4XG82UQDN8MFRelaxation is the key to responsive reflexes. If muscles are tense, the response time is slower. The greater the relaxation the quicker you reach the target whether intercepting or striking.
In the beginning some students find this concept of relaxation hard to master, and wrongly believe that brute strength should be the dominating factor. Use of strength provides slothful ‘telegraphed’ force which a Wing Chun practitioner will use to their advantage, especially the rigidity of tense muscles, which is easier to manipulate.
Using strength comes at another price, it consumes concentration and energy. The more work you do more tired and mentally consumed you get, resulting in breathlessness, fatigue and total collapse of awareness to what is happening around you. It is a vicious cycle, which is fruitless.
It is through Chi Sau that a student learns how to control their movement and breathing. This is achieved through relaxation and learning to switch energy on and off, where the power behind a technique, is momentarily energized at a point in time just before contact. A chain of energy from the ground to hip, elbow, then wrist becomes concentrated and focused at the point of impact.
As soon as this chain reaction is fired off, there is a sudden and immediate relaxation in preparation for the next thing. Lack of relaxation means there is delays becuase you can’t turn on an off in an instant. Instead of holding your breath, normal steady breathing is used. Overall because you are doing less work due to being relaxed and not breathing erratically as a result, you conserve more of your energy.
Learning relax reduces stress, tension and panic, ultimately it leads to having better control over situations. Relaxation is one of the main key elements developed in Chi Sau and mastering this opens the door opens to a more sophisticated form of reflex called sensitized reflex.