The Lore of Wing Chun
Ch. 4:  The Fourth Year
By John F. DiVirgilio

You must learn to move the base of the staff (Long Pole or Kwan) before you can transmit power to the point.

This is the year that you will discover the realities of elastic strength.

The seven basic movements of the long staff (six & techniques) are at the root of the staff techniques, but there are endless methods and uses in a fight.

It takes no less than six months to learn the movements of the staff and a lifetime to perfect the applications.  Therefore, enjoy the journey toward perfection and do not poison yourself by searching for quick fulfillment.

The Wing Chun system has many techniques.  However, the Wing Chun master uses no more than five general combat hand techniques and only a couple of specialty techniques from each of the Wing Chun forms and Chi Sau.

When using the staff, smash the lead hand of your opponent before striking his body.

The staff training builds body strength and muscle sinew.

Staff training can start after completing the second set.

Lament the arts that have no sets or recorded sequences of techniques.  They will have only words to pass on their wisdom and are bound to fade away.

At this juncture of training, you will become aware whether you will carry on the Wing Chun art as a teacher of many or to carry the Wing Chun art as a personal art with few students.

Many poorly-applied techniques and inefficient movements are masked by quick (short-range) bridging and hurried follow through (chase-down) maneuvers during sparring and Chi Sau practice.  These points can be found more during Chi Sau practice.  It is important to limit students to the first one, two, or at most three movements during Chi Sau sparring practice.  It is important for all Wing Chun practitioners to break down long and fast combinations to refine the individual (component) techniques.

Study the attributes of "Stickiness" found in the competitive contact between arm-against-arm, foot-against-foot, weapon-against-weapon, formation-against-formation, and army-against-army.  Stickiness can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Rehearse your Wing Chun Functions by having a clear mind, quick body shifting, and speedy strike combinations.

The most effective technique against a strong kicker is the jamming thrust kick.

A big and barrel-chested man is very resistant to regular kicks and punches.  When defending against such an attacker, you must strike to steal his wind (breathing system).

Much of the Wing Chun system utilizes the slant body posture to angle away and to redirect strong attacks.  However, on occasion, one must use the closed chest (sunken chest) posture when fighting in situations in which you are engaged closely with a fierce and pressing opponent.

Know your Wing Chun kung fu lineage and history.  Ng Mui, the nun, escaped the first destruction of the Fukien province Sil Lum temple in 1673.  Ng Mui was not part of the second burning of Fukien Sil Lum temple in the mid 1700's.  The second burning was a result of monk Ma Yi Fu's treachery.

Copyright 1996, John F. DiVirgilio

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