Teachings from Siu Lim Tao

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts Articles' started by Sketco, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    One of the most important things to know about forms in wing chun is that unlike forms in other martial arts they are not meant as a representation of actual combat. The forms are educational tools to build proper coordination one step at a time piece by piece and building upon the movements in the previous form(s).
    The movements in siu lim tao helps teaching basic power generation, hand forms, transitions, and concepts. The movements must be done with tension and relaxation in the appropriate areas and extreme precision to make sure the hand forms, structures, and power generation are as perfect as possible when progressing to the other forms and eventually into drills and sparring. It is also important to note that the way the student is initially taught power generation in siu lim tao is not the way they will end up doing it eventually. It is slightly exaggerated initially so they can grasp the concept and refine the movement down smaller and smaller. This form is an introduction for the beginner student as the forms which come after build on the basics taught herein and so at the same time it is extremely necessary even for the advanced student.

    It must also be noted that this is not a total compendium of how to do siu lim tao nor necessarily every detail fully explained of everything that is taught in it. There is only so much a man can write before it becomes so long as to become unreadable and a bad substitute for real instruction.

    Section 1

    Section one is the introduction to the absolute basics of wing chun. The first thing it teaches the student is the proper distancing for the stance, the chambered position for the hands in training, how to bring the hands up to the centerline quickly, and how to sink down into the stance. The opening movements teach how to sink power down, the concept of centerline, and the maximum range up, down, and out necessary to guard the upper and middle gates. It is also the gauge for tan keeping tan sao and gan sao centered by using both hands. Next the student begins with a straight punch; the most basic strike in the wing chun system. Then comes the most basic training of the wing chun centerline, power generation forward and backward from the stance on two parallel legs up from heels to knee to hips to elbow and out to the relaxed forearm, and arm alignment for basic hand positions on the centerline. The hand positions taught here are tan sao, wu sao, f.o.o.k sao, and huen sao.
    Here and for the rest of siu lim tao this is all done from a stationary stance to allow students to isolate the power generation, hand positions, allowing students to properly ingrain the stance, and also working on the endurance of the student's legs in this position as the first section takes about five minutes to complete.

    Section 2

    Section two teaches power generation in multiple directions: down from below the shoulder, behind from the lower back, down from the chest, swinging out to the side while balancing the arms, folding down from lan sao, how to turn the hands over without moving the arms, lifting the wrist at full extension of the arms to the lowest necessary range, and sinking the wrist at full extension of the arms to the highest necessary range.

    In this section the student is also introduced to using two arms simultaneously but here they are both doing the same motion at the same time to keep it easy. As well introduced is the fact that power generation in certain directions is weaker than others. These would be power generation to the rear as well as power generation to the side and using fak sao from the arm only. This section builds on the basics from section one of power generation from the stance through the elbow. Here the student is introduced to lan sao and fak sao as well as their first change from one hand form to another.

    Section 3

    Here the student is introduced to more coordinated changes in hand forms but still isolated to one hand to make things easier to focus on. The initial pak sao is the closest deflection of a straight attack possible and as far to the side as a deflection needs to go. Following this the student is then introduced to a new straight line attack, the straight palm strike along the center line. The student then learns to transition from tan sao to gan sao and from gan sao to tan sao. The next transition is a huen sao used to change from the upper gate to the middle gate around an opponent's arm. The sideways palm which is targeted at the level of the floating ribs teaches the student another new attack, a new target area, and to not retract to strike after entry past the second gate. The next transition is from tan sao to a new hand form, bong sao and back to tan sao while keeping the wrist in the same place. It also transitions to ejecting power in a manner later used in the transition from quan sao to po pai. The next movement is for clearing hands for use later in lap sao as well as teaching coordination in the use of replacing hands in the use of clearing hands. Next is basic punching using both hands teaching proper placement of forward and back hands, proper travel path of the hands during punching. Hand forms introduced are pak sao, straight palm strike, gan sao, low palm, bong sao, clearing hands, and chain punching.
  2. huttmaster

    huttmaster New Member

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

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