Structure is all important in VTK.
We stand using structure, move with structure and strike with structure.
Forces flow through structures. Ving Tsun is about learning what structures we can adopt in order to allow forces to flow most efficiently through our body.
Structure does not imply tension. It is about positioning of the joints in such a way that forces can flow easily through them.
In biomechanics we discuss the positioning of joints so that they don’t behave so much like a joint but more like a structure. The joint is said to be close-packed in such a position. A close-packed joint allows forces to flow through it most efficiently.
In Ving Tsun we use close-packed positions of joints a lot. The joint can be quite loose and relaxed, so long as the position is good the forces will flow through it and not move the joint around. This also means the joint is totally free to begin to act like a joint again, to change motion and flow into another action altogether.
We use structures which allow us to relax.
Structure allows us to express much more power.
When striking, we aim to have one structure from the contact point to the ground. Each joint throughout the entire structure needs to be close-packed for its relevant segment position.
Our stance is held up by structure, not by muscular strength. The muscles may fail due to fatigue or being hit, but the stance will not fail. The positioning of pelvis, hips, knees and ankles are all important in setting up this structure.
The shoulder is an important joint with regard to structure when striking. The shoulder is an extremely mobile joint, and as such can easily move out of position if we don’t understand the close packed position of the shoulder joint relative to the relevant action ie whatever we are doing with the arm eg striking or intercepting low, chopping up, punching up or striking or intercepting high. Each requires an optimal arrangement of the shoulder so that the forces will transmit most efficiently through the structure.
The sooner the student starts thinking in terms of structure, the better.