The Four Level/Year-Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study Plan [CLICK ON THIS TITLE TO BE TAKEN TO THIS SECTION]:

The Four Level/Year-Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study Plan

 

Chapters:

  1. First Level/Year of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study.
  2. Second Level/Year of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study.
  3. Third Level/Year of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study.
  4. Fourth Level/Year of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study.
  5. “Gaging” of the Student’s Progress & Growth; Through Levels One – Four & Beyond.

 

Designed & Formatted by Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Disciple, Thomas “Tivy” Tvedten

 

Author’s Introspective Reflection:

 

While reflecting on my own path of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) study, learning, & growth, I realize that my Sifu voluntarily chose to “work” with what he was “given,” which was in fact a very lazy person who only wanted to learn one highly effective form (singular) of martial art (singular) that is always applicable in every situation,” very quickly & easily learned, & under the absolute pretense that I must never be required to learn more than three “moves” in one lesson which must take no longer than 15 minutes!

My Sifu is highly intuitive & insightful so he “saw” (felt the presence of) something within me that I had no idea was there!  He shined his grace upon me and agreed to comply with my bullheaded terms.  He decided that the “one form” he would teach me would be Yǒng Chūn’s “Muk Yan Jong (木人樁) – Wooden Dummy Form.”  Upon learning just the gross movements (not the fine-tuned specific details) of the “form” . . .

I fell madly in love with Yǒng Chūn (咏春)!!! and hence forth I have thirsted for infinitely more insight.

However, if your student is not (or you are not) a bullheaded numbskull as I was, then the specific path of learning Yǒng Chūn (咏春) that I am about to delineate will facilitate a profoundly meaningful introduction to Yǒng Chūn (咏春) that will continue to inspire the eternal disciple of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) to never cease to learn & grow further as s/he redefines and recreates herself or himself from one instant in time to the next,  towards the goal of being a graceful & peaceful stream of water which effortlessly & readily adapts to any situation that happens to lie upon its path.

The Four Level/Year-Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study Plan:

