Mindfulness in WingTsun training
It seems obvious that learning a martial art requires one to “pay attention” when training. However in a martial art, many techniques require repetitive training, that is, many repetitions of the same movement. In this situation, many people have trouble maintaining focus. The trouble usually lies with our busy lifestyles. Many people are not accustomed to being alone with their own thoughts for periods longer than a few minutes! If they are not speaking with somebody, they are listening to a radio, a television or on a cell phone. These passive forms of distraction are actually harmful in the long term if not balanced with an appropriate amount of time using one’s own brain in an active way. The mindfulness taught in WingTsun is also a form of training in the mediation of Chuan (Zen) Buddhism. It is no coincidence that WingTsun was developed in China, a country with many Buddhists. However WingTsun became separate from the practice of the ancient religions of China after the burning of the Siu Lam Monastery. After that, WingTsun was passed down in a narrow line to various secular successors over its 300 year old history.
The Siu Nim Tau form is WingTsun’s way to train a beginner to become more mindful of the training. In other words, it is important to pay attention to the performance of techniques and therefore it is important to train this mindfulness at least once per day in the Siu Nim Tau form. It is hoped that the lessons learned in doing the Siu Nim Tau form will transfer to the rest of the student’s WingTsun training.
Copyright 2010, Keith Sonnenberg. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.