Have you ever wondered why the Chum Kiu Form is set out the way it is?
Firstly we have left – right pivots then side shifting and then front shifting and back shifting.
This is not random programming, it is an indication of why and where we would use our Wing Chun, it describes the passages of a violent encounter.
Wing Chun is a Counter Attacking Martial Art, so by definition everything we do is in direct response to someone attacking us, not every attack will come from the same place, the same range and the three sections cover the three potential ranges.
Very close with little or no visible warning, we pivot in place to take ourselves away from the line of attack or redirect the attack away.
Close up but with some visibly warning, we shift sideways breaking the line of attack.
Far enough away to clearly see it coming, we shift in towards the attack destroying the opponents timing and increasing our power.
In Wing Chun our main tool in defence or attack is our weight, when we make contact with an incoming strike our aim is to place our body mass on that strike or at least let the strike make contact with our body mass, it has very little to do with the bridge that makes contact.
With the sideways shift we push across our body with the rear leg in the direction of the incoming strike, at this point this is not a weight shift like the pivot that clearly moves from one axis to the other because our whole body is moving, still in balance, still unified, however contact with the incoming strike creates a deceleration of our bodies momentum and brings about a weight shift into the defending arm, because the weight shift is created by the Bad Guy we do not need to move to a specific place, we only need to be moving on contact. This is a very important point, as the Bad Guy attacks he compresses time and space, things happen quicker and closer, trying to be in the right place at the right time releasing the right energy into the right target would be almost impossible.
This is the same with the forwards shift, except this time our movement is equally compressing the Bad Guys time and space, the key to both of these actions is that we are shifting freely through space and not trying to step to some specific location. It should be clear that our rear leg is pushing the body, this creates acceleration and increases our momentum, it is not the waist dragging up the leg, this creates deceleration and erodes our momentum.
Body shifting in Chum Kiu is sometimes described as moving with the hips, this is a little misleading, all movement begins by pressing the planet with our feet, this creates a Ground Force Reaction that transfers into our hips and then we move our hips / weight with this G.F.R.