  1. Level/Year One:
    1. All four (non-weapon) forms are to be ultimately performed with precision by exactly impersonating the movements of the Sifu; Approximately three months are dedicated to “perfecting” each of these precisely choreographed forms, to include the following Yǒng Chūn (咏春) forms in the following order:
      1. Sil Lum Tao, “小念頭” – Little Idea:
        1. It is best for the student to practice this meditative form in front of a mirror while fixing the student’s eyes precisely on the mirror reflection of his or her own “solar plexus” which is located in the center line of the chest, right above the diaphragm.  This will hopefully facilitate the intuitive understanding of the following concepts:
          1. Yǒng Chūn (咏春) is meditative in nature, therefore, all forms of practicing Yǒng Chūn (咏春) are to be carried out while under a certain degree of meditative state, especially when in an actual confrontation of any type:  Being in a meditative state facilitates self-control, control of one’s emotions & thoughts, control over the direction that the overall confrontation heads in, etc.
          2. By focusing on one’s mirror reflection while performing Sil Lum Tao the student hopefully begins to grasp the understanding that at many times in one’s life, we all experience the understanding that we often can be our own most formidable opponent & our own “worst enemy,” but that this counterproductive relationship with “ourselves” can be overcame by deeply introspective meditation that facilitates the understanding that “ourselves” are always in a state of continuous change, redefining, & recreation.  Therefore the student must learn how to direct his or her energy towards the goal of LEADING that recreation so that ultimately one’s energy is NOT directed towards establishing a permanent definition of “self,” seeking self-indulgence or self-sabotage, harming self or others, or . . . happiness or misery.  Instead, the goal is to direct one’s energy towards acquiring a never-ending state of continuously increasing peacefulness by allowing oneself to become more & more like water that effortlessly & immediately adapts to any situation in one’s path by flowing gracefully around adversity of any kind without internalizing any “hurt.”
          3.  By focusing one’s gaze upon a small part of any entity (physical or emotional) it is possible to discern an increasingly accurate understanding about the nature & motion (movement) of the entire entity.
            1. The specific details of any situation are very important.
            2. It is helpful to address this question:  As humans, with our two little eyes, how much of the ENTIRE universe do we truly see?  Through a meditative fixation of our eyes on a very limited aspect of the universe, it is possible to increasingly, but continuously (a lifelong endeavor) obtain a clearer intuitive concept of what the nature & movement of the entire universe FEELS like, which is at times highly subjective depending on where you are at physically . . . but also emotionally.
      2. Chum Kiu, “尋桥 “– Bridging the Gap:
        1. Facilitate an understanding that by boldly entering the opponent’s personal space the opponent will usually tend to panic which leads to disorientation & an inability to “think-through” his or her own attack methodology & an inability to “think-through” how to effectively block attacks.
        2. By entering into an intimately close proximity to an entity of any type (physical or emotional) one is empowered to more fully understand the nature of that entity through intuition.
      3. Biu Ji, “标指 “– Thrusting Fingers:
        1. Once the Yǒng Chūn (咏春) practitioner is within the “personal space” of the entity the Yǒng Chūn (咏春) practitioner must instinctively respond to the entity rather than thinking through one’s intended response.
        2. This form is a highly lethal form of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) and it cannot possibly be reinforced enough that the student must always maintain full control over “self” (as the “self” continuously changes) and also maintain control over one’s thoughts, emotions, & reactions & behavior.
      4. Muk Yan Jong, “木人樁” – Wooden Dummy:
        1. This form incorporates all aspects of the previously learned forms so that the student uses all three of these forms at one time upon a human-resembling “dummy” while learning to flow around that “dummy” in a graceful, effortless, & water-like manner.
    2. The student is to practice Traditional Sticky-Hands in which the student & the opponent start out facing each other as mirror reflections of each other with both arms in contact with both of the other opponent’s arms, which are then “swung” or “rocked” in a “cradle”-like motion as each opponent practices the art of PERCEIVING (this is the beginning of developing an intuitive sense of when, how & at what point on one’s body the opponent intends to attack BEFORE the attack occurs) the movement of the other opponent so as to simultaneously block & attack (strike), in a manner that involves only upper body blocks & attacks; no kicking is allowed.  See this link for an example of Traditional Sticky Hands:  Traditional Sticky Hands Tutorial.
  2. Level/Year Two:
