Ving Tsun A Positive Attitude

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Clive Potter

line. If the opponent's attack in not down the centreline, then the Ving Tsun practitioner will hit first, as a straight line is the quickest way to the target. This is combined with the Ving Tsun stance thrusting the body forward from the back leg thus dissolving the opponents attack. If the opponent's attack did happen to travel down the centreline, then the Ving Tsun practitioner must still think "attack", and deflect the opponent's attack with his on the way to the target. Fig.1 gives an example of this. "A" punches "B". "B" then shifts his position and applies an upper gan sau deflection which follows through to a punch in Fig. 2. Note how the gan sau is aimed at the opponent's centreline so the block can follow straight through to an attack. Being of positive thinking "B" does not think he is blocking then attacking. Rather he is counter-attacking and happening to block along the way. If we think of attacking as being positive and blocking as being negative, then "B" has turned "A" 's positiveness into his own positiveness. He has immediately reversed the situation to his favour. This is also true in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4. A Tan Sau deflection is followed through by a palm strike.

Part of the effectiveness of any martial arts system is governed by the attitude and approach of the person using it. This may be described by some as "the way" of their martial art. Until a person has trained and practised in his system for some time, he may find that in a combat situation, his character governs his approach. A shy or non-aggressive person may be too defensive, applying too many blocks only attacking on the rare occasions he feels it is absolutely safe to do so. On the other hand, a person with an aggressive personality, may try to ignore the blows he is receiving and blindly hit back at the same time.

The right approach is particularly important in Ving Tsun as much of its effectiveness depends on having a positive and focused attitude. One major aspect of positiveness in Ving Tsun can be described by the following. When attacked, a Ving Tsun practitioner does not think "block" but thinks "attack". To block is negative thinking. Instead, he tries to be positive when attacked by launching his own attack at the opponent's centre

In "Chi Sau" practise this approach should also be apparent. Chi Sau training should be positive and realistic. The opponents should fight each other not each other's arms. In simplistic terms, each opponent is attempting to line up his forces with the other's centreline whilst at the same time directing the opponent's farces away from his own centreline.

Another technique to improve positiveness is to make sure that every move that is made threatens the opponent's centreline. To block with no simultaneous attack is negative and gives the opponent the opportunity to launch his own attack.

In being positive the practitioner should always be aware of the shortest route for his attack. If one attack is deflected the next possible "line of attack" must be found. In Fig.5 "B"" deflects "A" 's right hand attack. "A" is then attempting to come round with a left hand attack. This is wrong as it is not the most direct tine of attack. In Fig.6 "B" again deflects "A" 's right hand attack, but "B" finds the next direct line of attack and follows through down that line.

It is also important to focus the whole body movement down the line of attack towards the target. When "B" counter attacks "A" in Fig.5 he must make sure that his body and feet travel down the same line as his fist towards the opponent's centre. in Fig.7 "A" attacks "B" down the line of attack, but his right foot travels slightly out to the right causing his body to move in a different direction to his fist. This is wrong as it diverts some of the forward force away from the opponent's centreline. In Fig.8 "A" attacks "B" with his fist, feet and body travelling down the line towards the opponent's centre thus hitting the target with maximum force.

Positive attitude is therefore closely linked to being focused on the opponent's centreline both mentally and physically. Having said this, being focused on the centre does not mean that the practitioner is oblivious to his surroundings and what may be happening there. Part of the focus training derives from the slow "Lut Sau Jit Chung" section of the first here is training in prying force, the focus of such prying force and focus of attention on the target's centreline. In this section, each arm that is executing the moves is focused on the centreline by making sure that the forearm is pointing towards the imaginary

opponent's centre. In this way the elbow is directly behind the fist both being on the line between the two practitioner's centres.

This concept is important in combat so that if one hand is diverted the other is also aimed at the opponent's centre as a back up ready to attack. In Fig.9, "A" is in the "on guard" position but his left forearm is not lined up with the opponent's centre. This means that if his right hand attack fails, he cannot fire with the left; it would be trapped. In Fig.10 both hands are lined up correctly so that if the right is stopped the left can fire immediately at the target. This means that in a continuous exchange of techniques it is possible to flow and find an immediate new line of attack as soon as the previous one is diverted.

In the "On guard" position, it is also important that the forces (forearm direction) are focused on the opponents centreline so that any attack can be direct and down the line of attack between the two practitioner's centres. An analogy of this situation of keeping the forces lined up with the opponent's centre, would be like someone with a gun being ready to shoot an opponent. He would be most effective, threatening and efficient to always make sure that his guns were pointing at the target so he can be ready to fire at any time. In Fig.11, "A" 's forearms are not pointing at "B", therefore any attack cannot proceed straight at "B" 's centre if the elbow is to drive the fist forward without any circular motion to compensate. This

would direct some of the forward force into a different direction. In Fig.12, "A" 's forearms are directed at "B" 's centre and it can be seen from the photo that "A" can attack "down the line" with no deviation of his force.

Practice at developing a positive attitude is an ongoing exercise which to a certain extent can be improved by thinking about one's attitude and approach to a combat situation. It can be said that the "Lut Sau Jit Chung" section of Siu Lin Tau is also of extreme importance in such training in the development of a focused attitude and force. Such training should result in every move being focused on the opponent's centre causing his centreline to feel continuously threatened.

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