In the beginning there was only one Form in Wing Chun, the Sil Lim Tao, to flatten the learning curve ,for easier digestion and comprehension, this Form was split into three sections, “A”, “B” and “C”.  This was more than likely firstly implemented  by Chan Wah Shun but it became standard practice in the time of Ip Man.

Before long the fact that it was originally three parts of the same Form was forgotten, particularly in Hong Kong this is evident when we look at the Forms from non Ip Man lineages from Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan etc {that came about after the dispersal of the Canton Wing Chun Community as a result of the Chinese Civil War and later the Cultural Revolution}.

To this day there is an echo of this practice in how we approach all the other Forms, sections A,B and C.

What the majority of the Wing Chun community now refer to as the Sil Lim Tao is in all reality only the “A”Section of the Sil Lim Tao.  The “B” Section is now referred to as Chum Kiu and the “C” Section is now referred to as Biu Gee.

As a rule Wing Chun does not name specific movements it simply describes them, e.g. Tarn Sau, lay flat hand, Fook Sau, controlling hand, it is contrary to standard practice to suddenly give a name to two of the Forms instead of the usual method of describing their function.

Chum Kiu is a description of the objective that this part of the S.L.T. is working on, namely seeking the Bridge, and with Biu Gee the objective is to unify our Body and Intention, even out to the tips of the fingers.

Not understanding that all six Forms are in fact just different aspects of the Sil Lim Tao, and even worse regarding each of these aspects of the One S.L.T. Form as stand alone Forms not only prevents unification of the IDEA but  leads away from the natural progression down a path that is scattered and often contradictory.

There are complete lineages that base all of their training around just one of these Fragments of Form, it does not matter which Fragments of Form is chosen it is only part of the totality of Wing Chun information.

This is the cause of many of the problems inherent in making the leap from Form to Function, especially in the Ip Man lineage.

The collective information in the Wing Chun Forms is at heart organic, it grows from itself, it is not limited to what is already known, what has already been discovered, in all avenues of human endeavour progress is the result of new previously unthought of combinations of the common building blocks of the base IDEA being realigned, composited.

The “Old Way” is disassembled and then reassembled in a new way that closer reflects todays needs.

New people with different vision see new and different things in the old pattern, new questions bring new answers from the old information.

Tomorrows Wing Chun is only as good as todays questions.

And the first question should always be……….

Does it work?



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