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The force behind the elbow motion.

One the fundamental principles of all Wing Chun actions is the elbow motion witch is the base of proper force in all techniques. Students are always told not to forget "pushing the elbow" in Tan or Fook but most have a hard time understanding how to do it or simply feel it.

Sometimes, it even brings the student to wrongly tense his forearm while concentrating on the elbow. This is a common mistake.

If we take a look at the human arm anatomy, we see that the elbow is only a joint without any motion capacity by itself. It is not self driven and therefore it takes its force somewhere else.

The source of the motion is the humerus section of the arm, the part that goes from the shoulder to the elbow. One other thing is that this part of the arm is almost always doing a raising movement whatever the Wing Chun motion is Tan, Fook, Bong, Biu, Pak, Kuan, even the punch!.Movement of this arm section also drive Gan, Lop, Jut, motions that are often perceived as "pulling motions" but who should rely more on body turning than actual puling of the arm.

So if all Wing Chun motions are powered by the simple lifting or slight lowering of the first section of the arm, what could this gives to a practitioner and how could this knowledge affect our practice?.

It will simply give more awareness of the correct use of energy in the forms and, after some practice it will do the same in Chi Sau practice. The forearm will gradually become "empty" thus favouring fast actions and reactions, free of tensions.

The raising movement, when well felt and controlled will help connect the Wing Chun motions to the ground via the body structure and feet. The ground will begin to be perceived and used as an aid for increased force and stability. The practitioner will gradually discover that there are no such things as "hand motions" in Wing Chun but only "body motions"

Now for fun, just try this simple experiment: Have someone put his hands on you chest and push you as hard as he can while you simply apply a light raising force under his elbows.You will be amused to discover that no matter how strong is his push, he will not be able to move you!.Now for a nice dramatic effect ,do it while standing on one leg only!.This shows how a raising motion do disrupt a pushing force coming toward you or add power to one emanating from you.

It's now easy to figure how this concept can benefit one's Wing Chun.

Sifu Michel Boulet.

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