Finance Lessons from Wing Chun

I recently watched a movie about a brief history of Ip-Man (played by Donnie Yen), grandmaster of Wing Chun and mentor of International superstar Bruce Lee. The 107 minutes passes quite fast and I totally immersed myself in the story and fight scenes.ipmanposter02

There are several principles of Wing Chun that can be translated into Personal Finance.

Wing Chun, Chinese name, ??, is a form of Chinese martial arts invented in quite recent times, rumored to be by a nun during late Qing Dynasty period. The essence of this close range combat techniques lies in having little movements but nevertheless more than enough to defend and attack opponents who are physically stronger than you. Unlike Tai Chi, this form of martial arts is more practical to an average person.

Finance lesson 1 – guys learn it to protect girlfriends and girls should learn it to protect yourself. Imagine bumping into some gangsters or potential rapists, getting raped though is a criminal offense for them but result in no financial compensations from them to you. The additional emotional trauma most probably resulted in lower productivity at work and today high paced competitive work environment means that future career prospects will be affected.

Time spent in learning martial arts not only for defenses but also as a mean of keeping physically fit. One hour expended achieve 2 purposes and free up other time to make money.

wing-chunThe 3 tenets of Wing Chun are practicality, efficiency and economy of movement. In one fight scene between Ip-Man and a tall and big sized figure who practiced Northern style of kung fu, one can observe that each movement of Donnie Yen is short and to the point while the other guy got wide stances. By moving less, one can conserve more energy to strike at the target when opportunity presents itself.

Economy of movement – During fights, longer distance of movement will only attract an approiate response from your opponents.

Efficiency – In actual fighting, the main purpose is to pin down your opponent using the least effort and time. The same punch with the same force delivered to vital points like head, face, groin, etc. have greater effect than to his biceps.

Finance lesson 2 – Do you make use of your hard earned dollars effectively? Housing prices go through a repetitive cycle; one should plan purchases of big ticket item like housing during the trough of the cycle instead of rushing into buying due to a shotgun marriage. The same house, at the same location can cost tens of thousands difference if purchased at different times. With mortgages stretching into decades, this figure will be compounded.

Do you pay your bills all at the same time? In current modern society, we got all sorts of stuffs that need to pay money like water, electricity, Internet access, handphone, credit cards, car loans, housing loans, etc. Instead of paying those bills as and when you receive them, a much more “economy of movement” is to pay all of them at the same time even though the locations, physical or online, for all these bills may be different. But just make sure that the time chosen for all the bills is not after the deadline, this is especially so for credit cards.