The Wooden Man/Teacher Allegory”

The Mook Yan Jong 木人樁

“The Wooden Man/Teacher Allegory”

When the student has learned their 3 forms, they are soon introduced to their next life time teacher. He comes in many forms, but traditionally is rather stationary, and really never talks to the student either but rather “responds”. He always has his arms and leg(s) out stretched in the common positions of attack, from there, the world of options are open for the student to not discover, but understand. See it is not merely a tool, but rather as a teacher for correcting mistakes. You do not approach this teacher without proper understanding of the forms beforehand, and you are to approach him with respect; for if you misuse him then he will offer nothing of value to you.

He responds according to you, with each move it reacts. Hit too hard and you’ll hurt yourself and possibly break him, hit to soft and he will not respond or give you feedback. It will correct your positions and move in accordance to proper power distribution. You have no real reason to rush with this teacher either, take your time, this one has nowhere to really go. Do not feel the need to be rough either, he is not your enemy nor your sparring partner, he is there to only correct your mistakes and respond.

Though he is used among those of the system in Wing Chun, I like to think he awaits all from any system to approach, he’s not really a biased teacher to begin with. I’m sure he would welcome a Karate man to approach him and see how his techniques can be honed. He is a underestimated but effective teacher with many universal properties if you approach him wisely.

He is the Mook Yan Jong; the wooden man.

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