Master Tse’s Wing Chun Note #184
Ancestor Instruction 詠春祖訓 VI pt1
Wing Chun Ancestor Instruction VI, “Nourish your Qi. Confrontation and fighting are forbidden 學養氣 戒濫鬥爭.” The cultural Chinese attitude is to be a gentleman or a gentle person, that is to say someone who is educated and is nice to others. This is the main Confucius thought which has been taught for over 2500 years in China and this is why you will see many Chinese people, in particular the older generation because of their education at school, holding back their emotions and avoiding confrontations. However Chinese culture has also developed very good Kung Fu 功夫 and strategies of war. This is the balance within the culture, be gentle first, second and even third, but come to the fourth time we will fight, but even when fighting we will not just think about using power.
In Chinese Kung Fu and strategy are equally important to Confucianism and can be very tricky and skillful. The strategy might tell us to find the opponent’s weak points or use the opponent’s energy and using their strength against them, but having this knowledge is dangerous and so we need to develop a good attitude, which means we need to develop our Qi. Qi is not just energy. The term says, “Nourish your Qi 學養氣” and this means to be calm, settled, relaxed, humble and nice. A good attitude based on good internal Qi, a healthy body and a good mind. So in Siu Lim Tao 小念頭 we need to stand for a long time to calm our minds and nourish our Qi.
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