A lesson can last an hour
or so, or it can be a sentence or even a word.
I suppose that of all the lessons I learned from my teacher, the one
that stood out the most was when he turned to me and said
'Before you can defend
yourself effectively, you must first learn how to fight'
Now I am by no means a
born fighter, I don’t like it and if I had the choice I would never
do it. However in a world where chaos rules supreme, we cannot always
be in charge of every situation.
There is a vast difference
between fighting and learning how to fight, and for those who are not
fighters but wish to learn self-defence, the path can be somewhat of
an eye opener.
Learning how to fight is
not about beating the living daylights out of you training partner and
vice versa, it’s about footwork, positioning, body language, knowledge
and the ability to think on your feet.
Most importantly do what
you know. How many times have I seen a non boxer try to out box a boxer,
it doesn’t work and will more often than not end in tears. For unless
you train boxing skills a reasonable boxer will give most martial artists
a hard time.
I often say to my class
“A strike is not a strike unless its in range, you might just as well
be waving your arms around in the air”.
Wing Chun only works when
in close, and although there are various methods of closing down an
attacker, a student’s fundamental hurdle is getting to grips with moving
in on an attack.
Although this goes against
your basic survival instincts of getting out of the way, if you keep
backing off from an attack you will get picked off eventually. So it
is your mind that can defeat you rather than a lack of technique.
With your training partner,
try moving in/intercepting some slow straight punches, step in at a
45 degree angle and place a palm strike on the rib cage. Repeat this
on both sides and gradually step up the pace and vary the attacks, high,
low, hook, upper cuts, jabs, crosses etc.
It is pointless training
self defence against your own style (Wing Chun, Karate etc) because
it is unlikely that you would be attacked on the street in this manner.
If you train against street
style attacks your style will not suffer, if anything it will be enhanced.