When the public looks at martial arts training, they see what the media reveals them in papers and internet websites. They can just see motion. They cannot see the internal elements of the learning. The most important part of martial arts training are the internal aspects. This is extremely apparent in Wing Tsun training.
In learning Wing Tsun, we get to the heart of the internal training really early whether the student acknowledges it or not. The function of the movements seems 'concealed.' A beginning student cannot identify why we are being taught to move our arms in a specific method. To a newbie, it is really peculiar motion training. In olden times, a student was required to do as the instructor asked without question or concerns. This was one method a teacher could determine if the student was of excellent character.
Wing Tsun movements taken on their own are pieces of a larger construction. One cannot know what a bridge resembles by looking at a single girder. As the building advances, a student can see the shape of it forming.
This is the finest method to learn since one never understands when a person might be attacked. It can be compressed, however, and the founders of the Wing Tsun system did that by developing a pathway to learning that is more compact which is represented in Siu Nim Tau, the beginner type.
The newbie kind teaches one to clear the mind. It is very important to obtain rid of presumptions about self-defense and other training at first and begin with a 'fresh concept.' To mess the mind with too many ideas of all kinds results in confusion. Wing Tsun makes use of the Taoist principle of clearing the mind and truly having no viewpoint about an event as it happens as a way to deal with an attack. Taoism is a concept that takes an action by an assaulter as it is and one needs to handle it as it is, not as one may like or what 'need to' be. One can draw parallels to life with this principle.
One ought to learn to focus on a 'little idea' and not let one's interest drift. In Buddhist meditation, a student should keep focused on a small spot on a wall.
Wing Tsun handle a physical attack with reasoning. In order to keep one's emotions from taking over, Siu Nim Tau practice is an excellent training method. By dealing with things in a rational method, we get a method of believing that, although not special, is a great addition to one's mental tools in handling life. There are some life parallels to this lesson.
In an attack, we teach that there is no method one can forecast an aggressor's future motions. With sticky hands, however, one can feel through the arms, that an opponent is about to move. Even if one could read an attacker's thoughts through psychologically telepathy, this read of the enemy's ideas might also be deceptiveness!
As I or other Wing Tsun instructors state when asked about what I would do if someone did such and such an attack, I state, "I don't know. Try it and find out!" In fact I do not want to know. If I knew, I would be forecasting - probably mistakenly - and the defense would fail. In addition, I would likewise likely be showing this believed in my face or body language to a potential assailant.