    1. Encourage the student to take ownership of each form by very consciously (in a heightened state of meditative awareness) & deliberately changing the way the forms are interpreted and resultantly manifested (carried out) so that each form is precisely changed in such a manner that the way the student demonstrates the form feels much more “natural” to the student because it is appropriately adjusted to fit the uniquely-individual student’s height, body structure, cognitive thoughts, and emotional feelings.
      1. These changes can be made under (only) one absolute requirement: The student MUST be able to clearly communicate, step-by-step, exactly why this “new” version of the form is more suitable for her or him.
    2. The student will begin to practice Bruce Lee’s Advanced version of “Sticky-Hand” (singular) in which you do not start out facing each other as mirror reflections of each other with both arms in contact with the other opponent’s arms, but rather, the Advanced version of Sticky-Hand is initiated by standing in a Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Fighting Stance such that the “lead” forearm of the leading hand is touching the opponent’s lead forearm, the feet are about shoulder width apart with each foot pointed in an approximately 45-degree angle that is pointed away from the lead hand; the lead leg is on the same side as the lead hand. The body weight tends to be predominantly on the rear leg:  This is a very commonly used Yǒng Chūn Fighting Stance, as demonstrated by Ip Man, by himself (below) and then as demonstrated by Bruce Lee with an opponent (below):
      1. Wing-Chun-Fight-Stance of Ip Man
        1. (Ip Man in a Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Fighting Stance, above).
      2. Bruce Lee-Advanced-Sticky-Hand-Stance
        1. (Bruce Lee & an opponent in a Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Advanced Sticky-Hand Stance, above).
      3. Note: Only upper body blocks & attacks (ideally simultaneously implemented) are allowed; no kicking is allowed.  Please see this link for an example of Bruce Lee’s Advanced Sticky-Hand practice:  Bruce Lee’s Advanced Sticky-Hand Practice.
  3. Level/Year Three:
    1. Both Yǒng Chūn (咏春) weapons forms are taught in the following order:
      1. Baat Jam Dao, “八斩刀” – Butterfly Swords/Eight Cut Swords.
      2. Look Dim Boon Grun, “六点半杆” – Dragon Pole/Six and Half Point Pole.
    2. The student shall practice Bruce Lee’s Advanced version of “Sticky-Hand” as in the last year, but now the feet are incorporated; kicking is allowed.
      1. Introducing the feet (kicking & blocking with a bent-knee, with the legs & with the feet) allows the student to develop a perception/intuitive-sense for when he or she is not only going to be attacked with the opponent’s hands, but also when he or she is going to be attacked with the opponent’s feet or a bent-knee, so that the students foot, leg, or bent-knee is INSTINCTIVELY raised in an appropriate manner to block a kick, or block a kick while striking at the opponent at the same time (simultaneously).
  4. Level/Year Four:
    1. The primary goals of the fourth Level/Year are, in fact, to be progressively manifested by the student throughout the ENTIRE duration of the ALL Four Levels/Years of the students Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Training/Study, which are to:
      1. Increasingly use full-body movement in every block, strike, and in every movement of any kind by pivoting on one’s heels such that the hip rotates with the shoulders thus yielding more fluid, water-like movements that are several times more powerful than isolated upper body movement.
      2. Become increasingly more graceful and fluid (water-like) in one’s movements. This is a lifelong objective, so it cannot be reiterated enough!!!
      3. Intuitively perceive (rather than visualizing) when the opponent will strike, how the opponent will strike, and at what point on the student’s body the opponent will strike . . . BEFORE the opponent strikes.
      4. Instinctively react (without thinking it through or premeditating a reaction in any manner) ideally by striking at the opponent & blocking the opponent’s attacks simultaneously.
      5. Increasingly use SELF-RESTRAINT (SELF-CONTROL) OF THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS, & ACTIONS while simultaneously acquiring & maintaining control of your opponent’s disposition & actions, thereby maintaining complete control over the “fight” so that only the minimal amount of force required to control the direction of the “fight” is the level of force that is used:  No one should be allowed to get “out of control” because that is when people get hurt &/or get into trouble. {CRITICAL/KEY PRINCIPLE ! ! !]
    2. SPARRING (ideally with an increasingly diverse variety of martial artists & fighters from drastically different fighting backgrounds) accomplishes the above goals.
  5. “Gaging” of the Student’s Progress & Growth; Through levels One – Four & Beyond:
    1. After the student has demonstrated proficiency in all tasks & concepts that were covered throughout each “Level/Year” (a “year” is a VERY relative term which is dependent upon the student’s progress at not only applying the principles of Yǒng Chūn (咏春) to physical confrontations & challenges, but also applying these same abstract principles to emotional & psychological challenges in life) by the end of each year, then the student is “graduated” into the next Level/Year.
    2. PRACTICE-FIGHTING WITH FREQUENT INSTANTANEOUS ANALYSIS :
