Oblivious to the World
Driving home after class the other day I was amazed to find a young man walking down the middle of the road straight at me. I could not believe that he was totally unaware that I was driving right at him! He was completely engrossed in his mobile phone and was listening to music on headphones. He neither saw my headlights or could hear me sounding my car’s horn. In the end all I could do was stop and let him walk into the front of the car! At least he looked suitably embarrassed when he did.
Our senses are very important as they are our link with the outside world and we form all our relationships with the world based on what we see, hear, smell and touch. There is a Chinese saying, “Five colours make you blind”. This basically means that when your senses are over stimulated they cannot sense anything, so when there are too many colours you cannot see them, too many sounds you cannot hear them or too many aromas you cannot smell them. So walking around listening to your mp3 player and looking at your smart phone will mean you will not see hear or see anything else.
There is another Chinese saying, “The world is an illusion” This means that we do not see reality clearly as ours senses are either not clear enough or our minds are too cluttered to interpret the information clearly. This also means our Qi is blocked and this will lead to other problems health and our lives. When we are healthy our Qi is strong and our minds clear. When we reach this level our senses will also be strong and clear.
For our Wing Chun to be good all our senses need to be honed to a fine degree. When we practise Siu Lim Tao, Wing Chun’s first form, we train as slowly as we can so our thoughts reduce and the mind becomes still. The first section of the form makes us healthy and strong/ When we have practised many times and reached a good level our senses will be clear and alert. With enough Chi Sau training our sensitivity, awareness of movement, distance and timing and ability to react and change will be highly tuned and so we will be able to respond to our opponent instantly and correctly.
In this way Wing Chun training enables you to see through five colours and see the world as it is. The higher your level becomes the more sensitive to you surroundings you become because you are more aware of it. Then you will not like dulling and confusing your senses. This means that when you walk down the street you will not be oblivious to dangers around you and this fits in with Wing Chun principles perfectly since you will be able to avoid trouble rather than clash with it head on.