Land of Confusion 7

Here’s a thought – what’s the purpose of practicing the wooden dummy?

Have you seen how many practitioners play the wooden dummy form? From what I can see they tend to play the form as if they are playing with, well, a dummy.

Is this how we should practice with this inanimate log? If so, why not just call it Mok Jong i.e. Wooden Stake instead of Mook Yan Jong (Wooden Man Stake).

Oh, right the wooden stake has three arms and a leg. Therefore, it is like a representation of a man. Hence, Wooden Man Stake or as most of us refer to it, Wooden Dummy.

The name of the form tells you that you are practicing against a representation of an opponent. So why do so many practice not against an opponent but against a wooden log?

I played the dummy form for a long time, like how you see how Wing Chun players do it, not realizing that something was missing. That something was to play the dummy like a dummy, and not like an opponent. Apologies if I don’t give any details here on how to do this as this is not meant to be an instructional post.

Because of this, practicing on the wooden dummy was largely a waste of time; more like an ego trip, rather than proper practice to refine and bring alive the learning of the forms before.

It took all of 5 seconds to shatter my illusion that my practice of the wooden dummy was a lie the day I met someone who really knows something about it. I’m no dummy and I quickly worked on doing the dummy the proper way.

Soon the dummy was no longer an inanimate log of wood in my mind but a man of wood feeding me attacks to allow me to sharpen my Wing Chun techniques. Confucius confusion no more.


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