Living in the present

Part of the philosophy of WingTsun training and follow through in a real self-defense situation is a sort of a present moment outlook which is that we focus on what we are doing now – not what occurred just a second ago and not what might occur in the next few seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or even longer. This doesn’t mean we cannot have a goal. However we cannot let our mind drift and get torn away from our focus on the present moment. Our goal will be realized when it is and not before.

Ancient monks had a meditation technique to learn the basic part of this. They would sit starring a wall for hours and hours concentrating on a spot or a symbol. When somebody’s mind would drift, the head master would swat them. A purpose of a form like Siu Nim Tau is to practice focus in the present moment. Siu Nim Tau with its slow movements in the first third is intended partly as mental training.

Other philosophers have learned that regrets and worry achieve nothing.

Thoughts about what just happened a moment ago (regrets) or concerns about what is about to happen are just imaginary things. What is happening now is real. If we just missed a punch coming at us, we can only do one thing: Use WingTsun’s extraordinary redundancy and catch the punch on the wu sau or mitigate any damage by evading the brunt of the force – at this moment. The past is gone. No time to stop for regrets.

We can try to set our attacker up for counter-attacks but nothing is guaranteed. If we focus on the now, the future will be better.

In practice and in follow through in a real self-defense situation, we cannot stop to regret a technique. We just have to continue. If we pause with regret or worry, even mentally, our attacker can defeat us.

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg