China 2019 Part 4
Amazing – Sigong Ip Chun
Ip Sigong’s Seminar: It is always a great pleasure and amazes me to see Ip Sigong in person. Always smiling and walking around, it is astounding to see how well he moves for a man his age and how articulate he is. Even more impressive was the chi sau he played with Tse Sifu and Sihing Darryl, still moving with such grace, precision, fluidity, and subtle power. As usual, the seminar he gave all of us was fantastic to say the least which focused on using less energy and smaller movements. Ip Sigong explained and demonstrated how to use less energy during chi sau and how only small movements are needed to create good positioning. After a short practice of those concepts, it was clear to me that I do not implement both of those principles enough and it was a lesson that has stayed in my mind since. It was also great to have Ip Sigong clarify questions we had and correct our movements as he walked around inspecting our group’s work, which is always fun and a great honor as we all work to improve the level of our skill.
by Andrew Okamoto
He’s 95! 95!
Meeting Tai Sigong is always a true honor. Tai Sigong is a legend and when he walks into a room, I get chills of excitement! As I write about Tai Sigong’s seminar I am also trying to save the experience on my “hard drive” of a brain. I still can’t believe that Tai Sigong is 95! 95 and still doing Wing Chun. Impressive.
His movements are so subtle…With one Faak Sau, Tai Sigong effortlessly deflected Sigong’s punch! Practice, practice, practice is also what Tai Sigong stressed. But most importantly Tai Sigong spoke about the importance of using less energy against your opponent. Using less energy is very important to me as I tend to use too much!
The most important lesson that I learned from the seminar is to maintain softness with gong lik and utilize subtle movements to divert my opponents energy… If I can brand that lesson into my brain than maybe I, too, can perform Wing Chun at 95!
by Deb Hart
Wisdom and Skill
When all of us were at the hotel, waiting to pick up our key cards, Sigong humbly and quietly passed through the group. When we all noticed he had arrived, a wave of silence and awe passed through the group. We could all feel we were in the presence of a great person.
After the first of many great dim sum mornings, our coach took us to the hall where we would have our seminar. As Sigong entered, you could feel the room brighten up as all students, both new and old applauded his arrival. Sitting down in front of Sifu and Sigong, all students waited eagerly for the lesson.
To begin with, Sigong practiced Chi Sau with Sifu and Sihing Moy. It was very interesting to watch this as I could see so many different changes and approaches to attack and defence at a high level. In Sigong’s technique I could see great skill and also an effortless gentle strength. All movements were precise and yet not forced. Powerful and yet soft.
Afterwards, Sigong described the essence of what he wanted us to practice that day, meeting an opponent’s strength with softness. This was harder to achieve than I had thought. As I began to practise with a fellow student, I noticed the intricacy was not in catching the attacking hand but in skilfully relaxing your body and yet strengthening the structure through dissipating the energy with a very slight rotation of the body on the heel.
As I continued practising, I was lucky enough to have Sigong himself show me how to practise the redirection of energy as I practised with him for a little while. It was curious to sense the distinct relaxation and strength Sigong had developed for many decades.
The next exercise was being able to deceive the opponent during Chi Sau by trading attack and defence Gaan Sau and then acting quicker than your opponent in order to strike before they have a chance to block the attack with a subsequent Gaan Sau.
After this, we practised Chi Sau with other students from the Centre and also students of one of Ip Sigong’s students. I learned quite a lot from practising that day as I began to have a better sense for how much energy I am using when practising Chi Sau.
After the seminar, I was sure, as I looked around the room that all my fellow students would enjoy even more wisdom and skill from Sigong but it is also important to learn and practice one principle and develop it first before focusing on more aspects of Wing Chun, otherwise the depth of the skill would be incomplete.
Going to lunch with Sifu and Sigong, we all had a great time discussing what we had learned and also being in the presence of such great Masters. As the time arrived for Sigong to leave, we all looked on and said our goodbye and hoped to come back again soon and be able to learn more from him.
by Rau Humuz