Dec 2, 2009


Each year I look forward to December for some downtime. December is about family, and (forgotten) friends, and taking a bit of a break from hectic schedules to regroup and take stock of what's important...

Unexpectedly, the quiet of Dec was disturbed by an "incoming rogue" fired by the Prime Minister from the Caribbean. He was talking about downtime too, but of a different nature, one day before Polling Day -a 24 hour cooling off period where voters are supposed to reflect quietly before they cast that all-important ballot at the General Elections. We (WP) have already made known why we object to this and are deeply suspicious that it will work to the ruling party's advantage, so I shan't bore you here with a repetition. All said, I find disturbing signs of the government's power growing while some of our rights are more curtailed e.g. look at recent legislative changes like the Public Order Act, and now this. Are we being burnt at both ends?

Real downtime comes whenever one is indulging in something enjoyable, for its own sake. Since some of you asked, it's time for an update on the wing chun lessons I mentioned in my last post.

I have attended 2 lessons so far. Lesson 1 consisted of learning the very basics like how to open one’s stance, punching with the vertical fist and the ideas behind elbow energy.

(At this point, let me first ask forgiveness from those of you who know wing chun, in case I describe something inaccurately).

Here is a sketch done by me of what the open stance, or basic training position, looks like.

As you can see, the position ain’t exactly natural. The sifu joked with us that if some people at a bar were about to attack us, once we got into position they might find the stance so hilarious that they could not fight, which was useful as well! Suffice to say that during and after lesson 1, I felt pain in the asterisked areas and was a bit dejected, wondering how many lessons my injured ankles could take.

Lesson 2, however, was a lifesaver. I realized that my discomfort was due to my knees being over-bent – meaning that the imaginary goat’s head was lower than it should have been. More techniques were learned, with practice of the basics of warding off attacks by “taking the centre line” from the opponent. One of the key concepts in wing chun is that the body must be as relaxed as possible, which is really counter-intuitive especially when one is being attacked! However, at the end of the 2 hour lesson, I felt that the tension in me had miraculously melted away… perhaps I'm getting a little closer to understanding what this is all about.

If all goes well, I shall be writing again from a nice place later this month, barring IT problems.