Articles » Some remarks on the practicing of Vietnam Wing Chun
Some remarks on the practicing of Vietnam Wing Chun
By Si-fu Nguyen Ngoc Noi
In recent years, some instructors from our martial art school and me had many discusses with our fellow practitioners at the school as well as via posted articles on the Web site about the method of practicing in Vinh Xuan Noi gia (our Wing Chun school name in Vietnamese). However, there still some students have not yet recognized the essential principles in practice and they also have thoughts like other brothers from outside of the school. Today, through this article, I would like to say more about the related issues in practice, including what some brothers have asked.
First off, please be noted that Vinh Xuan Noi gia requires practitioners to think smart during practice. Also, one must see Vinh Xuan Noi gia on the Eastern Philosophy view to appraise the essence of the sect at its true worth. In fact, Vinh Xuan Noi gia’s methods & techniques is very difficult, if you just look through the forms, you cannot understand the insightful nature of the sect. Only through practice, keep thinking during practice, one can feel the spirit and the nature of the art through the forms and the movements (separate forms). Previously, when our school is officially opened and even recently, many people told me that "I want to send a child to you to teach him". I've just smiled but also replied firmly that: “You know I’m not a baby sitting. This art is not that easy, one cannot get familiar with it in a short time. Your child is just a little boy, if we force him to sit for breathing exercises, or even try to understand the movements, how can he do it? You’d better to send him to a school to study subjects. Later on, if he has “Karma” with the sect and if I won’t teach him, there should be someone else will do it. Don’t worry about the late start. The older his age, the more effective he can get in training". Therefore the numbers of students up to 15 years of age at our school are limited to whose are the children of practitioners at school. Currently, the students from our school with qualified degrees and higher degrees from universities are accounted for nearly 90%. With all the modest, I must say this is the “martial art for intelligence". I also wrote on an article titled: "Wing Chun – A martial art of intelligence and beauty" published on Capital Women’s newspaper, No. 6 dated 08/02/2006.
As everyone knows in today's era, before the weapons are very sophisticated and effective, the fights in martial arts are not effective means in the struggle that people need. However, to apply it in real life on many aspects it is still very useful. Therefore, when people asked me to open the short-term classes within 3 - 6 months, to fit in the circumstances and aspirations of some people, I did reply that "With such a short time, to use it effectively, you must be training daily and continuously". For many people, with such a tough timeframe, it would be hard to keep it in several months. This training program is only needed for special forces who have to face with the kinds of people whose need to immediately control their behavior. At Vinh Xuan Noi gia school, if you practice twice a week, within 3 - 6 months, you could not control your hand to follow your intention, needless to say whom you could defeat. This is truly a fact at our school, not theoretical aspects. One must understand that to learn martial arts is just to know how to control his feet, hands, and body, to follow his ideas, so as to put where he wants with full speed, accurate, strong and effective. And whereby he can built up a skill and spirit life to defend himself against opponents. With Vinh Xuan Noi gia, one can not get familiar with in a short-time. Therefore, I often speak to my students that: "to learn the art, the first thing is to win yourself, you must be able to control your body to follows your intention before thinking of defeating other people". This is the Buddha in the martial arts. And remember one important philosophy of martial arts is "If you are successful in protecting yourself, you will win". To reach it, you must have to start training with basic techniques and the time to master it must not short".
Previously, the training does not have any reference materials for further reading, so I have to listen to very carefully just like swallow every words of my teacher in the class. And then when I’m at home, practice alone, try to re-think, compare it with what my teacher has taught. It is really hard, but also very valuable. Because through this way, it makes you understand further and remember what the teacher has taught you on both forms and essence view. My teacher had told me that "you must be practice it very fluently in order to make what I have taught you to become yours". Follow my teacher’s advise, I always remind my students that "practice in the class is important, practice at home is more important. You can not be missing one of there two parts of the whole process in training”. Those two methods have relationship with each other very closely. We have published the Volume 1 of the book series titled: "Vietnam Vinh Xuan Noi Quyen Phap" and the book "Articles about Vietnam Wing Chun and Vietnam Vinh Xuan Noi Gia kuen”. During the training, you should always see, learn and compare your experience you have gained with what have been written in these 2 books in order to get better results in many aspects such as: to perform the movements correctly, understanding the theories of the sect, etc.
