QUESTION - What's with All the Stepping Around the Wooden Dummy?

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: In the wooden dummy form, Wing Chun practitioners step around the dummy. I mean a lot.

Most people look at the dummy and don't understand what is going on. They think it is a conditioning tool that is mainly used to toughen up our arms and fists. (Not true.)

Sometimes you might get a savvy non-Wing Chun observer who asks what we are imagining when we do certain moves. It was one of the first sections of the dummy where I learned that even these more observant folks were still missing the point.

I'm referring to the section where you do an "incorrect Bong Sao" (meaning your Bong goes across your center). Then you step outside, flipping the Bong Sao over to Tan Sao while the other hand does a palm strike to the body.

One of these astute observers said, "Wait a minute. Do you think someone on the street is just going to POSE their arm out there like that for you while you do all this stepping around? No way! They'll be pummeling you long before that!"

At face value, this seems to be a legitimate criticism. However, there is one point this observer wasn't aware of: the only reason we move around in that way is because the wooden dummy limbs CANNOT move the way a person's limbs would. Therefore, we have to adjust our position in relation to the dummy, which we wouldn't have to do if it were a human limb.

Clear as mud? Well, have no fear. The video gives a visual demonstration.

~~~Steve Grogan

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