WingChun Threes, Part II

(Continued from Part I)

There’s another kind of triplet in WingChun:

1 = Beginning, entering
2 = During, staying
3 = Ending, exiting

For instance, you order (1) a meal, eat it (2), then pay and leave (3). In WingChun, you set up a preparation (1; “pre-sition”), then you execute the motion (2; transition) and, finally, follow it with a rest (3; “post-sition”). Using the Pak Sao (Slapping Arm) as a particular example:

1 = Start your left arm close to your left shoulder
2 = Swing your arm forward and diagonally to the right
3 = Stop your arm in front of your right shoulder

One step leads to another. Each is required before going to the next. Together they complete one system or, rather, a process. We can call this a “quantitative” triad, the points of which exist sequentially. In other words, it’s one to three via two.

Delving further into this concept as it applies to optimal WingChun, we can link the three phases to a specific function; namely, relax, prepare, do. Somewhat reorganized from the above, we have:

1 = Relax the Last
2 = Prepare the Next
3 = Do the Current

This is an elegant and effective way to dynamically occupy a portion of space over a period of time. We can remap this as:

1 = Relax the Past
2 = Prepare the Future
3 = Do the Present

It’s inefficient and distracting to start anew now before letting go of the last old task. So, first, forget the previous action, which no longer exists. Then, second, get ready for the next action, which doesn’t yet exist. Finally, third, actually execute the action. Notice, the first two steps are directed by mind intention. Only in step three are these internal states demonstrated as body motion.

There’s nothing esoteric or complicated about implementing this deceptively simple procedure to improve performance. In fact, it is very practical with concrete results if understood well and repeated frequently.

It’s just 1, 2, 3.

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