The Wing Chun Forms
Wing Chun's three empty hand forms are each a sequence of techniques divided into different sections, the three forms make up one whole form with eight sections in total. Confused?...
The forms contain all of the techniques and positions from the art but are set out in a way to contextualize them, relative to different functions they might have, this is why the small number of simple positions that make Wing Chun are often repeated at different times throughout the forms.
Forms encourage repeated practice of set positions; sometimes a student can train just one stance or step for many hours!
This is real Kung Fu: (Skill through hard work and effort)
Great care is taken to pass down a complete working understanding of the forms so that the true nature of the art is preserved.
The first Form is: Siu Lim Tao (little idea form)
The way of little idea is raw Wing Chun and arguably the most important of all our training, it is even plausible that one could teach the whole Wing Chun way without needing any of the other forms.
Siu Lim Tao teaches whole body posture that remains congruent through the system all the way to the most complex sword spinning, double kicking, and ‘advanced’ end of the Wing Chun tradition.
Without Siu Lim Tao the system has no foundation and the student, no structure... we all fall down!
Siu Lim Tao has 'internal' aspects that compliment what an observer might see from outside, by this I mean that the correct positions promote the correct 'feeling' so that the best muscle groups for each aspect can be used to maximum effect.
Siu Lim Tao teaches us to use a self supporting structure rather than an independent muscular action when performing our techniques; it is via this method that great Wing Chun practitioners have demonstrated superiority over bigger and stronger opponents.
Wing Chun is a thinking person’s martial art and we do all the thinking in class because there may not be time for thought later... Just a little idea.
The forms progress into: Chum Kiu (seeking the bridge)
The middle form builds on the principles practiced in Siu Lim Tao and teaches a more mobile approach to combat as combat itself is changing and unpredictable.
Chum Kiu shows how the techniques are applied relative to each other using a moving centre line theory where one keeps their intent focused on tracking the centre of an opponent while maintaining a defence of their own centre.
Wing Chun’s principles of dynamic and efficient combat learned through Chum Kiu include: Simultaneous defence and attack, using the whole body as a weapon and maintaining the strong root from Siu Lim Tao while under pressure.
Finally: Biu Jee (thrusting fingers)
Is more like the Kung Fu I dreamed of as a child, practicing the extreme short and long ranges of combat and introducing the student to adaptation, now that they have learned the skill of Siu Lim Tao and mobility of Chum Kiu.
Biu Jee houses the final two sections of the full eight (SLT and CK divide into three sections each) and teaches one how to escape and more importantly, avoid difficulties like loss of centre or balance.
Biu Jee understands that any conflict is far from the ideal and that a strong root must grow a flexible stem and flowers that change with the seasons, so its beauty can honour the strength beneath.
The whole Eight sections are practiced throughout a student’s life and function on many levels to allow one to heal their Wing Chun when it is weak and focus ones intention when it is lost.
Forms contain working applications of techniques; blocking, kicking, punching, grabbing, at different levels and for different effects.
They also work the body into correct alignment for generating speed, explosive force and 'stopping power'.
Forms unify mind and body so as to counteract fear and self doubt, a martial artist can become a stronger person in all aspects of their life; more disciplined, tolerant, patient, level headed, by regular and proper practice of their forms.