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Better living through Wing Tsun Principles

#2 Free Yourself From Your Opponent's Force

Following on from the class and article on the 1st force principle, last night our focus was on the 2nd Wing Tsun Force principle which is Free Yourself From Your Opponent's Force.

As with last time we'll start off looking at this from a purely Wing Tsun point of view. Freeing ourselves from our opponent's force means that when we encounter force from an opponent we do not resist it or try to overcome it. The more we resist the bigger the impact their force will have on us. Think about the difference between punching a heavy bag and punching a curtain. The impact on the heavy bag is solid and satisfactory because the bag's weight resists our punch. Punching a curtain, on the other hand, is frustrating because the curtain just rides our punch giving us no real feedback. Instead of resisting, like the heavy bag, we will retain the point of contact but, like the curtain, move ourselves out of the way. This allows the force continue along its path and opens the opponent up for a counter strike.

How can we apply this principle in every day life? In normal day to day life our most common opponent is the negativity within or negativity from others. The voice in our head telling us that we can't do something, that our ideas are of interest to nobody and that we should just be quiet and not draw attention is a tiny but very powerful opponent stopping us from reaching our potential. We could waste time arguing with this voice but this makes us the heavy bag to their punch. Instead, we can acknowledge the voice, make note of the negative comments and then dismiss them and move on. After all, we all have a record of successes in our lives that show this voice is wrong. This voice only has power if we give it power.

The other common opponent in day to day life is negativity and insults from other people. Insults are just words. Words only have power if we choose to give them power. A dog barking at us is meaningless noise designed to intimidate us and make the dog feel and seem bigger. Insults are no more than human barking. There is a saying that other people's opinion of me is none of my business. This is also true of their negativity. Somebody telling us we can't do something or that our idea is of interest to nobody, or somebody badmouthing us to other people, is really nothing to do with us. It's just the opinion of one person and has no value beyond what we choose to give it. It only has an impact on what we can do and what we attempt if we allow it to by taking it to heart and feeding our inner opponent.

When it comes to internal and external negativity, by ignoring it we can deny it any power. By denying it power, freeing ourselves from its force, we neutralise it and can face the future with confidence and optimism.