Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday


A Map is not a Country.
A Map is not a Country.


The parable of the finger pointing at the moon has 2 popular interpretations, one is that if you spend your time looking at the finger instead of the Moon you will miss what it is pointing at, namely the Moon. The second is that the finger is not the Moon, it is just a device, or a hint to show you where the Moon actually is.

In the Martial Arts, Forms and Katas are a prime example of the “Finger pointing at the Moon”, of themselves Forms, Kata and such are of little use except for pointing you in the correct direction, but to be honest, for this they are exceptional.

Wing Chun has 6 Forms for a reason, and they should be looked upon as 6 volumes of the same Work, the complete understanding is spread among these 6 volumes, each volume enlarges the idea from the previous volume, makes it more accessible, clearer and easier to understand.

There is an overview and a level of understanding that cannot be experienced until you have a rudimentary understanding of all 6 Forms.

There are aspects of the First Form that you cannot hope to understand unless you approach them from the perspective of the Third Form.

THE 30,000 Ft. VIEW.

When I talk about a rudimentary understanding of all 6 forms I mean just that, a BASE LEVEL understanding of what is to be gleaned from each Form.

The First Form, SIU NIM TAO.

From 30,000 ft. the First Form teaches us how recognise Balance and how to move our Arms.

You can spend the next 50 years on the minutiae of how and where to move your Arms, and you would be well advised to do so, but whether your study is deep or shallow it is just about moving your Arms.

Gaining self awareness of what it feels like to be a “Body in Balance”, and preparing the Body to be able to operate in a manner that could be expected to do the Work that we will engage in later on.

Understanding what it means to operate without tension, to be relaxed.

The First Form is Chi Kung, exercises to prepare the Body to do the Work, it is not the Work itself, it is the Finger and not the Moon.

The Second Form, CHUM KIU

From 30,000 ft. the Chum Kiu teaches you how to support your Arms with your Body, how to develop “Waist Torque, Waist Rotation” how to maintain your Balance through Basic Human movement and how to coordinate this movement with the movement of your Arms from the First Form. Chum Kiu shows you how to enlist Multi Vector Force.

Chum Kiu teaches how to engage an opponent, if you are making contact with anything at any time in any place you are using Chum Kiu, if you are presenting Tarn Sau and someone is offering resistance it is Chum Kiu and not Siu Nim Tao. 

Chi Sau is Chum Kiu, If you do not know how to approach contact with an opponent from the perspective of Chum Kiu you are doing nothing.

The movements of Chum Kiu are a means to develop the ability to maintain Balance while in Motion, Stillness inside of Motion.

The Third form, BILL GEE.

From 30,000 ft. Bill Gee teaches how to send your awareness and or energy to any place on the Body, even up to the Tips of the Fingers.

Bill Gee introduces “Shoulder Torque, Shoulder Rotation”, it teaches how to use the upper and lower Body separately but together, to create multi rotation or vortices.

The rotating of the Arms in Chi Sau is shallow and empty until it is approached from the perspective of Bill Gee, the double opening Side Slash from the First Form is feeble and almost pointless without some understanding of Shoulder Torque.

The movements of Bill Gee are more complex and more aggressive than the movements of Chum Kiu and as such provide a greater test to maintaining Balance and Stability.

The Forth Form, WOODEN DUMMY.

From 30,000 ft. the Wooden Dummy is a training partner that will let you perform the same move on him for hours on end without complaint.  It allows you to explore the options of the Chi Sau shapes and it helps change the “How to Move Knowledge” of the second and third forms into a “Where to Move Knowledge” engaging timing and distance, Time and Space.


From 30,000 ft. the Butterfly Knives are an extension of the Arm that creates greater difficulty in remaining Stable, Balanced and Relaxed.  All of the Knife moves are the Arm moves from the First Form, the weight of the Knives challenges your ability to remain without tension.The Footwork of the Knives is larger and more dynamic than the Chum Kiu or Bill Gee, a much greater challenge to your Stability and Balance, a lot closer to the type of movement needed in combat.

The Sixth Form, LONG POLE.

From 30,000 ft. the extra weight and length of the Long Pole greatly multiply the challenges encountered with the Knives, the Pole movements are, just like the Knives are the Arm movements from the First Form.


This is often cited as the reason for not being instructed in the later Forms, but this is either a misunderstanding or an attempt to deliberately misinform.

The Jut Sau used in the Fourth Form {Dummy} is the same movement as the Jut Sau in the First Form.

The Huen Bart {Knives} from the Fifth form is the same movement as the Huen Sau from the first Form.

The Fook Gwan {Pole} movement in the Sixth Form is the same as the Fook Sau movement from the First Form.

Fook Gwan will teach you how to understand Fook Sau, Fook Gwan is the Moon, Fook Sau is the Finger.

Wing Chun has 6 Forms for a reason, and they should be looked upon as 6 volumes of the same Work, the complete understanding is spread among these 6 volumes, each volume enlarges the idea from the previous volume, makes it more accessible, clearer and easier to understand.



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