Practicing Wing Chun with a friend this morning, my friend said that the first step is to learn the choreography, the next step is to understand the reasoning or purpose of the particular choreography and then the next step is to practice the choreography that we’ve learned with that understanding in place.
So at first he showed me the movement pattern and I tried to learn it…. not very well. Then he explained what we were doing with each movement, or trying to do. I would punch his face. He would block and counter punch low. I would slap his punch down and counter punch to the face again. He’d slap my punch away and then use his other arm to move my attacking arm further out of the way.
With this understanding in place we practice again.
It was then easier to do the movements.
With the first step, trying the choreography, we have a peg that we can hang our understanding on. With the understanding we then have something which guides the way we do the choreography.
While he said that there are only three steps I’d suggest that there are actually only two and they keep on repeating. You can start with choreography, and then listen to the explanation so that you understand then do the choreography again. Or start with the understanding, do the choreography and then listen to the explanation. Or you can simply do these steps over and over, each time deepening your understanding while at the same time getting better at the choreography.