WING CHUN SYSTEM
The Forms are a prearranged set of movements used to develop and programme your body. Each movement or shape within a form is used for defensive or offensive purposes. Each movement is combined with another movement to form techniques or a drill.
Practising this freely, meaning not being stuck (Chi Sao) is a combat type application of the system, this is what I call learning the system but empty. The true skill lies within sticking and as Nino Bernardo says "Wing Chun is Chi Sao and Chi Sao is Wing Chun".
Wing Chun has six forms. Three empty-hand forms, two weapons forms, and one form performed on the wooden dummy. The three empty hand forms are Siu Lim Tao, Chum Kiu, and Biu Jee. (Cantonese dialect of Chinese will be used to describe many terms). The two weapon forms are the Baat Jaam Do form or more commonly known as the butterfly sword form and the Luk Dim Boon Kwan or 6 1/2 Point Dragon Pole form.
Siu Nim Tao - 1st Form
Siu Lim Tao translates literally into Siu (small), Nim (idea/thought), Tao (head). Loosely translated as" Small/little Idea in the head." The name indicates that all the details and/or particulars should be focused on and maintained. This form is practiced in a stationary pigeon toe stance using only arm movements. Proper practice of Siu Lim Tao enables the student to develop proper independent arm movement, focus, stance/stability, and the forward energy ideology. This form is by far the most important giving you the tools to do the job. It should be performed slowly and movements should not be sudden or erratic.
Chum Kiu - 2nd Form
Chum Kiu - Chum (search), Kiu (bridge). Translated means, "search for the bridge", or "bridging the gap". A bridge is created when one of your arms makes contact with the arm of an opponent. During Chum Kiu new hand positions, kicks and movement are introduced.
Hand positions are Biu Jee, low Bong Sao, palm strikes, arm break, Lop Sao, Biu Sao, and double palm strikes. Kicks are used such as front kicks and side kicks. The front and side kicks are executed with the heel of the foot. All kicks in this form are not above the waist line.
Movement - The practitioner moves from a stationary stance to a moving stances during the performance of the form. This enables the practitioner to become familiar with stances and footwork required to take advantage of positioning or alter positions to a more advantageous one. One of the hardest parts of this form is to engage the hips with the rest of the body, so they are locked, allowing the hips to crank the mass. This form stresses the importance of mobility and turning and the coordination of movements to achieve maximum effect.
Biu Jee - 3rd Form
Biu Jee is translated as "darting fingers" or "flying fingers." This is the third and final empty hand form in Wing Chun. This form as the name suggests emphasizes on finger jabs to the eyes. Biu Jee also incorporates elbows, elbow blocks and various types of Biu Jee, Gan Sao, and Kwan Sao. This form enables the practitioner to have a better understanding of the various hand techniques in various applications. This form conditions the practitioner to use the various strikes and techniques at real speed. However takes you away from the 1st and 2nd form concepts.
Wooden Dummy Form
The Wooden Dummy is used to develop timing, arm and leg co-ordination, proper use and application of force, distance, judgement, alignment of the body, footwork and to teach practitioners how to flow smoothly from technique to technique. It is also used to toughen the limbs, although this is not the primary function of the dummy.
Wing Chun Kung Fu is a system that does not rely on strength and brute force; rather it stresses development of skill and co-ordination to have the practitioner deflect and redirect an opponent's attack, while simultaneously countering with his/her own attack. Deflection and redirection is achieved with correct positioning, requiring good footwork as well as co-ordination of the arms and legs, so that they work together to redirect an oncoming attack yet leave the practitioner in a position to counter at the same time.
Most of the techniques in Wing Chun forms are trained on the dummy. Dummy training allows the Wing Chun practitioner a way to correctly train the body in performing techniques. The amount of power one uses at certain times of a technique, as well as the timing of delivering such techniques can be drilled repeatedly on the dummy. Speed is improved because one can drill a series of movements over and over, creating the muscle memories needed to perform techniques automatically.
Accuracy is refined because the practitioner learns how to correctly position his/her body in relation to the dummy (i.e. opponent) so that both arms can be used simultaneously. Footwork and mobility are enhanced, as the practitioner is forced to move from one side of the dummy to the other, moving in and out as well as laterally.
Although working with a "static" partner, the Wing Chun practitioner learns how to combine footwork patterns smoothly with arm movements that deflect and attack, developing skills that are mandatory for successful free sparring. There are 108 Wing Chun wooden dummy techniques, which are grouped into sections. When I teach this i make sure you do the same on both arms therefore there is more than 108.
Long Pole Form
The Dragon Pole has the advantage of its length and linear movements in attack with a minimal circular movement in defence. This technique combined with the most efficient footwork in both attack and defence allows the exponent to move in and out of range like lightning. In fact, it is said that once you hear the first impact of the Pole, the victor has already been decided.
Origins of the "Look Dim Boon Kwan" - Dragon Pole as far back as 3000 B.C., the staff and the long pole were used in hunting as well as in battle. The staff is a stick between five and six feet in length, both ends of the same diameter. The long pole can be as long as 13 feet, with one end tapered. These weapons were easy to construct and were very popular in ancient days. However not very practical in todays society.
Butterfly Short Sword Form
The butterfly sword is a weapon used primarily by martial artists of southern China. The blade length of the weapon is equal to the fist and the forearm, and a guard is fixed to its hilt to protect the hand. The special length of the blade is designed to allow for better maneuvering. For instance, if the blade is longer than the length of the fist and the arm, it could not be able to be rotated inside the arms. However, the shape of the butterfly sword and the way of its use differs in northern China. With the northern Chinese butterfly sword, the footwork of the user in kicking is stressed; but the butterfly swords in southern China are used chiefly in close-quarter fighting because of their short length, with emphasis placed on precision and the coordination of both swords at the same time. There are many variations and interpretations of the knives we adopt the most simplest movements as per late Grand Master \Wong Sheung Leung.