Student article - Structure
What can work efficiently over time without a good structure? Not much, I believe. Whether we talk about skyscrapers or working days, both need strong structures to achieve their different purpose efficiently over time: solid foundations for one and a good hourly timetable for the other, maybe.
What better example than our own body? None of all the smart systems designed to regulate it would be able to fulfil their goals efficiently without our skeleton. Therefore even such a sophisticated and almost perfect machine like the human body would be nothing more than a useless aggregate of wasted brilliance with the appearance of a blob if no bony structure was supporting it.
The same way, the brilliance of the Wing Chun system expresses itself fully when it can rely on a rigorous, however often neglected, lower body structure.
As a young practitioner, like plenty before me I am sure, I wanted to master the obvious, the visually flashy, fast and aesthetic hand techniques which look so impressive in the martial-art films I watch. And rigorous learning of the correct feet positioning, the low stance, the straight spine, the forward hips and the discipline involved often remains in the shadow of the more appealing and entertaining part of the “syllabus”.
I started to understand the benefits of a good lower body structure when I realised that even though my techniques looked flashy and aesthetic to me, they were also mainly inefficient. I knew what had to be fixed and since then I dedicate more time to build the skeleton of my Wing Chun to ensure that the efficiency of its system is not going to be wasted.
I now understand the importance of a good structure as, over time, it will allow a practitioner to build upon it with confidence and trust in his/her own technique. As a fancy skyscraper cannot reach the sky without solid foundations, time will reveal weaknesses of fancy techniques not supported by a strong lower body structure.
Arnaud Celeste Student - Central Wing Chun