Physical Fitness in the CRCA System
A critical element in the CRCA system of Wing Chun is the need for physical fitness. It is an essential part of how we train in all schools of CRCA worldwide. From flexibility, to developing strength, the need for the student to remain physically fit within the art of Wing Chun is an important part in developing one’s power and technique.
Physical Fitness Improves Execution of Technique
As I mentioned in last month’s article, establishing one’s root is the foundation of Wing Chun. Not only is it the keystone in mastering the system of Wing Chun, but it is also a critical part of mastering your body’s response to any self-defense situation. Likewise, physical fitness should be a part of the student’s training in order to master the system of Wing Chun.
Augmenting one’s martial arts training with cardio, strength, and flexibility training only serves to benefit the student through knowledge of one’s own body mechanics and limitations. All three forms of fitness mentioned above improve upon the techniques learned in CRCA and help the student develop and improve their power in performing techniques.
Cardio training, for example, helps a student improve their ability to endure long periods of increased physical stress as a result sparring. Flexibility improves the student’s ability to perform techniques safely and properly by increasing the student’s bio-mechanical range of motion while also lowering the risk of injury to joints during technique execution. Strength training increases one’s raw power and can further improve one’s ability to root. Thus, physical fitness is not something a student should neglect if he or she is considering martial arts training – especially if within the CRCA family.
Physical Fitness Balances the Body with the Mind
Martial art is more than just theory and mental discipline. There must be practical application alongside it to flourish into something usable within any given combat situation. As such, a student’s body must be as strong as their mind. That is why physical fitness is important in CRCA Wing Chun.
When encountering a self-defense situation, the body undergoes a series of stress responses as a result of the mind’s increased alertness to the potential threat. Having the physical capability to dispatch an assailant helps in the mind’s ability to cope with the stress presented in such a situation. In fact, this is why soldiers in militaries all over the globe train in several forms of physical fitness alongside their technical abilities as warriors. It helps the body respond quickly, effectively, and instinctively to threats.
Furthermore, studies have shown that physical fitness enhances one’s cognitive function, and this can bring balance to one’s martial art discipline. Thus, physical fitness and mental fitness function within a yin and yang relationship that must be developed by the student.
Arms of Iron, Body of Cotton, Head of Glass
While not every Wing Chun School supports the need for a physical fitness program in the training of students, CRCA considers the physical conditioning of a student as just as important as the need for mental discipline. This is why things such as Iron Palm, kettlebell training, flexibility, and cardio are an important piece of what we teach in our lineage of Wing Chun. Indeed, it is considered an essential element in the Wing Chun proverb: Arms of Iron, Body of Cotton, Head of Glass.
Author: Barry Adamson II Creative Writer/Editor