      1. After Level/Year Four, the Sifu appropriately “steps back” and changes into the role of a COACH as the student engages in “practice-fighting with frequent instantaneous analysis” which, unlike “sparring,” is NOT defined by several rules regarding what “is allowed” and what “is not allowed.”
        1. In “practice-fighting with frequent instantaneous analysis,” inflicting SOME discomfort upon each other to some extent is COMPLETELY allowed as long as NO ONE gets INJURED:
          1. Causing injury in a friendly-fight should obviously never done intentionally but should at all costs also be avoided even when the injury that is inflicted is completely unintentional, because injury requires time to heal which detracts from the time that the student can spend training, competing, and continuing to grow.
          2. In “practice-fighting with frequent instantaneous analysis,” unlike in traditional American-style “sparring,” the objective is not to “win” the fight by “touching” your opponent more times than your opponent touches you in an effort to achieve more points (which is an almost useless method of training sense there is no way to gage a point system that appropriately awards more points to contacting your opponent in an area where a vital organ resides, nor is there a reliable way to award points that are appropriate to the level of force that the “touch” or contact is made with), nor is the objective to harm your opponent in any way.
            1. In “practice-fighting with frequent instantaneous analysis” the competitor’s only objective is to interact with each other until contact is made to the extent that the “coach” recognizes that a contact of significant merit was made.instructs the students to “STOP!”  Then the students are to “bow-out” to each other.
            2. Then the “coach” encourages the students to discuss with him or her, and with each other the following topics:
              1. How was the attack/strike made?
                1. The “coach” should have students slowly reenact the scenario.
              2. Was it more intentional or more of an accidental contact?
              3. At what part of the recipient’s body was the contact made?
                1. What kind of damage to the recipient (who received the strike) could have occurred if profound force was used?
              4. How could this strike have been . . .
                1. Blocked?
                  1. The “coach” should explain, demonstrate & have the students practice this new method.
                2. Blocked and simultaneously combined with a counter-strike?
                  1. The “coach” should explain, demonstrate & have the students practice this new method.
              5. How could the deliverer of this effective strike have modified this strike so that the blocks and counterattacks would have been unsuccessful?
                1. The “coach” should demonstrate, then have the students both practice what they have learned.
            3. After all of the above has been thoroughly analyzed, discussed, demonstrated, & practiced, both students “bow back-in” and resume the “practice-fighting with frequent instantaneous analysis”
          3. I advise participants in friendly-fighting to wear the following:
            1. A helmet with a full face shield such as this hockey helmet from Dick’s Sporting Goods (please see the following link):  Hockey Helmet.
            2. Groin Protection “Cup.”
            3. Padded Sparring Gloves that still allow the fingers to move freely for grabbing & “finger-thrusting” such as these gloves from Dick’s Sporting Goods (please see the following link):  Fighting Gloves.
            4. A little rib & spinal cushioning is a good idea incase an opponent unintentionally uses a bit too much force & the student doesn’t effectively block the strike.  This is adequately addressed by wearing a padded football shirt from Dick’s Sporting Goods which can be obtained through the following link:  Padded Rib-Protection Shirt.
            5. Shin Guards (typically designed for soccer) are very optional but can be obtained from Dick’s Sporting Goods at the following link:  Shin Guards.
            6. Children’s shin guards can be worn by an adult student to protect the forearms (at this link:  Forearm Guards.) but in truth the student should typically be discouraged from wearing forearm guards because:
              1. One of the main components in Yǒng Chūn (咏春) is the task of using one’s forearms in the Muk Yan Jong, “木人樁” – Wooden Dummy form in an effort to slowly & gradually build up forearm-bone density.  If the student uses a floor-weighted punching bag with an “Attachmate” © Yǒng Chūn attachment wrapped around it (seen here:  “Attachmate.”) then the following drills (or similar drills) can be done to strengthen the student’s forearms (see link):  YouTube Kung Fu Forearm Drills.

Final Note from the Author:

 

It is my sincere hope that other Martial Artists, Teachers (Sifus), & Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Disciples find this “Four Level/Year-Yǒng Chūn (咏春) Study Plan” to be “insightful” at the very least, and very helpful, ideally!!!

THANK YOU for your time & attention; it is sincerely appreciated:

I hope that you subscribe to / follow my blog/webpage (and participate in this blog to the point that you are genuinely interested and helpful, rather than being inflammatory or critical in any manner).

~ Most honorably & with all humility,

~ Thomas “Tivy” Tvedten

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