There is No "Energy" in Wing Chun
When talking, teaching, and training Wing Chun we often use the word "energy." Hang around with Wing Chun people and you will hear things like this:
"You are not using elbow energy."
"I take the energy he is giving me and I do this..."
"He is giving me too much energy."
"I use his own energy against him."
"That is the wrong energy."
"Redirect the energy."
What is all this woo-woo crap!? Are we talking about Chi, chakras, magic, what?
Nope. In the context of Chi Sau or any bridged drill, I generally mean one of two or a combination of two very tangible things -real things you will actually find in a physics textbook. What you feel, sense, exploit, play with, issue and so forth are kinetic and potential energy. In simplest terms kinetic energy is energy in motion. Potential energy is energy that is a result of a position or condition (such as muscular tension) of a body or system. So magic? No. Unseen forces? Yes, sometimes. When working from a bridge, we can feel much better what is going on than we can see it.
I have been reducing my use of the word "energy" in these contexts and replacing it more and more with terms such as "tension," "pressure," and "movement" as appropriate. Referring to the "energy" at work is not wrong but in many cases we can be more specific.
So energy means energy. Think physics not chi, not magic.
-Sifu Nick Edmonds
Red Light Martial Arts