Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday


How do the 6 Wing Chun Forms relate to each other?

KLEE water, waterwheel and hammer.

Are they stand alone Idea’s or are they part of a progression?

There appears to be a tendency with many Schools to focus more on the First Form than the following 5 Forms ,this could of course simply be that far too many Junior Instructors begin their own School before they  have a more rounded knowledge and you will hear these Instructors claim that there is  only the Siu Lim Tao Form.

I do not see the point in spending many Years studying the “First Form”, I do however understand why you would spend a great deal of time and effort studying the 19th Form.

I think it obvious that if there was a need for only one Form then Ip Man or an other Ancestor would of trimmed away the lesser 5 Forms due to Simplicity and Directness being the corner stone of Wing Chun, or perhaps joined them into one longer Form, but the fact that this was never done should be enough for us to accept that we have 6 Forms in Wing Chun because we need 6 Forms in Wing Chun to fully understand it.

In my observations Students attempt to retro fit the First Form with idea’s and functions that just do not belong there, this is mostly due to an inherent understanding that something is missing, but a great deal of this is also due to the practice of using resistance during analysis to gain a feedback loop that can help you understand.  The first Form does not make contact with any outside agency, it does not SEEK THE BRIDGE.

The First Form allows us to study how to correctly use the Joints of the Arms, it introduces some very basic strategy and alignment concepts and it teaches us how to be in balance / centred and to stay in balance / centred as we move our Arms.

How can this Form alone be the basis of Wing Chun?

The Second Form has the attributes of how to support our Arms with our Body and how to use the Waist to power the Frame. None of this works without the Basic Attributes of Balance brought in by the First Form.

The Third Form has the attributes of how to liberate the Shoulder Girdle creating the vortex through Shoulder torque, liberating the Shoulder Girdle brings about more effective alignments and a exponential increase in power. None of this works without the Basic Attributes of Waist Rotation brought in by the Second Form.

The Fourth Form is simply the combination of all the attributes of the first three Forms. When you are working on the Dummy you are simultaneously practising all 3 earlier Forms, if for any reason you think that the Dummy is a separate Form you have missed the point completely.

The Fifth and Sixth Forms, in todays World using weapons is not even worth considering, if for whatever reason you do live in a world where you need a weapon you would get a Gun so the 5th and 6th Forms are not about weapons, they are more akin to Wing Chun weight training, using the Wing Chun Weapons while moving increases the difficulty of correctly utilising the attributes of the first 3 forms.


Wing Chun is a SYSTEM, and just like all systems it requires that all the parts work correctly and run together for the system to work, if even the smallest cog is missing or broken the system cannot function as it is meant to.

Any School that presents its training through a single aspect of Wing Chun is not teaching the System,  it is not involved in teaching Wing Chun as a complete whole and you are being short changed.

The Siu Nim Tao, the WAY of the LITTLE IDEA is not complete until you have seen it evolve through all 6 refinements, you do not learn or progress to Chum Kiu, you simply expand the “Idea” that began in the “First Form”, in Bill Gee you add further expansion to what has gone before, in Mok Jan Jong {the Wooden Dummy} you attempt to link the “Idea” into a useable combination {that will and should be slightly different for everyone, a personalised expression of your own Wing Chun that can and will evolve as each student journeys along their own path}, this stage of training is mainly about Defence, the Bart Cham Do {Butterfly Knives} and the Lok Dim Boon Kwan {the Long Pole} introduce the movement and thinking that allow you to convert the “Idea” of Defence into the “Idea” of Attack, in this way you complete the Six Forms and finally grasp the complete “IDEA” of Wing Chun.

Rinse, Repeat and begin again, you are now doing The 7th Form.

If we accept this suggestion of the 7th Form then we must also have a 13th, a 19th and even perhaps 25th and beyond, as we move our knowledge forward one REVOLUTION at a time, revisiting all the Forms again and again, each time with a better understanding of how they work together seeing them as a complete System.

I do not see the point in spending many Years studying the “First Form”, I do however understand why you spend a great deal of time and effort studying the 19th Form.

As I have pointed out in an earlier post the Yee Chi Kim Yeung Mah, the BASIC Wing Chun Stance is inherently unstable and ill-suited to actually fighting, it is in point a Chi Kung Stance, and the focused study of the First Form in this Stance is Chi Kung and has precious little relevance to fighting, once you understand the complete system it makes perfect sense to learn how to “Infuse the Body with Spirit”, to develop your Intrinsic Energy, it just seems a little pointless to spend that time while you lack the knowledge of the attributes of Chum Kiu Body Control and the more efficient alignments found in Bill Gee, it is a little like putting a Turbo Charger on a Lawn Mower.

The “First Form” is not the Siu Nim Tao, it is a Portal to the Siu Nim Tao.

The map is not the territory



1 thought on “W.C.W. THE FORMS.”

  1. A long time ago, I used to think the most important forms were Sil Lum Tao, Chum Kiu and the Dummy. In SLT you learn all the basic hand techniques. Then in CK you learn how to pivot, kick, and use the hands simultaneously. Finally, with the Dummy you learn how to apply those techniques to something that takes up physical space.

    I used to think of Biu Jee as a “fluff” kind of form because it teaches techniques that you use only if you lose control of the center line. However, after reading your article, I realize that the high/low gan sao part from Biu Jee is also in the Dummy. Therefore, if ONE part of BJ is important, then it must ALL be. And if all of BJ is important, then the Weapons forms are too.

    Great article. Thank you for posting it.


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