An effective Self-Defense curriculum is thorough. It prepares you to address asocial violence. How do you evaluate whether or not your education is comprehensive?
Consider a square divided into quadrants, which represent four training methods we teach in the International Academy of WingChun. You must experience all to be well-rounded, otherwise a key skill may be found lacking. Hopefully, this does not occur in an actual situation where the consequences are dire.
The four quadrants are a combination of two variables. You can train by yourself (Solo) or with others (Partner). You can train closed patterns (Form) or open patterns (Function). Solo training builds your subjective motion. Partner training checks your objective action. Form training improves your technical coordination. Function training develops your practical confidence.
The first quadrant is Solo Form or Sets. You calibrate individual arm or leg techniques in a given order as clean and clear as possible. You gain precision and accuracy.
The second quadrant is Solo Function or Exercises. You mix movements into various limb configurations beyond the limited Sets. You gain dexterity and flexibility.
The third quadrant is Partner Form or Drills. You ingrain a memorized choreography of alternating offensive and defensive collisions. You gain power and stability.
Finally, the fourth quadrant is Partner Function or Applications. You role-play a non-WingChun attacker against a WingChun counterattacker and vice versa. You gain courage and decisiveness.
If WingChun is a physical language, then these quadrants are four levels of its structure. Solo Form Sets are a defined sequence of letters like alphabets. Through Solo Function Exercises, you learn to spell out words with useful meanings. Partner Form Drills formulate your vocabulary into grammatically correct sentences. Partner Function Applications are akin to brief conversational scripts.
No quadrant exhausts the expressive potential of our Self-Defense system. Each cultivates a unique aspect of your total mind-body abilities. Eventually, Solo, Partner, Form and Function integrate into Combat, which, according to our linguistic analogy, is free dialogue. It most closely approximates real-world encounters. The monthly Combat Classes at our United States Headquarters draw from the collective Sets, Exercises, Drills and Applications of WingChun. Thus, Combat articulates your highest, broadest and fullest fluency of WingChun Self-Defense. Train to communicate this eloquence in your whole being, both during and after conflict.
Thank you Sihing Paul, for this valuable description of WingChun training theory. It will add a significant building block to the foundation of my training.
You’re welcome, Daniel. Our training path is laid out systematically in the IAW. We just have to walk it. And you are doing so quite well thus far.