The most common piece of self defense advice for women is to be aware of your surroundings. All will agree that this is good advice to follow but how can we train ourselves to become more aware? Becoming more aware is like practicing self-defense. It requires regular training.
A basic principle of wing tsun is training awareness of our body. In self-defense, we talk about our comfort circle. I become aware of “how close is too close” before I feel uncomfortable and feel the need to launch a defensive/offensive attack to protect myself.
In drills, I am consistently think, what is my wu sao (guard hand) doing if my man sao (searching hand) is going for the punch? Am I protecting myself with my wu sao or just hanging out there?
Working with a partner increases my sense of awareness. My awareness is heightened when I get lazy and create a “hole” in my structure in which my partner takes advantage and I have to figure out how to defend against his/her attack.
Footwork is particularly challenging as I have to coordinate my legs and arms. I become much more sensitive and aware on how to move “just so” to get out of way to be safe while launching my attack.
For more wing tsun exercises and ideas on being safe, check out my new book “Wing It Wing Tsun: Self Defense for Women.