Wing Chun and Structured Mass by Lawrence Ramirez Sifu
The term “Structure” holds different meaning and several function in the Wing Chun Kung Fu system. Within the first form Sil Nim Tao and basic San Sik a beginning practitioner will be taught Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma or the Catch Goat Stance. This focus on stance or structure early in training is paramount if the practitioner is to progress and have functional technique.
As a student is able to grasp these ideals of stance, rooted structure and angular stepping technique they will have progressed to a point where their technique will be functional, but maybe not at optimal performance. Only when an understanding of movement in stance, along with the structured mass of the body can the practitioners technique become really powerful.
With proper timing of technique and structured movement of the body as one unit or a mass, strikes and kicks become much more lethal. Now for someone whom does not study Wing Chun in depth, they will miss several key points where the concept of structure, is concerned. We use the term Structure, but we do not advocate rigidity. Rigidity is not the the goal of structure within the Wing Chun system.
By maintaining a soft yet structured stance, and using properly timed techniques, a practitioner can find opportunity where as a fighter whom is rigid and over committed can easily be overcome by evasive techniques. Within soft structured limbs a flinch reflex or fa jeng, whipping power can be applied where in an arm that is super rigid half of the muscle structure that is throwing the strike is also holding the strike back. Remaining less rigid also will allow a practitioner to intercept a strike, redirect its force, and change his defending limbs in an instant to a strike. This could be attained by a catch and release action, or by using a block to slip motion. “Extreme softness enables one to be hard. Being extremely natural enables one to be agile.” (Wing Chun Kuen Kuit)
A practitioner should focus on maintaining these ideas of structure which encompasses, stance, proper angular movement, footwork, along with properly timed and applied technique when engaging an opponent. If applied as a coordinated unit or body mass, the practitioner will be very hard to attack from any angle and also extremely lethal with response to any attack when applying Wing Chun technique.
Keep the Traditions!