Using the Feeling Right

Master Fung teaches a class in San Francisco.

Student: How then are visualizations used in fighting?
Master Fung: Silly boy! Of course your not going to use visualizations in a fight...there is no time to think or calculate when you're fighting. It's the feeling you are looking for, the feeling of the Hunyuan strength. With the feeling in hand you can forget the visualization; all you need to do is re-create the feeling of Hunyuan strength directly to have that quality of strength.

Student: I visualizations are like stepping stones, we use them to create and strengthen the proper relationships in the frame, once those relationships are there we recall the strength directly by re-creating the feeling we cultivated through the visualizations?
Master Fung: Right! The Diamond Sutra says "Let go of your boat after your cross the river." Yi Chuan practice is not magic. Inch by inch, bit by bit you build up the strength. Like riding a bike, once you get the right feeling you can build on it to go fast, off road, do jumps and even ride a unicycle on a wire...all that stuff is based on having the right feeling of riding a bike. Same thing with Yi Chuan, once you get the feeling of Hunyuan strength you make it bigger and then smaller and challenge yourself to use it at any angle.

Student: So when we are practicing different movements they are really not different at all, just different angles to use Hunyuan strength?
Master Fung: That's what I have been trying to tell you. Up, down, forward, back, left and right are just different directions to express Hunyuan strength. From Snake Binding Hand to Tiger Leaping it's all the same, different ways of expressing the same core strength.

Student: Snake Binding Hand and Tiger Leaping...did you teach me those?
Master Fung: You know this movement, and this one, right?

Student: Yes, but I did not know that they were called 'Snake Binding Hand' and 'Tiger Leaping'.
Master Fung: Yes, that's their traditional names, but the names are not important. You could call them anything you want. What's important is the quality with which the movements are executed.

Yi Chuan Movements

Student: So the routes we use in class are just different ways to move while maintaining Hunyuan strength?
Master Fung: Yes. From our Yi Chuan lineage we have various ideas that Master Wang Sheng Chai passed along. From Hop Gar we have an entire system of single movement practice. Sometimes we can just make up on our own depending on what aspect of the art we are training. The point is that all of these routes are merely different ways of bringing Hunyuan strength to the edge. All of them are combinations of the basic up-down, back-forth, side to side and twist motions of the frame. Also keep in mind the purpose. Sometimes we will use routes that help to build and elongate Hunyuan strength. These postures may be unsuitable for fighting because they are too open and extended but excellent for building core strength. Other times we may focus on delivering that strength in a shape appropriate for fighting. Still other times we may focus on lengthening the tendons. No fixed forms, no fixed rules.

Student: So discovering, developing and training Hunyuan strength is the purpose of Yi Chuan?
Master Fung: From a practical perspective, yes...that's why the practice always returns to Jam Jong. Jam Jong is the core practice, the original within the original practice. Hunyuan strength is the achievement.

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