Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday


Pivoting off line in Chum Kiu.
Pivoting off-line in Chum Kiu.


When I talk of Internal or External it is not in the usual Kung Fu / Chi Kung way, I am simply using the words to describe the difference between what we think and feel, Internal. And the motor mechanics of our Body, External, we need a different approach, different diagnostics when we are dealing with the Driver than we do when we are dealing with the Bus.

Bring everything you learned in the first Form onwards to the second Form

Only you will know how you interact with yourself during the first Form, there is no correct way, it is always personal, but you absolutely must do the second Form from this perspective, it is not just about attitude, it also Body awareness, how it feels, where you reside in it, in this way when you make changes, and Chum Kiu will bring about quite a few changes, your whole being will change, and not just the Chum Kiu Form.

From the Internal, thinking point of view the Chum Kiu is an extension of the Sil Lim Tao, it even opens up in he same way, and as such time should firstly be spent on setting up our “Body Being”,   “HEAD UP, BODY DOWN”.

It is easy to get confused and think that there is a great deal more going on in the Chum Kiu Form than in the S.L.T. Form but of course, at least Internally, this is not the case, it is in fact done in exactly the same way for exactly the same reasons. We are just introducing additional movement to challenge our ability at maintaining the “Body Being”,

The only additional or new movement we introduce is from the waist, it is understandable that students think that we are also introducing movement from the legs, but on close inspection it is clear that the legs are being moved by the waist, Chum Kiu is about moving the waist without destroying whatever we have learned through Sil Lim Tao.

The shape of our torso in S.L.T. remains unchanged in the C.K. the shoulders sit naturally, quietly above the hips, the head, due to the inflated spine, sits naturally and quietly above the pelvis, no matter what we do with our waist, our torso is totally engaged in the “Body Being” of S.L.T.  “HEAD UP, BODY DOWN”.

When the waist is moved only the waist is moved, our head, shoulders, hips and navel are not engaged, they stay exactly where they naturally reside; just like Yum Cha Dishes on a “Lazy Susan” all the dishes stay in the same position in relation to each other, even though they move through space, unless of course you spin it too quickly, one thing that you will soon discover is that this is equally a problem in Chum Kiu.

If our pelvis is a ball then the waist is the equator of that ball, keeping this in mind I talk about moving the waist to bring about movement as opposed to moving the hips, apart from giving us a far larger and easier to feel engine to move our body, it enables us to use the hips as a point of reference for our shape, they are no longer something that we are directly trying to control they move where our waist moves because our waist moves as a result it is easy to see that the hips and the shoulders do not move at all but just go along for the ride.

Another, and quite separate part of Chum Kiu is to observe and understand how our Centre of Gravity is moved by the actions we create. An inherent part of Wing Chun “Body Being” that we establish in the S.L.T. is to maintain a straight spine and to keep our weight situated in our pelvis, Head Up. Body Down  {maintaining the relationship between the hip and the shoulder is by far the easiest way to do this the hip – shoulder line is parallel to the spine, if one is maintained by default so is the other, having the idea, via the practice of ‘Overcoat Body”, that my shoulder is connected with my hip encourages the centre of gravity to sink into my pelvis}.

Despite Wing Chun centreline theory human beings are not built around a centric axis, when we feel that this is the case it is because our weight is evenly distributed between the two excentric axes that are our legs, when we pivot it is only these two axes that are available to pivot on, this is biology and not Wing Chun, if we maintain a straight spine as we turn our waist, if we avoid creating tension and destroying the “Body Being” our centre of gravity moves to settle over one of the supporting legs. to a very large extent we are now in situation similar to a one legged S.L.T.

Refer to the picture above to get a clearer idea of what I am saying.

Just like the S.L.T. if we are working on the Internal aspect, the thinking and feeling, there is no reason to be concerned about what the body is actually doing, Heads and Tails are after all part of the whole but not the same.




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