"Others walk the bow, I walk the string"
What is the meaning of this?... This proverb can be interpreted in many ways. Here is how I interpret it:
The bow represent the energy,the tension and the actions of the physical body. It is not the effects of this energy yet but it is the closest to them. Somebody "walks the bow" when his training is based on the external, on the athletics. Think about the "hard styles" martial arts.
The "string" on the other hand is the thing that draws the bow. A string has no rigidity in itself but it can be very strong and can bend the strongest bow, The string here represents the "intent", the internal and the soft aspect of Wing Chun. It comes right after the survival instinct and before the vital energy which in turns comes before the physical force and it's effects. (Six internal Harmonies: Shen/Yi, Yi/Chi, Chi/Li )
By "walking the string" we are focussing on the internal in our practice. We are doing our movements with intent and are letting it take care of the external effects without interfering. We are in fact making our string stronger and better for it's task.
This way, the resulting force is produced almost unconsciously. The heart does not need the consciousness to beat as well as the digestive system does not need it to metabolise our food.