There is a phrase at Toyota, which goes like this: “Smooth Flow, Memory Simple, Motion Simple”.Â We can learn much from Toyota’s relentless emphasis on economy of thought, economy of motion, and simplicity in its processes.
All three — flow, motion, and memory are related.Â Simple processes prevent complexity (yes, a tautology) and simplicity prevents the resulting defects that can hide in complex processes; simple processes naturally enable economy of motion; and, simple processes typically do not cause undue mental burden, because it requires little memory or judgment on the part of the associate or operator.Â The cumulative result of processes that follow these principles are satisfied customers, products or services that are both capable and timely, and lower operating costs.
Wing Chun can teach us the principles of Smooth Flow, Memory Simple, Motion Simple.Â In Wing Chun, there is a sensitivity excercise called Chi Sao, or Sticky Hands.Â Â If you have seen the Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, or the Bourne Ultimatum, then you will recognize the movements in the video below — they are from Wing Chun and the Chi Sao, or Sticky Hands.
Chi Sao is an excercise that aims to teach sensitivity.Â With much practice, the result is little thinking and results in flow — the Wing Chun principle of Simultaneous Attack and Defense becomes second-nature.Â The idea behind Chi Sao is to feel your opponent and his movements and, like water in a Dam, your attacks are to simply “feel” your way to find a hole, like water might in a Dam.
The Chi Sao demonstrates economy of thought, flow, and economy of motion: Indeed, “Smooth Flow, Memory Simple, Motion Simple”.