A Straight Back and a Clear Mind
Master Tse’s Wing Chun Notes #2
No matter what Wing Chun position we use, we must keep the back straight. A straight back is healthy and without good health we will not develop good Kung Fu skill. When we have a straight back we can clear our minds and then our reactions will be correct. When our back is straight, the Qi can flow properly, up the Du channel督脈 on the back, over the top of the head and down the Ren任脈channel on the front of the body. This cycle is called the Small Heavenly Orbit, or Xiao Zhou Tian 小周天.
This flow of Qi helps to give us our energy and it will expand to encompass the whole body. That is why traditional Chinese martial arts train the stance which develops the bones. Our bones is where our power comes from, not from lifting weights. A tree with strong roots can withstand many storms and holds lots of fruit. But if a tree’s roots are week, with too much stress, it will fall over or break. So a straight back is important so that the Qi developed from the stance can go to the rest of the body.
Actually in most traditional Chinese Kung Fu styles you need to keep your back straight.
Today, we see so many people practising Wing Chun with hunched backs or shoulders and their hips tucked in. These positions limit movement and also mean the hand positions will not fully connect with the body. Then the skill can easily be wrong. However, the footwork will be the thing affected most. The bad posture will create stiffness when moving back and forth, and when someone attacks us, we will not be able to move fast enough and so we will get hit more often. If we practise with bad posture, eventually it will affect our health. When we hunch our shoulders and do not have a straight back, then our lungs will be affected and this will aslo affect our energy levels and stamina. So to have a high level of Wing Chun, we must have the correct posture.