With the knowledge that my teacher has passed down on and also my own experience, I always advise my students that: "the smartest way to learn martial art is to do what the teacher have told you, don’t try to do it in another way. There is no teacher who wants his student to be stupid. “You don't need to alter the predefined positions of forms when practicing in order to be able to adjust these positions when applying them in real fighting” and right as the ancient said "Lets the fixed change face with ten thousand changes". Our founders when create the system with forms, methods, principles, etc. have had inspiration from a variety of sequences in real fighting, and continuously improved it over the years and through generations. With such traditional culture, the quintessence of the sect is filtered through generations. So the transmission of the quintessence (simple called the principles, the secrets) to late disciple was almost following the rule: only passed down to one selected student (unique).
As irresistible events might happen in life, that unique student might not promptly transfer all the knowledge he has learnt to the late generations, or not yet to transfer completely, event had to transfer it to somebody outside, or do not even find the deserved person to transfer, brought out the essence (“secret techniques") that was indoctrination. The essence (“secret techniques”) is intellectual protection of our founders and followers. If we lost it, how unfortunate! nothing can compensate and this is also our guilt with the founders. But also because of method of building the formalized system of our founders, once practice it enthusiastically, practitioners can also "enlightened" the profoundness hidden in the forms of the system. Many of the profound we have "enlightened" out and one could think that it is new, but it could be archived through the diligent practice under the system that our founders has thorough created. As scientific researcher - Vietnamese Yoga man Nguyen The Truong wrote in the introduction part of the book "Vietnam Vinh Xuan Noi Quyen phap": "Indeed, right from the XVII – XVIII centuries, the founders of Wing Chun kuen had created the five animal forms: Tiger - Panther - Crane - Snake - Dragon and use “chi” as the main source of power, etc. Also in Western till the middle of XX century, American mathematician N. Wiener invented control study subjects (Cybernetics) as the basis for the creation of subjects ape creatures (Bionics). Then, to 1956, physiologist and epidemiology in Canada H.Selye build doctrine on Stress and German psychiatrist JHSehultz proposed method create relaxed state (relaxation) is often called the exercise of autonomy (autogenic Training). That is, the method of healing today has germinated from the kung-fu and training methods in the erstwhile era including Wing Chun kuen". Therefore when we comply with these principles in practice the exercise, we will "enlighten" the potential apparent in the nature of the sect, the movements, the forms, the methods and the important secret, etc.
The most important and the most basic thing for me in practice is "have Karma with school, with teachers". The first thing is "Karma" that is: we understand the sect, have good faith and believe in the sect, find a school we want to register, get to see the master we wish to “bai su”. Then the rest "Post-Karma" is done by ourselves: how we enthusiastic with the sect, the school? How far we sincere our teacher? How we trust, determination, patience with the training? In the first letter "Some further talks about Vietnam Wing Chun" dated 07/10/2004, I also wrote: "To be success, my point of view is depends basically on 3 major factors. They are:
1. Karma (Serendipity, Cơ duyên) ...
2. The impartation of the teacher.
3. The determination, faith and the diligent in practice...”. Like the ancient said: “success or failure, it depends on you" I have a sure that if we respect the "Karma", know how to sincere look after "Post-Karma" (as I described above), we will certainly go on to success on the road of mastering the art. I always believe that our founding fathers, our grand masters will always support to those people.
Some talks and discusses honestly with you. You might find that something you have learnt is not yet suitable, I hope to have your sympathy, because this is completely my wish to share with you on the steps of the road training in Vinh Xuan Noi gia.
Wishing you every happiness, success on the road training and very successful in every aspects of life.
Thank you for your interest in my article.
[Translated by Admin on March 23, 2009 with the help of Google translate Tool]