WingChun Technique or Technology

The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.

— E. F. Schumacher


Occasionally I get emails from all over this Earth asking me about WingChun technique. These inquiries hail from India, Jamaica, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Germany, and many more countries, let alone numerous cities throughout the United States.

That is the beauty of the so-called World Wide Web. I enjoy hearing from my readers and fans wherever on the planet they are. In appreciation for them reaching out, I always do my best to answer their questions.

Increasingly, I receive requests for online training. Unfortunately, I have to decline them. Perhaps I am conservative but I don’t feel like it is possible to responsibly pass on our teachings without being in the presence of my students.

I agree that some knowledge may be transmitted via the internet. But there is so much that cannot be absorbed. First and foremost is the utter lack of tactile feedback. You must feel, rather than just see, or hear how WingChun works.

That is an easily forgotten side effect of online communication. We fall into the seductive illusion that it is a suitable or sufficient substitute for direct relationship. But it is far from it. Continue reading

Your WingChun Nature

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

— Khalil Gibran

Sifu Paul Wang with Dai Sifu Klaus Brand at 2014 Spring Camp in the Marin Headlands, California.

Sifu Paul Wang with Dai Sifu Klaus Brand at 2014 Spring Camp in the Marin Headlands, California.

Have you noticed that, for all its vast benefits, technology feels draining at times? Perhaps you are better adapted to it than me. I admittedly have a limited capacity for digital distractions.

Then I begin longing to roam sun-speckled trails, especially those decorated with carpets of spongy moss and fungi-rimmed logs felled to earth by lightning. For me, an elemental elixir of sun, wind and dew must occasionally pour into my pores. Otherwise, without this primal nutrition, my modern existence insidiously fades to robotic routine.

It is easy to forget that we are humanimals possessed of powerful intellects that nonetheless often distance us from our biological selves. Our minds can virtually abstract us from the animal immediacy of our senses and surroundings. This creature instinct starves if it is not unleashed to range freely once in a while. In fact, left confined too long in the claustrophobic boxes of civilization we have built ourselves, this part of you may perish without you even realizing the loss. A sort of inner mass extinction parallels the worldwide decline in ecosystem biodiversity. Continue reading

Reasons to Quit WingChun

quitIt matters if you just don’t give up.
— Stephen Hawking

How was your first quarter? Just over a week ago, we passed the vernal equinox to enter another cycle of springtime, which reminds me what WingChun 詠春 means — Praising Spring. This is reason to reflect on a renewed season of growth.

88 days of 2015 have already gone by, leaving us just 75% of the year. Let’s pause a moment to notice where we are right now. How deep are you breathing? Is there peace in your heart? What is your state of health? What is your sense of self? Do you feel purpose in life? Who are you close to?

These are essential questions and, as an ambivert, I often fail to express my answers enough. However, more than anything lately, I hold dear important relationships. These are not always the easy, happy and positive ones. But they help me see new things, challenge my beliefs and force needed change.

Similarly, for all its beauty we can rejoice in, the way of WingChun relates us to pain, loss and discomfort. Besides the occasional aches, bumps and bruises, we also have to face our boredom, doubt and frustration. These inevitably surface if we stay with something long enough.

And then we start wondering: Continue reading