To best describe the difference between Responsive and Reactive in wing chun training, we firstly must look at the meanings
Reactive: acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it. Reactive behaviour is immediate and without conscious thought, like a knee jerk response. Reactive behaviour is often driven by the emotions.
Responsive: thoughtful action that considers long and short term outcome in the context of the situation at hand. Responsive is taking time to think things through. It is being two steps ahead. We consider and plan.
Training in Wing Chun Ling Tung Gong develops the pre frontal lobe of the brain and allows it to build new neural pathways. This neural development through training, when applied to Wing Chun Kuen allows our reflexive action to follow the well planned pathways previously laid down and become responsive actions rather than reactive.
How is this so?
The Prefrontal cortex, is responsible for executive function, internal purposeful mental action, also known as reasoning. Executive function from a Wing Chun perspective relates to having the ability to differentiate among conflicting thought processes and choose the most direct course of action. We can determine good and bad, better and best, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal. This function involves the ability to project future consequences that result from current actions.
It also contains the primary motor cortex, which controls voluntary movements of specific body parts.
So we are able to develop this area of our brain through internal Ling Tung Gong training (内丹氣功) we can apply it our Wing Chun Kuen training and also to our everyday life.
This application then enables us to respond rather than react to our opponents movements.
When we are responsive, we are able to quiet the reactive, emotional brain and do the right thing at the right time. We are calm & take things less personally. Being responsive doesn’t mean slow, it just means that all options have been considered.
Development in this area through our training is what allows us to be instantaneous in our responses. Responsiveness is achieved when we combine Ling & Tung together.
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See you on the mats,