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Anticipating the Blow

October 14, 2011

In Wing Chun (and I suspect most martial arts) one of the most common mistakes is to anticipate what your opponent is going to do.  Drilling teaches a technique and embeds a response into muscle memory.  But it is also often repetitive, leading to a programmed anticipation of strike and counter.

Real life however is far less predictable and we train to deal with ‘real’ non-scripted attacks. Again I suspect that most martial arts do something similar.  But sadly many martial artists never realise that there is a real difference between the training hall/dojo and the street, and they get creamed.

When it comes to things of faith the same problems arise.  There are doctrines and rules and prayer routines.  They are drills that help to imbed
spiritual techniques into the spirit.  While at the same time they are false.  They are false because they anticipate real life. Like each opponent, each life situation is unique and unscripted.  There are effective life techniques but no real rules.  Except that is, the one of just acting to the situation as it is.

In real life there is no time to think before blocking or attacking.  So in real life we spend time honing our sense of right and wrong and we need then to just react.  Not say, the Bible says this therefore….  (or Sifu says this therefore….). The person is there and a response is needed.  We
have principles of love and forgiveness and justice too, but it is up to us to grow up enough to apply them aright.
When we get it wrong, we take a hit. But who hasn’t taken a hit or two. You get up, accept you were not quick enough and learn to do better, if
possible.

I find that martial arts have taught me to hone life down to the real essentials, and my faith has been transformed.

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