technique.
This can be accomplished through training the same principles in your day-to-day life as you do when you play with the principles in Siu Lim Tao or in Chi Sau.
For example, relaxation is very important in Ving Tsun. It helps the practitioner deliver more power with their strikes, maintain their balance, be highly sensitive to their opponent’s actions, and change or adapt their techniques quickly and accurately. As you train relaxation in Chi Sau you will train to be relaxed and confident in a very stressful situation – a physical confrontation.
I believe that a conversation – or even an argument – is less stressful and threatening than a physical confrontation, making it even easier to maintain confidence and relaxation. I also believe that those two principles provide very similar benefits in conversation as they do in a physical confrontation. Just as a skilled fighter is sensitive to the movements of their opponent, a skilled conversationalist will be sensitive to what the speaker is communicating. This sensitivity allows one to change or adapt what they would say quickly and accurately; so their words carry more meaning, and provoke less argument.
In this we start to see how the skills developed in Ving Tsun exist in all aspects of our lives. They can help one develop the ability to remove any need for a fight, even in a situation where tension and stress is high. Then, one has an opportunity to make a new friend instead of a new enemy; enriching the lives of all involved!