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Better living through Wing Tsun Principles

#3 Use Your Opponent's Force Against Them

Following on from the classes and articles on the 1st and 2nd force principles, our focus moved on to the 3rd Wing Tsun Force principle which is Use Your Opponent's Force Against Them.

From a purely Wing Tsun point of view this is a direct follow on from the 1st and 2nd principles and really illustrates how the principles are linked. In the article on the 2nd principle we spoke about moving out of the way of an attack which allows the force continue along its path and opens the opponent up for a counter strike. From this position using our opponent's force against them is as simple as placing our foot in their way to trip them as they follow through with the missed attack. An alternative or addition would be to place a fist or elbow in their path and watch them slam themselves into it as they lose balance due to the lack of the expected resistance.

When we spoke about applying the 2nd principle in every day life we mentioned internal negativity and how we acknowledge the inner criticism but don't waste time arguing with it. Allowing the inner voice to restate the same arguments against doing anything, and then going ahead and doing it time and again shows the arguments to be false. By giving our inner critic free reign, letting the attack continue unresisted, we quickly expose the arguments as empty, rendering the inner critic powerless and open to the most satisfactory counter attack of all - our own success.

The same is true of external negativity. Simply refusing to engage in an argument or an exchange of insults leaves the other party looking foolish. It is also worth remembering that we criticise in others the flaws we see in ourselves. This means that somebody attacking us, either through an argument or through bad mouthing us to others, are really just exposing their own self-doubts and personal failings.

By ignoring internal and external negativity (2nd principle) we deny it any power. By ignoring it we also leave it free to continue uninterrupted until it is exposed as empty, misdirected and more about the source than the target. We can therefore turn it back on itself and discard it as irrelevant in our pursuit of our goals.