Some Mental Training
Part of the mental training of WingTsun is in the Siu Nim Tau and Chum Kiu forms training. Doing the Siu Nim Tau each and every day is vitally important to clarifying one’s thinking. Once or twice is enough if it is done well. The movements themselves are less important than one’s mental attitude during the session. The peace and tranquility of the session is the first thing. Turn off radios and televisions. Get some cool air moving gently (not blowing cold air). Move through the faster movements with medium power and medium speed. Do not rush through it. Move and be very relaxed but brisk.
Clear away all thinking of outside forces, situations, anger, frustrations, etc. The longer the session, the more chance you have to forget concerns and tensions and energize for your training or the day ahead. Do not forget to breath. This sounds ridiculous but people forget to take full breaths and this is very unhealthy. Breath in through the nose while your mouth is closed and let the air go out your mouth. Do not clench your teeth but keep them touching. Keep your tongue between your teeth, not set it back in your mouth, on top of your teeth or sticking out between your lips. One’s breath should be relaxed, full and normal.
Unfortunately, normal breathing is often forgotten during the day. One problem is that many people talk too much. One cannot continue to take full breaths while talking aimlessly. That is why you see the Asian people as quiet. This is part of their culture. People who “talk for a living” such as actors, speech givers, instructors and especially professionally trained singers all learn how to control their breathing. To breath properly, posture is very important. When sitting, be sure to sit straight but do not be too rigid. The Siu Nim Tau form is designed to create these healthful habits that will, incidentally assist in effective self-defense in very big way! Healthful breathing is not a complicated thing but it is something many modern people have forgotten about.
If, before starting training on a busy day or evening you are very afraid of forgetting something after your WingTsun training session, write it down before training and leave the note where you can find it. It is very important that you temporarily forget any issues during the session. A simple session of correctly done Siu Nim Tau will not leave you exhausted but rather feeling better for work or play. You cannot do the Siu Nim Tau form badly if you merely forget some movements. The thing that ruins the form is the tranquility and the concentration. The steady breathing contributes to the feeling of tranquility and so your steady breathing contributes to the steady flow of the form. Many people talk about “chi.” However very few people actually know what chi is. They heard that this is a mysterious energy that nobody in the west ever heard of before T’ai Chi came to North America. Chi translates as “air” in Chinese. When you breathe in, you take in oxygen. The oxygen reacts with the food you eat to create energy. Without air, there is no energy. Chi is equated with energy. No wonder the Chinese people place so much importance on chi. Chi is air! Once you have a good routine established, your mental training will be in high gear. “The mind moves mountains” as the saying goes. As you think, so go you. Quote – “If you think you can, you are right.” Set the stage now for your healthy practice of the Siu Nim Tau!
© Copyright, 2008 Keith Sonnenberg, all rights reserved. No reproduction with permission.