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An Analysis of the Chung Chi Logo

Glyn Reese

To the casual observer, the symbol looks like a Yin and Yang with a butterfly knife incorporated in the design. As a commercial symbol, it advertises the business, and makes it very clear what is represented here. There are many more meanings in this symbol that are not immediately obvious to the casual observer.

On first appearances, it looks as if an oddly shaped cornice has bisected the traditional Ying and Yang symbol of the Tao. A butterfly knife and a wooden dummy can be made out from the symbol superficially, along with a stylised P to represent the P in Protheroe.

It also signifies that the whole concept appears simple, simple because it is difficult due to its complexity. This is akin to "Simplicity is difficult, for it requires absolutely everything."

The beauty of the symbol is that its complexity is hidden in the simplicity hence the study of Wing Chun in its classical mode is complex, yet simple. There is a paradox that can trap the student unawares. It also helps to weed out the serious practitioners from the insincere. After all, kung fu is a way of life that encompasses the All. There is no compromise.

The symbol of the Tao is bisected where the butterfly sword cuts through the circle and projects beyond it. This disrupts the continuity of the circle - it does not necessarily mean that the circle is incomplete, as the sword is superimposed upon the circle. An unbroken circle symbolises a cycle of learning that is ongoing, without beginning and without end.

If one can imagine the sword lying on the circle, it can represent the bridge from the outer circle (world at large), invited tentatively to strive for the inner perfection symbolised by the Hundu Tattwas symbol Asasha (Sphere), in the lower aspect of the circle.

The point of the sword faces outwards for a twofold purpose. One is to search for sincere seekers of knowledge, and two, to protect the teachings of the Classical system from exploitation.

The significance of the butterfly sword's position with the blade edge on the right must be commented upon. Traditionally, the Right has been associated with the past, ie. a right side facing eagle on the Great Seal of the United States of America. This is, in effect saying that one is looking to the past to fulfil the hopes of the future. Therefore this symbolisation can mean that the symbol has a tradition-based indication, one searching the past for inspiration to the future.

The centre of the blade gives the illusion that the circle is not round. It is lengthwise along the central point. The circumference is seen, but the centre is nowhere to be found. This is a profound truth, and each must investigate it on their own as part of their development in the Art.

The blade cuts through the circle and opens the path for the student; "Surrounded by blackness the student trains diligently until he receives or recognises the light". The lower levels of the Art have a wealth of knowledge contained therein, one must prove oneself diligent, worthy to receive advanced instruction, and be aware of the necessity for silence on receipt of the said knowledge.

The dummy arms that can be made out from the symbol can be seen as 'feelers' whereby the student can test and prove themselves before advancing to the higher levels. The dummy leg forms part of the yin / yang divide and signifies clearly where the Tao is at its lowest aspect.

The small black half-circle represents the students struggle to come to grips with the higher teachings of the system, battling the concept of complexity and simplicity. Slowly and surely, there emerges a pattern as the student transpires beyond the waxing Yang. The sphere at the bottom, which represents Akasha, is interpreted as the small inner circle of Wing Chun, those initiates who possess the traditional, classical system of Wing Chun. This is also an analogy comparable to the complete person who has done the full circle of the course and one who knows how to assimilate the knowledge and pass that tradition on. It takes a certain type of individual to reach that stage. Many are called, few are chosen.

This does not mean that the beginning student is left in the dark, so to speak. The student trains in the Yang aspect exclusively until ready to receive Yin attributes for the further development of their knowledge. The whole aim is to reach the Tao, achieve a perfect balance on every level of the student's manifestation.

The dark energy is Yin the bright energy is Yang each holds the seed of each other. Through their continuous evolution, they give birth to all things.

Elaborating on this train of thought, The Yang in movement advances forward the Yin in movement draws back. This is an important tenet that applies to the study of Wing Chun on all levels physical, mental and spiritual. It also implies balance, duality, adjustment and justice that these dualities need to integrate with each other to make a complete whole.

In the study of Wing Chun, this could be best interpreted by the Lin Sil Dai Dar, a trademark Wing Chun response of simultaneous defence and attack, or even the Wing Chun trademark Chi-Sao.

Numerically, Yang is traditionally given the number seven by the Chinese mystics. Yin has the number eight assigned. If one adds Yin and Yang together, they make fifteen. This number is called the Tao, as assigned by the aforesaid Chinese mystics. Added together to reach a single number it gives the Kabbalistic Sepiroth Tipareth, "Beauty." One word that is important for the sincere seeker's enlightenment.

With the movements in mind, Yang transfers into 7, 8, 9 in sequence and Yin transforms into 8, 7, 6. If these numbers are added up to their transformed pairs, they will all make fifteen. Thus the sum of the symbols and that of their transformed symbols will remain the same. Interesting enough, if those three numbers are added to their pairs, and the sum of all added together, we get 45 which when added together give us a final 9. This equates with the Kabbalistical Sepiroth, Yesod foundation, implying that the symbol signifies that the Academy has a strong foundation that is cosmically strong, stable and has withstood the tests of time. (Change)

In order to simplify this discourse, we will limit ourselves to the two numbers, Number Nine and Number 45. Their correspondents in the I Ching are Hexagram # 9 ZHIAO-KHUH (Minor Restraint) and Hexagram #45, TZH-WEE (Accord).

Hexagram #9 ZHIAO-KUHU Minor Restraint tells us that this course of action is powerful and far reaching, but that illusions are in control of your Tao. These illusions inhibit you at every turn. It is not until you become confronted by reality, by following the lower paths of existence according to unselfish, humanitarian principles that you will eventually reach the point where you can break through the conceptual dead ends that entrap one on all levels of manifestation.

To describe Hexagram #45 TZH-WEE Accord, This implies a close-knit social group united for a common purpose. The harmoniousness of this association depends on the strength of that person in the centre. A strong centre radiates a harmonious group. It is also an invitation for sincere seekers to associate themselves with the true central force and to devote themselves to strengthening it. Sometimes this can also imply that this path of enlightenment encourages isolation and withdrawal as part of its method. To a certain extent it is true and applies to the Academy, this path has its basis of community. For if there is ever a time and a place for self-enlightenment and community consciousness, the study of Wing Chun is demanding of that ethic. However, it is only through the loss of ego that one can become truly great.

This discourse has partially fulfilled its purpose- to explain, expand and define the deeper symbolism of the Classical Wing Chun Academy Logo. To encompass the Tao, the students struggle along the path, the pitfalls, traps, the I Ching and the Kabbalistic attributes.

This is but a start, for the sincere seeker can expand upon these basic truths and aim for enlightenment.

Hence, be warned, Profani that the most simple of symbols are yet the most profound to the human psyche.